In April of 2017 the Kentucky State chapter of the National Strength and Conditioning Association had their annual conference at Georgetown college. It was a good conference and the night before it was fun to sit back and chat with a number of the speakers. To protect the innocent I won’t talk about any of the conversations that we had that night, but I will say our speakers and members of the state board are funny human beings. So without further ado, here are my notes from each speaker along with links to the speakers.
Dr. Quinn Hennoch a physical therapist from Kentucky, but working in California. He was our first speaker on the day. He talked about different progressions with training depending on where people are at with mobility and coming back from injury. So if they can’t barbell back squat, have them safety bar squat, if they can’t do that then front squat, to kettlebell squat, to split squat. Try to progress your clients to the most difficult variation of the movement they can do with pain free full range of motion. Simple stuff, but easy to overlook. He had his progression for Olympic movements also, like doing the snatch balance and overhead squat first and progressing eventually to the true snatch from the floor.
He spoke about programming isometrics as analgesics to get folks able to train. Along with using the bear position then rock back to kettle bell squat stretch. There was some interesting stuff on programming your rehab more frequently if the type of stressor you are applying is very low and then decreasing your rehab frequency (times per week) when the intensity of each session increases. Also when joint health and positions are limiting factors there might be a time and place for doing partial range of motion exercises.
Dr. Cholewa presented on nutrition and athletes. Specifically how improving body composition is useful for nearly every single sport. Leaner athletes typically were faster and more powerful relative to their body mass. He advised taking in a higher protein diet along with making better nutritional decisions. I enjoyed his talks on protein threshold for each meal being about .25g/kg of body mass, along with having a protein refractory period of 3-5 hours to give the body time to clear out ingested protein. Lots of good advice on not bulking for too long since it causes more fat weight gain and less lean mass gain. Other points on how protein post workout is likely more important for hypertrophy than the carbohydrates (though the carbs are important for energy store recovery in some athletes).
Dr. John Rusin is another Physical Therapist who spoke about different types of psychological profiles for trainees which was interesting, along with their methodology for warm ups followed by the workout. I liked his basic set up and it is worth looking up his work since he posts a large amount on the internet on different websites and has his own online program.
I did like his idea of potentiation exercises like doing face pulls before pressing, hamstring and hip activation before squatting, and pull overs before heavy pulling exercises. Other parts he talked about was how to select your supplemental exercises depending on your goals along with how you want to finish workouts which looked like often the active cooldown was simply to go take a walk for five to ten minutes (yeah walking).
A final point that I enjoyed from his presentation was to find the linchpin for the fitness with the people you are working with. What is the one movement, exercise, joint, etc. that when you improve that all other function moves forward. This was also applied to the psychology of the individual you are working with. Do they enjoy different training stimuli (ala crossfitesque)? Do they avoid pain? Do they want to always see some type of reward? Finding out what excites them to train harder is a big carrot to help improve their effort.
Coaches Engel and Calder work at the University of Louisville with a variety of division one sports. They spoke about athlete tracking using both expensive GPS methods and then inexpensive methods like ratings of perceived exertion. By tracking the volume of work that your athletes are doing in both the gym and field you can help decrease risk of injury. The goal is to avoid training monotony (meaning nearly the same training volume each day) and avoid increasing the total training load to greatly from one week to the next (not doubling your normal work performed each week or day to day from what the athletes have done before).
The simple method of using the athlete RPE (rating of perceived exertion) for a training session in conjunction with the total length of the training session is an easy way for a coach to help track the difficulty of a training session to make sure that you aren’t over stressing the athlete much less causing them to have monotonous type of training.
Pat Rigsby is a gentlemen who seems to have worn every single hat. He’s been a baseball coach, strength coach, teacher, administrator, and business owner (which he spends most of his time doing now). He spoke about his keys for starting and running an effective business. He’s got a lot of his stuff up on the net that you can check out, but I’m going to put his basic steps down that he gave without the additional notes that I took.
Step 1: What’s the goal?
Step 2: Create the plan
Step 3: Play to your strengths
Step 4: Make it happen
I did enjoy his talk a lot and think there is some good information he added to each point. I’m obviously not much of a businessman, but I did enjoy his ideas and thoughts on how to be successful in this area. Along with you get paid to get things done, not to just start them.
These coaches spoke about strongman training and how to use implements like sandbags, stones, and kettlebells for high rep conditioning exercises like practicing loading, carries, and presses as a low skill but high carryover exercise that is approachable for just about anyone to try. The interesting fact is they use this type of training with their clients of all age groups. So they would have grandma loading sandbags (once she showed decent technique with it) for a set period of time. It really is nearly all concentric style work so the amount of stress and damage on the musculature is minimized and I think a good training methodology to be applied on occasion to someone when they are in an off season of potentially in season and just want a simple lower stress training program for a period of time.
So that was the abridged version of the notes that I took from the presentations that each of our speakers gave. Thanks again for all of them coming to the conference. I linked to them where I could in the post so please look up the speakers if you are interested in knowing more or getting some coaching from them. Thanks as always for reading and have a great day.