HOW TO BUST THROUGH TRAINING PLATEAUS

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HOW TO BUST THROUGH TRAINING PLATEAUS

Today's Edge: There's nothing worse than hammering away at the gym and not seeing results. When you first start a new training program, results can come quickly. Sometimes, after you've been following a plan for awhile the results start to level off. Here are 5 ways to responsibly spice up your workout program to help you bust through training plateaus:

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I KNOW YOU WANT TO JUMP HIGHER BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LANDING?

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I KNOW YOU WANT TO JUMP HIGHER BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LANDING?

I know you want to jump higher, but what about the landing? One question I get often is "What exercises will help me jump higher?" My answer isn't complicated - squat, deadlift, hip thrust, and lunge variations are the foundation of good jump training. Most people ignore the fact that when done correctly these tried and true lifts also prepare you for the landing. 

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THE CRYSTAL BALL OF SPORTS MEDICINE/STRENGTH & CONDITIONING IN PRO SPORT

It's hard enough to break in and stay in when it comes to sports medicine/strength & conditioning in professional sport. It's damn near impossible if you aren't speaking the current languages and don't understand today's currency. Let's gaze into the crystal ball of sports medicine and performance at the pro level so you can enter and function in this new territory like a boss! 

The list of changes within sports medicine/performance at the pro sport level is growing each day. For this post I'm going to target 3 areas of evolution:

1. eyes for movement

Most people assume that pro athletes wouldn't make it to the pros without great movement skills. Wrong! Many pro athletes get to the top levels despite their movement flaws. They rely on exceptional sport skill and raw athleticism to make up for limited fundamental movement skills. This is a deadly combination because lots of horsepower without basic movement skills is normally part of the injury equation. 

To further emphasize my point let me summarize my training philosophy in 1 sentence: "Learn to move, and learn to move heavy things responsibly." The best in this field all have something in common - they have eyes for movement. The value on observation, evaluation, and the ability teach movement at a high level is only going to keep growing moving forward. Make this a priority if you want to function within a sports medicine/performance staff at the pro sport level. 

2. languages of rehab

You better be able to speak "rehab" if you want to call a spot on a pro sports medicine/performance staff home. This is a touchy subject for some but the fact is that physical therapists are showing up more and more on pro sports medicine/performance staffs. This might be good, bad, or ugly but that's a different topic for a different post. I'm not saying you need to be a licensed physical therapist, but I am saying you need to be able to hold a high level clinical conversation with a skilled PT. 

In addition to speaking "rehab" you better be able to link your skill set to the rehab process. In other words, if you're not a PT then you better have PT-like skills. Like it or not, this is where the field is headed. 

3. respect sports science

Just to clarify, testing out the latest wearable technology on yourself or your athletes doesn't make you a sports scientist. I have no respect for the abuse of the term "sports science," but I have loads of respect for what that term truly and responsibly refers to. 


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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge.  He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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4 HOTEL WORKOUTS TO HELP YOU KEEP YOUR GAINS ON THE ROAD

Walking into a hotel gym for the first time can be like landing on a new planet. You frantically scan the room for anything that looks familiar and then start trying to figure out how you're going to recreate your workout for the day in this new - and often limited - environment. 

During the course of an NBA season, you can expect somewhere between 40-60 hotel stays. As the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the LA Lakers, this translates to 40-60 different times per season that I need to plan workouts for 15 NBA players in hotel fitness rooms. The trick to keeping your training gains going despite a whirlwind of travel and ill-equipped fitness rooms is as simple as having a workout for any situation. 

The following 4 workouts will have you checking into any hotel like a baller knowing that your gym routine will stay strong regardless of your travel plans:

workout #1: cable machine

This workout is designed to help you crush it in the hotel fitness room that offers nothing but a treadmill, a few pink dumbbells and a cable machine:

  • A1 - Cable Deadlift Pull Through (4x15)
  • A2 - Cable Standing Single Arm Row (4x6)
  • B1 - Cable Bowler Squat with Row (4x6)
  • B2 - Cable Half-Kneel Lift (4x12)

workout #2: dumbbells up to 50lb

Here's a workout that has you primed for a great pump in a hotel fitness room that doesn't have much, but at least they have dumbbells up to 50 pounds:

  • A1 - Dumbbell Bench Press (4x12)
  • A2 - Bench Push-Up Squeeze (4x6)
  • B1 - Suitcase Standup (4x5)
  • B2 - Dumbbell Prone Row (4x15)

workout #3: bodyweight only

Whether you don't have time to leave your room or the hotel fitness center has nothing but an elliptical and yoga mat, here is a workout that requires no equipment:

  • A1 - Feet Elevated Push-Up (4x10)
  • A2 - Rear Foot Elevated Lunge (4x6)
  • B1 - Sidelying Hip Drive (4x10)
  • B2 - Lateral Bear Crawl (4x4) *4 steps each direction

workout #4: bring your own equipment (BYOE)

Pack a few pieces of light equipment, like a pair of Val Slides or SKLZ Slidez and a resistance band so you can get your work in anywhere. Here's the BYOE workout that will help you keep your gains coming: 

  • A1 - Band Resisted Push-Up (4x8)
  • A2 - Slider Retro Lunge (4x12)
  • B1 - Side Plank with Row (4x20)
  • B2 - Slider Bridge to Ham-Curl (4x6)

*Workout Notes:

  • Perform a sufficient dynamic warm-up prior to your workout. 
  • Complete all "A1" and "A2" sets and then complete "B1" and "B2" sets.
  • Maintain perfect form throughout each set.
  • Starting with less than 4 sets and progressing up to 4 is absolutely appropriate.

bonus workout: treadmill interval set

If there is a treadmill available here's a 7 minute high intensity interval workout that can act as it's own workout if time is limited or be a great finisher to any of the workouts above:

  • 2 minute warm-up at walk/jog pace
  • Set 1 - 10 second run/10 second rest
  • Set 2 - 15 second run/15 second rest
  • Set 3 - 20 second run/20 second rest
  • Set 4 - 30 second run/30 second rest
  • Set 5 - 30 second run/2 minute cool down at walk/jog pace

*Treadmill Workout Notes:

  • Set incline between 2-6 based on what feels challenging but reasonable.
  • Set speed between 7mph-12mph based on what feels challenging but reasonable. 
  • Adjust both speed and incline throughout workout based on what feels challenging but reasonable. 
  • During rest intervals carefully hop feet off to the side of the belt.

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Sign up now to get the latest tips and advice

Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge.  He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

For training and nutrition advice, follow us on:
• Twitter http://twitter.com/tdathletesedge
• Facebook http://www.facebook.com/tdathletesedge
• Instagram http://instagram.com/tdathletesedge
• YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/tdifranc1
• Sign up for our newsletter and follow our blog at http://www.tdathletesedge.com

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TODAY'S EDGE: STOP IGNORING YOUR SOLEUS

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TODAY'S EDGE: STOP IGNORING YOUR SOLEUS

Today's Edge: Stop ignoring your soleus muscle. The soleus originates on the tibia and fibula just below the knee. From there, it turns into the achilles tendon. It's hidden behind the big gastrocnemius muscle but it shouldn't be overlooked.

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