Strength Performance Network

March 2017 Blog Posts (20)

Physiology and American Football

I love to ponder stuff.  I love to read research.  And, I love to read differing opinions of strength and conditioning.  I really look forward to having my thinking challenged.  I wasn't always this way, though.  There was a time that any challenge to my thinking made me bristle with antagonism, but over the years this has changed.  I think for the better.  I don't have all of the answers, actually probably very few, but I'm willing to keep trying to ask better…


Added by John Mikula on March 31, 2017 at 7:00pm — No Comments

This is what you should know if things go wrong in the gym

Gym enthusiasts, while pursuing their goals to get fit, often seem to forget how serious the consequences can be if they’re negligent and exercise more than they’re capable of. We all want to see the results of our workout as soon as possible, but this doesn’t mean that we should endanger our health. For this reason, we have prepared a list of things that you…


Added by Gabriella Diesendorf on March 28, 2017 at 4:38am — No Comments

The Nordic Hamstring Curl

One exercise that I'm going to go on record at this point as saying has potential to be more harmful than helpful is the Nordic or Bodyweight Hamstring Curl.  Yes, this exercise is hugely popular, but what's the potential negative return for…


Added by John Mikula on March 27, 2017 at 8:00pm — No Comments

How to Properly Get Back to Working out

Just as it is difficult to build your entire lifestyle and include a challenging, ever-changing workout to make things interesting, it is painfully simple to break a single habit that can affect your health and deprive you of those priceless hours at the gym, lifting heavy stuff. And once you’ve stopped training, muscle memory alone won’t be enough to get you back on track.

As Allen Saunders cleverly puts it: “Life is what…


Added by Gabriella Diesendorf on March 27, 2017 at 8:16am — No Comments

Training Session Analysis

I feel that it is absolutely vital to ponder, quantify, qualify, and examine strength and conditioning training as it is being facilitated.  This means more than just writing on a dry erase board, Power Cleans, 3 x 6 at 85% 1 RM.  Training has to be more than just lifting a weight.  Especially for niche populations such as athletes or tactical warriors we…


Added by John Mikula on March 26, 2017 at 7:02am — No Comments

A Matter of Competency

One of the current problems facing the strength and conditioning profession (if we can term it that), is competency.  One definition that Webster uses to define competent is "having the ability to be legally qualified."  Right here, we should stop and ponder this.  Are strength and conditioning coaches qualified (we'll omit…


Added by John Mikula on March 25, 2017 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Sport Yoga: Yoga For Athletes

Today I want to talk about what Sport Yoga is by starting with what it isn't. It's not your typical yoga. There are no inversions. We don't do down dog. We don't end with shavasana. We don't settle deep into the muscle or the joint. It's not about never having "tweeks" but about being able to absorb them and move on!

Sport Yoga is about the muscles being able to adapt to change quickly and efficiently. It's about filling all the "air…


Added by Patricia Akins, CSCS on March 24, 2017 at 4:17pm — No Comments

Hutto HS ISO Super Cat or Bear Squat Machine

Hutto HS in Hutto Texas is searching for Super Cat or Bear Squat Machine. If you know of one for sale in the state please let me know at

Added by Jason Halliburton - CSCS, RSCC on March 24, 2017 at 12:52pm — No Comments

Strength Coach & The Way of the Dinosaur

This piece is a must read for all those interested in coaching athletes. t Let me preface this post by stating that this is not an impulsive post in reaction to this article. (More extensive discussion of this will be on tomorrows GAINcast, to down load and listen go…


Added by Vern Gambetta on March 22, 2017 at 8:00am — No Comments

A Doping Primer

Anyone who knows me or has regularly read this blog or followed me on social media knows that I am vehemently anti-drug. So, it may seem strange to have a post on a primer for drug use and how to beat the system but I think this will give you context for looking at the issue. This is what I have seen up close and personal in my 48 years of coaching how athletes and coaches beat the system.…


Added by Vern Gambetta on March 19, 2017 at 11:12am — No Comments

Make Meaning

Helping to prepare athletes for competition is really about making meaning rather than making athletes. Wait a minute, what do you mean by that, you might be asking? Making meaning is all about foster change, growth, development, and refinement.

So, how do I try and make meaning in those I work with? I think a lot of this starts with a good coaching mindset. What's my purpose? To help foster athletic development. How can I go about doing this? Try and employ a set of best practices for… Continue

Added by John Mikula on March 17, 2017 at 9:17am — No Comments

Training Structure

Hey, I've been accused of being an egg-head on many occasions and I'm ok with it. To me training is like one big research project that will never be finished. I train, myself, at least 5 days a week at about 0500. I really love the early morning hours. Another exercise physiologist trains with me a few days a week, another day I'm by myself in my lab training, and then a couple of days a week I employ tactical swimming. For me it works and gives me an opportunity to see training through a… Continue

Added by John Mikula on March 16, 2017 at 8:32am — No Comments


The mindset of an athlete may be his/her most valuable commodity. Strength and conditioning coaches play a valuable role in helping to shape young athletes and in more experienced athletes coaches can help athletes to train smarter and refine strength and conditioning on a more functional pathway.

It's important how we carry ourselves as coaches, as professionals, as helping agents. It's also very critical how we frame training in the context of trying to foster better… Continue

Added by John Mikula on March 15, 2017 at 8:17am — No Comments

Using Olympic Style Weight Lifting – A perspective

Olympic lifting is a sport. That sport consists of lifting as much weight as possible in the clean and jerk and the snatch. Those lifts have a high technical demand, but the skill is a closed skill that occurs in one plane through a narrow range of movement. The Olympic lifting movements do produce tremendous power production because of the distance the weight must travel, the weight and the speed requirements. This…


Added by Vern Gambetta on March 15, 2017 at 7:42am — No Comments

Coaching Notebook: Progressions

Here's a template out of my strength and conditioning coaching notebook.  I use variations of this "Progressions" concept extensively with good results.  The athletes at each station complete the 2 exercises and then rotate.  I could have up to 8 athletes doing the progressions and up to another 8 running simultaneously.  Pretty simple, but dynamic concept, that works indoor/outdoor, various size groups, and various skill groups.  …


Added by John Mikula on March 11, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

Track & Field Omnibook - A Great Resource

This book is truly a classic! It had and continues to have a huge influence on my coaching. Even though the Fourth edition was published in 1985, many of the concepts and principles are as relevant today as they were then. Even though this is a track & field oriented book it is a must read for all coaches who are interested in coaching the person in a systematic and…


Added by Vern Gambetta on March 9, 2017 at 2:05pm — No Comments

Sports Science Fiction?

Added by Vern Gambetta on March 9, 2017 at 8:02am — No Comments

The Eyes of a Stranger

Hey, I make no bones about it, I was raised on 80s metal music and still love it.  One of my favorite bands is Queensryche.  They made popular a song called The Eyes of a Stranger, here's a few lines:…


Added by John Mikula on March 8, 2017 at 7:25pm — No Comments

Running Motion

Below are a couple of interesting studies on running and ground reaction forces. The SMU study presents some interesting thinking on a "Two-Mass System" of examining vertical ground reaction forces involved in running. The French study looks at a contrasting idea, that of horizontal impulse forces during acceleration.

Ground reaction force is somewhat minimally mentioned when talking about the average, mass-produced speed program other than pushing a sled or towing a parachute.…


Added by John Mikula on March 8, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Resources to Learn How to Get Better at Getting Better

I am convinced that going forward in sport the biggest gains and the so called marginal gains too will come from how we get better at getting better. How we can improve our teaching, how we make practice and training more meaningful and effective will be the biggest difference makers. I am going to make this a major focus for the rest of my career. In that spirit, I am sharing with you this list of resources. This…


Added by Vern Gambetta on March 6, 2017 at 7:41am — No Comments

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