Category Archives: Training Philosophy

Topic of the Week: What Types of Cues Should Trainers and Coaches Provide?

Lately there has been a lot of discussion on the internet about cueing, attentional focus, glute activation, and related topics. I decided to write an article sharing my thoughts as I have a unique set of experiences and outlook compared to the other researchers and coaches. I confess to having not read up on all of the research from Dr. Gabrielle Wulf, Dr. Keith Lohse, and others (see Sam’s blogpost for these references). However, I have more practical experience in this area than most coaches and employ these techniques daily, which gives me a unique perspective.

Some of my readers like to be thorough so here are some links you can read in order to be up to snuff (my thoughts are in parenthesis).

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The 5 Best Quotes Ever Uttered by Strength & Conditioning Professionals

In the past year I’ve done a lot more speaking than I’m used to, and quite often I steal other coaches’ quotes. Though I’m always sure to reference the quote’s originator, I’ve realized that the audience is always grateful whenever I relay these gems along. Below are the five quotes I steal most frequently:

5. Nick Tumminello

The only thing I claim to be an expert about is my clients. I know their bodies better than anyone

I love this quote by Nick. As a personal trainer or strength coach, you get to know your clients’ and athletes’ bodies and brains incredibly well. You know what exercises they love and don’t love, which exercises they’re great at and which exercises they’re not-so-great at, what gets them motivated, what methods and programs they prefer, what limitations they have in terms of form, how hard to push them, when to back off, when to scrap the program and ad-lib, what music to play, and how to keep them excited about training week in and week out.

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Evidence-Based Coaching

In this article I’d like to discuss the importance of Evidence-Based Coaching (EBC) and what EBC means to me. Many of you might have read up on the topic of “Evidence-Based Practice” (click the link to read about it on Wikipedia). Many fields have adopted this approach to decision-making and typically it relies upon the research, meaning that the literature tends to dictate one’s practices.

If we stuck to this definition for EBC, then I would strongly disagree with sticking to this approach. Why? Strength & Conditioning research is very young, and there’s so much we don’t know. Many coaches say that S&C is “an art and a science,” but to me it’s all science. In other words, I believe that any “art” a coach describes could easily be turned into a cool study, in which case it would then be labelled “science.”

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Considerations in Athletic Performance Enhancement Training: How Much Strength Do Our Athletes Need?

Today’s post is an excellent guestblog by Rob Panariello. I won’t introduce Rob as I’ve interviewed him in the past and posted a couple of guestblogs from him in the past year or two. This is an important topic for strength coaches, and I really love how Rob blends together science and anecdotes which demonstrates good critical thinking and decision making methodology.

Considerations in Athletic Performance Enhancement Training: How Much Strength Do Our Athletes Need?

Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS
Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Professional Athletic Performance Center
New York, New York

Throughout my 30-year career in in the fields of Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Performance Training, I have spent thousands of hours in conversation with many good friends and mentors in the Strength and Conditioning profession. In a specific conversation that occurred in 2009 with renowned NFL and Hall of Fame Strength Coach Johnny Parker, he expressed his concern upon reading a newspaper article reporting an 800-pound squat performance by a collegiate football player. Coach Parker’s concern was the necessity of such a high intensity squat lift as a strength requirement for the game of football and is the risk of such a high intensity squat performance worth the reward? Certainly extremely high intensity loads are necessary in the sports of Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting, as the level of athletic achievement during these competitions is based upon the successful weightlifting performance of the heaviest loads possible. In regard to athletes who are not competitive weightlifters, but are utilizing weightlifting to enhance athleticism, is such a high intensity squat, as the previously mentioned 800-pound performance, necessary for an athlete such as a football, basketball, or baseball player?

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