I Give Thanks for……..in 2013!
Who knows, maybe this will be the start of a tradition for me. I wanted to look back at some of the things I am thankful for this year as it relates to my work.
In January, it was the start of another pitching clinic organized by local pitching coach, Chuck Thacker. It was my fifth year being involved in the clinic. The clinic helps young pitchers prepare for the upcoming season with instruction from great local coaches. I am in charge of mobility (warm-up and cool-down). Here is a copy of the mobility exercises we used at last years clinic. Pitching Clinic Mobility 2013 I have been fortunate enough to work with two different pitchers who have continued on to pitch in the minor leagues. Even more of these young men have gone on to pitch for colleges and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
In February, I joined two other awesome trainers from the valley, Nic Goebeler and Carol Porter, to present information on functional training. Our goal was to clear up misconceptions about what functional training truly is. We covered each movement, one at a time. Functional movements include squatting, hip hinging (deadlifting), lunging, single leg stance, pushing, pulling, and rotational movement. We performed demonstrations and explained form, addressed common mistakes, and got the whole audience to give these movements a try under our watchful eyes. Functional training is the opposite of muscle isolation, it is training movement. I covered two topics, strict pull-ups and deadlifts. Click on the links and they will take you to my recent blog posts on the most common mistakes I see when people perform those lifts. They were based on the information from my presentation. I really enjoyed presenting information that I am passionate about.
In March, I headed down to Las Vegas, but not for the gambling or the night life. I took the MovNat combatives course and I learned some potentially life saving information. I presented some of the information I learned in a recent blog post that can be read here. I was grateful I made the long trip down for the certification course. Vic Verdier is an excellent teacher and this was the second time I had met him. He taught the MovNat trainer course I had taken the year before. I was impressed with how simple and effective the self defense techniques were. Vic said, “If you can’t learn the techniques in 5 minutes, then they are too complicated to be useful.” With increasing violence in society, I think it’s more important than ever to learn these concepts.
In June, the off-season workouts for SOU Volleyball really began to ramp up. This was my fourth year working with the team. It’s a lot of work preparing their Summer program, but I love the opportunity to work with high level athletes. It’s awesome to be a part of the team and I feel totally invested. I feel like a part of me is out there on the court when they are playing matches and I get pretty intense if you’ve ever seen me in the stands. Their Summer programs are very comprehensive and cover speed, agility, plyometrics (jumping), strength, power, conditioning, and mobility. Here is an idea of how we structure the workouts in the off-season. Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays are dedicated to strength training and conditioning/cardio. Tuesdays and Thursdays we focus on agility and plyometrics (jumping). I highly recommend that you check out some of the home matches, it’s extremely exciting and fast paced. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
In July, I was honored to be a part of a presentation on running injuries with Dr. Kelly Lange and Dr. Justin Adams. My contribution was to talk about exercises that can help prevent injuries. An article was written about our presentation and you can read it here. It’s awesome to be part of an informative article and it’s the best kind of marketing. You can also take a look at my notes from the presentation here: Prevention of Common Running Injuries through Strength Training.
In September, my son started cross country season. I was excited to see him running well, placing high, and setting personal records. We had raced triathlons all Summer and as he improved, an intense rivalry started to develop between the two of us. He even beat me in one of our last triathlons of the season. What made his success really remarkable was the fact he had been hampered by heel problems in recent years. He had grown so rapidly that he developed problems with Sever’s disease (inflammation of the growth plate in the heel). In simple terms, it’s when the heel bone grows faster than the tendon. Tension on the tendon can cause the area to become inflamed. I gave him mobility exercises to do and they seemed to help. Check out this video which has some of the functional movements my son and I do for mobility in our calves. These are also some of the exercises I used over the Summer to help me continue to recover from Achilles tendonosis. I was thankful that I was able to race all Summer.
In October, I found myself in the midst of a Father/Son fitness challenge. Here’s the challenge, the father is going for six pack abs, and the son has to get 20 pull-ups in a row. Both goals must be met by the end of the year. It’s fun to be a part of a challenge and it’s cool to see how motivated the participants are. You can read an article about it here. For the Father, nutrition is the most important part and if someone needs to get lean, cutting carbs may have the most benefits. A two year study out of the Annals of Internal Medicine showed both low fat and low carbohydrate diets were useful in reducing weight, but the people on the low carb diet also saw better improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors. You can look at the study here. As far as workouts go, circuits and supersets with limited rest are a great way to structure a weight loss workout, and sprinkle in some high intensity intervals to go along with the cardio training. If someone wanted to reach a 20 rep goal on Pull-ups but let’s say they are starting from scratch, I would recommend starting with more sets and less reps. Adding external resistance to the low rep sets can help build strength. Eventually lowering the number of sets and increasing the reps until you can attain the goal would be a great strategy.
It’s been a great year and I continue to grow as a trainer. I am always learning and striving to improve. I won’t be the same trainer you worked with the month before, I’ll be better. I am thankful to have a job that I am passionate about. As the old saying goes, find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I am also thankful for all the great people I have met in my line of work. I have the best clients in the world. Reflecting upon the things that we are thankful for doesn’t have to be a once a year thing. Keep a gratitude journal (click on the link to find out more about creating an effective journal) and write about the things that you are grateful for. A couple of times a week will do. It’s something I learned out of the positive psychology movement. It will help shift your thinking to be more optimistic and positive. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!