Do You Train Yourself? Time To Fire Your Trainer – Part 1

I spend a lot of time in various gyms and I see a lot of things that make me wonder what I’m actually seeing. This is not unusual for me because I’m mostly a kinaesthetic-type learner and I need to try things out before I understand them clearly.


Over time, one thing that I’ve been able to spot immediately is something that is dead-wrong. It’s easy to notice because I get a feeling inside that alerts me to the fact that I’m seeing something that is completely off the grid of what is sensible. There’s a saying in coaching that ‘if something doesn’t look right then it isn’t right’ and you don’t have to know exactly what it is that is wrong when it just looks wrong.

There is more nonsense in gym-workouts that are directed at changing body composition than anything else. If you take a few minutes to look around any gym, you’ll see things that just don’t make sense. The worst part about it is that people are parting with their free time to do this foolishness. It isn’t any of my business, most of the time, so I just watch long enough to get the feeling and then I go back to my workout and allow the feeling to float away.

Opinions Matter!

The only time it gets to me is when I’m drawn in by someone who is asking me for my opinion about their program, or their efforts, only to finally let me know that their approach is great and that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Being willfully ignorant is a problem because it indicates that a person has stopped learning, which is fine with me, so long as I am not engaged in the ignorant conversation. However, when someone does ask me how long it will take them to drop ten pounds by doing bicep curls and some light cardio; I find it a challenge to be gently polite.

I tell them that I can’t answer that question because their workout isn’t a program set up by me and I have no prior knowledge of their physical attributes and how the program pertains to their individual weaknesses.

Look out for the Part II of this post!

Oh and Hey…. Check out the 2016 Fall special – BUTT & GUTS

Core Training For Hockey Players

Core Training For Hockey Players

Core and Instability Training – Circus Act, or Performance Fact?

It is becoming impossible to talk about strength and conditioning without someone mentioning “CORE” training. The notion that in order to have functional sports training you must train the core specifically is not only wrong, but is leading to many problems and imbalances in today’s poorly trained athletes. Before we delve into this, let’s first examine the classical thinking behind “core” training. To many, the core consists of the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, some even include muscles of the pelvis, ribcage, and spine into the equation. You can begin to see where the problem with “core” training begins as it means many different things to different people. Some believe sit-ups and leg raises to be core training, others argue the core is trained with every movement. So which is it? Well, although sit-ups and leg raises will isolate and train the muscles of the abdomen, they likely will not improve performance. In fact they can lead to tight hip flexor muscles and decrease mobility; a hockey player’s worst nightmare. In order for improved performance we must improve the body’s ability to transfer force between tissues. In order to achieve the greatest amount of force transfer the body must develop the ability to remain stiff. This is where the core comes into play; for improved performance we must train the core’s ability to remain rigid in order to allow for force transfer between the upper and lower extremity. This is especially important in hockey during changing direction, taking a slap shot, and many other basic skills performed numerous times each game.

How do we train Stiffness?

To train the body to be able to stay stiff under different conditions we must put it in different situations and force it to remain stiff. Sounds simple? The devil is in the details – using single leg exercises, the body is forced to stabilize itself; also single arm weighted carries may be some of the best core exercises you can use. In both cases, the body is given an uneven load that it is forced to balance in order to perform the exercise. Other variations that are great for improving stability: plank variations and loaded squats; both encourage stiffness throughout the mid section in order to transfer force between the lower and upper body. Therefore, if training the body to balance is best then wouldn’t using unstable surface equipment be the most effective?

Although these types of training techniques are often utilized in an attempt to improve stability within the core during exercise, you may not be achieving these benefits from them. Studies have shown that unstable surface training in trained athletes does not provide adequate stimulus in order to promote a training effect. As a result although it may look impressive to stand on a physio ball with a barbell over your head, or to balance a dumbbell on your head while squatting on a Bosu, in actual fact you are not receiving much more than a cool story to tell at the dinner table that night, and certainly not an increase in performance. In reality, sports are played on stable surfaces and should be trained on stable surfaces. The inclusion of unstable surfaces during training can also potentially increase the risk of injury due to falling, rolled ankles etc. If the goal of training is to reduce injury and increase performance, then training in a fashion that best mimics the demands of the sport is your best option.

Dave Scott McDowell

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 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:


Hamilton ;

Laval ;

Milton ;


Oakville ;

Richmond Hill;


Summer Hockey Training Myths Part 2

Yesterday we discussed the misconceptions of training too much…may look good on paper but a proper periodized program is what we are looking for

Part 2

Strengthen Weaknesses and Stretch Strengths

Why is it that everybody wants to bench press but very few people like to do chin ups or strengthen smaller muscle groups such as the rotator cuff? One common area that we often see needing attention is strong and tight pectoralis major muscle. Tight pecs can result in rounded shoulders and excessive internal rotation. A proper postural assessment will identify this problem. After recognition, the player should be prescribed exercises that will retract the shoulder blades and stretch the chest muscles. Think of training as similar to caring for a car. Tune it up and it will run more effectively. Fix the muscles that are limiting your gains and your functional strength will increase dramatically.



We, at SST, wish everyone a great summer and remind you to concentrate on your training. Please check out our website 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







Richmond Hill


Eat Fat to lose fat! HOW? Part 5 of 6

Summer body ready thru eating more fat??

Fat loss!


Drink enough water everyday. A good rule of thumb is to try and consume half your body weight in ounces of water every day. Do not wait until you are thirsty, be pro active.  Even a 2 % decrease in bodily water content can trigger many health problems. This is perhaps the easiest thing people can do to improve their well being.

Consume enough good fats. Dietary fat is not the enemy. The body needs healthy fats to lose fat. Be sure to consume healthy fats with every meal. Omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, seeds, avocado, flax seeds, coconut oil, etc.

Get your body SUMMER ready Part 3 of 6


Part 3 of Get your body ready for summer!!  PLAN!


Establish a nutritional plan. Successful weight loss is achieved by being prepared. Plan your meals for the week ahead. Having meals planned and food purchased before meal times is the key to staying on track.

Regular exercise & activity. A regular program of aerobic, strength training and flexibility movement exercises helps reverse insulin sensitivity, increase vitality & reduces the risk of disease & keeps you focused on proper eating habits

meat and nuts


Tout homme de 25 ans devrait être conscient que son niveau de testostérone commence son déclin dès cet âge. Le déclin de la testostérone est associé à des risques accrus de diabète, de maladies coronariennes, d’atteintes neurologiques telles l’alzheimer pour ne nommer que ceux-la. Il est aussi associé à une perte de la qualité de vie, entre autres au niveau sexuel et au niveau de l’humeur. Voici 7 trucs pour augmenter votre niveau de testostérone.

  1. NE PAS COUPER LES GRAS. Un minimum de bons gras dans l’alimentation est nécessaire à la production de testostérone. Les gras monoinsaturés et saturés sont particulièrement efficaces pour augmenter la testostérone. Les oeufs entiers, les avocats, l’huile d’olive, les poissons, la plupart des noix et les viandes maigres (nourries au gazon de préférence) sont toutes d’excellentes sources de gras.
  1. VITAMINE D. Plusieurs études ont démontré qu’une carence en vitamin D chez les hommes risquait d’entrainer des niveaux de testostérone bas. La plupart des études prouvent qu’une exposition quotidienne au soleil augmente drastiquement les niveaux de testostérone mais considérant que nous vivons dans un pays ou on ne voit pas le soleil de novembre à juin, une supplémentation, surtout l’hiver, peut grandement améliorer votre niveau de vitamine D. Les autres bénéfices de la supplémentation avec la vitamine D sont très nombreux: santé des os, meilleure santé cardiovasculaire, aide au bon fonctionnement du système immunitaire et aide à la prévention ou à retarder l’apparition du diabète de type 2.
  1. LIMITER L’ALCOOL. Ce sujet suscite toujours les passions chez mes clients au gym SST Laval. En fait, un de mes clients a essayé de me payer pour ne pas que j’écrive là-dessus aujourd’hui pour éviter que sa femme ne lui coupe son vin le soir! La consommation fréquente d’alcool réduit les niveaux de testostérone chez l’homme par différents mécanismes. Le principal est que l’ingestion d’alcool augmente l’acivité de l’enzyme aromatase dont la fonction est la conversion de notre précieuse testostérone en estrogène. Bien que les buveurs de vin rouge soient moins à risque, il n’en demeure pas moins que la consommation fréquente de vin (même juste un verre) affecte le niveau de testostérone. L’alcool ayant l’impact le plus négatif et le plus marqué est la bière à cause du houblon qu’elle contient. Le houblon contient des phyto-estrogènes si puissants que les femmes qui travaillaient à récolter le houblon manuellement par le passé voyaient leur menstruations déclenchées prématurément à cause du simple contact avec la plante et devaient utiliser des combinaisons pour se protéger de ce phénomène. En conclusion, l’impact de boire un ou deux verres de vin au souper le samedi soir est relativement minime sur votre profil hormonal, mais une consommation quotidienne l’affectera négativement sans aucun doute.

SST Burlington – first block

SST Burlington

SST Burlington is a modern adult and athlete training center located in the heart of Burlington. In Addition, SST Canada’s head office is located within SST Burlington.

SST was founded in 1997 by owner Larry Jusdanis after an injury curtailed his professional career. With a great staff of high performance coaches you can be assured your son/ daughter will not only be pushed to the limit during every training session but more importantly it will take place in a safe environment.

You can always walk into SST and have a friendly warm smile and “Hello”.

SST’s motto – Program + Atmosphere= RESULTS is on display whether you are an Adult client or one of our young athletes.

SST Burlington prides itself as being a COMMUNITY based facility striving in helping each and everyone become GREAT.

Our clients expect the best from us in training and nutrition and with this, our staff is always in pursuit of NEW knowledge. In fact, we pride ourselves in having all of our client’s part of the SST family.

SST strives for GREATNESS each and every day through pride, passion and loyalty.

SST Burlington services include:

Some of our equipment in SST Burlington’s 5500 Sq foot facility include:

  • Tred sled
  • Olympic platforms
  • Over 35 different barbells
  • 30 yards of turf
  • PlyoBox
  • Cormax Equipment
  • Power Racks with multiple chin up bars
  • Tractor tires
  • Hammers
  • Sleds
  • Prowlers
  • Plus a ton more