New Conditioning Rules for Athletes!

            Athletic conditioning for sport is one of the most misunderstood areas of strength and conditioning by athletes, parents, and sport coaches. A large amount in this population still believe team sport athletes need to do long duration steady-state cardiovascular exercise to be ready to compete at the highest level. In this blog my hope is to help you understand and explain the needs and demands for team sport athletes and convince you that most of this thinking on conditioning for athletes is sub-optimal for performance.

            The reason why this thinking is wrong is that it goes against one of the oldest principles in strength and conditioning training which is the SAID principle or Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. Which really means the body adapts to the demands we inherently place on it, so to improve for our sport we need to mimic the demands that our imposed by our sporting environment. So, when we start to think about our team sport athletes, and the demands of their sport, do they ever sub maximally jog for long periods at a steady state? Is there ever period where they are not actively assessing their environment to make decisions? The answer to these questions should be a resounding NO! Team sport athletes are constantly changing direction, sprinting, accelerating, decelerating at ever changing velocities, angles and speeds. Whether it be soccer, football, lacrosse, ice-hockey, field hockey, and the list goes on, these athletes rarely even sub-maximally jog and if they do it is in a recovery period to get back to position, off the sidelines etc. So, you should understand now that steady-state cardiovascular exercise isn’t specific to any of our team sport athletes, or any of our speed or power athletes in general (besides our cross-country, triathletes and other endurance sport athletes).

            When thinking about conditioning for our athletes we need to think about the demands of their sport. The best way for athletes to condition and get ready for the demands of their season is through playing their sport. This should be something their sport coaches incorporate in their practices to help get them ready for the demands of the season. When working with our athletes we like to look at the work to rest ratios that are commonly used in their sports and use these to program their conditioning and workouts. Some sports may use a variety of work to rest ratios (soccer is a good example here) so making sure throughout their program they are targeting these different energy systems to maximize sport performance is important to us. This is where for most team sport athletes interval training can be a great tool to help target these energy systems (by manipulating work to rest ratios), as we can help to target the demands needed for their sport based on their position as well.

New Rules for Sport Conditioning

  1. Practice you sport at game intensity and speed
  2. Use interval training and work:rest ratios that best represent the demands
  3. Target different energy systems at different points to maximize development

Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com for a complimentary demo session to learn more about the demands for your sport and for us to help you get in the best shape possible to perform at your best!

Why Flashy Footwork, Agility Ladders, and Sprint Mechanic Drills are MOSTLY A Waste of Time

One of the most common pieces of equipment sport coaches and strength and conditioning coaches love to use are agility ladders… but why? Mostly people love to use them because they are very portable (can take to practice, use on the field), easy to set up and requires little instruction to demonstrate patterns for athletes to go through. But is this a reason for using them?

            While agility ladders and footwork drills do have their place for building general coordination and foot speed in younger athletes (or as part of a warm-up), for developing athletic multi-planar speed and power, they are largely a waste of time and our efforts can be better spent elsewhere. I would even argue for soccer (the sport where foot speed is probably the most important) they are largely a waste of time as through practice for their sport they will build these foot speed skills that are more specific to their sport and learning agility ladder patterns is not going to improve this further.

            I would even go on to say a lot of drills commonly used by coaches that work on foot speed are also a waste of time. If we are wanting our athletes to get faster, the number one thing that can be done do to improve their speed is to have them run FAST!!! The more practice our athletes get at accelerating, changing direction, and reaching and maintaining maximal velocity the better off they will be.

            Another common thing I see in coaching is to spend hours on sprint mechanics and track and field type drills. While I believe these have their place (in warm-up; extra work sessions) we must remember that our field sport athletes are NOT sprinters. While we can use these drills to work on some of their MAJOR deficiencies in sprinting form, we must remember that some of the running styles and techniques develop from their sport and help them to perform at their best.  

            While there are techniques we can use when getting our athletes to run fast such as resisted sprinting, sprinting with sleds etc. sometimes simplicity is key when it comes to getting our athletes faster! We combine our speed training with plyometric and resistance training exercises specialized for our athlete’s sports and position, keeping in mind the work to rest ratios used in their sport. Keep in mind, we can’t do speed training if we are tired! To run fast and do proper speed training this involves FULL recovery. So, when coaches are doing endless conditioning drills just remember this also is not training SPEED.

            Bottom line, to get our athletes faster we run… and we run FAST!!! We love to use reactionary drills to mimic the sporting environment, and to add competition to our drills to push our athletes to their fullest potential. Athletes want to compete, and you get the best out of them when they are doing just that, competing!

Want to get faster with us? Click here for more information or to sign up for our FAST program!

Improving Speed and Vertical Jump: Nutritional Considerations

Running (Speed) and jumping (Power) are skills necessary for successful performance in sports, and must therefore be prioritized during training. We have previously covered how to increase your speed and vertical jump through training (click here). However, much like the way you look, nutrition will also impact your ability to run faster and jump higher.

An article published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research studied the effects of a 4 week energy restricted diet on sprint & jump performance, body composition, and hormone profiles in elite male track athletes… the results were amazing.

A 25% caloric restriction (750 cal/day; carbs & fats reduced, protein held at 2g/kg/day) combined with regular training resulted in:

  1. Significant reduction in body mass and fat mass. Athletes lost about 1lb a week.
  2. Maintenance of lean muscle mass.
  3. Improved 20m sprint and countermovement jump.
  4. Unaltered testosterone levels.

How can this be explained?

Increased power-to-weight ratio. Reducing body weight while preserving muscle allows you to still produce the same amount of force but now you have less weight to move around, resulting in faster, more explosive movements!

Taken together, this research further supports what we focus on at SST: getting athletes leaner and stronger to improve their speed and power.

Are you in need of some speed training, or getting ready for your season and feel like you need that extra help….SST will be holding a two week Training camp for speed/power and strength

Please contact me asap as I can only take 10 players for this exclusive camp

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

Chico7@sstcanada.com

Stretch for Speed???? WHAT??

The Importance of Flexibility for Speed Development

clip_image002

When examining the critical factors that contribute to high level athletic performance, flexibility is one of the key items. It has been hypothesized that improving an athlete’s flexibility may allow them to be more successful in their chosen athletic endeavor. More specifically, speed, may be significantly improved by incorporating some form of flexibility enhancement into an athlete’s training program.

Recently, a scientific study was conducted to examine whether or not including a specific form of flexibility training in an athlete’s daily training routine would improve sprint performance. In this study, 30 men age 20-35, who exercised an average of 7.5 hours per week during the six months prior to the study served as subjects. Their preferred modes of training were free weights and cardiovascular machines (Stairmaster, stationary bicycle etc.). Fifteen individuals included twice daily, five minute flexibility sessions into their exercise routine, thereby acting as the treatment group. The second group served as the control and did not incorporate any additional flexibility training into their pre-existing training program. Flexibility was assessed by a sit and reach test, power through a vertical jump test and speed by a 40 meter sprint. The results, expressed as percent improvement from the pre test to the post test, are as follows:

Improvement from Pre Test to Post Test

Flexibility

Power

Speed

Treatment group

64%

10%

5%

Control group

9%

0%

0%

These results indicate that supplementing an athlete’s daily training routine with flexibility training is an excellent way to increase athletic performance. In essence a flood of events is set into motion. Flexibility improves, which in turn positively affects power generation, thereby augmenting speed.

On top of this, flexibility leads to decreased injury. By not having to take time off to heal an injury we are able to spend more time gaining strength which will ultimately lead to enhanced levels of speed. So what are waiting for? Why not add this extra tool into your toolbox to bring your performance to the next level?

clip_image004

clip_image006

SST has been very fortunate to have trained thousands of hockey athletes throughout their 8 locations in Canada. We, at SST, wish everyone a great summer and remind you to concentrate on your off –ice training. Please check out our website www.sst.training for more info about SST’s High Performance Summer Camp!

Learn how to become faster by dragging a sled, tire flipping, fire hose dragging, car dragging and much more!

Our locations include:

Burlington http://sst.training/burlington.php

Hamilton ; http://sst.training/hamilton.php

Laval ; http://sst.training/laval.php

Milton ; http://sst.training/milton.php

Mississauga; http://sst.training/mississauga.php

Oakville ; http://oakville.sst.training/

Richmond Hill; http://sst.training/richmondhill.php

Waterloo; http://sst.training/waterloo.php

High Performance Hockey

SST’s High Performance Hockey program is all about Results!

2019 CAMP START DATES:

SST Burlington:

8 WEEKS (3 sessions per week) – WEEK OF JULY 2nd, 2019

SST Mississauga:

8 WEEKS (3 sessions per week) – WEEK OF JULY 2nd, 2019

SST’s develops athletes with these qualities in mind:

MAXIMUM SPEED TRAINING

One skill which will get a player noticed immediately is SPEED!.
Research has shown that maximum sprinting time off-ice is highly correlated to on-ice speed. The HPH program is designed to enhance a player’s maximum speed through sprinting drills and overspeed training.

ACCELERATION TRAINING

A player’s ability to develop first stride acceleration as well as improving separation from another player are two critical factors in their success. Acceleration is improved by increasing strength in the muscles that are specific to meet those demands. The HPH program utilizes techniques such as resisted running, basic strength training, farmer’s walks and sled training to improve on-ice acceleration.

POWER DEVELOPMENT

Power = Strength x Speed.  The HPH program teaches athletes to develop this power in two ways through plyometrics and strength development. SST uses plyometrics to utilize the stretch shortening cycle improving maximum speed and we show athletes strength exercises such as “the sled”, “sandbags” and “super yolks” ultimately developing a more powerful hockey player.

From 8 year olds to NHL players, the HPH program develops your speed, acceleration and power so that you can exceed the demands of your game.

Here is what a few have to say about SST and the HPH program:

“SST is a great atmosphere for athletes of any age and sport. Over the previous summer they really focused on my speed and has really improved my explosiveness. Always a great team to work with to improve your game.” – Kyle Clifford, LA Kings Left Wing #13 – TWO TIME STANLEY CUP CHAMPION!

“The one thing that impresses me most about this program is the unending search for new information and knowledge that ultimately gets transferred to the student or athlete in this case. Larry is the most knowledgeable trainer I have met and worked with to date and his philosophy is one that I find consistent with the needs of my athletes and my interests as a coach and developer of talent.” – Dan Poliziani, IHT Director, Burlington Eagles Mentor Coach

“SST put 18lbs of muscle on me in one summer while dropping my bodyfat 4% to below 9%! I highly recommend SST to all hockey players who are SERIOUS in taking their game to the next level. Thanks SST” – Andrew Campbell, Arizona Coyotes, Defensemen

WHAT EACH ATHLETE RECEIVES – 8 AND 12 WEEK ACADEMY

  • Low coach to instructor ratio to ensure SST type Results!
  • A complete Fitness Assessment – $100 value
  • Each athlete will receive their own Biosignature Protocol for their nutritional needs – one session per month – $300 Value!
  • 7 one hour workouts per week- 4 strength, 1 speed, 1 stretch and 1 of SST’s functional training session – Over 80 workouts in total! – $1750 value!
  • And, most importantly – RESULTS!!!!

REGISTER EARLY AS WE WILL ONLY BE TAKING A LIMITED NUMBER OF ATHLETES FOR THIS CAMP!

TEAM DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR 10 OR MORE PLAYERS!!!

** There are no reimbursements on camps. When signing up for a camp you are committing to the days and times that are listed.**

FOX40 – High Performance Football

THIS PROGRAM IS GEARED TOWARDS FOOTBALL PLAYERS LOOKING TO MAKE SERIOUS GAINS IN SPEED, ACCELERATION, STRENGTH & POWER THIS OFF-SEASON!

2019 CAMP START DATES:

SST Burlington:

8 WEEKS (3 sessions per week) – WEEK OF JULY 2nd, 2019

SST Mississauga:

8 WEEKS (3 sessions per week)- WEEK OF JULY 2nd, 2019

 

If you are a serious football player ranging in age from 8-25 years old then this is the program for you. Follow SST’s proven training method for football players and expect only one thing from SST’s Highest performing camp: RESULTS!

SST’s High Performance Football Academy (HPFA) is developed to get you maximum results this off summer!

SST was ranked in the top 15 for speed development in NORTH AMERICA!

The only facility in Canada!!

SST’s High Performance Football Academy is for all football players who want to achieve one thing: RESULTS!

WHAT WILL EACH PLAYER RECEIVE OVER THE DURATION OF THIS TRAINING PROGRAM?

Athletes can train up to 4 workouts per week at an SST facility consisting of strength training, Olympic lifting, plyometrics and what SST athletes know as Functional Fridays!

What are functional Fridays or the Blitz workout? It consists of athletes being put through a grueling workout using unusual implement training such as 800lb tractor tires, car pushing and pulling, sledgehammer work and many more unorthodox training methods which will convert to more power and functional strength on the field!

SST has been featured on CFL Snap on the Score network, Fox Sports in Buffalo and Ticats TV!

To see some great athletes in action please take a look at:

SST’s YouTube Channel

To register for SST High performance football program please contact you local SST