Something I found interesting was on Tony Gentilcore’s site he asked his readers what they wanted to see more of in 2012, and one of the most common responses was the Stuff You Should Read posts. Now to be honest people such as myself, Eric, Tony and the like have always liked the posts to branch out and connect our readers with other quality writers, but we always wondered if our readers actually like them.
I guess the answer is yes. So with that in mind here is my Stuff You Should Read for today.
Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 1/5/12 – by Tony Gentilcore. Thought I would start this off right by giving you guys a link to a bunch of great articles that Tony linked to! Topics include chicks getting good at pullups (works for guys too), a rant against calories, being awesome and the like. Good stuff as usual.
What Causes Insulin Resistance Part IV- by Stephan Guyenet. As usual Stephan provides riveting yet easy-to-read information on the causes of insulin resistance. For those of you not well-versed in science this is probably one of his easiest to understand posts as it’s not too technical.
The 80/20 Principle for Program Design – by Dean Somerset. Dean is a guy who’s stuff I have been meaning to read and just haven’t done enough of it yet. Well I made a decision to read this post and I am glad I did. Simple, to the point and easy to apply. It is quite long though!
I had the fortune of wrapping up my Dietetic Internship on Tuesday of this week, which was definitely a very nice feeling. I certainly learned a ton, especially about nutrition in the Critical Care setting. Tube feeds and IV feeds (whether central or peripheral access) with different conditions and elements involved was intellectually challenging, and some of the doctors were very willing to teach the physiology of things like SIRS & ARDS. It was an enlightening experience to say the least. While I continue to believe that our management of chronic conditions is seriously lacking, our doctors are incredibly well-trained in the acute care setting (which some might argue is part of the problem, because we treat chronic conditions like acute ones!).
In other news I went down to Cressey Performance for the day yesterday, which was a most welcome change of pace. I even gave the staff in-service in the morning before clients arrived, which was aimed mainly at teaching the 6 new interns the basics of working with high school athletes. We also had a Q & A after where Eric, Tony, Chris and others asked questions on different topics. It was more of an impromptu off-the-cuff talk than anything formally prepared, but I think it went really well. We recorded the talk, so I will keep you updated if we do anything with it.
Continuing the CP theme it was good to get back in the trenches and coach people again. Though there are a lot of new faces and plenty of new exercises that I had to ask a few questions on, the coaching aspect was like riding a bike. Coaching trap bar deadlifts, med ball work, core exercises, and my favorite for newbies – Glute Ham Raises was an absolute blast and I hope to do it again sometime soon. It was great to catch up with everybody and marvel at the speed at which Cressey Performance continues to grow.
I also had EC eval me as my left shoulder/trap/upper back area has been cranky as of late and not responding as I would have liked to some of my attempts at treating it. While it has gotten better, it wasn’t great, so I had Eric check me out. He basically concluded that I have downward rotation syndrome and jacked up levator scapulae, essentially my upper traps have been too neglected and I need to work on overhead shrugs and a few other similar exercises.
As we talked he mentioned that he has started to notice this issue more and more with guys when he assesses them, due to a seemingly over-emphasis on the “down-and-back” cue, near total avoidance of using the upper traps in addition to poor upper body posture (mainly anterior scapular tilt and excessive internal rotation – mostly from sitting too much). Looking back I can definitely see how I have not trained by upper traps/uppward rotators to the same degree as my downward rotators, not too mention the fact that I have been sitting a ton more since I left CP. We also both felt there was accumulated wear and tear on the area from years of baseball/lacrosse/hockey/rugby that certainly isn’t doing me any favors, but with some appropriate soft tissue work and corrective strategies I should be good to go.
This really speaks to the fact that the hardest person to train is yourself. As much as I know about appropriate training modalities, proper exercise execution, and corrective strategies, when training yourself it can be easy to continue to work on what you are good at and neglect areas that are weak. Doing a little more research myself I stumbled across a fantastic article by Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman that outlines the downward rotation syndrome and provides some excellent corrective strategies that I will certainly put to use – Push Ups, Face Pull, and Shrugs.
Lastly, I also wanted to mention to keep your eyes peeled for some audio interviews I did for Rick Kaselj of ExercisesForInjuries.com and Medhi of Stronglifts.com recently. They should be going up within the next month or so, and I will let you guys know when they do.
I recently had the fortune of interviewing the bright and talented Kevin Neeld on his new training manual – Ultimate Hockey Training. Kevin is a good friend of mine and was an early CP intern back when I was a new CP employee. He was the first intern we ever had who could have been hired as a coach before he even started interning, he was that good. And he has only gotten better.
Well, without further ado, enjoy the interview!
BSP: Kevin, first off why don’t you tell us a little about yourself – school, athletic career, training career, how you look up to me? You know, the basics.
In the interest of getting the boring stuff out of the way, I did my undergrad work in Health Behavior Science with a minor in Strength and Conditioning at the University of Delaware, and later got my Master’s in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Neuroscience at UMass Amherst. Say what you want, but people that study neuroscience are cool.
I grew up playing ice hockey, and would objectively say that I had pretty good skill sets that I was too fat, slow, and generally unathletic to express at high levels. Luckily, I had an older brother to constantly remind me of these things, so I was never at a loss for motivation. This was what originally got me into training. It had a profound effect on my performance, and I knew at around the ripe age of 14 that I would ultimately build a career that revolved around helping athletes fulfill their potential through effective training. What I didn’t know then, is that the training that “worked” so well, was also completely moronic and lead me down a fun path of injuries that included a broken collar bone (in two places), inguinal hernia (and subsequent surgery), torn trapezius off the posterior clavicle, separated AC joint, hamstring strains, long-term “groin” pain, and periodic knee problems, all of which affected my hockey career to some extent. Oh, and I’m not very tall…which sucks.
BSP: As a former hockey player myself, I am well aware of the poor training we are given – hours and hours of “dryland” anyone? I am also especially aware of the poor diets of most young athletes, and guys playing junior hockey in particular. Your new book, Ultimate Hockey Training, fortunately rights this ship and provides players with appropriate training and nutrition programs. What I want to know is what in particular prompted you to focus that big brain of yours on hockey in the first place?
As I mentioned, I played hockey almost exclusively growing up. I would say my appreciation for the sport wavered somewhere between a determined commitment and an unhealthy obsession. I loved the game. I still do. Hockey has always been my passion. What most in the strength and conditioning field don’t know is that I have a good amount of experience running on-ice skill work as well. I came to a cross-roads in my career between diving into either the on-ice or off-ice development route. My decision led me to pass up an opportunity to run my own series of off-season on-ice development clinics in favor of paying out of pocket for a Functional Anatomy class that was part of Boston University’s DPT program, and interning at Cressey Performance. Other than having nightmares of having to lift to Disturbed over and over and over (thanks Eric), I would say that experience was universally positive and has probably been the smartest move I’ve made in my career.
I’m realizing now, that I was accidentally very fortunate to have chosen to build a career around training hockey players. In my experience, hockey players are passionate, hard working and attentive athletes, meaning they’re proactive in their development and willing to try new things if they understand how it will benefit them. This is true of some athletes in all sports, but as a whole, hockey players seem to be the most consistent in these qualities.
BSP: As the Director of Athletic Development at Endeavor Sports Performance, one of the premier hockey training facilities in the country (located in Pitman, NJ, FYI), what are some of the most common issues you see among young and old hockey players alike? Essentially what are the problem areas related to hockey that people need to work on or be aware of, regardless of skill or playing level?
As you know, I could write a whole book addressing these issues (shameless plug for Ultimate Hockey Training). The reality is that there are a number of hockey- and individual-specific things that warrant special attention, and it’s hard to make generalizations based simply on the demands of the game. For example, a person that has an excessively pronated (read: flat) left foot or forward head posture will need to have these issues attended to, regardless of what sport they play. I think people sometimes forget that a lot of sport injuries have lifestyle-driven mechanisms or predispositions. In other words, it’s the postures and movements (or lackthereof) AWAY from sport that brings many injuries closer to threshold. I could go on, but I have a feeling that this discussion would be like Nyquil for your readers coming from a hockey background.
I generally think of training as serving two primary, but HIGHLY integrated purposes: improving performance, and preventing injuries. In the interest of both, we need to make sure the athlete is structurally ready to improve performance measures. This comes down to assessing for postural and functional asymmetries, which I’ll talk more about later, but generally hockey players have extreme cases of adaptations-related to sitting too much. They’re tight in the front of their hips, hyperextended through their lower backs, rounded forward through their shoulders, etc. This, amongst other things, is what leads to the exceptionally high prevalence of hip flexor and adductor strains we see in the sport and, in my opinion, is a huge factor in the concussion epidemic that is infecting high level hockey currently. If you only look at a brain, you’re missing the big picture
Looking at training through a purely hockey perspective, the sport demands extremes in transitional speed, rotary power, anaerobic lactate conditioning, and collision resistance. That said, there are appropriate training progressions to maximize these abilities and if you only take them at face value and build a program around strictly these qualities, you may do more harm than good. For players with a “young” training age, everything will seemingly work. This means that every stupid, insane, scientifically unfounded, and completely moronic training technique ever created will lead to what appears to be an improvement in performances. Much of these training tactics are either proposed from naïve or downright ignorant people (many of whom have very positive intentions!), or someone selling something, and they all fail to look at the long-term perspective of development. Improving your vertical jump height doesn’t matter if your knees buckle on the load and land! Improved performance? Not in my eyes, but when you’re presenting numbers to a 14 year-old’s dad, they’re hooked. This is just one example; I could draw parallels to EVERY athletic quality that are equally misguided and short-sighted.
To be honest, these are problems that affect all youth sports, not just hockey. In the U.S. we do everything we can to rush development, even in the face of a ridiculous amount of evidence demonstrating that the most effective way to produce WORLD-CLASS athletes is to follow slow, focused progressions. In other words, we need to slow roast our athletes, not toast them. In hockey, it’s interesting to see that the U.S. has won the Gold Medal at the IIHF World U-18 Championships the last three years (‘09-’11), while at the U-20 level, they didn’t medal at all in ’09, won Gold in ’10, and Bronze in ’11, and at the Men’s level didn’t medal in any year. Do you notice a trend? Our development system leads to rapidly developed players at young ages that fail to progress beyond that point. Because we don’t create a large enough foundation, we lose the ability to progress to peak heights. We’re winning the race to the wrong finish line.
USA Hockey has done an outstanding job in rewriting our developmental programs to help right the ship. I think people hear of how the Soviets identify high performers at young ages and think that’s the way to go. Pick them early, and then drill them with single-sport development. What they don’t realize is that these “single-sport focus” schools MANDATED that kids play multiple sports up to a certain age! This means that at “hockey school”, you would spend a significant portion of the year playing soccer, tennis, etc. A broad base of athletic motor qualities is what leads to future elite level performance. USA Hockey gets it, and they’ve put together a terrific package in their new American Development Model for coaches to use. The problem is that many coaches are flat-out too stubborn to adopt these HIGHLY researched principles. It’s amazing how people with so little information have such strong opinions on these issues.
I’m not even sure I answered your question, but you got me all fired up!
BSP: Let’s discuss a little bit about program design. When assessing a new athlete, what are some things you’re looking at? Are there any exercises in particular that you try to avoid with your hockey athletes? Are there any exercises that you try to incorporate often?
Our protocol for hockey players uses a combination of assessments taken from Functional Movement Systems, the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI), and traditional orthopedic measures. We put a lot of focus on determining the structural make-up of their hips, as, in my opinion, problems such as hip flexor and groin strains, femoroacetabular impingement, labral tears, sports hernias, and SI joint dysfunction have gotten completely out of hand in the hockey population. All of these issues are multi-factorial, but prevention starts with getting an understanding of where the athlete is structurally and making program and technique adjustments to allow them to be successful with their structural make-up. I met a guy at a seminar over the Summer that was completely blown away that I could asses for ante- and retro-version of the hips without using fancy and expensive imaging techniques. It’s possible, and it’s also possible to dissociate between femoral adaptations and those more specific to the positioning of the acetablum. As Eric used to say, it’s not rocket science because we aren’t building rockets!
The PRI information has been a revolutionary addition to how we handle our hockey players. Most players lack left hip adduction and are stuck in a relative position of external rotation, which leads to a number of compensations. Most notably, it means:
Anytime they crossover to the left, they’ll be putting excessive strain on their left abdominal wall
Anytime they stride with their left leg, there are opportunities for compensatory movement of the SI joint on either side
They’re likely to develop laxity of their left anterior hip capsule
They’ll feel more comfortable crossing over to the right than the left
There are a couple exercises we avoid with just about everyone, but most of the adaptations in exercise selection come down to how the individual player presents. An athlete with CAM impingement will not be pulling from the floor or squatting past parallel, at least not unless their primary training goal is to shred their labrum (haven’t had this one yet). We tend to emphasize unilateral and dissociated limb exercises in addition to traditional bilateral movements to capitalize on the neural circuitry and increased degrees of freedom associated with these movements.
I also think it’s worth noting that the adductor complex needs to be trained under eccentric loads. This isn’t necessarily something you should jump right into, but it’s definitely a goal to progress to. These stresses should stem from both closed- and open-chain movements to help prepare the player for the stresses of high velocity skating.
BSP: Ok, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of it all. Tell us a little about Ultimate Hockey Training – specifically that incredible Nutrition Guide that someone awesome wrote to go along with it. I’m kidding, sort of. Seriously though, it is an incredible and comprehensive resource for hockey players of all levels, but what distinguishes this from any other similar product out there?
I wrote Ultimate Hockey Training to be the most comprehensive resource on the subject ever written. I wanted to give a presentation of EXACTLY how we approach training hockey players at Endeavor. UHT discusses age-appropriate guidelines, year-round training recommendations, training strategies for improvements in every major athletic quality, the most in-depth look at exercise progressions and regressions I’ve ever personally seen, and has special topics pertaining to specific hockey injuries. In an era when crafty marketing is used to sell 12-week generic one-size-fits-all programs, I wanted to provide hockey players, parents, coaches, and S&C professionals with a resource that provides the philosophy AND methodology on how to train smart through an entire career, not a couple phases of one year. It’s the old “give a man fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime” idea. The feedback that I’ve gotten over the last month has been extremely positive.
To pump your tires a bit, as proud as I am about Ultimate Hockey Training, I think Ultimate Hockey Nutrition (which is exclusively available to people that purchase the book) is really the icing on the cake. I still remember when you and I first spoke about the idea for UHN about 12 years ago, and you said, “I’ll have it done in a week.” Well, it didn’t exactly unfold that way, but it was well worth the wait! The goal was to answer all of the most common questions how players, parents, and coaches have about their nutrition:
What should I eat before games?
What should I eat after games?
What should I eat during tournaments?
What should I eat if I have to eat out?
What should I eat to gain muscle?
What should I eat to lose fat?
What should I eat to have arms like Tony Gentilcore?
Because UHN answers all of these questions (well, except maybe the last one), and includes sample meal plans for players at different levels for practices, home and road games, and tournaments, it really is the single-most comprehensive AND applicable nutrition resource that’s ever been created for hockey players. And honestly, the full package couldn’t be any more affordable. You and I were both on the same page when we said, “we want to make this available for EVERY single person in the hockey community.” The most important thing to me (and to you) is that the information gets out to everyone. I’ve always said that I’m a terrible businessman, and I think this proves it!
BSP: Kevin, thanks for taking the time to provide my readers which such a thorough and thought provoking interview!
Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson and Pat Rigsby are offering a pretty incredible early holiday deal on their best-selling Fitness Business Blueprint.
Not only are they offering $100 off, they are giving you the opportunity to trial the product for a full month for only $1!
This is a unique business product as it does not just cover the usual sales and marketing, but is a comprehensive fitness business resource that covers areas like staff training, assessments, program design and personal development.
The $1 trial ends Thursday at midnight, so if you are interested don’t miss out on this opportunity. For more details go HERE.
This report is a compilation of ALL of the data gathered so far about how food, nutrition and physical activity impact our risk for cancer. They show how fruit consumption has probable evidence for decreasing the risk or oral, esophageal, lung and stomach cancer (among others), while something like breastfeeding has convincing evidence for decreasing risk of breast cancer in pre and post menopausal women.
If you don’t want to read through the entire report they do provide a nice summary of the research right HERE.
Now I will say that much of this research is epidemiological, simply because that is an easy way to study a lot of people and find associations, however it does not prove causality. In addition the research is far from complete. You may wonder why certain foods have so few associations, and that may also be because they have not been studied with each type of cancer outlined.
Regardless it is a handy compilation of the data and a simple reminder to exercise plenty, maintain a healthy body weight and body composition, and eat a diet based on real, whole, minimally processed food.
This might just be the best Stuff You Should Read post in history. Seriously, it is that good.
1. While not really an article to read, check out this flowsheet sent to me by a reader/former client – How to find REAL FOOD at the supermarket. Overall it is a pretty helpful tool and I find it amusing as well.
2a. A House Divided. By Kellie Hart Davis via Tony Gentilcore’s blog. Kellie wrote a guest blog for Tony that might simply be the most touching post I have read all year. This is a must read for every single reader of this website. I think this is my favorite quote of the entire post – “Disease isn’t a part of aging; it’s a force of habit. It’s the inability to take action by putting your quality of life before indulgence, idleness, and insecurity.”
2b. Can I Have Your Attention Please: Pizza is Now a Veggie. By Tony Gentilcore. Tony rips apart the fact that Congress passed a new bill that as far as school lunches go, pizza now counts as a serving of vegetables. Seriously ridiculous stuff and Tony covers it in his usual entertaining manner.
3. 12 Tips to Tune the Nervous System. By Anthony Mychal. Anthony provides an easy-to-understand look at the nervous system and how it plays such an integral and misunderstood role in exercise and health. I really enjoyed this article and found Anthony’s writing style to be enjoyable to read and educational at the same time. It was really good, much like a Dan John article.
4. Stephen Guyenet’s entire series on whether insulin causes obesity. This is a much-discussed topic that in reality is poorly understood by most. Stephan does a fantastic job laying out the evidence and showing that insulin is far from the main driver of fat accumulation. Top-notch stuff as usual.
There aren’t many things more American than pizza. While yes it may hail from Italy, I would be so bold as to say it was America who took it to the next level. Unfortunately most pizza is not we might consider to be a physique-friendly food. It tends to be very calorie dense and eaten in large quantities. It also tends to be incredibly high in sodium and often loaded with low-quality high-salt processed meats. Not a winning combination.
Fortunately there are some fantastic pizza recipes out there that allow us to enjoy this fantastic food and improve our health in the process. One recipe in particular is the Chicken Pesto Pizza from Gourmet Nutrition. It is utterly delicious and is my personal favorite recipe from the entire book.
I have also come across another recipe that is absolutely amazing as well. It is much more like a traditional pizza than the one from Gourmet Nutrition, which is nice.
BSP Chicken & Cheese Pizza
1 Ezekiel or Alvarado St sprouted grain burrito size tortilla
1 pre-cooked chicken breast, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
1/4 cup Organic Valley Italian Blend organic shredded cheese or cheese of choice
1/2 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water to rehydrate, drained and chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon thyme
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Place tortilla onto pizza stone. Arrange chicken, garlic, cheese and tomatoes on top of the tortilla. Sprinkle basil and thyme evenly over pizza.
Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the tortilla turns brown and the toppings are hot, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
On another note don’t forget that tomorrow night at midnight is your last chance to get the Show and Go Training Systemat 50% off. Eric also added an additional bonus for anyone who purchases Show and Go before midnight tonight!
This new Bonus is called ‘Warm Ups 2011′ and it goes behind the scenes at Cressey Performance and shows you how he prepares some of the top athletes in the world to prevent injuries and maximize performance. Tim Collins, one of EC’s professional baseball players even demonstrates it. Pretty sweet.
Even if you can’t purchase it before tonight, the 50% off sale only lasts until midnight on Friday so don’t let it pass you by. Between EC’s training, soft-tissue work, warm-ups, and conditioning and my nutrition and supplementation, Show and Go will make you fitter, leaner, more muscular and healthier while improving mobility, flexibility and performance all at the same time!
A reader sent me a hilarious video that I think you will all enjoy. It is information like this that simply confuses people and has them question good dietary practices.
Seriously awful. All those terrible monounsaturated fats in eggs, and those terrible omega-3′s. Yes there is some saturated fat too, but that’s not a problem either.
We also don’t want to take into account all of the other nutrients in the egg yolk do we:
That is a perfect example of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Due to the small amount of saturated fat in an egg he is recommending to toss it out, regardless of all of the other incredible nutrients you are tossing out with it. Simply foolish.
Stuff like this happens all of the time in the nutrition field unfortunately. People go to these weird extremes or cling to fad diets looking for the “magic” answer. It’s not there, and it certainly is not about throwing away glorious egg yolks.
On another note my buddy Kevin Neeld released his Ultimate Hockey Training Systemtoday along with a cool video describing its awesomeness. In all seriousness Kevin is the Director of Athletic Development at Endeavor Sports Performance in NJ, and he specializes in training hockey players just like Eric Cressey specializes in baseball players.
Kevin works with tons of high school, college and professional hockey players, including some top guys in the NHL and he knows his stuff. To boot I was also fortunate enough to write the Nutrition Guide for this product as I played competitive hockey for the first 20 years of my life. I have also trained and nutritionally counseled high school, college and professional hockey players myself.
This product was created by guys who have not only played the sport at a high level (Kevin played D1 college hockey, I played in juniors), but who coach and work with guys (and girls) who actually play the sport. That is a rare combination and most certainly is a recipe for a kickass product, so if you are in any way involved with hockey do yourself a favor and check it out. To top it all off you actually receive a physical book when you place an order as well as immediate access to the PDF. How awesome is that?
He’s offering a full 50% off on the system and is giving away some really cool bonuses to boot, including a free LIVE Question and Answer Session for anyone who purchases by Tuesday at midnight and can have their questions answered on the spot!
I’ve known Eric for several years, and worked for him for 3 of them, and I can personally tell you that he is one of the best performance enhancement coaches in the world, working with over 70 professional athletes, as well as hundreds of college and high school athletes, in addition to the everyday gym goer. He has worked with them all and has combined that knowledge into one amazing training system.
Now you can save 50% off his most popular program here:
In addition, for those of you who don’t see the picture on the right side of your screen (your right), I wrote the tag along Nutrition Guide for Show & Go, which is also available in this sale, so check it out!
This past week was one of the craziest of my entire life. I felt like I worked virtually around the clock to get everything done. Fortunately everything worked out, got done on time and in a quality manner.
Now you could say that sleep was not a huge part of the equation this week (getting up a 3am to get work done will do that to you), however I slept in until almost 8am this morning. Since then I have relaxed, eaten breakfast and read some interesting blogs that I wanted to share with you guys. So check them out.
Transitional Speed Training – by Kevin Neeld. Kevin has just released his Ultimate Hockey Training System which I was fortunate enough to contribute the Nutrition Guide for. As a former junior hockey player I can tell you first hand this video and the product are fantastic and will make a huge impact on your on-ice performance. As a strength coach I can also tell you that I have seen Kevin coach in person way back in the day when he interned at CP, and he is phenomenal. Watch the video and tell me you don’t agree!
Mistakes Skinny Guys Make: Flipflopitis – by Tony Gentilcore. This is a fantastic ongoing series over on Tony’s site that you should check out. In this installment Tony expounds on a great Dan John quote “The goal is to keep the goal, the goal.” He applies it to skinny guys always bouncing from program to program and always trying the next best thing rather than actually following a plan through to completion. In reality this applies to the ENTIRE population, so definitely give this one a read.
Losing Fat With Simple Food – Two Reader Anecdotes – by Stephan Guyenet. Two readers of wholehealthsource provide their stories on a low-reward diet. This is a simple yet fascinating read to see how they responded to the lifestyle change and how it affected their weight and body composition. They also point out numerous times that low-reward does not equal low-palatability, which is a very important disctinction.