The 80-20 Rule, an economic principle, which loosely states 80% of an outcome results from 20% of the cause. Or, 80% of what you get comes from 20% of what you do. While this rule has its base in economics, it can also be applied to your health and fitness.
A recent look at the 2016 NFL Draft showed that 28 out of 31 first round draft picks were multi-sport athletes – 12 of which played more than two. This year’s draft, along with many before it, debunks the “more is better” myth many parents and coaches follow in regards to athletic development. Many parents fear if they do not pick a single sport and focus all their child’s time on it, they will fall behind the competition, ruining their chances of success. When looking at professional athletes from all different sports, this simply is not true. In fact, early specialization may actually ruin your son/daughter’s chances of playing at the next level.
For many, the vertical jump is the single best test of power and overall athleticism. Coaches often use this test as a quick indicator for athletic ability and on-field performance. For any athlete that is looking to stand out from the rest, a high jump is a guaranteed way to get any coach's attention. By applying these three strategies, you will quickly add inches to your vertical jump within minutes.
Once again, the new year is upon us and with it comes everyone’s new year resolutions, and If all goes to plan, by this next year all your friends and family members will be filthy rich with amazing bodies. We both know this is unlikely to happen, but who is to say you yourself cannot experience massive change in your life within a year’s time? The process is surprising easy to do, yet by this time next year 9/10 of your friends and family members will be no closer to their goals than they sit today.
The amount of protein that an athlete needs is a hotly debated topic. Some peoples’ recommendations vary from as little as 15-20% of total calories consumed to as much as 2.2-3.3g/kg of body weight (1). The NSCA, on the other hand, recommends a more moderate 1.5-2.0g/kg of body weight. With such a range between these recommendations, it is clear that protein consumption is not an exact science, but taking into account a few variables athletes can narrow down how much protein they should be consuming on a daily basis.
As the leaves fall, so does the willpower for many people when it comes to holiday treats. The start of this season of overindulgence begins with Halloween and continues all the way through New Year's Eve. There is no doubt that these party filled days of food, treats, and alcohol can have a big impact on your waistline. But, following these three tips can help you in the fight against holiday weight gain.
The production of lactate, commonly mistaken as lactic acid, is one of the most misunderstood processes of the human body. The formation of this lactate molecule results from the metabolic process known as glycolysis. During activity, the body begins to break down glycogen (sugar) to be used as fuel. This process creates ATP to be used as fuel for the body, but also the byproduct pyruvic acid and eventually lactate. Because large amounts of lactate can be found in fatigued athletes, many people assume it is the cause of the fatigue, but this may not be true.
Two of the biggest excuses for not exercising are lack of time and not having access to a gym. Both of these excuses can be eliminated by creating an at-home workout program, but many people feel exercising at home requires the purchasing of expensive gym equipment – which is not case for most people. By using some creativity and exercise modifications, virtually anyone can see improvements using an at-home workout program, without the need for purchasing expensive gym equipment.
When we look for indicators of athleticism, we generally turn to tests such as a vertical jump or 40-yard dash time. These are definitely good standards to compare athletes against each other with, but another good indicator of overall athleticism is an athlete’s ability to move their limbs independently of one another, without excessive trunk movement. These are what many people call “smooth” or sneaky fast” runners – the athletes that pull away from their defenders even though they look effortless in their movement.
For those struggling to lose weight, food logging has been proven to be an effective way to experience consistent long-term results. For many of these people, they simply do not have a good understanding of the caloric content of the foods they are eating. By accurately logging their food, they are given an objective look into how many calories they are actually consuming on a day-to-day basis.
With this being said, many people who log their food do not achieve the weight loss they are looking for. Three of the more common reasons are inconsistency, inaccuracy, and lack of commitment.
When asked to imagine your ideal body, what do you see? If you are like many people, you envision a lean toned-looking version of yourself with the strength, endurance, and mobility to take on whatever you desire at that given moment – whether it is repping out pull-ups at the gym, spending an afternoon hiking around a lake, or just trying to keep up with your kids. If you imagine something similar when picturing your ideal body, what you really want is the body of an athlete.
How do you get the body of an athlete? You train like an athlete.
The end of the school year marks the start of a short, but very important, 12-week training period for area athletes. During this short training block, athletes will either gain or lose ground on their competition. By utilizing the following three keys, athletes will give themselves the best opportunity for a successful summer training cycle.
Disclaimer: What I am about to tell you probably goes against everything you have ever learned about the squat. I will discuss three commonly used cues, explain why I feel they are usually incorrect, and offer three alternatives that I feel are more effective. I ask that you keep an open mind and try these cues out before you knock ‘em.
The squat, a movement learned and mastered in infancy, often becomes a great challenge for many as they enter adulthood. As these adults hope to relearn this pattern, for function or vanity, they are often bombarded with cues from magazines, friends, and professionals on the “perfect squat technique.” In this article I will address three of the most common cues that I deem incorrect and overused, as well as offer three cues that improve the function and safety of these movement.
Self-Myofascial Release (SMR), commonly known as foam rolling or self-massage, is a term that describes soft tissue techniques used to improve the elasticity of the fascial matrix running through our bodies with the intent of increasing mobility and restoring authentic pain-free movement. A secondary benefit of SMR is its ability to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness after a workout. There are many ways to perform SMR, but the most common is rolling across the targeted area with a foam roller or another firm object.
Most of the topics I write about tend to be on the scientific side of exercise – discussing different ways to improve an exercise or program to elicit greater results. As important as proper technique and programming is, it means very little without proper motivation. Few places is this more true than in exercise. Even with great programming and specific goals, no results will be seen without hard work and determination. Motivation is what gets you out of bed for that early morning run and allows you to push through those last few reps of a set. Ultimately, motivation is the deciding factor in the success of any venture in life, not the means in which a person uses to get there.
As summer ends, so does the season for many baseball and softball players. This changing of the seasons also marks the beginning of off-season training for many athletes. With only six short months available to train – minus a handful of holidays – it is important that each and every workout is optimized to get the most out of this short window of time. Following the three tips in this article will ensure that maximal performance and injury prevention gains are made this off-season.
If you are an endurance athlete – specifically a runner – chances are you are either currently training for your next event, or rehabilitating a recent injury. If we were to play the odds, you are more likely to be in the latter category. Research shows that up to 56% of runners will experience an injury in any given year that will keep them out of training for a period of time. Of these injuries, up to 75% are due to overuse – in other word, no contact. This is an alarming number, as non-traumatic injuries are almost entirely preventable.