Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday (A Brief Review of Mike Boyle’s Winter Seminar)

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Over the weekend I attended the 4th Annual Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning Winter Seminar, and I think it goes without saying that it was fantastic. Luckily, I’ve been able to attend every single year since its’ inception, and every year, it just gets better and better. Here are a few brief highlights:

It’s Not All About the Sets and Reps– Brijesh Patel

Note: Admittedly, I was 20 minutes late and only caught the last 30 minutes (or so) of Brijesh’s presentation. I suck at life

  • We need to hold our athletes more accountable in the weight room. Our role as strength coaches isn’t to babysit and motivate (at least not entirely) them. Rather, our role is to reduce the chance of injury, make better athletes, and educate.
  • Hold athletes to a higher standard- establish rules. For instance, one rule that Brijesh talked about was whenever an athlete “forgets” to put his or her program in the proper place, they have to do something to earn it back. Essentially, we need to take pride in doing the little things right. Totally going to adopt this policy at CP. Everytime someone leaves their program out, they either have to do 25 burpees or wash my car.
  • There’s something to be said about throwing rules out the window and just working hard for the sake of working hard. Stuff like Jailhouse Circuits, manual resistance (where a partner applies resistance), strip sets, open sets, timed circuits, and competitions will go a long ways in terms of promoting enthusiasm and team unity

Strategies for Healthy Shoulders– John Pallof

  • Stop bench pressing 3x per week. That will help
  • The rotator cuff’s primary job is stabilizing the glenohumeral joint while maintaining normal arthrokinematics (i.e. how the ball rolls/spins/glides in the cup). In short, the RC needs to resist distraction type forces. Which is to say, JUST doing your band external/internal rotation drills is missing the boat entirely.
  • Force coupling is an important feature of proper shoulder function.

Rhomboids vs. serratus anterior

Upper trap/mid-trap vs. lats/rhomboids

Rotator cuff vs. teres major, pec major, lats, deltoid

If one is dominant over the other, you’ll have an ouchie.

  • Proper core function is essential to proper shoulder function. This will position the spine, and therefore the scapulae properly in space. In this regard, unilateral movements are helpful with integrating the “core” to the upper quarter.

ACL Injury Reduction– Mike Boyle

  • When you really think about it, ACL Prevention is just good training. This is what we do with everyone!

  • ACL prevention just isn’t a “female thing.” Albeit, out of 100,000+ ACL tears per year, 30,000 are high school females. Nevertheless, would you not practice good injury reduction concepts with your males?
  • The term ACL Prevention is misnomer. We can’t prevent injury, only reduce its incidence. Using the word prevention is giving yourself too much credit.
  • Everything changes when you stand on one leg- Lateral Sub-System
  • For the love of all that’s holy, get off the leg press.
  • Without getting in too much detail, here are the key ACL reduction strategies:

Active Warm-Up– needs to include exercises that activate one muscle while elongating the other.

Develop Stability/Eccentric Strength– in other words, learn to land before you add gravity. Speaking of which, we also need to make a better effort to get the terminology correct.

Jump= two legs to two legs

Hop= right leg to right leg or vice versa

Strength Development– you’ve got to have the motor! Boyle loves single leg squat variations, and rightfully so. As well, steer clear of machines, and peform both knee dominant AND hip dominant single leg exercises. Incidentally, Boyle loves the trap bar. High five!

Change of Direction– sports isn’t JUST linear. We also need to teach our athletes to be able to change directions

Change of Direction Conditioning– ahem, slideboard.

Medicine Ball Meat and Potatoes– Eric Cressey

    • We use medicine balls with EVERYONE at CP. Not only are they a fantastic (not to mention easy) way to develop power, but they’re also useful in regards to improving ankle, hip, and thoracic spine mobility, and scapular, glenohumeral, and core stability. In short, you get a lot of bang for your training buck. Plus, you get to try to break shit. Never a bad thing.

  • When and how much depends on a few factors: early off-season, mid off-season, late off-season, vs. in-season (when referring to athletes), or anytime I feel like it (when referring to everyone else). *strokes evil strength coach beard*
  • Early: less total volume (120-160 throws per week). 2-3 days per week.
  • Mid: this is when we lay it on thick. 240-360 total throws per week, spread over three sessions. Generally one rotational and one overhead variation.
  • Late: volume reduced to 120-160 total throws, which coincides with more aggressive throwing program
  • Of note, we like to include “fillers” (corrective exercises) between sets of throws to help slow people down and to work on stuff they suck at. Namely, hip internal/external rotation, hip extension, ankle mobility, t-spine mobility, and glenohumeral internal rotation, to name a few.
  • And please, don’t be a hero. Not everyone is meant for med ball work, particularly in high volumes and with short rest. Moreover, it kinda helps to be able to you know, catch. As such, we often don’t use med ball work with certain individuals for the first month or two of programming. Just an FYI.

Until next year………………….

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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