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Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better
Written on May 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm, by Eric Cressey
Here are some random tips to help you lose fat, get strong, gain muscle, feel better, and take over the world – compliments of Cressey Performance coach Greg Robins.
1. Swing it!
As a strength coach, you will be confronted by two big issues. One, you will most likely have a budget. Secondly, you will struggle to keep all your athletes consistently in the gym, or on track while in season. A recent study published in the NSCA’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research provides us with a solution: kettlebell swings. “The results of this study clearly demonstrate that six weeks of bi-weekly kettlebell swings provides a stimulus that is sufficient to increase both maximum and explosive strength offering a useful alternative to strength and conditioning professionals seeking variety for their athletes.”
Purchasing kettlebells for your program, or advocating the purchase of kettlebells by your athletes for at home use, is a low cost option to deliver a great training effect. The swing is a relatively easy movement to teach and safely prescribe to your athletes to keep up with, and improve their strength. The kettlebell swing has largely been touted as an incredibly efficient movement, most recently by the king of efficiency himself, Tim Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Body. In this article he talks about his own incredible results, as well as links to a profile of another swinger, who garnered impressive results with as little as 10 – 20min of swinging a week. Not bad!
2. Make food taste better by adding…more food.
Chicken, turkey, and pork all taste great when you eat them right out of the oven or off the grill. However, everyone knows that “so dry that I’m coughing up dust” taste that you can get when you eat them as leftovers. To that end, try chopping the meat up and adding it to an omelet; it tastes great.
This is just one example of how you can “disguise” something that might not taste good. Don’t like spinach? Blend it into your shakes. Don’t like tomatoes? Grind them up and add some spices and fruit to make a salsa. Your imagination is the only limit.
3. Some small stuff is worth sweating.
More times than not, I am telling people not to sweat the small stuff. However, I would advocate locating small things, that are easily done, that can have a large effect on the bigger picture. When it comes to the gym I can think of a few examples:
4. Always take the bar.
In sticking with the theme of the little things that make a big difference, here’s a lesson I learned early in my training history: “Always take the bar.” It means exactly what it says. Whether you are squatting, benching, lunging, or pressing always do a set with the empty bar. You don’t pick up a baseball and throw it 200ft before you have thrown it 50ft do you? It is always best to ramp up to your working sets and get a gauge on how you feel. Furthermore, repetition is the principal of learning. Even as someone whose working sets are a good distance from 45lbs, I will take anywhere from 5 – 8 sets to get where I am going for that day’s big exercise. In this time, don’t just go through the motions, it is the perfect time to smooth out any form issues and build a habitual approach to each set.
5. Avoid paralysis by analysis.
There is a time for thinking, and a time for doing. Be careful not to let your thoughts interfere with your ability to execute. Additionally, remember that in many cases, “perfect” will be the enemy of “good.” In order to achieve more from your training and sport practice, follow these two guidelines:
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