Stuff You Wanna Know – September 14, 2016

The past few weeks have been a hub of frenetic activity here at FitLAB  as I finalize the details for the #upyourgame Roller Derby Fitness Challenge , write some new off-season training programs for a some local skaters and watch all of the fantastic footage from the WFTDA Playoffs (in addition to the 9000 other things that go on in my business outside of derby.)

If you haven’t had the time to check out the action live, the WFTDA.tv archives are up from this past weekend in Columbia and include all except the 3rd place game and the wftda-tv-playoffsfinal. If you aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to watch as much of this year’s playoff and championship footage as possible, you should be.

The WFTDA archives are great not only because they watch you get the lowdown on potential opponents and can help you understand the strategies and skillsets required to play at the very top level of derby, but also because they are a fun way to travel through the modern derby timeline of how changes in rule sets have morphed the game. To see what I’m talking about go back to the 2011-2012 season and watch some of Denver’s “slow derby” games. If you’re a new skater you’ll be scratching your head.

In the realm of college athletics another school year has just gotten underway and so there have been a lot of great articles by coaches aimed not just at cissiktheir players but at other coaches as well. One of my faves of the week is this fantastic piece by John Cissik, MS, CSCS on the importance of keeping perspective on the things that are truly important when it seems that there are a lot of improvements that need to be made simultaneously.

It’s got some really good strategies for implementing strength and conditioning program design in such a way that you are maximizing both performance AND efficiency. My only hang up about the article is sentence at the very end, and only because I think some people may misinterpret what he means when he mentions the inability to achieve “sports specificity in the weight room.” What I assume he means is that there is no specific transference between an exercise performed in a controlled, static environment like the gym versus the environment in which an athlete must perform (in other words, having a stronger squat won’t automatically make you better at hitting a tennis ball). However, that does not mean that an athlete’s program should not be designed specifically for his sport.

There was also this gem from Crossfit and Endurance sport coach, Pete Hitzeman published on the site breakingmuscle.com about the most important element of any consistencyathlete’s training. I’ll give you a hint… it isn’t fitness and it isn’t skills practice either. Seriously, I don’t know if this guy is married but I could kiss him for this article, cuz I’m sharing it with my fitness clients as well as my athletes. Yeah, it’s that good. 

The last bit of Stuff I wanted to share with you this week is a little bit of hip mobility work. Hip mobility is crucially important for athletes because if your hips are tight you risk developing pain and/or injury in your lower back, knees and even ankles. Derby peeps who have trained with me in person can tell you all about the “hip flow” warm up exercises I hip-mobilitymake them do and what a pain it is when you can’t remember the sequencing order and end up falling over because your feet get tangled.

Physical therapist Andrew Millet put together this stellar piece on Dr. John Rusin’s blog a few weeks back, complete with video demonstrations of the exercises.


If you like learning cool new stuff like this for derby training, then you definitely don’t want to miss our free #upyourgame fitness challenge. There’s only a few days left to get in on it though, so make sure to get the details and sign up today!

upyourgame

 

 

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Justass of the Piece

Whether it's in an introduction for my business or an "about me" section of a social media site, I find that writing about myself is always one of the hardest things to do. The phrase "I'm a ..." has always filled me with anxiety. I guess then that the easiest way is to start with the basics. I'm in my early 40's, have no kids but do have two pit bulls who think they are children, am married to a giant Scotsman and I currently spend the majority of my time coaching both athletes and regular 9-5ers to get stronger, faster and more physically powerful. Although I currently work predominantly in strength and conditioning/fitness, I am also a licensed attorney and still handle a case or two on occasion and serve as a guardian ad litem for the court system here in South Florida. I've never been one to be defined by a job and over the years I've played a whole lot of different roles, including exotic dancer (i.e. stripper), concert promoter, entertainment agent, motorcycle shop owner, magazine editor and cocktail waitress. I have multiple bachelor's degrees, an associate degree in music production and, of course my law degree. I've also got a bunch of different strength and conditioning and fitness certifications from various national and private organizations including the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Titleist Performance Institute. My strength and conditioning career stemmed from my days as an athlete, when I played softball and basketball in high school in college and roller derby and American football until just a few years ago when I retired from contact sports. I've recently started training for Highland Heavy Athletics too, so I guess you can say I want to do "all the things." The same applies in my non-work life. I love hiking, kitesurfing (I'm terrible at it but love it nonetheless), camping, spending time at the beach, going to concerts, spending time at the zoo, skydiving or driving around in my ridiculously non-ecologically friendly Jeep with my dogs. Oh, and I'm learning to play Irish Tin Whistle. Yep, I'm pretty eclectic. Although I've dabbled with writing in the past (mostly travel stories for the motorcycle magazine that I used to edit), I've never done so on a consistent basis or with any sort of deeper purpose in mind. I'm hoping that the stories I share on both #haveshoeswilltravel and rollerderbystrengthcoach will do just that... help others learn some stuff and maybe even give them incentives to try new things.

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