Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tip #4: LIFT! Use it or Lose it!

Hello Everyone!

A lot of athletes think they can get after it in the weight room in the off-season, stop lifting during pre-season and in-season, and expect to keep all of their off-season earned strength and power while they compete.


Our bodies detrain (lose muscle mass, strength, and power) at amazing speeds. In as little as two weeks of no lifting a noticeable amount of strength and power is gone. Go another two weeks without lifting and watch as your hard earned muscle shrinks away.

Click this ---> For Research Articles about Detraining


The more lifts you can fit into your schedule, even around the busiest times of your sport, the better.

When do you want to be your strongest, fastest, and most powerful?
A) At the beginning of the season (right after your off-season)
B) At tournament time

I'd hope every athlete reading this would say (B).

Without continual lifts you can never achieve that.


Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Women's Hoops

Hello Everyone!

It's time to hit the hardwood as the 08-09 basketball season gets underway!

Akron General Sports Performance is excited to see that the local team that had 5 of its players train with us this summer is ranked #6 in The Plain Dealer's Girls Basketball PreSeason Top 25. Click HERE to find out which team had some its players become stronger, faster, and more powerful this off-season.

Its no wonder local baseball, softball, soccer, and football players are flocking to AGMC Sports Performance to make the most of their off-season. What are YOU doing this off-season?

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tip #3: Squat Deep!

Hello Everyone!

The training myth of, "Squatting below parallel is bad for your knees" is still believed by many individuals.

The truth is, if you want to develop a strong and powerful lower body, you can safely (and should often) train with deep, full range of motion squats.

Check out this research article on deep squats and knee pain (or lack thereof!)
Patellofemoral joint kinetics during squatting in collegiate women athletes

As I've mentioned in previous posts, our bodies are designed and capable of full range movements. You are only as strong as your weakest link! If your muscles are only strong at the top portion of a movement and not the bottom, then you better cross your fingers and hope you never have to get low in your sport! (Next time you watch your sport, take note at how many times athletes get below parallel, you'll be surprised!)

This is DEEP!
Coach Duarte demonstrating a good deep front squat.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Get You Ready to Play in The Big Ten

Hello Everyone!

I recently spoke with one of my mentors who is currently a Strength and Conditioning Coach at a University in The Big Ten. He told me,

"Every one of our in-coming freshmen has had some type of strength and conditioning and/or sports performance training before arriving to The Big Ten. Facilities such as Akron General are vital to preparing our new athletes for the high level of play that is division one athletics. More athletes need sports performance training!"

Dream of playing in The Big Ten? Then you better start training for it today!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Akron General Sports Performance Website

Hello Everyone!

Check out Akron General's webpage on Sports Performance! It has a lot of great information about our program and for the curious, a picture of me on it. :-p

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Friday, October 17, 2008

Does Your Warm-up Do THIS?

Hello Everyone,

I few posts back I spoke about the mental benefits of a quality warm-up. At the end of this month I will be speaking at Akron General's Coaches Clinic for local area high school sport coaches. The topic of discussion, Active-Dynamic Warm-ups.

The coaches in attendance on Wednesday, October 29 at the West Facility (4125 Medina Road, Akron, OH 44333) will learn how to achieve these physiological benefits for their athletes.

Want to better prepare your athletes for practices and games? There's still time to register for the Coaches Clinic, give 330-344-4115 a call.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tip #2: Can't say "can't"

Hello Everyone!

At AGMC Sports Performance we really push the limits of the body and mind. By safely working at higher intensities athletes can reach levels of performance they never dreamed of. That's why when the mind thinks it can't go any further, our coaching staff doesn't allow the athlete to say, "I can't...".

You mind can powerfully influence your body and belief in yourself can help you reach your goals.

So the next time your struggling at something and think/say, "I can't", stop that negative thought and think/say "I'll try".

You're only limited by your mind!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tip #1: Mental Warm-up

Hello Everyone!

Here at AGMC's Sports Performance we spend about 20 minutes warming up our athletes via an active-dynamic warm-up. It serves many physiological purposes such as increasing body temperature and increasing mobility of the muscles and joints, but there is also a mental purpose to the warm-up.

Your warm-up is your time to...


It's your time to transition from being a student, being a worker, being whatever you are outside of the gym, and transition to an athlete that is focused on your goals and understands that the workout ahead can help you achieve them.

No matter how much time you spend on your warm-up, it should serve the purpose of getting you prepared mentally for the challenges ahead.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Friday, September 5, 2008


Hello Everyone!

It's the beginning of the month and that means testing here at AGMC Sports Performance. We perform tests on our athletes that research has shown can be good indicators of athletic performance. These tests help us monitor and track an athlete's progress.

Those tests are:
* Vertical Jump
* Long Jump
* 10 yard dash
* 5-10-5

Exciting results from this latest round of testing (as compared to the athletes' performance from August) include:

- one athlete increased his vertical jump by 1.5 inches, added an 1 inch to his long jump, and shaved 0.161 seconds off his 10 yd dash

- another athlete increased his vertical jump by 1.5 inches and added 3 inches to his long jump

- still another athlete shaved 0.169 seconds off his 10 yd dash and added 2 inches to his long jump

- and one athlete added 7.5 inches to his long jump and shaved 0.294 sec off his right 5-10-5 and 0.106 seconds off his left

All this improvement occurred over the course of ONE MONTH of training with AGMC Sports Performance!

Just imagine how much faster and powerful you could be after in as little as 4 WEEKS of training at AGMC Sports Performance....
...better yet, don't imagine it...come and BE BETTER!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Are You Ready For Some FOOTBALL?!?!

Hello Everyone!

I'll ask you again, "Are you ready for some Football?!"

Here at AGMC Sports Performance we are getting pumped to watch our football players do what they do best!

Even before the High School Football Season gets underway, we have athletes represented in....

3 of The Akron Beacon Journal's
Top 20 Pre-Season Teams

2 of The Cleveland Plain Dealer's

Top 25 Pre-Season Teams

1 of The Cleveland Plain Dealer's

Top 40 High School Players

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We're on TV!

Hello Everyone!

Check out WKYC-TV 3 Blog about their coverage of our Sports Performance Program! The special, which you can watch at the link, ran on Tuesday, August 5 during the 6 o'clock news featuring one of our athletes.

Keep Training! <-- 'cuz we are!
Coach Amanda Kephart

(I recently got married, so I have a new last name.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

400# Back Squat @ 19

Hello Everyone,

Athletes are getting dirty here at AGMC's Sports Performance!

On Monday we had one of our (recently turned) 19 year old athletes Back Squat 400 lbs for 2 reps. Now, this wasn't a "box" or "parallel" squat... this was a butt below the calves, almost to the floor back squat! It was awesome!

Do you want to get stronger? More powerful?

Do you want to train where top Northeast Ohio high school and college athletes are Back Squatting 400 lbs?

Akron General Sports Performance - North: 330-945-3150
Akron General Sports Performance - West: 330-665-8197

We get results. PERIOD.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What You Missed

Hello Everyone,

Below is the final slide of my presentation on "Teaching & Coaching the Clean". Visually it speaks volumes about why the clean can lead to increased athletic performance.

No photo copyright infringement intended.

How much better of an athlete could you be if you were stronger and more powerful?

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Monday, June 9, 2008

Change Happens HERE

Hard work happens here...

Struggle happens here...

Pain happens here...

Growth happens here...

Change happens here...

Dreams get closer to reality here... why aren't you here?

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Sunday, June 1, 2008

FREE Sports Performance Clinic!

Hello Everyone!

Akron General Sports Performance is holding a FREE SPORTS PERFORMANCE CLINIC Saturday June 14 at our new facility in Montrose!

Check the flier out!

I'll be there giving a presentation on THE CLEAN.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Akron General Sports Performance

Hello Everyone!

My new position as a Head Sports Performance Coach at Akron General is going great!

I'm really impressed with the level of athletes (mostly high school) I am working with. Many of them will surely being playing collegiate.

The adults in our Adult Performance groups are loosing weight, building muscle, and reaching personal goals.

What I am loving most is the high level of co-workers (coaches) I am surrounded by. Everyday we strive to get better... we challenge each other... together we make ourselves and our program better.

Watch out Northeast Ohio, there's something huge brewing at Akron General's Sports Performance!

For information (and possibly a free trial) call:

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Friday, May 9, 2008

Farwell & Thanks UNCG!

Hello Everyone!

It is with mixed feelings that I say Goodbye to UNCG. It was a great honor and privilege to work with all of UNCG's 13 sports over the 07-08 year.

The athletes are not just hard-working, talented players, but also amazing people.

I am very grateful to have received so many thanks, cards, letters, and photos over the past week as I prepare to leave for my new position as a Sports Performance Coach at Akron General Hospital in Akron, Ohio. My biggest regret is knowing that I will not be at UNCG next season to watch the teams dominate the SoCon (as I know they will).

A team-signed shirt I received from the 07-08 UNCG Women's Tennis Team. :)

Keep checking UNCG's website over the 08-09 year... it will be full of great & exciting achievements!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Monday, May 5, 2008

Are YOU Good Enough to be an "Athlete of the Week"

Hello Everyone!

It's one thing to workout...and it's a whole different thing to TRAIN! During this past semester at UNCG we (the Speed, Strength & Conditioning Department) started an "Athlete of the Week" contest.

We wanted to reward those athletes that pushed themselves and their teammates. Those athletes that came in everyday wanting to get better. Those athletes that raised the bar for not only themselves, but those around them. Those athletes that want it more than everyone else.

Just some of this semester's ATHLETES OF THE WEEK at UNCG.

Do you work hard enough to be considered "athlete of the week" material? Do you walk into the gym saying, "I'm going to give it all I got"? Do you motivate not only yourself, but your teammates as well?

Its easy to just go and workout, it takes someone special to train.

Coach Amanda Haren

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Congrats UNCG Women's Golf!

Hello Everyone!

Congratulations are in order for UNCG's Women's Golf team! They finished 2nd at this year's SoCon Golf Tournament!

I must admit though, while most schools would be very happy and excited about a 2nd place finish, I know the girls are not. They have said from the beginning that their goal was to "win the SoCon". Does a 2nd place finish take away from all of their accomplishments, hard-work, and sweat? Certainly not! Will a 2nd place finish make them more hungry, driven, and motivated? You can bet on it! Do not be surprised if UNCG becomes a "big school" for women's golf, because with girls like these, the only thing they will settle for is greatness!

UNCG's Erica Creed is part of a strong team.

Go get 'em ladies!

Keep Training!

Coach Amanda Haren

Friday, April 18, 2008

SoCon Women's Tennis Player of the Year!

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick post to say CONGRATULATIONS to Ale on being selected the SoCon Women's Tennis Player of the Year!

She is very talented on the tennis courts and it has been a great pleasure of mine to work with her and the entire Women's Tennis team at UNCG. As a team, they are very motivated, hard-working, and willing to learn, grow, and become better athletes.

Below is a photo I took at the girl's last regular season match (which they won). Can anyone say "Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL)"? :-)

Ally serving during UNCG's regular season win over Wofford.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Off Season 103

Hello Everyone!

This is the last installment of the "Off Season" mini-series, click the numbers for parts 1 and 2.

I have been hinting to this last fundamental aspect of off season training throughout the mini-series, so without further hesitation...

Off Season 103
Get Stronger!
Without a doubt, you have to get stronger during your off season. Becoming a stronger athlete has multiple benefits:
1.) More Strength = More Power
If you increase your overall strength then you increase your potential for more power. It's basic science, POWER = (FORCE x DISTANCE) / TIME. So if you increase your ability to generate force and all other variables remain constant, your power will increase.
2.) More Strength = Faster Movement
If you increase your overall strength then you increase your potential for faster speed. Again using proven science, ACCELERATION = FORCE / MASS or acceleration is defined as "the change in velocity of an object". How do you change the velocity of an object? You force it to move faster! The more force you can generate the more acceleration and velocity you can produce.
3.) More Strength = Higher Injury-Prevention Threshold
The body is only as strong as its weakest link. You must strengthen your body to better prepare it for the stresses and forces it will endure and absorb during your sport.
4.) More Strength = More Confidence
Knowing you a stronger (and therefore more powerful and faster) can be a huge confidence booster. Not only that, but the hard work and challenges that go into become stronger can really strengthen your mind as well as your body.

UNCG's Kyle Hines understands the importance of a good Off Season.

Make the most of your off season to make you a more balanced, healthy, and better athlete.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Off Season 102

Hello Everyone!

This is part 2 of the Off Season mini-series, click here for part one.

Off Season 102
Move Forward, by Planning Backwards
Once your goals are defined, its important that you plan with the end in mind. If you're a basketball player, you know that you need to me in near "game ready" shape when October and Pre-Season roll around, and that being in "game-ready" shape in May will not win you a Conference Championship in March. That is why it is important to plan your off season backwards, starting with the end (in this case October).

Here's an example:
Collegiate Basketball Player (Main Goals: Increase Strength, Power, Speed, & Agility)
October: END Near "game-ready" shape.
September: 55% Strength & Power Work. 25% Speed & Agility Work. 20% Basketball Skill Work.
August: 80% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 10% Basketball Skill Work.
July: 85% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 5% Basketball Skill Work.
June: 85% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 5% Basketball Skill Work.
May: 90% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 0% Basketball Skill Work.
April: 90% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 0% Basketball Skill Work.

Now I am sure most of you are reading that and thinking, "she's crazy!". Let me explain, if your main goals are to improve Strength, Power, Speed & Agility (meaning your basketball skills are up to par) then you need to make those the focus of your off season.

You may also wonder why Speed & Agility work is so low, the reason being that one of the best ways to improve your speed is by becoming stronger & more powerful. There are many research articles you can read on that subject if you have your doubts.

It is also worth noting that Speed, Agility, and Basketball Skill Work mainly increase only a month before the END. The main reasons for this are 1) it takes a lot longer to develop and improve strength and power. Basic exercise physiology states that the first 6-8 weeks of training lead to mainly neuromuscular adaptations (more nerves firing in more muscles, this is really important for power development), only after that does the body start making muscular changes (increase in size which assists in increases in strength) and 2) it does not take long for the body to adapt into better levels of cardiovascular conditioning. In fact, many suggest it takes only about 4 weeks to greatly improve one's level.

Stay tuned for more Off Season info!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Off Season 101

Hello Everyone!

For the athletes out there, I want to provide a few quick tips that could go a long way into making your off-season an exceptional time to grow, improve, and most importantly help you reach your athletic goals.

Off Season 101
1.) Get Healthy
If you have some type of injury your first and most important goal is to get healthy! Take advantage of your resources; athletic trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, doctors, strength & conditioning coaches, etc. and let them help you heal. Ignoring an injury will not make it go away, take advantage of your off-season (when you are not playing competitively) and get your body balanced and healthy.

2.) Set, Write, & Plan Your Goals
Everyone has heard the old saying, "Failure to plan, is planning to fail." Before your first off-season training session you should have all of your athletic goals defined and written out.
Personal Playing Career Goals: more playing time, faster, stronger, more competitiveness, jump higher, quicker agility...
Team Goals: win conference championship, improve overall record...
Personal Goals: eat better, more sleep...

3.) Individualize Your Off Season
Building off of #2, take some time to find out what your weaknesses are. Look critically at yourself. What areas do you need to improve? Be honest. You do not want to spend your off season getting better at things you are already good at when you could be completing yourself as a player by improving your weaknesses. Also ask those around you what your weaknesses are. Ask your coaches, athletic trainers, teammates, and strength & conditioning coaches to honestly tell you where you need to improve. Once your weaknesses are defined you can then develop the best plan of action that will turn your weak points into your strengths!

Stay tuned for more Off Season 101!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Acceleration Angle

Hello Everyone!

My fellow Strength & Conditioning Coaches will appreciate this photo I captured of one of UNCG's Women's Tennis players (she's a freshman btw).

I have been working on Speed, Agility, Quickness and Overall Movement Efficiency with the Women's Tennis team since August. The girls have worked very hard and have been very receptive to my coaching. This photo is proof that movement training is vital for athletes as it is truly a practical skill that is performed (and required) in most sports.

Things to take note of:

* Shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are all in alignment
* Good 45 degree acceleration angle
* Good "toe-up" dorsi-flexion

* Good attack back and shin angles.

BTW, the girls won that match and almost upset #27 ranked Indiana the night before. :-)

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Friday, February 15, 2008

With a Vision, People Thrive

Hello Everyone!

"Without a vision, the people will perish" - Proverbs 29:18

Do you have a vision for your life? If you're an athlete do you have a clear vision of what you want your athletic career to consist of? If you want to change your life, how are you going to do it? And when?

I believe in the importance of visualizing what you want your life to be and using that vision to help you establish goals that will help you make your vision a reality. If you do not have a vision for your life then you are just living day by day, making no significant changes in your life.

Below is a sample from my personal "Lifetime Goals". I have provided it for you to use as a guide if you wish to create your own. It has specfic goals that have deadlines and the what, why, and how they will be achieved. These (and many others) are parts of the vision I have for my life, a vision that I plan to make a reality.

Without a vision, the people will perish...
...With a vision, people thrive!

Are you ready to thrive in all aspects of your life? Take some time and invest it in yourself.

Keep Liftin'
Coach Amanda Haren

Monday, February 4, 2008

How to Make Your Own Suspension Exercise Trainer

Hello Everyone!

Suspension training has been around for some time in various forms. It involves suspending part of the body and using the rest of the body's weight as resistance when you perform different movements.

I think suspension training is great! It allows you to train your whole body in one area and it's portable. Some of the most popular suspension training devices are the TRX and Blast Straps. The only problem is these systems can be expensive. So I decided to make my own (tried it out this weekend and it worked great!) and I will show you how you can make your own for under $15! Mine cost $14.18 and I have enough material left over to make another one!

Step 1:
1 Polypropolene Rope (mine was 50ft and I cut it in half for 2, 25ft ropes)
1 Friction Tape (the kind you use on baseball bats & hockey sticks)

Step 2:
Tie Slip Knots on both ends of the rope (I used THIS video to help me tie the knots)

Step 3:
Cover the loops with the Friction Tape. Be sure to add extra layers to the one end so that the rope doesn't slide through and tighten around your hands when in use.

THAT'S IT! Again, I used mine this weekend, it worked great and my abs are still sore. I would suggest maybe using only 20ft of rope instead of 25ft since I have to wrap mine around a lot to get the right height, but that is a small price to pay for saving so much money and having 2 units!

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Training Philosophy (Part 2: Necessities)

Hello Everyone!

I'll get straight to the point... train like you play!

Athletes are some of the busiest people I know (strength coaches are the first!) and any time an athlete can dedicate to resistance training is time that needs to be well spent. Below are some of my "program necessities" that I feel should be included as much as possible in most athletes' training sessions.

Program Necessities for Athletes
1.) Sport Functional

* When appropriate try to mimic movements
that are done on the competitive stage. Why lie down on a bench and pump out presses when athletes rarely (if ever) lie down during a game/match and push? Same thing goes for the leg press, if you're injury-free, get out of that machine! If the athlete's sport is played standing make most of your exercises standing. Studies have shown that the body is very sensitive and adapts specifically to how it is trained. Train on the leg press, and you'll get better at the leg press, train using lunges & squats, and you'll strengthen your body in movements that are similar to those done on the court!2.) Multi-planar/Multi-direction
* Many programs forget to add transverse and frontal plane exercises in their routines, instead including only the sagittal plane. Very few sports are done by just running straight forward & backwards, most are done with lateral shuffles, diagonal cuts, and many other side-to-side mo
vements. The body needs to be strengthened in this matter as well (again the body is very particular about how it adapts). Be sure to include all-planes in your training (a great example exercise is the lateral lunge).
3.) Corrective Work
* Look at the general injury trends for your sport; what are the most common injuries? For example, golfers & volleyball players spend the majority of their competition with their shoulders rounded forward as they prepare to hit the ball. Many times this causes an over-stretching of the upper back and tightness along the upper chest & shoulders. I mentioned last time the importance of healthy posture and injury-free training. Why not prevent injuries by adding some corrective work to your programs (even if there isn't signs of injury/imbalance)? In the case of our golfers & volleyball players, try adding some corrective scap work and extra pulling movements while limiting the pressing.

4.) Power & Reactive Work
* There are big differences between being the strongest athlete and the most powerful athlete. The most powerful athlete is most likely getting more playing time and is seen as more athletic. The simplest way I can explain this is: Training for strength usually involves heavy (near max) loads that the athlete moves at a slow speed (because it's so heavy) while power exercises require you to move the weight as fast as possible. Are sports slow or fast? Of course they are fast! If you only train your body using slow movements your body will adapt by becoming stronger, but it will not fire as explosively as you would like. Add power movements that train your body to be fast & explosive (just like your sport)! NOTE: Strength goals & exercises should also be a part of your program, because it is important to be strong, just don't forget to add power.
* Along those same lines, add some quick, reactive work to your programs. Quick jumps & agility drills demand the body to fire faster and reinforce that not only do you want to be strong, but you want to be able to explosively use that strength!

5.) Core Strength & Stabilization
* It's becoming more and more common knowledge that a strong, balanced core is key for optimal performance. If you still are not adding core work to your programs than watch the next time you attempt a heavy (near max or max) squat. When your form starts to break down what happens? Do the hips rise faster than the chest? Back starts to round? Many times it's the core giving out first. The number one core strengthening exercise IMO? Front, Side, & Back Pillars. If possible, add standing core exercises as well (reference #1).

6.) Full Range of Motion & Flexibility
* Some times athletes will ask me, "Why do I have to squat so low? I never squat that low in a game." A valid question indeed. For my basketball players I usually reply with a question of my own, "What do you hear coach always saying about playing defense?" The reply commonly involves "getting/staying low". If you train in a full range of motion than you are strengthening that muscle through its entire length, and muscles, like most things, are only as strong as their weakest link. We all have the ability to squat low...or at least we used time you're around a toddler watch how they bend over to pick up things. By training the entire length of the muscle we know we are training our body as it meant to work, the way it was when we first got it.
7.) Train the Energy System
* This refers more to speed & agility work, but can be applied in the weight room. Depending on your athletes' sport you should be training either Anaerobically or Aerobically. Many team sports are anaerobic in nature, requiring energy from the ATP/CrP system and Glycolysis system. Limit rest periods between sets to those similar to the rest periods seen in competition (obviously within reason, if you're maxing out, don't give yourself only 30 seconds between each set). And when conditioning, don't run/jog mile after mile if your sport involves many bouts of sprinting. Running a mile will only make you better at running the mile (see my "Interval Training for Athletes" article).

8.) Quick Tips
A.) 2:1 ratio for PULL:PUSH movements. Most athletes over-train their pushing muscles and under-train their pulling.
B.) Train that Posterior Chain! Athletes should look better going than coming! The front is for show, the back is for go! You get the idea.
C.) Activation Techniques. Foam rollers & bands should be used at least once a week to keep the body balanced.

Whew! I hope you found some things useful in this post. If you have any questions/comments feel free to post on this blog or contact me via email.

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Training Philosophy (Part 1: Injuries)

Hey Everyone!

I believe it is so important to have philosophies; to live by, work by, and train by. As a strength & conditioning coach I sincerely believe that it does not matter how strong, powerful, or fast an athlete is if that athlete is injured.

So many times I've heard of athletes coming back from injuries too early (whether because of their own desire, or that of a coach) only to be re-injured and miss more playing time. Not only that, but many times athletic performance & training departments ignore an athlete's warning signs...many of which can be precursors to injuries. It must also be said that the field as a whole has made huge progress in this area and because of this I am always conscious of and trying to combat these 5 issues/warning signs for my athletes.

1.) Postural Issues
Examples include: Rounded Shoulders & Pelvic Tilt (anterior & posterior)

2.) Muscle Imbalances
Examples include: Quad VS Hamstring, Chest VS Back, Anterior Shoulder VS Posterior Scap, Abdominal VS Low Back

3.) Mobility Deficiencies
Examples include: Ankle, Hip, Shoulder, Thoracic Spine

4.) Muscle Inactivation
Examples include: Gluteus Medius, Hamstring, VMO (especially in females)

5.) Flexibility Limitations
Examples include: Hamstring, Shoulder, Hip Flexors

If, as a professional that is entrusted with making athletes better, you do not consider these issues and how they can personally affect individuals, you are in essence keeping your athletes at a higher than necessary risk level for injury, and in many cases preventing them from reaching their true potential...a potential that is best expressed in athletes that are balanced, mobile, flexible, fully-activated, and have healthy posture.

Next time I will discuss key components for any athletes' training program & specifics about the exercises you should be including.

Keep liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Athlete Training: Dispelling Myths

Hello Everyone!

I've published another article on Scribd, this one is about Athletes & Myths. As a strength & conditioning coach I am always surprised by how many athletes waste their time believing wrong information! Don't fall into these 5 myths.....
Check it out here:

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Oh, she's certified!

I almost forgot to mention that I am not only a professional in health & fitness, but a certified professional!

National Strength & Conditioning Association
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

USA Weightlifting
Club Coach (USAW)

American Red Cross
CPR&First Aid

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Interval Training for Athletes

Are you an athlete that needs to get in shape...FAST? Or someone that wants to lose fat? Either way you would probably like to check out my short article on Interval Training. It tells you the why and how of intervals.

Check it out here:

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Eat to Compete Article

Hello Everyone!

For all my athletes out there (or those weekend warriors), I've published a short article on Scribd. Check it out here:

Eat to Compete
: don't let the food you eat prevent you from being your best!

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren

Who I Am: In My Own Words

In this last part of my "get to know me" mini-series, I'll briefly tell you who I am and aspire to be.

Part 3:

"Determination is the wake-up call to the human will." -A. Robbins
I am a highly motivated person that does not easily give up. I am most happy when I reach a goal, whether it is my own, or helping someone else reach his/hers.

Practice what you preach.
As you can see, I am a huge practicer of what I preach, I will never recommend anything unless it works and I have done it myself.

Don't reinvent the wheel.
There are many intelligent people that I have had the privilege of learning from. I will save you the time and energy I spent searching for what truly works by sharing what I have learned.

With great power comes great responsibility.
I truly value your time and will never waste it with useless information. There are many times in my life that I wish people would have just got to the point and told me what is really important.

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Who I Am: Experience

Education and book-smarts are only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to being a good professional. You will see in this second part of my mini-series that my experience has both variety and depth:

Part 2:

Strength & Conditioning

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
, Greensboro, NC
Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach August 2007-Present (May 2008)
* Coached & assisted all of UNCG's 13 sports
* Designed & implemented strength & conditioning programs for 5 sports
* Periodized training & conditioning programs for teams & individuals
* Designed & implemented movement enhancement programs for the Women's Tennis team

The University of Akron, Akron, OH
Student Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach September 2006-July2007
* Coached the Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, & Softball Teams
* Coached Division 1 athletes in the weight room & speed training
* Developed & designed in-season, off-season, * pre-season programs
* Coached athletes on proper lifting technique
* Led Women's Basketball team through pre-game active warm-up * stretching routine


Guilford College, Greensboro, NC
College Instructor August 2007-Present (May 2008)
* Taught Weightlifting to undergraduate students of all backgrounds and educational interest
* Topics covered including basic anatomy, goal setting, lifting techniques, proper form, & learning how to design & implement one's own program

The University of Akron, Akron, OH
Graduate Assistant August 2006-July 2007
* Taught Physiology of Exercise Laboratory, in conjunction with lecture material
* Topics covered included VO2 (submax & max), body composition, anaerobic power, flexibility, pulmonary function testing, & blood pressure assessments

Sports-Specific Training

Velocity Sports Performance
Mayfield Village, OH
Sports Performance Coach April 2006-March 2007
* Coached athletes, from youth to professional, through company-specific workouts
* Coached athletes through three phases during each workout; an active-dynamic warm-up, a movement specific section, & strength & conditioning

Personal Training

Personal Training Northeast Ohio
Independent Personal Trainer 2005-Present
* Designed & implemented programs for a variety of individuals
* Led people to achieving their goals

American Health & Fitness

NASA Glenn Fitness Center Cleveland, OH
Fitness Center Assistant February 2004-May 2006
* Assisted fitness center members with fitness equipment, programs, & related questions
* Worked on a variety of fitness center programs & advertising; targeted on motivating current members & gaining new membership

Baldwin-Wallace College Berea, OH
Fitness Center Assistant January 2005-May 2005
* Monitored fitness center attendance
* Cleaned & maintained a safe & healthy fitness center

As you can see I have a variety of experiences that have helped me become a skilled and qualified health and fitness professional. I am confident in my abilities as I have already helped many individuals achieve their goals; whether it be sport-specific related or body transformation. It has been a very satisfying journey helping others in health and fitness and I look forward to helping many others in the near future.

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren

Friday, January 4, 2008

Who I Am: Education

In today's world, its important to know who you are getting your information from. That is why I am providing you important information about myself in a quick and easy to reference mini-series.

Part 1:

The University of Akron, Akron, OH
Masters Degree, August 2007
Major: Exercise Physiology/Adult Fitness
Overall GPA: 4.0/4.0

Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH
Bachelors of Arts, May 2006
Majors: Exercise Physiology & Fitness Management
Minor: Chemistry
Overall GPA: 3.5/4.0

That's the black and white, if your still reading then here's the fun gray...

* Studied abroad at The University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia for 4.5 months.
* Was part of an "over 100 year old" ceremony during Baldwin-Wallace's Graduation called the White Rose, I was personally selected by faculty and staff for my unique and contributing characteristics and talents.

And a little "Personal Note"...
I believe successful professionals are those that are always students. In practicing this belief I am currently reading highly recommended books on strength and conditioning and just recently attended my first professional convention, East Tennessee State University's SPEC Coaches and Sport Sciences College. At the convention I had the honor to meet and personally talk with Meg Stone, the first Female Division 1 Head Strength and Conditioning Coach in the world.

At this point you are either calling me a smarty-pants or slightly relieved you aren't wasting your time reading my blog (at least I'm educated). Most likely its the first :-)

Keep Liftin',
Coach Amanda Haren