Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Athlete Performance Testing - Part 5

Correcting valgus knees is an easy thing to do. You just have to understand the body and how it works. Often times, when one area of the body is problematic, you can solve the problem by looking above and below that area to identify the actual culprit.
As we talked about in our last article, with valgus knees, the problem is more than likely originating at the hip, and more specifically, the hip abductors and external rotators. These muscles are often underdeveloped and easily overpower by the larger and stronger quadriceps muscle group. When athletes with this imbalance dip to jump, the hips do not contribute their fair share of the work and the knees end up looking like RG3’s at the 2012 NFL Combine.


If it can happen to RG3, it can happen to YOU!
So how do we fix the problem? Simple! Get the hips stronger. Some of the best corrective exercises for restoring proper strength balance involve using nothing more than a simple TheraBand tied in a knot. The following examples are just a few of the many exercises we’ll have athletes perform at Akron General Sports Performance.

TB Clam Shells - Simple, yet effective.

TB Floating Clam Shells - A spicier version of the original.

TB Glute Bucks - Hamstrings and glutes galore.


TB Elvis - Thank you very much.

As the athlete gets stronger, you can make the exercises more challenging by using a heavier band, adding an external load such as a med ball or weight vest, or supersetting an additional compound movement on top of the corrective one!

Stay tuned. In our next article, we'll take a look at one of my favorite performance tests: the broad jump!

Keep Training!
Coach Anthony and Akron General Sports Performance

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Fat-Burning Zone Myth

Hello Everyone!

At AGSP we are all about fast results. From time to time I'll have an adult or athlete ask, "Shouldn't I be training in the fat-burning zone if I want to lose weight?".

Many of us have seen the exercise equipment with the fat-burning zone charts displayed, but what exactly is the fat-burning zone and why is training in this zone not the best, fastest way to lose weight?

The fat-burning zone was created when scientists learned that at lower-intensity exercise the body's main fuel source comes from fat calories. Therefore, scientists reasoned that if you trained at lower intensities you would literally burn more fat.

Yet, like most things with the human body, isolation of specific fuel sources does not lead to the specific desired result of losing fat. The human body tends to work as a summation of many different factors working together towards a common goal. Therefore, to lose fat faster, the best way is to forget about the fat-burning zone and instead train at high-intensities because you burn a greater amount of total calories (some from fat, some from glucose). It is the total calories burned that has the greatest impact on your body composition!
Next time I'll explain why you burn more total calories at higher-intensifies along with why all athletes main cardio/conditioning should be done at high-intensities and not for mileage/distance.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Studs and Buds

Hello Everyone!

We have some pretty amazing things happen on a regular basis at AGSP. Moments and events that our coaching staff and athletes can't help but smile at and acknowledge as special.

Some of these moments happen with our "studs", those athletes that are blessed with talent, genetics, and have picked the perfect sport for their natural skill set. You know these athletes are GOOD. These studs train at AGSP to maximize their abilities so they can take their sport to the collegiate and/or pro level.

And some of these amazing moments happen with our "buds", those athletes that you really aren't sure how good they can be. They're so raw that they could become something...or nothing. Our coaching staff at AGSP knows that if these buds really want to become better that we have the program and ability to make them into something special.
You won't know how good you really are unless you train yourself to be better.
When an amazing moment happens with a bud, an athlete that most people don't expect much from, it's a testament to their character, hard-work, and desire to make themselves better than anyone thought.

Whether you consider yourself a stud or a bud, join us at AGSP and create your own amazing moments!

Amazing Moments Include
  • Dunking
  • Squatting big weights
  • Fastest athlete at the showcase/combine
  • Quickest athlete on the team
  • Making your parents go "WOW"
  • Making your sports coach say "You are my star player"
Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Athlete Spotlight #68) Kory Kreiner

Hello Everyone!
It’s time for another Akron General Sports Performance Athlete Spotlight! Our next spotlight came to us from St. Matthew's in Akron where he competes in baseball and football. While most athletes shudder in fear at the thought of a 1-on-1 session with Coach Anthony, this athlete doesn't bat an eye. He's  worked very hard over the past 2 months and has already experienced improvements in strength, speed, and power! He may be young, but this next spotlight has got some serious potential!

It’s time to meet our newest athlete spotlight!

Athlete Name: Kory Kreiner
Sport(s): Football, Baseball
Position(s): Right Tackle, Pitcher, Third Base
School: St. Matthew Parish School
Graduation Year: 2019
AGSP Athlete Since: December 2013
Favorite Professional Sports Team: Cleveland Browns
Favorite Professional Athlete: Joe Thomas

Favorite Lift: Incline Bench Press
Favorite Movement Skill: Acceleration Towel Pulls
When I am not training at AGSP, I am: Playing baseball or listening to music.
What are your short-term goals? Learn the proper techniques used in lifting and training.
What are your long-term goals?
Continue to gain/build muscle and improve at the sports I play.
How has AGSP impacted your performance as an athlete? I've gotten stronger and faster since starting training.
This is what hard work looks like! Keep it up Kory!

(we've put them all into one video!)

Keep Training! 
Coach Anthony Colarusso and Akron General Sports Performance

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Athlete Performance Testing - Part 4

In Part 3, we talked about how coaches identify weaker areas of athletic performance through regular performance testing. Over the next several articles, we’ll take a closer look at each performance test and identify the most common movement flaws that indicate an underlying strength imbalance or “performance leak.” We’ll also address how to fix these leaks and transform athletic weaknesses into strengths.
Let’s start with one of the most popular performance tests among athletes - the vertical jump.
For starters, the knees tell us a lot about an athlete’s muscular balance. When an athlete jumps, the knees should remain stacked over their base of support. What we’ll often see in athletes who have a strength imbalance are the knees collapsing in. This is termed valgus collapse, and usually indicates an imbalance in strength between the underdeveloped glutes and external rotators of the hip in favor of the overdeveloped quadriceps muscles of the thighs.

Valgus knee collapse prior to jumping.
This collapse is harmless when the athlete performs it, but if the underlying strength imbalances are not addressed, the athlete is at a greater predisposition for more serious injuries down the road. In our next article, we’ll examine how to correct this performance leak and restore proper balance between the glutes, external rotators, and quads!

Keep Training!
Coach Anthony and Akron General Sports Performance

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Unlimited Package and Results

Hello Everyone!

At AGSP our most popular package is our monthly unlimited, where athletes can train as often as they want over the next month. They can start at anytime, not just on the first of the month. For example, if an athlete signs up on the 8th of January, the athlete can train as often as they'd like until the 8th of February.

To be honest, the unlimited is my favorite package too because it gives athletes the opportunity to practice their speed, strength, and power skills a lot in a short period of time. Research has shown that the more an athlete has exposure to proper weight training and speed techniques, the faster they see results.

At AGSP we are all about results. We want our athletes to reach their athletic goals as quickly and effectively as possible. The unlimited package allows them to do that.
Unlimited Package = Unlimited Results!

I like to compare speed, strength and power training to any athletic skill. If you want to get better at it shooting/hitting/dribbling/throwing/fielding/tackling how do you do it? You practice it!

Every time athletes train at AGSP they are practicing their speed, strength, and power, therefore, the more they are here the more results they see from their practice!

What have you been practicing this month? If you're ready to practice
your speed, strength, and power we are here to make sure you get the results you want!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Not Surprised

Hello Everyone!

I can gladly say that I am not surprised anymore.

I'm not surprised that we are seeing athletes add multiple inches to their vertical jumps.

I'm not surprised that AGSP athletes are shaving crucial seconds off of their 10 yard sprints and Pro-Agility times.

I'm not surprised that we are having athletes lift some truly impressive weights with high quality form.

I'm not surprised that since the first of the year I've had AGSP parents' tell me the following:

"His baseball coach saw him pitch and said he literally got goosebumps in excitement."

"He's currently ranked #4 in the state of Ohio and we're having Division One coaches contacting us."

"The opposing coach came up to him and told him he was a one-man-wrecking-team on the court."

Why should I be surprised? At AGSP we are all about providing the highest-quality training environment with the best strength training science there is. We have no gimmicks, just hard-work with attention to details.

We are all about showing our athletes the fastest way to the results they need to achieve their athletic goals. We'd be honored to help you with your's.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

Friday, January 3, 2014

Athlete Performance Testing - Part 3

Just as performance testing gives the athlete an idea of what performance goals are feasible, testing also gives the performance coach a good feel for where the athlete’s overall athletic potential lies. To determine athletic potential, the performance coach will often create and utilize an athletic profile of the athlete.
When performance coaches profile an athlete, they look at the performance requirements for a particular sport, and then evaluate the athlete based on their performance results to determine what areas the athlete is proficient and deficient in. Based on their evaluation, the performance coach will then create a program to address the individual strengths and weaknesses of each athlete.

A sample athletic profile comparing an athlete’s performance testing results to ideal marks.
While most athletes tend to gravitate toward training only their strengths, it is the performance coach’s responsibility to bring up the athlete’s weaker areas while maintaining their stronger suites to create the most balanced, well-rounded profile possible. The saying “you are only as strong as your weakest link” rings true here!

Athletes who neglect their weaker areas of performance in favor of training only their strengths present a significant disadvantage on the playing field, as these weaker points will undoubtedly be exploited by competitors once they are identified.
This is why it is crucial to have a sound performance program that constantly evaluates athletic potential in an unbiased manner and places a premium on addressing weaknesses as well as strengths!
Keep Training!
Coach Anthony & Akron General Sports Performance