Why Strength Training Is Vital For Basketball Players

The argument can be made that improvement in basketball requires a more diverse set of workouts than most any other sport. Successful players work regularly on agility, endurance, strength, flexibility, and coordination – to say nothing of specific skills and team practices. While endurance and skill work tend to win out as the biggest focal points for players looking to improve their games in totality though, we would contend that strength training should also be a major point of emphasis.

This is something we talk about with regard to football more often, with strength work representing an understood aspect of in-season training. This is only natural given the intense physicality of the sport. However, while a single basketball practice or game may not involve quite as much physicality as football, it can still be a grueling sport over the long term. A season, a summer of workouts, or even a full career can lead to enough wear and tear that, if you’ll forgive the cliché, only the strong survive.

This isn’t merely a suggestion from someone who values strength training though, nor is it the perspective of one coach. Rather, it’s an idea that’s regularly backed and exhibited by people at the top of the basketball world.

One example of this actually came very recently, in the form of an interview former All-Star Kevin Garnett gave with sportswriter and podcaster Bill Simmons. The main focus of the interview wound up being on some comments Garnett had about LeBron James but he offered some fascinating perspective on fitness as well. Garnett was never the bulkiest player in the game, but was known for toughness and endurance above all else. His lithe but rock-solid frame allowed him to impose his will upon heavier and more muscular opponents, making him an excellent person to advocate for strength training. In his interview, however, Garnett was actually speaking more to the strength of NBA legend and physical behemoth Shaquille O’Neal.

Confronting the common narrative that O’Neal occasionally payed out of shape, Garnett argued that his longtime opponent was actually bulking up intentionally earlier in seasons so that his body could withstand the gradual beating it would take over the course of half a year’s worth of games. Garnett was speaking specifically to the notion that basketball players need strength for the long term.

Another, more everyday example comes in the form of LeBron James, who may yet go down as the best player in the history of basketball. Right now most would still give that label to Michael Jordan, but the way James is still competing at the age of 34 indicates he still has time to establish the greatest legacy. Right now, people following the NBA have their clearest picture ever of what the data hawks and oddsmakers believe will happen in the league, thanks to the relatively new presence of U.S.-based bookies online. These bookies post odds for NBA action day in and day out, on the basis of information compiled by betting and gambling experts who are not just watching, but conducting thorough analysis of league activity.

Look to these online bookies and their NBA odds right now, and you’ll see the Lakers – led by LeBron James – favored in most of their games. The same bookies also show the Lakers as league-wide favorites (or perhaps co-favorites with their cross-town rival Clippers). How this factors into the strength discussion is simple: Look at LeBron James’s physique. He’s a famed physical specimen who works incredibly hard to maintain muscle and keep his body primed for long seasons, lengthy playoff runs, and all the attrition that goes with them. The online bookies are different from the fans (who widely admire James and generally want him to keep winning). They actually analyze the game to compile betting odds, and they’ve determined that a player who by all rights ought to be worn down and physically exhausted is still dominant enough to lead a title favorite. More than perhaps any other conceivable example, this speaks to the benefits of strength training for basketball players over time.

As a final example though, and perhaps a broader point toward development in younger players, we’d also point out that even the USA Basketball organization appears to openly value strength training. To backtrack somewhat, we’ll note that one reason a lot of basketball players neglect strength training is that they’re concerned it will negatively affect skills. For instance, a lot of players think that strengthening their arms or adding upper-body bulk will alter their shooting form.

USA Basketball included these ideas among its myths about basketball training. The program suggested that there’s no actual evidence for strength impacting shooting form, and argued that players serious about improving can work on shooting and strength training at the same time, and enjoy improvement with both facets.

Based on all of these examples and arguments, we’d support the idea that strength training is vital for developing basketball players. Building muscle may not be the only thing that’s important to work on, but it can help a player withstand a long, physical season or an active career, and it won’t get in the way of other aspects of the game.

Did DK Metcalf stunt his growth?

I am just watching the NFC Wild card game and DK Metcalf’s record day. 

Metcalf is a 6’4 220 lb chiseled wr whose father had him start lifting at the age of 6!!  Yes you read that correctly.  6 years old and lifting weights…did it stunt his growth…NO!  In fact research shows that 77% of people who lift weights at a young age are the tallest in their family

2.  Young athletes who train with weights are hurt much less then kids who don’t lift weights

3. Strength training is safe for kids as long as it is personalized and supervised

4. Strength training wil increase a young athletes mobility

5. Will strength training guarantee you a scholarship or play pro….no but I can assure you if you don’t you will have much less of an opportunity!

Now be like DK Metcalf and squat 100bs at the age of 6!!

If you want to get jacked try my 8 week speed /strength football program

DAWGMODE!

Coach Larry Jusdanis

SST BURLINGTON

To read more on this subject … CLICK HERE!

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Becoming A Better & Well Rounded Athlete!

I’m going to go off on a little bit of a rant here… so bear with me. I’ve been in the sports training world for a few years now and there is one thing that really bugs me. Too many times I talk with young kids (6-12) and they tell me what sport they play either hockey, basketball or soccer are the common ones. I always have the same question for them, “Is that the only sport you play?” 75% of the kids say yes! This is a huge problem for young kids, we are specializing them way to early, and I will explain why!

Sports Are Fun!

When kids are young, sports is about having fun and getting them involved, meeting friends, most of them could really care less about who wins and who losses it’s just a fact. The parents in the stands care way more about that stuff. Young boys and girls should be playing all kinds of sports for two reasons;

  1. It will keep them interested in physical activity and it wont become boring
  2. They will be able to make more friends and interact with more people

Becoming A Better Well Rounded Athlete

I coach football so I see this all the time. When our OL and DL are un-athletic when they are young, one of them best ways to help with their coordination is to make them play Basketball. They are running, jumping sprinting all the while trying not to bump into people. It is literally the complete opposite of what they normally do! In the summer when the pro hockey guys come back to train when they first start doing speed work, it looks like they are running with skates on, at the end of the summer they look more smooth and natural because they have been doing other things than just SKATING! Playing more sports will allow you to become a more well rounded athlete!

Keeping the Competitive Fire Burning

During off season training it is very easy to fall into a rut, doing the same things over and over again. At SST we put such a big emphasis on competition and struggle but sometimes it gets hard to mimic that in the weight room. Every summer during the High Performance Camp when are athletes look like they are starting to get mentally drained we pull out the basketballs and head to the court. Right away you can see the competitiveness come right out of them while they are having fun! This is so important when training high level athletes, there needs to be hard work obviously but you need to keep them engaged!

At the end of the day, here is my point! Less than 1% of high school athletes will get a FULL Division 1 Scholarship for their respective sport! And 1% of the will go pro and make a living playing the sport that they love. Sure, sports can be the avenue that we scratch our competitive itch, but at the end of the day, young kids need to be having fun. Kids don’t care about all the stuff when they are in grade 3 they just want to have fun! SO, LET THEM!

If you’re looking for more information on preventing overuse injuries and making the weight room something they don’t dread, please Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule a complimentary demo session today!

Are You Explosive Enough In Your Sport?

One of the most important aspects of training an athlete is plyometrics. It is crucial in making an athlete more explosive. Here is the key piece with Plyo’s with young kids. They are great but an athlete needs to be assessed before to correct all of their deficiencies. If an athlete is not strong it is very hard to make them explosive. It’s a very simple equation, you must be strong before you can be explosives. Here are my three favorite plyometric exercises!

Box Jump:

Everyone does this! It’s a great way to train jumping! Here is my biggest tips with regards to box jumps. The landing is the most important part. The landing needs to be soft and you shouldn’t hear it. If you can hear the landing make the box smaller and land soft. One way to spice up box jumps is too jump out of a seated position! My personal favorite way to take this drill to the nest level is to make the athlete jump on que, that’s the way sport is played; very rarely do you get to pick and choose when you want to react!

Depth Jump:

This is an awesome one for young athletes but also older athletes. This is so important on training not only plyometric strength and isometric strength. This exercise allows you not only to learn how to land which is so important, but it teaches your body how to take a load through the ground which is important. One cool way to do a depth jump is to add a box jump too it. Have a player jump off a box take the load thru the ground, then jump up into the air!

4 Dot Drill:

My personal favorite! This drill is basically 4 dots on a mat, and the athletes will jump in different directions from dot to dot. The best way to do this drill is in short bursts, 5-10 seconds. You can make this drill harder by changing the way the athletes faces during the drill, flipping his hips during the drill. My biggest tip for this drill is to make sure the athletes keeps his or her eyes up. You can make them focus on some sort of visual cue!

Plyo’s are so important to creating an all around great athlete. But like I previously stated, young athletes need to be “strong” before we worry about Plyo’s!

Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule a free demo session or to ask about out vertical jump program or our strength and conditioning programs.

Why Men Need To Strength Train As They Age!

Strength training is not just for the young guys and I would argue that as men age, strength training becomes more and more important to maintain muscle function and quality of life.

Due to the natural loss of testosterone with aging, it becomes more difficult to maintain and build muscle mass. Furthermore, in those who don’t strength train to combat this, we generally see a loss of muscle mass as we age, along with a loss of muscle function and decreased quality of life. Easy tasks of daily living such as getting up from a chair, playing with the grandkids at the park, or working on some of our favourite outdoors hobbies such as woodworking or playing in our recreational hockey league become difficult.

While some men tend to do endless amounts of cardio as exercise as they age, I would argue that strength training is just as important if not more important, as muscle mass helps to maintain and increase our slowing metabolism as we age that helps to combat fat mass gain. Furthermore, strength training also helps to maintain our cardiovascular health and can be as effective as pure cardiovascular exercise to prevent heart attack and stroke. 

When combined with a die that includes adequate dietary protein, resistance training in the older years can still promote muscle gain, so even if you are starting to resistance train later in life it still has tremendous benefits.

Here at SST we have a program designed specifically for men over the age of 44 (MAXFITT FOR MEN 44), come in for a free demo class to see how we train our guys to maximize the benefits of strength training as they age.

Using The Gym To Mentally Prepare For Competition.

One the biggest problems with young athletes today is that they don’t know how to completely focus all the time. You can also see it during their competitions. Athletes get out of place or don’t react fast enough because they didn’t see something or couldn’t see something because it was happening to fast for them. Here are three tips to use to increase an athlete’s focus!

Eliminate Technology In the Gym; Athletes and people are way too reliant on technology. When athletes lift, they should not be on their phones. It should not be used in between sets. They do not have cases to their phones during their competition, so don’t let them use a phone during training. When athletes are resting during sets, I teach them how to breath and give them a skill they can us on the field of competition. This is a learned skill set that can be practiced instead of being on a phone.

Quiz Them In States Of Exhaustion; This could be my favorite of all time. When I work with my Offensive Lineman, I often ask them question right when they finish working. They are tired and this is when their brains sometimes don’t want to work. I try and mimic this so that when they are tired they are used to thinking, and it’s not new to them. Something as simple as asking them what 8×7 is when they are huffing and puffing. It’s really simple yet so darn effective.

Simulate Game Situation In Group Training; Make your athletes work as a team when they train as a group. For example when doing the fictional training with hockey players I like to make one athlete of “off” and have one athlete run “on” to start and finish their set. This simulates a shift change. You can also do to with 5 players at a time if you are working as a big group. Something as simple as that will help them get used to stay mentally focused during their competition.

Come in to SST Burlington to put these and more training tips into your training routine!

In Season Training Tips To Prevent Injury

In season training is so important to on field performance, we all know that. One of the most overlooked aspects of training hard during the season is it recoups the muscle fibers you break down during competition. Athletes who do not take in season training seriously are subject to an increase of one thing, injury!

There is a direct correlation between athletes who don’t train hard during the season and their increase risk of injury! Football being a collision sport, injuries are very common. Below are three ideas to keep you off the training table and on the field.

Split Squats ;The most important lift in the book. At SST this is a day one deal, we’ve been doing this with our athletes for over 20 years and for good reason. One of the most common injuries in football is a knee injury, most commonly an ACL tear. Doing split squats all year will improve your range of motion and will allow you to be strong in the knee over toe position. Performing the split squat is also a very effective way to train the VMO, which is a very important muscle to have a strong health knee.

Pulling Lifts; I’ve been around football so long and later in the season  athletes start to get banged up backs and shoulders, because of all the collisions that happen on a daily basis. This happens very easily because, young athletes that don’t have proper training knowledge think that they need to be benching and pressing to stay strong in the upper body. There is some merit to this being that football is a sport where a lot of “press action” happens but, to stay strong and healthy the posterior chain in the upper body needs to be taken care of. My favorite one would be a simple as a chin up or any type of row. This will keep your back strong and your spine protected!

Conditioning;  Football is a multi direction sport! Way to often we condition just going straight! IT IS MADNESS!!!! When conditioning athletes make sure that you are doing different things, such as shuffles, cross overs and change of direction. For example, a running back (RB) in football spend most of his time going forward in a game, rarely does he go back wards. During the season condition him going backwards so when it happens during a game, his body is used to it! BIGGEST CONDITIONING TIP! Make your guys back pedal, it’s way harder to pull something going backwards in a back pedal than it is going forwards!

Hopefully these three tips help you stay strong during the season, but more importantly help you stay on the field!

Email us at SST@SSTCANADA.COM to schedule your free demo today!

Three Tips To In-Season Training – Football

In season training is a must for ALL sports! One of my biggest pet peeves is when athletes train SO HARD during the off-season but then they do nothing to maintain their hard work during the season! You are wasting all the hard work you’ve put in! Listen I get it…. lifting during the season is a very tough task both mentally and physically but it needs to be done so you can maintain your strength and speed that was developed during the course of the past off season. Most people do not understand how to properly train during the season, here at SST we can help guide you through the course of the off-season and your in season maintenance!

Here are my three biggest inseason traning tips that will definitley help your performance!!!

Lift The Heavy Barbell

Don’t be afraid to lift heavy during your athlete work week. This will keep you strong! Ever notice why muscle pulls and joint tweaks happen in the later parts of your season??? Its because most athletes are not keep their bodies strong! In the football season most high school and university players are playing on Friday or Saturday. There is no reason why early in the week, Monday and Tuesday you cannot be lifting in the 80% max load range.

Active Recovery Day –  Post Game

THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!! If you play your game on Friday night, there is no doubt that you are going to wake up Saturday sore as heck. The worst thing you can do is just sit around on the couch feeling sorry for your body. My suggestion is you do something active to get the lactic acid out of your body. What I like to do with my football guys is the day after the game we get out on the field and run 10 fifty yard tempos at half speed, just enough to get the blood moving. After that is complete I make them walk for 15 minutes. This works perfect, and you wake up Sunday feeling 10 times better.

Streching – Hip Flexors and Glutes

Football is played in a low crouched position a lot of the time. The first thing that usually goes on Football athletes are their backs from the constant collisions and the positions they are always in. I highly suggest that you take 15 minutes out of your day, every day to give your Hip Flexors and Glutes some love. There are 1000’s of different stretches that can be performed depending on your flexibility.

Give these three tips a try when thinking about your in season training, they will definitely help you. All athletes out there that feel they need a little more direction in their training swing by SST Burlington and let us help you. We have been in this business for 20 year and have help 1000’s of athletes!

Maxfit 44 program

Get lean and fit or face accelerated aging, weight gain, diminished sex drive, declining energy, chronic diseases like osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, diabetes, and other problems.

If you’re a man over the age of 40, your body is issuing you an ultimatum:

Get lean and fit or face accelerated aging, weight gain, diminished sex drive, declining energy, chronic diseases like osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, diabetes, and other problems.

Ever notice that most elite athletes retire from competitive sports in their late 30s? There’s a reason for this, the male body starts to age more quickly. But you can reverse the aging process with nutrition and strength training.

Part of the reason for this accelerated process is the diminished production of our hormones Testosterone and Growth hormone. Testosterone is the hormone that makes us men. It gives us our strength, our drive, and our character.

However testosterone production declines with age in men. This results in decreased serum levels of total and bioavailable testosterone, leading to a decrease in energy, muscle mass, and bone mass. This also leads to an increase in body fat levels, depression, and a variety of disease. Growth Hormone is the hormone that stimulates growth and cell division. The average bodily decline in growth hormone production is 1.25% per year, or 14% per decade for a man of normal body weight. If we add in the elevated body fat levels the growth hormone production is further compounded because body fat itself tends to decrease HGH secretion.

However it does not have to be this way, with a properly designed strength and nutrition program we can halt or even reverse this process, to become the strong virile man we used to be.

MaxFit 44 offers you an opportunity to answer the ultimatum your body is issuing.

We provide a customized nutrition plan and strength training program that will allow you to meet your fitness goals. Based on cutting edge scientific research and accurate assessment of your body composition we will design a program for weight loss, improved vitality, and enhanced sports performance (other goals?).

This is not your normal group exercise program. There are no dance moves to learn, no irritating music and no endless boring cardio exercises.

We offer low instructor, client ratios and select only exercises that will make you stronger and more powerful.

Why would you choose a group exercise program vs. individualized training or working out in isolation? Cost and results. Working out in a group setting is less expensive than working out with a trainer in a one on one basis but with the shared benefits of group accountability. Studies indicate that people work harder when they believe that others are watching them. This increase of intensity when paired with proper exercise selection and movement form will yield results that are up to 80% better in half the time.

When you factor in the nutritional program, you have an unbeatable approach that is going to make you look and feel better than you ever have in your life. Better yet is that by learning WHAT and HOW to eat, you will be able to stay lean and keep your muscular appearance while the rest of your friends continue their age related decline. Discover the benefits of MY BLUEPRINT NUTRITION

You can’t stop your body from aging but you can control how it looks as it ages. Get back in the drivers seat and recapture the vitality of your youth.

MaxFit 44 will change the way you look, feel and think about your health for the rest of your life. You deserve to be the best you can be.

ACT NOW!

JOIN OUR NEXT 12 WEEK PROGRAM!

Come in for a free demo class.

Why Increase Your Omega 3 Intake?

I keep hearing about good fats and why I should be taking them. If I took good fats wouldn’t I just become fatter and what are the true benefits? Also, what are Omega 3 fats?

Grant N.

 

Hey Grant, that’s a great question and one that I hear regularly. First let’s get an understanding of fats. Fatty acids can be broken down into two main categories- Saturated and Unsaturated. These two can be broken down into sub-categories as well, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Fatty acids are made up of the number of carbon atoms and hydrogen molecules they can hold. All fats have a combination of these with one being predominant.

Fat is necessary for good health. Deficiencies of the so called “Good Fats” can cause health consequences. Good Fats can be described as Omega 6 or Omega 3. Omega 6 fats are highly consumed in our diet relative to Omega 3. The ratio is up to 20:1 whereas it should be more of a 1:1 ratio. Here at SST, we like to put our athletes on higher dosages of Omega 3 fats. There are 3 types of Omega 3- ALA (found in flaxseed oil, hemp seed oil and walnuts) Docosahaexaenoic (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) which are found in fish and fish oils. ALA is essential but does not convert well so I like to recommend fish oils to our athletes. Our brains are made up of 60% fat. DHA is one of the most important fats for the brain and it is sometimes called “brain food”. All omega 3 fats also help with the anti-inflammatory process of the body as well. As well, a higher intake of Omega 3 leads to fat loss. This is usually the first supplement I add to our athletes’ diets when they come into the SST Centre.

Fish Oil can have benefits for the body with the following medical problems:

Cancer

Arthritis

Stroke

Colitis

Chronic fatigue syndrome

As mentioned I prefer a high dose of fish oils for my athletes depending upon their body fat levels – from 9-15 grams per day! I like to use reputable companies that use higher grade fish oil such as Metagenics, Genestra, Organika, Life Extension and my good friend Charles Poliquin’s in-house brand. I instruct my athletes to take their fish oils with every meal. A good trick to help avoid burping up fish a taste is to keep them in your freezer.

Grant I hope this helps you understand Omega 3 oils a bit better!

Good luck with your training and nutrition! If you want more info regarding all Women’s Fit and Lean Program or Men’s Maxfit please contact your community SST