Elements of Progress.

Elements of Progression.

Progression in the weight room is not solely based on external loading (i.e. how much absolute weight lifted). Progress can be accomplished in various ways in order to improve performance, movement options, fitness, experience, and may even assist in external loading abilities.

Here are some valuable elements of client/athlete progress:

  1. Accumulation of volume is one of the key components to improving qualities of fitness. Increasing the number repetitions and/or sets throughout a training program is fundamental to progress.
  2. Progress through various positions (i.e. 1/2 kneeling, tall kneeling, etc.) and expose to positions that the body struggles to achieve (i.e. if client lacks hip extension, progress through positions that challenge hip extension, then you can challenge those positions under loading).
  3. Progress through coaching cues. Simplicity is king but an element of progression can be attention to detail or changes in the focus on attention. For example, the first couple weeks teaching a split squat can be focused on heel contact on the ground then can progress to hip shifting or alternating arm reaching as a variation. Use simplicity in exercise selection and language then progress with detail and variations for increased complexity.
  4. Progress through intent of speed. Start with static positions and isometric holds then progress with dynamic activities then progress with the intent to move with speed. External feedback will assist with this such as velocity tracking technology (Tendo, GymAware) or Keiser equipment. When doing deceleration, acceleration, or change of direction drills (especially with clients with low sport or training history) progress with the intent to move faster (motivate).
  5. Progress with adding different planes of motion as a variation to exercises. This could involve hip shifting (frontal plane), contralateral reaching/punching/rotation (transverse plane), or changing the placement of the load within exercises.

The purpose of having regressions and progression lists are to be able to guide decision making and have a aim based on current abilities, standards, and future goals. Progression is focused on long term access to the movement being required and challenging positions, movement, movement under load, and the strategy being used throughout the movement (i.e. muscles used during movement and loading).

Overall progress can be the improvement of performance. The ultimate goal for athletes is on-field improvement (not solely weight room improvement). Athletes are categorized as people who are participating in weight room activities to make changes towards sport/on-field activities. If absolute load lifted in weight room sessions is the sole measure of progression it may negatively impact overall performance. Overall progress for general population clients (low sport or training history) can be improved performance, fitness, quality of life, reduction in pain, and achieving intensities or volumes that previously were a challenge. You have many tools in your tool box, use them for long term progress and sustainability.

A Consistent Approach to Coaching.

Programming and progression will be discussed further at the workshop Lucy Hendricks and I will be hosting September 2019. For more information, see below.

Location: Hype Gym, NYC

Date/Time: Sunday, September 29th 2019. 9:00am-4:30pm (lunch 12:00pm-1:00pm)

CLICK HERE for the event’s page.



MBT Exercise Creation Model

Preview for the UPCOMING MBT Training Model & Implementation Online Course!

A Process for Creativity in Exercise Selection

The goal of the process is to match intent with strategy to create an exercise then coach the exercise with proper execution. An exercise is the loading of tissues for mechanical and physiological benefits. Positions are the shapes in which the body is placed to target specific muscles to move bones and to be able to target as much muscle mass as possible.

The process of exercise selection can be overwhelming without a process. Choosing exercises should have a purpose and we should explore our creativity based upon that purpose instead of choosing exercises and rationalizing them later. We tend to choose exercises based on certain loading abilities and associations instead of a specific intention.

  • Am I starting with a exercise or the intent?
  • Am I associating a exercise with a specific quality?
    • Such as associating the back squat exercise with the quality of strength
  • Starting with the intent will allow you not be married to specific exercises

The Exercise Creation Model has a three tier process to create an exercise. The first tier and foundation is position, second tier is fitness qualities, and the top tier is variations. This tier system was created to evaluate and analyze a thought process for exercise selection, ways to progress, and subtle strategy changes. There are many ways to progress, in which you can change position, change fitness quality, or add a variation.

The Exercise Creation Model will help you be more individualized with your clients/athletes, have a guide for exercise selection and program design, and explore various ways to strategize and execute an exercise.

The UPCOMING Training Model & Implementation Online Course will go into more detail and take you through strategies and execution for exercise selection, as well as training principles and model development.

But while we wait for that, here is the steps within each tier:

Base First Tier: Positions are used to target specific muscles to move boney structures. Positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Supine
  • Prone
  • Sidelying
  • Tall Kneeling
  • 1/2 Kneeling
  • Standing
  • Front/Back Staggered
  • Lateral Staggered

Middle Second Tier: Fitness Qualities

  • Qualities: Strength, Power, Endurance, Hypertrophy, etc.
  • Resistance (load): Strength, etc.
  • Tempos (Eccentric, Isometric, Oscillations): Strength, Endurance 
  • Accommodating resistance (Bands, Chains): Speed, Power
  • Velocity (intent to move with speed): Speed, Power
  • Timed Durations/Length of set : Strength, Endurance, etc.
  • Volume/Sets and Reps: Strength, Hypertrophy, etc.

Peak Third Tier: Variations 

  • Create an exercise variation build on position and fitness quality desired
  • Create an exercise variation with additional components of progress such as static or dynamic execution, plane of motion, range of motion, RNT input, barriers and references, placement of loading, cues (focus of attention)
  • This is the creation of strategy related to goal/intent, client, needs analysis, real time modifications, and progress
  • Fulfill with execution

Summary:

Three Tier Process for Exercise Creation based on Intent-Strategy- Execution

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:

Example of Process with the exercise created being a Bilateral Squat based on the Intent- Strategy and follow through with Execution. I first choose a bilateral stance position for a two foot ground reference and sagittal plane dominant position. Second I add a six second tempo for the eccentric phase. Lastly, I choose an anterior loading placement, cue the client to find their heels, and add a band around the knees (from the front) to teach client to posterior shift. The exercise is created from the bottom up based on the client, goal, direction of progress, and real time modifications. For more information on Squat Progressions check out Lucy Hendricks Article.
Another Example of the creation process with the exercise created being a 3 Point Contact 1 Arm Row. First I choose a prone position. Second I choose a rep/set scheme that is focused towards the client’s hypertrophy goal. Lastly, I focus the attention on the stance leg (left leg in picture) and reaching with the arm on bench (right arm in picture). The exercise is created from the bottom up with a connection between the trainer’s training principles and client goals (and abilities).

Now you need to Execute!

That’s why Lucy Hendricks and I created a workshop that is 100% hands-on!

Have you ever attended a seminar where they picked you as an exercise demo? For 5 minutes, you get to feel what it’s like to be coached by the instructor. You get to respond to their verbal and manual cues, which allows you to feel what your clients will need to feel.

Out of all the other attendees who didn’t get coached, you’ll be more successful getting your clients to execute that exercise correctly.

This workshop allows you to be coached, demo, practice coaching, and walk through some troubleshooting with every single activity! Instead of 5 minutes of personal attention, you’ll have a whole day of movement and hands-on learning.

If you’re wanting your staff under one consistent model, this is the workshop for you and your employees. Learn to develop movement standards where everyone gets to develop their own training talent and skill following the same principles.

Going through our Consistent Training Model will allow you to manage multiple people in one session while keeping the coaching quality high. You will creatively increase your client’s movement repertoire by altering load placement and performance variables to drive adaptation in each plane of motion.

Location: Hype Gym, NYC

Date/Time: Sunday, September 29th 2019. 9:00am-4:30pm (lunch 12:00pm-1:00pm)

CLICK HERE for the event’s page.

Play. Laugh. Move in Different Ways. Have Fun. …and Lift Some Heavy Things.

We have ‘recess day’/ variability day when training has been long term & consistent.

Introducing drills in warm-up that are externally focused and involve unpredictability for change of direction, drop step, crossover, and multidirectional movements (more videos to follow) are great ways to teach skills with play, laughing, jokes and fun. There is a lot of laughter during these videos.

Drill: Wall Ball Reaction Drill

3 x week sessions usually involve: Day 1: Strength day Day 2: variability: “Recess day” to explore different movement strategies Day 3: volume day

Seated 1 Arm Row.

The use of passive constraints to manipulate a task: External objects are used to assist in finding certain references and muscles.


* The dumbbell behind the foot is used to find heels and hamstrings. The ball between the knees is used to find adductors. The weight in the hand is used to find abs and close a space. The weight of the cable can be used to reach and feel a scapula move.


* Training Principle: Proximal structure position influences movement of distal structures
* Focused Attention: Heels. Opening a side of the thorax and closing the opposite side.
* Guided Experience: Initiate questions before providing feedback. What was that like? How did that feel? 

Leg Transition Chop.

Creating an exercise to match intent. The intent of the exercise is to transition from leg to leg working on frontal plane mechanics.


* The chop will assist in centering over a leg: stacking the nose over the zipper line, over the knee, over the big toe.


* Training Principle: All athletic skill acquisition includes the ability to transition from leg to leg; gait, skating, throwing a ball, or changing direction (push mechanics).


* Guided Experience: What was that like? How did that feel? Where do you feel your weight? Why do you think this is important?


* Focused Attention: Arch of the foot.


* Client accomplished a personal record weight in the Trap Bar Deadlift 💪 which was an externally focused activity. To finish the session, we turned to thinking about the body and feeling muscles in specific areas, which was an internally focused activity.

DON’T TELL ME I’M SOMETHING TO BE FIXED.

Most people just need to gain muscle mass, lose body fat, and accumulate volume.

The idea of ‘fixing’ a fitness client or using some of your new continuing education catch words to tell people they are something that needs to be fixed is a lack of understanding of the end game and the big picture.

* “You shouldn’t deadlift because your thorax is narrow”

* “You’re so jacked up, I’m surprised you haven’t gotten hurt back squatting yet”

* “You don’t ‘manage pressure’ well in your pelvis so you shouldn’t squat” Can you even explain what pressure management means?

* “You need to do these specific exercises because ‘you’re extended’”

These are all promoting mindsets of ‘there is something wrong with me’. We sometimes like to prove our value and spit out some new knowledge we learned at a con edu event but lose sight of fitness. 

At the end of the day you need to just expose people to different experiences, strategies, loading, velocities, durations, positions, patterns, stances to ultimately IMPROVE fitness (allow to accumulate more and more volume). Exposure is variability.

Be careful with your words. Show them something else without taking something from them or making them feel like they are something that needs to be fixed. * How about “let’s try doing it this way”
* How about “let’s work on this strategy”
* This is what I am seeing with this assessments so our strategy will be X to assist in your goals… I love to learn. You may too. Absorb it, filter it, but don’t let it suck you in to only staring at the bark of a tree instead of seeing the whole forest.


“It is far better to render beings in your care competent then to protect them. And even if it were possible to permanently protect them and banish everything threatening, everything dangerous, and therefore everything challenging and interesting, that would mean only that another danger would emerge” – Dr. Jordan Peterson 

Lifetime Fitness.

Your collegiate athletic career has come to an end.

NOW WHAT?

  • Do you only associate exercise with sport?
  • Did your strength and conditioning coach teach you anything you can maintain?
  • Did they provide you with education about lifetime fitness or only short term gain strategies?
  • Did you LEARN how to train and take care of yourself?
  • Did you learn how to appreciate the process and the virtues of character that come with exercise?
  • Can you apply what you learned to establishing responsibility for your own health and fitness? 

Program Design: Embed Testing

Embedding testing in program design can be used an assessment of progress.
Are you improving or staying the same? …fear staying the same. 
  • 3-10 RM testing
  • Perform sets to own volition (example: perform sets of 3 until client chooses to stop or can’t maintain) 
  • Density blocks: Number of reps within a timed set or number of sets within a specific duration
  • Open set: client performs reps to own volition
  • Set duration of time and record distance completed on mode of fitness equipment (example- distance in miles completed in 6 minutes on airdyne)
  • Set specific distance and record time to completion (example- time to climb 300 feet on versaclimber) 
  • Record vertical jumps in warm-up routine
  • Timed circuit: record total volume or time to complete 

Find a left hamstring then do whatever you want.



  • Find ways to do accessory exercises incorporating left stance (weight bearing and shift to left side) = loading phase of gait on left leg

  • Get position of ribs and pelvis (thoracic and pelvic diaphragms)
  • Use vision to get cervical lordosis (look ahead or slightly high and far distance)
  • Find heel as a reference for hamstring
  • Experience frontal plane muscles by elevating left hip and keep left knee toward midline feeling adductor
  • Get left hip elevation and rib depression with exhale will get left ab wall
  • Then get those delts….if that’s what you want to do…but I am still reaching with my arms and retracting a ribcage

  • We tend to be stuck in propulsion phase of gait on left side
  • Incorporate stance into other exercises such as cable rows and pushes