How do you lift? Compound vs. isolation.

Hey Everyone! Hope you are all doing great and are enjoying this beautiful weather we are having in Southern Ontario right now! Get outside and be active, you will be amazed what this beautiful weather can do for your body and mind!

I have a cool little blog today. I’m going to talk about Compound Lifts vs Isolation Lifts! These are both very important to any well rounded program and they both serve a very important purpose! First off I am going to define each of these movements then I’m going to tell you what I think the benefits of each of them are!

Compound Lift

A compound lift is a movement that targets and utilizes multiple major muscle groups and joints at the same time. Every well rounded program should have a compound lift every day in my opinion. Your training session should be built around that specific lift that day. For example if Monday your program is built to hit heavy legs, then everything else you do that day should complement your compound lift. Basically your compound lift is the Meat portion of your dinner plate! 

Top Three Benifits of Compound Lifts

Below I am just going to touch on what I think are the benefits of compound lifts, and why they should be a huge part of your program!

1. They Make You Stronger – Simply put every program should have some variation of a squat, bench and deadlift. They are the biggest bang for you buck!

2. Coordination – Core Strength – Every compound lift makes you engage your core in some way shape or form. Most importantly they all will improve your coordination!

3. Burn More Calories – It is proven that you will burn more calories doing a compound lift such as a squat than going on a run! Compound lifts challenge your CNS and make you work!

Isolation Lifts

Isolation lifts are movements that target a specific muscle group and only use one joint like the triceps in a triceps extension, whereas a compound exercise utilizes multiple muscle groups and joints to perform that specific movement. The same can be said about isolation lifts as compound lifts, every well rounded program needs them! I personally think that isolation lifts are great for fixing deficiencies in the body. For example if someone has weak glute and can’t get them to fire, you can still have that person Squat (Compound Lift) but you can also build some single leg glute bridges in to target that specific area! Like I said before the compound lift is the meat, your isolation lifts are the veggies!

Top Three Benifits of Isolation Lifts

Here are my thoughts on what I think are the biggest benefits to isolation lifts!

1. Rehab – Being able to target a specific muscle group that has been injured to help recover it is key to getting healthy quick!

2. Fixing Deficiencies – Like I said above, some athletes have problems areas that need work. Isolation lifts can help get this done for you when building a program

3. Compliment To Compound Lift – I think the most important benefit is that you can use these lifts to compliment the big compound lifts!

Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to book your complimentary demo session to talk to us about how we use compound and isolation lifts in your programming to get the results you need!

Offseason Hand Eye Training

In every sport, there is some sort of task that an athlete must complete that requires some sort of hand eye coordination. Hand eye coordination is a skill that some people are better at than most, but at the same time that skill can definitely be trained to a higher level. Take a look at the “5 Major Sports North America Sports” Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer and Baseball. All these sport require an elite level of hand-eye coordination to either score in that sport, or to play defence in that sport! In this blog I’m going to give you a few cool ways to train hand eye to help with your ability to see and react to whatever is happening on the field or court in your sport!

Hand Eye coordination in athletes

Left Hand Training

This one is pretty straight forward! Most people have one dominate hand. For me I’m right handed and during the early part of my career I really struggle with my left hand. As a center in football I snapped with my right so I had to get better with my left hand as it was my first line of defence. So I started doing everything I could with my left hand; writing, opening jars and doors playing catch, before I knew it I had my left hand caught up with my right. Here the deal though, it has to be a constant effort. You cannot just do this for 2 months and have a great “offhand” it’s something that you must continually train or you will lose this skill you have gained!

One Handed Catch Training

Again another very straight forward drill, but extremely effective! Have someone throw you a tennis ball and catch it will one hand. The key to making this drill work best is to have the throw come at you on different angle, don’t just have the ball come straight at you as this isn’t realistic! This drill is really good for football and baseball guys. They have to make one handed catches all the time, so they should be constantly training that skill. One cool little way to make this drill harder is have the player who is catching the tennis ball slowly jog to the person who is throwing it; this will add different levels of depth perception that will help the hand eye!

Reaction Ball Drill

This is by far my favourite hand eye drill that I have in my tool box! There are two reasons why! Number 1; you can do this drill by yourself and number 2 the ball makes you react and move your feet instead of just standing in one place or jogging to a spot! Here is the drill; stand about five years away from the wall and throw the ball on a one hop at the wall and react and go catch it before the ball hits the ground! Seems simple right!!! It is but the great part is no two reps will be the same! The ball will always jump somewhere different! Below is a picture of the ball that I have, it’s a Nike product I used it for a long time and saw great results!

Off season is the time to get better! Come into the gym today to see how we can help you prepare for next season!!

Resistance Training & Bone Health; What You Need T Know!!

One of the lesser known benefits of resistance training is the huge benefits it has for bone health. While the best way to set yourself or your child up for success is physical activity throughout the lifespan (especially in the bone growing years), resistance training can also play a tremendous role in strengthening our bones.

Our bones, much like the rest of our body respond to the stresses we place upon it. This is why when we lift heavy loads or resistance train our neuromuscular system responds to this stressor (resistance training) by building stronger musculature and supporting structures. This is the basis of all training, the body adapts to the demands we place upon it, and if we stop progressing the training stimulus, our body does not adapt and we plateau, or don’t further increase our strength.

Bone responds very similarly to resistance training and progressive overload (while the cycle is much longer), studies have shown improvements in bone mineral density (BMD) (a key marker in bone health) in as little as 16 weeks of a resistance training program in elderly adults.

As we know osteoporosis and osteopenia are huge issues that aging individuals experience (especially in post-menopausal women), where the risk of fractures can significantly impact an individual’s activities of daily living. While the best way to combat this is to build strong bones in our youth, a recent meta-analysis has also shown that resistance training in post-menopausal women is effective in increasing BMD in the femoral neck and lumbar spine (Zhao & Xu 2015), two common areas of fracture in elderly women.

While nutrition also plays a key role in setting us up for great bone health, resistance training in youth, but also as we age is extremely important to live a long, healthy and functional life!

Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to get more information to work with one of our coaches to help you progress your training, maximize your functional abilities, and get SST strong!

Reference:

 Zhao, R., Zhao, M. & Xu, Z. Osteoporos Int (2015) 26: 1605. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-015-3034-0

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

A MUST READ for Young Soccer Players!

A Must Read for Young Soccer Players!

One of our fundamental values at SST is increasing strength and power. A stronger athlete will be able to produce more force than their weaker opponent. Also, strength training along with proper nutrition are vital for improving body composition by increasing lean mass and reducing fat mass. In the case of a soccer player, the result is a faster and  stronger player on the ball with a more powerful kick.

Don’t believe me?

A recent study examined regional & whole body fat & lean mass distribution on an unnamed English Premier League Soccer team, including all players on the 1st team, 21U, and 18U squads. Researchers found that players on the 1st team had significantly lower body fat percentage than the other squads, despite no significant differences in total fat mass between the squads! Interesting!                                            

The differences in body fat % were attributed to less overall lean mass in the 18U squad!

From a practical standpoint, this means that young soccer players who want to play at an elite level should be focusing on increasing their lean muscle mass by strength training and eating more protein, rather than training for fat loss by endurance exercise and calorie restricted diets.  

Come into SST today and find out how combining an individualized training program with proper nutrition can help you achieve your goals of playing at higher levels, regardless of the sport!

For more information or any general inquires, feel free to contact me at chico7@sstcanada.com

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach, SST Burlington

MSc candidate Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP