We all know when we are feeling sluggish or tired we like to reach for our favorite Java or take a nap. What if I told you that research shows if you do both the results are much better than one or the other?
Here is the catch – YOU DRINK the coffee first and then take a 15-20 minute nap right away!
How does this work?
Adenosine is a byproduct of brain activity, and when it accumulates at high enough levels, it plugs into these receptors and makes you feel tired. But with the caffeine blocking the receptors Adenosine is blocked. How and why…Adenosine and caffeine compete for similar receptor sites.
Whenever you sleep- adenosine is cleared from the brain. Short naps of up to 20 minutes does not put you into deep sleep and allows the caffeine around 20 minutes to get through your gastrointestinal tract and bloodstream anyway.
What to do- drink a coffee as quick as possible – and one with more caffeine and immediately go to sleep- even if it takes you long time- try- the catch make sure to set your alarm for 20 minutes!
Please try this and provide some feedback – love to hear from you!
AND… don’t forget tp check out our High Perfomance Camp this summer.
One of the most overlooked aspects of training Football
Players is Core Strength. This aspect of training cannot be overlooked as it is
so important to their performance on the field. Football is a sport that is
played in a 4 directions, vertical, lateral, reverse and forward. Having a
strong core with help get you get from point A to point B as fast and as strong
as possible. I will briefly discuss two reasons why I think core strength is so
Anti- Rotational Force
This is a big one, especially in the trenches in football.
On the line of scrimmage, one of the main goals to stay square to your target,
whatever your target may be. For example to get to the Quarterback, the primary
goal for the defensive lineman is to beat the offensive lineman anyway
possible. The offensive must stay square to the LOS because he does not know
100% where the QB is. Staying square to the LOS is hard to due when pressure
form the DL can come at man different angles toward the QB. You can see over
and over again OL with weak core get beat via a simple rip-bull, because they
cannot fight themselves square!
This one is super easy, Quarterback Play! There is an old adage you throw the football with your shoulder and arm, but you DRIVE the football with your core and legs. Being able to disassociate the hips and core and force the hips into the throw takes a strong core, without a strong core you won’t be able to zip the football. Playing QB is a unique position, you have to make very unique dynamic movements in a very small area (the pocket) so rotational force is the most bang for the buck, allowing the QB to generate force in a small area! Rotational Force can be seen in all the other positions but QB is the most glaring!
Please do not overlook the importance of having a strong
core. To learn how to improve in these areas come by SST Burlington and see how
and why we have been so successful in training our athletes for over 20 years!
There is no better time to get going at SST, we have our High Performance
Summer Camps coming up for our Highschool and University athletes! This camp
will provide over 72 hours of training both on the field working speed and
agility and in the weight room teaching technique and lifting! Our High
Performance Summer Camp has a very extensive alumni list with multiple
NCAA/USPORTS/CFL Football Players along with multiple OHL/AHL/NHL Hockey
Players! If you are interested in our High Performance Summer Camp, give us a
call at 905-632-3558 or hit us up on social media!
AND… Don’t forget to check out our High Performance Camp this summer!
Sprinting has been described as consisting of a series of phases: an acceleration phase (typically the first 10 metres), a transition phase, and a maximum velocity phase. For sports such as soccer, rugby, hockey, football and basketball, maximum velocity is not always attained, and repeated short sprints are more common. Taking this into consideration, the ability to develop speed in as short a time as possible (acceleration) may be of high importance to many athletes. It has been proposed that acceleration and maximum velocity are relatively separate and specific qualities.
An athlete’s ability to accelerate his or her body during sprinting is dependent on several factors. These factors include technique and the force production capability of the body, in particular the leg muscles. It has been shown that the technical aspects may have less importance for the acceleration phase of performance than for a typical sprinting event. For example, in many sports the athletes have to accelerate from a lying or crouching position, from landing on 1 leg and pivoting, from catching a ball, and so on. Therefore, the force capability of the muscle may be more important in improving acceleration of the athlete. This point was supported by R. Mann in his publication titled “The Elite Athletes Project: Sprints and Hurdles.” which stated that the ability to perform well in sprints over short distances is dependent on the ability to produce large amounts of force at crucial times.
A variety of methods are used to enhance force output. These methods include resistance training, plyometric training, and assisted and resisted sprinting techniques. For this article we will focus on resisted sprinting which involves athletes sprinting with added load. This load can come in different forms: weighted vests, sled-sprints, uphill sprinting and limb loading. More specifically, this article will focus on the towing of weighted devices such as sleds which is the most common method of providing towing resistance for the enhancement of sprinting.
It has been shown that the use of towing as a form of resistance may increase the load on the athlete’s torso and therefore require more stabilization. This training stimulus may increase pelvic stabilization, leading to a positive effect on sprint performance. Increased torso loads also cause an increased upper-body lean and increased thigh angle at both the beginning and the end of the stance phase. This increased thigh angle reflects the increased need for force production during the prolonged stance phase.
It is important to note that sprinting speed should not be decreased by more than 10% when adding resistance; adding too much resistance may alter running kinematics in ways that are not desirable. It is also maintained that sled-sprinting should not be employed when the desired training effect is neural (i.e. maximal velocity). Sled-sprinting is an effective method for a metabolic training effect (i.e. acceleration). Due to evidence that only the first 10 metres of a sprint have been designated as the acceleration phase, it is suggested that sled-sprints should be performed for distances no longer than 10 metres.
S.S.T. holds that a well implemented speed program should include a variety of methods to achieve desirable results (i.e. resisted sprints, assisted sprints, unassisted sprints and resistance training). Also, methods such as resisted and assisted sprints should be used sparingly, such as in the final or next-to-final block of an athlete’s periodized program.
BTW – If you missed last week’s piece “To Squat or to Power Clean, that is the question?”CLICK HERE to see it.
Ok if you are back reading then you really want your son/ daughter to get faster.
Before I get into what I believe very important for stop/ starting I ask these questions:
Does your son / daughter:
Stand tall when changing directions
Slow changing directions
Takes extra steps when changing directions
If you are witnessing this then
you are probably deficient in ECCENTRIC strength. What the heck does this mean? Eccentric contractions of a muscle is described
as when the muscle lengths under tension.
A simple example is when you lower the weight on a bench press.
So what does this mean in running
or changing of direction? It means we can work on all the form drills you want
(yes you get better to some degree) but BNAG for Buck you must strengthen your
legs eccentrically. One of my favorite
two methods is:
Eccentric squats- lower the weight for at least 6 seconds down and then explode up ad fast as you can (please do not under estimate how difficult this is) Please start with a lower weight than your regular squat.
Trap bar on elevated box- 6 seconds down as well – the difficulty of this exercise is much greater than a regular trap bar we we increased the Range of motion.
Try one of these exercises for 3 weeks and you will certainly see some major improvement when combined with a great speed program If you like to discuss please contact me as I am offering a 20-minute complimentary speed consultation on the phone.
If you like to discuss please contact me as I am offering a 20-minute complimentary speed consultation on the phone – 905.632.3558
Another day and another post- will keep this short today and
discuss Sprint mechanics
Sprint mechanics as we know are very important and should be
incorporated in every athlete’s regime but remember most of us are not working
with high level technical sprinters. Many
are working with athletes who not only need linear speed but require speed in
all directions aka directional speed. These athletes must be able to start and stop
quickly- move in a different direction mainly dictated by the movement of another
or ball otherwise known as reaction. Unlike the agility ladder, where some
coach tells you what to do and it what direction limits your reaction time. Does
the ladder have some effect? Somewhat yes as I believe it improves the stretch shortening
cycle and helps much more with younger pre-pubescent athletes who are working
So should you spend most of your time on mechanics? As
previously stated yes they should be incorporated daily but should only be a
part of your development.
Tomorrow I will discuss a method of training that will enhance
directional speed starting and stopping.
Over the past few years everywhere I look I see speed
training blogs/ articles/ videos mainstream on Instagram/ Twitter/ Facebook and
other social media sites. I have seen so
much including running with bands tied to an athletes arms or legs or both!;
sand training, running on unstable surfaces , agility ladders plus much more that
I don’t have time to discuss:
The question I ask but more importantly you should ask is:
Do these methods work for speed?
First of all- if you have done nothing expect play video
games and you decide to start some type of training program then yes you will become
better… to a point!
Let’s take an athlete who is carrying 10 extra lbs of body
fat? Will these so called aforementioned exercises help your speed? Somewhat
but not as good as a proper diet which will shed unwanted fat enabling you to
become faster without doing anything else.
Here is the issue: eating well is hard and not pretty- hard to show on
videos as it’s not cool!
The first thing I do with athletes is this-Strip the fat and
increase your relative muscle mass!
Probably not the answer you are looking for; but in reality the truth. Tomorrow I will continue this rant.
Offensive line play is one of the hardest
positions in sports to truly master because of the amount of technique that is
involved with every movement during a play. When coaching OL one of the most
important parts of coaching OL is having a great stance! It goes back to the
old saying, “if you start wrong odds are you are going to finish wrong.” What I
will go thru in this blog is my key points on having a great stance.
Gone are the days from Pop Warner where you
were taught to have your toes pointing straight up the field! Let’s talks about
a Right Handed stance; the left foot should be slightly opened, point towards
11’oclock. The right foot is a part of the prop leg, the foot should be more
angled at approximately 2:00. This will allow you go get your whole back foot
in the ground!
Height in Stance
People think lower is better which is not
true all. I will say this, the lower you can play the better your going to be.
Some people’s anatomy won’t let them get to a certain depth. One way to figure
out how low you should be in you stance is to simply come off the football. If
the hips moves jagged then you’re too low. If the hips move nice and smooth,
then you are perfect. I always teach this to my guys so they understand what
goes into building a base.
Stagger of Stance
Pop warner coaches teach toe lined up in
the instep. Anatomy wise it really doesn’t make sense; it doesn’t allow you to
open up your hips and play with power. The easiest way to figure out how much
stagger to play with is this simple test. Stand with your feet just outside
shoulder width. Have someone gently give you a nudge, when falling backwards
catch yourself with the foot that goes back in your respective stance. Wherever
that foot falls is where it should be, in relation to your post foot
This is just the basics of how your stance
should operate, I could go on about this for hours, but I wont! Like I said
before, “if you start wrong, you will finish wrong.” Please put time and effort
into your stance and base, it’s the most important aspect.
If you would like to learn more about OL play come to our big man camp starting February 4th!
The squat is one of the most well known, if
not the most well-known exercise for developing lower body strength. One of the
age-old questions in the athletic community and strength and conditioning world
is how low should I go? This post aims to delve into this topic and provide
insight into how low one should go when squatting.
research into the squat suggested that with increased knee bend there was
increased stress on the knee joint and while this is partially true (as
tibiofemoral and patellofemoral compression increases with increasing knee
angle), the maximal mean peak shear forces reported are much lower than the
patellar and quadriceps tendons can withstand, and therefore while these forces
increase with squat depth, they are within ranges that would tend not to
significantly damage these tissues in an healthy individual. Furthermore, peak
anterior shear forces occur from 0 – 60 degrees of knee flexion, making the
anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) most susceptible at this range, and these
forces decrease with increased squat depth. Posterior shear force begins at 30
degrees flexion, with peak forces reported at 90 degrees of knee flexion and
decreasing below 90 degrees of flexion. Therefore, while it is true higher
forces exist at greater knee flexion, deep squats decrease stress on the ACL
and PCL compared to partial squats of 90 degrees knee flexion or less.
the knee joint is the most commonly addressed joint when talking about squat
depth, the loading mechanics of the spine also come into question. It has been
shown that with increased forward lean, forces on the lumbar spine are
increased. Furthermore, in lumbar flexion or excessive lumbar extension we also
see these forces increase with the squat. In terms of the effect of squat depth
on the spine, if a neutral lumbar spine and forward gaze can be maintained this
is more important than squat depth itself. Furthermore, it appears front squats
and low bar back squats provide less stress on the spine than high bar back
we look at muscle activation, deep squats tend to activate hip musculature more
than partial squats, so if we are trying to maximize the strength of our hip
musculature (including our most powerful hip extensor gluteus maximus) deep
squats with a wider stance and feet slightly turned out (anatomical position)
are preferred, as partial squats up to 90 degrees maximize quadricep
Overall there are many benefits to deep
squats, but this is only if we can perform deep squats with proper form and
technique. Likewise, there may be some scenarios where deep squats are
contraindicated such as those with previous PCL injuries or patellofemoral
disorders. Furthermore, squat depth should be consistent with individual goals and
proper technique and execution needs to be maintained. Individuals should seek
advice of an exercise professional on squat technique and should have an
assessment done to find what is right for them in their exercise program.
However, if you can squat to depth below 90 degrees it seems to be beneficial
to athletic development and may even be less stressful on supporting structures.
I just finished watching two NFL Games and once again the QB
play at this level is astounding. As
much as I am impressed with the maturation of Jarred Goff, the great next one
in Patrick Mahomes; the deadly accuracy in Drew Brees one of my favorites of
all time but the one Qb who just exceeds anyone’s belief or expectations in his
play is BRADY.
Tom Brady- is he the G.O.A.T? As a former professional qb and coach for
the last 25 years he astounds me every time.
I would never bet against him that’s for sure. When I am reviewing films of potential Qbs I
am looking for qualities Brady and the aforementioned all have:
Footwork within the pocket (big difference in
just saying footwork)
Eye Level- very underrated
Leadership – I always like to see how a qb
reacts after a bad throw etc
The one quality that I believe Brady has over anyone else is:
HE HATES TO LOSE!
What does this mean?
We always hear I want to win but the most successful people are driven
by their hatred of losing or failure; not the success of winning. They won’t and can’t let themselves down but
more importantly, they will not let their teammates and coaches down. THINK
ABOUT THAT for a moment- You HATE to lose- you will do anything not too
EXAMPLE- Brady faced three 3rd and longs in
overtime and was not going to lose this game.
Heck he evens HATES losing the coin toss. It’s his will to win that astonishes me and I
The question is was he born with this or has he developed it?
I have never been in the film room with
him but I can bet that he is the first player in and last player out- whether
it’s the field or meetings.
The great Washington State head coach Mike Leach states his
qb must be the first in and last out, if not it’s time for a positional change.
This for me is must for a qb. He must be
your leader- the guy who people will believe in not when you’re winning but
when things are tough. I want a guy who is mad, pissed and crying after a
loss. He wants it that bad!
Players come and go in New England – but the one consistent
is Brady and his willingness to WILL his team to victory. As a coach, we all talk about does this qb have the IT factor…I
can’t describe what it is words but when you find a QB like this- make sure of
one thing…demand the most from him. He
will want this!
If you are a QB who hates to lose then I want to train you
at my next QB Canada camp. I am only
taking 10 top qbs to work with.
In the last couple of days we discussed our top 3 Supplements for fat loss:
1. Fish Oil
In our last series we look at two supplements which have seen tremendous results on BELLY FAT!
Conjugated linoleic acid is a supplement used to promote fat loss & the growth of lean muscle tissue. It is highly effective in assisting weight loss & changing body composition. The action of CLA is that it prevents lipogenesis or the storage of fat in adipose tissue after a meal. Although CLA is a trans fat, in this case a beneficial one, studies show amazing fat loss results with this supplement. CLA helps blood glucose enter body cells, so CLA can be burned for energy and not stored as fat. CLA also helps to promote fat burning, especially in muscles, where the bulk of our calorie burning takes place.
Green Tea Extract
Consumption of green tea extract enhances the process of thermogenesis and increases the rate of metabolism of fat, without increasing the heart rate. In other words, consuming green tea extract can help you lose weight without jitteriness or feelings of anxiety. The extract also helps your body burn more calories. All these factors make green tea an essential supplement in your weight loss program. One recent report found that daily consumption of green tea extract supplements helped obese men and women lose weight and lower their body mass index (BMI — an indicator of body fat). It might also help people keep off weight once they’ve lost it. Green tea extract has been shown to lower blood pressure and LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol and significantly reduce belly fat.