Training Babble

Strength Training for the Endurance Athlete with Jess Elliott

October 28, 2019 Jess Elliott Season 2 Episode 6
Training Babble
Strength Training for the Endurance Athlete with Jess Elliott
Chapters
Training Babble
Strength Training for the Endurance Athlete with Jess Elliott
Oct 28, 2019 Season 2 Episode 6
Jess Elliott

Optimizing performance and increasing resilience to the demands of sport and life.
In this episode, I sat down with one of my favorite people, Jess Elliott, strength and conditioning coach extraordinaire. We discuss offseason strength training, the case for scheduling strength year-round to avoid the Sisyphus syndrome, not building strength on top of dysfunction, facilitating adaptation, building a strong pillar to act as a conduit for force, and the golden ratio of Push to Pull exercises to be an athlete for life.

Tag Performance
@tagperformanceco
Triphasic Training

Show Notes Transcript

Optimizing performance and increasing resilience to the demands of sport and life.
In this episode, I sat down with one of my favorite people, Jess Elliott, strength and conditioning coach extraordinaire. We discuss offseason strength training, the case for scheduling strength year-round to avoid the Sisyphus syndrome, not building strength on top of dysfunction, facilitating adaptation, building a strong pillar to act as a conduit for force, and the golden ratio of Push to Pull exercises to be an athlete for life.

Tag Performance
@tagperformanceco
Triphasic Training

Speaker 1:

Oh, welcome to the training Babel podcast. I'm your host Dave shell. And today I have the pleasure of being joined by Jess Elliott.

Speaker 2:

Hello everybody. Great to be here.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for joining me today.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for having me. I'm excited.

Speaker 1:

So you are the owner and founder of tag performance, which stands for the athletes Guild. Correct. And then you're also a sports or not sports, a strength and conditioning specialist expert. Uh, got a master's degree, like know everything there is to know about lifting weights.

Speaker 2:

Oh gosh. You're setting the bar a little too high. Uh, yeah. So do you have my master's degree? Uh, studied exercise science for my undergrad, uh, started specializing in strength and conditioning. Uh, the senior year you kind of have to pick a path, so to say in order to graduate. And I was just really fascinated by working with athletes. Um, did my first ever internship at Steadman Hawkins clinic down in Denver. Uh, Loren Landow was the director of sports performance at the time and he just completely blew me away and made me realize that I know absolutely nothing. So continued to go back to school. Uh, studied, uh, sports coaching and biomechanics at the university of Northern Colorado. Anytime I say UNC, people think, I mean North Carolina. So I have to be like, no, the less cool UNC um, I think of a bunch of people just took offense to that. I'm sorry, I'm from Colorado too. That's a good way to start. Just like offend everybody from the get go.

Speaker 1:

My mom, uh, just trying to like lose them one by one,

Speaker 2:

right? I mean it's okay. Just got it constantly moving the bars we go. Yeah. Currently I'm a sports performance coach with uh, EXOS, uh, specifically working at Google in Boulder, which is awesome. Very challenging, new to working with kind of that corporate population. So doing that, it's kind of my full time gig, but I'm also still teaching at my, one of my Alma maters, the Metro state university of Denver. So I teach there as an affiliate faculty member part-time on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the mornings. And yeah, the athlete guilt is kind of getting up and running, doing a lot of coaching education and yeah, excited to be here today to speak with you. And all of your audience.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Awesome. Well I definitely appreciate it. I have a ton of respect for you. Oh, thank you. And the reason I reached out was that we are kind of in the off season, everybody or not, I guess not the off season, but just finishing up the season. Everybody maybe finished up their big races and it's getting into that time of year where we start looking at ourselves in the mirror and realize that we have no upper body strength and we can't really move. And so maybe we should spend a little bit of time like working on mobility and strength. And so I had reached out to you asking like, would you come on and would you give us three to five exercises that people could do in, you know, 15 to 30 minutes without maybe one or two pieces of equipment and you pushed back and said that maybe we should actually make strength a priority. And so, so I wanted to talk about that and we can, um, yeah, just unpack that a little bit and look at some of the challenges that uh, we as endurance, we as endurance athletes with full time jobs. Um, some of the challenges we face and yeah, the benefits of strength training and how we can overcome those and make it work to make us faster.

Speaker 2:

Super excited about it. And I definitely don't want to shortchange your listeners by saying like, no, you have to get into the weight room obviously that that's preferable and we'll kind of get into the nuts and bolts as far as why that is. Um, but I did still prepare, you know, a list of things that um, you know, endurance athletes can be doing kind of at any point really in their competitive season, whether it's off season, preseason competitive season, active recovery phase, um, and things are maybe a little bit outside the norm cause I still think that there's a good opportunity to share some information there. But yes, I did admittedly push back a little bit cause I don't want to undermine a kind of a lot of the promotion that, um, a lot of coaches have been doing as far as, you know, pushing their athletes more towards getting more comfortable in the weight room. So I definitely don't want to undo all that good work. But I also do want to give your listeners some things that they can do outside the weight room with minimal equipment as well.

Speaker 1:

All right, well let's, let's start with that. So, um, and I think maybe it becomes more of an issue when we're actually in season and we're trying to do all of our on the bike and you know, swim training and run training and that sort of thing. And so it's harder to get to the gym, but now is a perfect time. Um, as it's starting to get colder outside and the weather's starting to change, maybe it's time to put away the bike for a little bit or, um, or just run for fun. Um, and so I guess what would you advise at this time after we've done our active recovery phase and now we're ready to really start focusing on strength? If we can get to the gym, what should we be focusing on?

Speaker 2:

Um, so you know, me, I love to give a kind of ambiguous answers in a sense. And a lot of it honestly is because, uh, from a professional standpoint, it really does depend on the individual that you're working with. Um, and so this is actually a talk that I recently had with my students as well as, uh, kind of revisiting the principles that go behind strength and conditioning. So really why is it that we're trying to get into the gym? Why are we trying to even do strength and conditioning? Um, so at the end of the day, what we're really trying to facilitate is physiological. And so we need to, at the end of the day, overload our bodies in different ways. In order to force that adaptation to occur, we need to say like, Hey, we are now operating at this level, so our body needs to respond, adapt and grow back stronger, faster, whatever the adaptation may be.

Speaker 2:

And so whenever you're approaching a strengthening conditioning program for any athlete or any team, you really need to think about, well what is it that's going to overload their body enough to facilitate adaptation? So for example, if you take somebody who's completely new to the weight room, you know, three days a week is certainly going to overload their body. But it also might be very uncomfortable and very unenjoyable. And so that might not be the best dose essentially. So we kind of want to go with that minimal dose to facilitate the response we're looking for. And so maybe one day a week for them is completely sufficient to start with and then we can slowly build. For me specifically, the trend that I would love to see in the endurance world is off season training. You know, three times a week in the weight room, total body splits three days a week.

Speaker 2:

I also know that depending on your sport, if you're a triathlete, that's going to be a lot harder. Um, whether you're a professional level athlete or a recreational athlete, that's also going to change. You know, not everybody has, you know, 15 to 30 hours a week to train. A lot of people are struggling, you know, just to get in like 10 hours of training per week or so. And so it's all about balance. It's about what works for that athlete. But we need to remember as coaches at the end of the day, we're trying to facilitate adaptation. We're not just trying to get them into the gym to give them more stuff to do. We actually want to see adaptation. So how can we overload their body enough, um, kind of the minimal amount to facilitate that adaptation essentially.

Speaker 1:

So, uh, two things there. One, a quick question. You said total body split and I, I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about, but just in case I'm wrong. Um, what do you mean by total body split?

Speaker 2:

Sure. So for that workout, um, usually the less days per week that you're training, you're going to do more full body exercises. So as opposed to getting into, you know, pulling versus pushing days or you might divide up into lower body, upper days, you know, bodybuilder style workouts are going to do a different muscle group every single day. But there are also trainings six to seven days per week, ever take. Right? And so really for most endurance athletes, the most common and the most effective split is to do total body two to three times per week.

Speaker 1:

Okay. And then, um, the other thing, just because I think you just brought up such a good point is about the whole reason we're wanting athletes to do this is so that we do get that adaptation and it's not just about putting something else on their calendar to fill the empty spot. And I think that's such a great point. Um, because maybe sometimes that is, I don't dunno. Sometimes I look it as like tossing them a bone because they want, they want to do something, right. And so that's why it becomes really easy to do that body weight stuff that they can do in the morning while their coffee's brewing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly. And it requires, you know, minimal equipment. We, you know, endurance sports are already pretty costly. Um, as far as just supporting equipment goes. Um, and then of course all of the added coaching, et cetera. And so it's great to do something but at the same time we need to get back to that needs analysis. That very first step when it comes to program design is what are we actually training for? What is the primary training goal? And it could be, you know, from an annual periodization standpoint or it could be, you know, talking about a specific training block. And so for each athlete it's going to be a little bit different. For each coach, it's going to be different as far as how they like to map out their training. But we can't ever lose sight of that primary purpose for resistance training because I think that's where a lot of people get lost.

Speaker 2:

And then we get into a lot of wonky training methods that maybe aren't super effective. It's what we're trying to overload the body. You know, what sort of training adaptation are we trying to facilitate? And I think that's, if I can have coaches take away one thing from this podcast, hopefully they'll take away many. But if they're going to take away one, I definitely want them to circle back to, you know, what is the training adaptation that I am trying to drive home with this athletes? Because every other decision that you make for that training block is going to STEM from that. And a lot of reasons why people are not getting the results that maybe they're looking for, or maybe they're not getting optimal results, is because their training isn't entirely optimal towards that training goal. They might be spreading themselves a little bit too thin and they might be trying to multitask too many different adaptations. Uh, sometimes they can be adaptations that are actually competing against one another. And so it's really about maintaining that focus the entire way through.

Speaker 1:

Okay. So with that in mind, and maybe I don't want to go too far down this hole, but I am curious just because you do you advocate strength training the entire year. And so I would have to imagine that that kind of a, and I'm probably way off on this, but like the anabolic versus catabolic kind of training, like that's at odds with each other. Right? And so if you're out doing like lots of endurance rides and things like that, but then you're also in the gym doing a lot of stress, I'm guessing those are kind of counteracting each other.

Speaker 2:

Ah, you know, it's interesting. Um, one of the, one of the controversial points, cause you know, I like to throw those in every now and again. Um, that I brought up during my workshop this year at the training peaks. ECS was, we were talking about, um, kind of training too many variables at the same time to where you're essentially competing against yourself. So it is definitely a balance between, you know, the training volume for the sport and then also the training volume in the gym as far as that anabolic versus catabolic response. So you want to make sure that you're giving the body time to recover. But a lot of times what we're seeing in a programming is what I call mixed training methods or what is known in the field, kind of as mixed training methods. And so we'll start off, you know, training strength.

Speaker 2:

And so maybe we'll start a training program with squat or deadlift, like a major foundational movement. And we're working in those strength ranges. So maybe we're doing anywhere from like three sets of five or maybe if they're feeling super ambitious, like five sets of five, um, but then they start to follow it up with a lot of lower body volume works. So maybe a little do like a split stance squat or some form of a lunge or a box step up, getting into some unilateral work. But then they start working into the endurance range of things. And so then if we're thinking about training volume or like repetition load or repetition volume for that workout, it's like, okay, well we had some exercises, we had like a repetition volume of potentially 25 that were, you know, squats. But then maybe we followed it up with a repetition volume, maybe three by 12 of lunges or box step-ups.

Speaker 2:

And so it's 25 to 36 and so now we're skewing our training and to doing more muscular endurance or even hypertrophy work. And so that's kind of what I mean where even within a single workout, if you're trying to train too many variables, it confuses the body and you're always going to adapt to the lowest common denominator essentially. So if you're training strength, you need to stick with that and be pretty consistent. There is a time and a place to add in a little of accessory volume training, especially like on the corrective side of things, uh, to correct imbalances and whatnot. But really when we're thinking about training, you don't want to have that kind of mixed training effect because you are, you're spreading yourself too thin and you're getting little bit of everything but not really enough to drive an optimal adaptation at anything.

Speaker 2:

That's probably more of an issue. The more experienced an athlete it is or the greater their training age, right? You have to have more of that concentrated um, stressor to yes, exactly. You know, because that's the thing too is cause it always comes back to overload. So kind of three things we want to keep in mind is, and this comes from Cal deets, which try phasic training. You know, he says stress the body. Okay. So that's going back to that overload principle. Stress it frequently, but stress it differently each time. So as we start getting into more elite level athletes, when you look at pro athletes across a wide variety of different sports, whether it's powerlifting or skiing and snowboarding or cycling, triathlon, football, basketball, their workouts, they will not have one workout that repeats itself over the course of an entire year. They're always going to be changing something.

Speaker 2:

Whether it's the initiation, so the setup for a lift. So it could be your hand position, could be your foot stance and position. It could be, you know, using a cambered bar versus a regular barbell. Um, you know, it could be using a barbell straight bar, dead lift versus trap bar, dead lift versus a deficit dead lift or a Sumo dead lift or split stance, dead lift. And so it's, you're constantly changing something because the more elite you are, the greater that training age, the more you're going to need to stress the body in different ways because it's already facilitated so much adaptation and you need to continue that for novice level athletes. You could keep them probably on the same program for a good, you know, four, maybe even six weeks with just some minor tweaks in volume and intensity. Uh, but as we start working with more elite athletes, we definitely need to make sure that we're continuing to overload that body to drive that adaptation home.

Speaker 1:

Now what about between seasons? So let's say that we didn't listen to you and we weren't doing strength training year round and so there's a lot of them. So we did it last fall and last winter and then we just wrote our bike, the, you know, the last nine months. And, um, now we're coming back and we're ready to start again. Would you, would you advise just saying, just in the, in the event that it may have happened once or twice out, so would they be better off maybe starting on the lower end of that spectrum or are we still taking last fall into consideration when we're programming this fall?

Speaker 2:

Sure. I mean, from a macro level, uh, when you think about total training volume and volume load, uh, there's, there's honestly a lot of different ways to kind of map that out. It kind of depends on the coaching preference, um, and what works best. But on a very macro level, uh, from year to year, training volume should be increasing. Okay. So you need to be continuing to progress and overload the body from year to year. Now how that gets split up is going to be a little bit different. Um, but yeah, from the macro perspective, we definitely want to make sure that we're still overloading the body. It's really, really challenging. And the reason that I kind of side a little bit, uh, with resignation was, um, gosh, I just, Oh, what was the, what was the figure in like Greek mythology that was like pushing the Boulder?

Speaker 2:

It, was it a toy? He know who you're talking about. Yeah, I don't, I'm not sure if it was Prometheus's or, I'm not sure. I'm totally like making myself sound less educated by the moment. But you know, I just think of somebody, you know, pushing a Boulder up a Hill, you know, every season during like off-season training, base training season, and then it just comes in, rolls all the way back down, and then they're like, okay, it's that time of year, I'm going to start pushing that Boulder up up again. And then it just keeps rolling back down. And so one of the things that we need to keep in mind is something that's called residual training effects. And so every single variable that you're going to be training, whether it's muscular endurance, whether it's aerobic endurance, anaerobic endurance, um, strength, strength, speed, speech, drank power, however you want to break it up, depending on what textbook you're reading, um, there's a certain window of time that that training effect is going to last.

Speaker 2:

And that's how we eventually peak quote unquote for competition, is that we're trying to peak all of those training variables at the same time. And so when we think about periodization, um, you know, your blocks need to be building upon one another. And so if you're putting in all of this work during your base training season and then your competition season starts and you're like, Oh, it's competition season, I don't have to lift anymore. I'm focusing on, you know, my sport. It's like, well, wait a minute. There's like a good three months before the competition that you really want to peak for versus when you stopped weight training and within a month you're going to lose most of the training adaptations that took place. And so if you're not maintaining those, they're gone. And so we need to keep in mind those residual training effects and how they build and also how long they last because that's gonna tell us when we need to touch back on something, whether it's, Hey, I need to add in another week of just strength training to make sure that I'm maintaining that adaptation or saying like, Ooh, I can only maintain, you know, kind of this peak for about one week and then I need to kind of start training over.

Speaker 2:

And so that's something that athletes and coaches alike need to consider when they're designing their off season training programs. Right. So

Speaker 1:

I, I'm a big fan of, um, processes and like having something very structured to follow. So in your mind, is there something is, is there kind of a continuum as far as how would you progress things? Do you like is it corrective exercises and then things like would it be corrective and then body and then mobility and that or something along those lines or how do you look at that?

Speaker 2:

That's a really good question. Are you referring to within a single session or if I'm starting like from scratch with a person who's never done any resistance training,

Speaker 1:

I'm saying, let's say you have somebody sitting right in front of you who has not touched a weight in a long time, is going to start a, was going to start training this weekend, you know, and what would the next 12 weeks look like? How would you lay that out?

Speaker 2:

Uh, let's see. So quick question for clarification. How recently did their season finish their competitive season? Let's say a month ago. Oh, okay. So they've had some downtime to recover and mentally recover as well. Okay. Um, honestly the first thing that I take a lot of people through, which arguably is a workout in and of itself for many people is an active dynamic warmup. And so before I'd even start that, I'd go in through into a thorough session of soft tissue mobilization. I think a lot of people foam roll and do soft tissue work if they're doing it, which actually lot of endurance athletes do. Some people do it at an optimal times. And so you actually want to mobilize all of those soft tissues before you even start to move. Because if we have those adhesions, if we have those trigger points, the tissues can't glide over one another and you can have sticking points.

Speaker 2:

So that's what those adhesions are, where things just aren't moving optimally. So you need to actually go in and mobilize it or release it before you start to move. Um, so I would start with that. That would kind of give me an initial idea of what their body's status is at. But then I would take them through just an active dynamic warmup. Usually I start with some across the floor type movements, you know, light jogging, back peddling, maybe doing some like build up sprinting eventually. But I'll have a move in all three planes. I'll have them do side shuffling, I'll have them do Cariocas, I'll have them do skipping forwards, but also backwards, high knees, forwards and backwards, butt kickers, forwards and backwards. And it's interesting because you also see, uh, what people's coordination skills look like. And so one of the things that I'm looking to develop is overall athleticism.

Speaker 2:

And so the more athletic that you can be on the ground, that's going to transfer over to your sport. The only sport where that would be arguable would be like swimming specifically, but still triathletes, they're going to be running on the ground. They're going to be on their bike. And so they still need to have balance within their body. And so honestly for the first couple of sessions I would just take them through a full active dynamic warmup. A lot of times just teaching the warm up takes a lot of time because I want very specific positions. A lot of what the athletes don't realize is that my active dynamic warmup serves a couple of different functions in addition to preparing them for exercise, it's also restoring and resetting the body. So there's a lot of correctives that are built in. And I also use it as an assessment tool as well.

Speaker 2:

So, for example, I had an athlete that I was meeting with yesterday who we are doing just a simple knee hug to chest as one of my first kind of walking series exercises. And they could not get into full hip extension on their right side. And it was prevalent in a lot of different movements. And so if we think about the body, you know, ideally we don't want to add strength on top of dysfunction. And so if that body has a lot of dysfunctions, I need to try to reset that, especially after a competitive season where your body's just completely trashed and you have a lot of wear and tear on the body. So we need to go in and kind of rebalance you the way that we do with the car and we work on alignment, we tune things up. That's kind of when I go into mechanic phase and I just bring everything back to balance. Okay. That's perfect. That's exactly one of the things I was looking for. So, Oh, good. Happy to meet expectations. No. Fantastic. Uh, so with that, I, you and I were talking a little bit before we started recording and

Speaker 1:

a lot of coaches, uh, might be coaching remotely and like might not see their athletes in person. And so do you have any tricks as far as [inaudible]?

Speaker 3:

Hey,

Speaker 1:

yeah, I guess a lot of it, like for me, um, if I'm coaching an athlete, it's like, should I have them just like prop up their phone and go through some basic movements and things like that so that I can try to identify those long distance or some of them to somebody local.

Speaker 2:

Uh, you know, I mean really it, that ultimately is going to be a decision that comes down to what works best for the athlete and the coach. Um, you know, for me personally, I can, I can see things pretty quickly, but that's just because I have enough hours, um, kind of logged where I've been watching athletes move in very specific patterns and I kind of know what I'm looking for. So coaches who feel comfortable doing that absolutely can. Um, some coaches might feel a little bit more comfortable sending them to somebody who can actually meet with them in person. And that works well too. It really just depends on what's gonna work best for that particular coach in their particular athletes. Um, but for me, what I did with my remote athletes, um, anytime I would implement a new movements, um, especially like a major foundational movement, I wanted to see video on it and I wanted to see three different views.

Speaker 2:

So I wanted the front view, the side view and also the back view. I didn't necessarily need to see every single set and every single repetition, but I at least wanted to see one full set, um, on the major movements. If I was really trying to get an athlete close to peaking or if we are trying to start testing their one rep max, I make sure that they know what they're doing in a squat rack. That's definitely not what I do week one with a new athlete. Honestly, I don't even prescribe weights to athletes that I'm working with. I kind of let them self regulate and choose their own weights. I just give them instructions as far as what like RPE, what sort of intensity they should be working at when choosing weights. But typically speaking, most strength coaches in the weight room will select the weights or they'll give a range for athletes to say, okay, this is the range I want you working in for this particular exercise for this workout. And they'll do that for most of the major lifts. I can't even do that with the new athlete until I at least have probably eight weeks of training with them to understand how their body moves, how they progress, how they adapt, how they recover. Um, but honestly, videos are

Speaker 2:

a remote coach is best friend because you need to be able to have eyes on your athlete. Um, I think one of the biggest issues that I have with a lot of remote coaching on the strength and conditioning side of things is that there's a lot of stock programs. And honestly, it's gotten to a point where I'll turn down athletes if I can't give them the individualized coaching that they need because if I'm going to coach somebody, if I'm going to give them a program with my on it and saying, this is my professional recommendation to you, I need to make sure that it's appropriate to their level. And if I don't have the time to be looking through all of the videos and actually watching all of their movements, I probably shouldn't be doing remote strength and conditioning training. So I know it's something that probably not a lot of coaches want to hear, but it's definitely something where if you want to do it right and you want to do it up to the necessary professional standard, it's going to take time and you need to make sure that you're getting eyes on your athlete.

Speaker 1:

All right. That's fair. No, no, that's perfect. That's a I, I don't disagree with you and I would say, I think we may have talked about this before. I've like as a coach, as an endurance coach, you wear a lot of hats and you're always kind of, at least for me, I'm always thinking about like, is this within my scope of practice? And you know like some people like athletes want you to be bike fitter and nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach and all these things. And it's like there's a lot of things where it's like you can do just enough to get yourself into trouble. Maybe like

Speaker 2:

true and I mean it's so convenient, right? If you can have kind of that Jack of all trades coach that can really do it all. But you know, realistically speaking there probably only so many things that we can be really, really knowledgeable about and really, really skilled at. And also that we just have enough time to do in the course of a day. And so honestly, I have a lot more respect for coaches that are not afraid to say I can't take any more clients. You know, because I want to offer a certain level of coaching. And while I could take on an eye, another client, and while that would be maybe a great boost of income, I wouldn't be able to give the level of coaching service that that athlete deserves. And so I definitely have a lot of respect for the coaches that are not afraid to admit that there are limits and that there are boundaries to what they can accomplish and yeah.

Speaker 1:

Right. All right. Um, now to shift gears a little bit, or I guess to go back to my original reason for reaching out, it's as I've told you before, I'm a, I'm a huge fan of body weight training just because it's easy. It doesn't require equipment or even minimal equipment. And so I'm probably not going to give that up. And so is there anything I can do? Is there anything I can do to enhance that or to make it more effective, um, for the athletes that I'm prescribing it to?

Speaker 2:

Sure. Um, I think, I think there are a lot of things that you really don't need a lot of equipment for that may be, are underrated. Um, so kind of on the easier side of things like not necessarily getting into exercise yet. So maybe we'll say this is kind of pre exercise. Um, but soft tissue mobilization. So making sure that you are spending time, you know, taking care of your soft and connective tissue health foam rolling lacrosse ball work, you can get like a massage stick. Um, but honestly before you move, that's kind of an essential first step is to make sure that your soft tissues are in good health and are ready for action. So to say. Um, outside of that, you know, honestly, if my body is ever feeling wonky, one of the things that I do at home is I'll just take myself through a full active dynamic warmup because that is the corrective exercise components of a lot of my training.

Speaker 2:

Now I can still build in some other things with that, but that's still very, very essential. And so I definitely would like to see a lot of athletes, um, kind of use that body weight training as an opportunity to do some corrective work to reset their body. Especially with endurance sports, you're logging so many miles on the body and sports inevitably are going to pull the body just slightly out of balance and slightly into a skewed, dysfunctional pattern or maybe not dysfunctional but into a skewed pattern from just over use. And so we need to make sure that we're resetting that. Otherwise that's when we start getting into chronic injuries, tendonitis, things like that. And that's no good. But as far as some of the other techniques that we were kind of chatting about before we got rolling here, um, I wanted to highlight a few things like anti rotational training.

Speaker 2:

Uh, so when we think about core training, you know, actually the endurance population is pretty good about really understanding the benefits of core training. Um, and you know, not spending hours just doing like sit-ups and all of this like hip flexor work. That's really not core training. So when we're training the pillar, we really want to work on that anti rotational training. So can your core act as a conduit for force essentially so that you don't have those energy leaks. Uh, but aside from that, I'd also like to highlight, you know, balanced training, even some reactionary based training. If you want to get really fancy, you can combine those two. So something as simple as standing on a single leg, um, and then throwing like a tennis ball or if you know your significant other really hates that. Maybe a softer ball up against the wall and catching it or you can throw it back and forth to each other. And so something just simple like that can give you a little bit of balance but also reaction training as well.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] so what is the balance? I've seen that. So, uh, I don't know if you're familiar with, um, mountain biking, but Nino Schurter is like the world champion and there's videos of him like standing on a wobble board juggling and things like that. And so it does it really improve your reaction time or does it just make cool YouTube videos?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that, that's actually a very good question. Um, there's a, there are a couple different schools of thought for that because, um, when I first learned about balance training, uh, through my mentor Lauren Landau, um, his kind of point was that you need to be adapting to something. So if you play somebody on like a Bosu, um, they're on an unstable platform and while you can like slightly stabilize it, there's a no completely flat place. Like it's not ground essentially that you're trying to stabilize too. And so honestly, that's what I'm trying to get them to stabilize onto is onto the ground. And if I want to even take that a step further is taking that barefoot because a lot of times we actually, endurance athletes tend to do more barefoot training than the rest. I think a lot of that has to do with like barefoot running and all of that kind of craze that hit a few years back.

Speaker 2:

Um, but really trying to fine tune our appropriate chapters and really trying to ground our body back into the earth and get that sensory feedback going through our body. And so honestly, for a lot of people, especially cyclists, I would say just having them standing on one leg Barefoot's uh, with the other knee and kind of like a high knee position, so like a 90 degree angle and then just tossing a ball back and forth to them. That's challenging, but they're standing on the ground. So we're actually giving them something to stabilize against. If you put them on something that's unstable yet it's going to like tax your muscles and you're going to be really tired after and your muscles are on fire, but you're not actually adapting to something. It's, we're giving them a lot of feedback, but we're not actually giving them a stable surface for them to stabilize too. So you kind of lose that training adaptation.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha. Now you'd mentioned, um, anti rotational training and maybe I tuned out, but, so what, but I, but then we started getting into balance and stuff like that. So, I don't know that I heard like what does the anti rotational training.

Speaker 2:

So when we think about, um, kind of the core or EXOS methodology kind of refers to it as like our pillar essentially. So areas between like the shoulders and the hips. Um, when we think about the core of what its purpose is, it's really to serve as kind of a conduit for force. Um, and so we want to make sure that it's not breaking down. And so especially, you know, we're kind of just talking about like that mountain bike, like stability training. And so really the best way to train that isn't to put you on like this super unstable wobble board that has like a little handle and kind of looks like a makeshift mountain. Like it was, it was, it's so timely cause I literally just watched that video like two days ago. And so, um, yeah, as opposed to coming up with something that like looks really sports specific, what's more sports specific, excuse me, is maybe putting them into a quadriped position.

Speaker 2:

So having them on their hands and knees doing what I call a bare hold position. So lifting the knees then off of the ground so that you're hovering, that's that in and of itself is going to get your core turned on an active, it's also going to smoke your quads a little bit, but then all I need to do is change your base of support from having both hands and both feet on the ground. So a four point base of support having you add in an arm reach, changing it down to three and then having you do an opposite arm reach while you're trying to maintain the integrity of that kind of tabletop bear hold position. And so really what you're trying to do is train, um, that anti-rotation. So you're trying to train pelvic and hip stability so that you don't start to dip into one side. And then when you're thinking about like mountain biking courses as you're going through the rocks or like the Boulder sections, then you are going to be more stable because your body is used to kind of some of those perturbations, but you're on a stable surface. So you actually have something to adapt to as opposed to saying, here, let's just put you on this super unstable thing and have your muscles, you know, go completely crazy and get really tired.

Speaker 1:

So, so that's awesome because that sounds like something I might be able to do without a piece of equipment. So like I've always been a big fan of like the bird dog and then, um, what is it swimmers where you're like laying on your stomach and you're like holding one arm out in one leg and stuff like that. But I think just listening to you describe that, like maybe that's not optimal because yeah, I'm doing it and it's causing something for me to like resist, but it's not accomplishing what our point is. And that's that stable kind of core. And so maybe just starting with one arm and one leg.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. So the biggest thing that I really teach when I'm teaching core, I don't even do like really dynamic exercises to start. Um, I might start with that bare hold position or a plank from the hands. So as opposed to going from the farms, I'll start a little bit longer lever. So kind of like a pushup position and then we can add in something simple like a shoulder tap, alternating shoulder taps from a pushup position. But by changing that base of support, it's can your body stabilize to that? Can you still maintain kind of that flat tabletop position? Or do your hips get all wonky? And that's what you'll find with a lot of athletes. And so it's really trying to train that stability first and then I can start to train kind of more dynamic core exercises. But we need to have that foundational stability present first.

Speaker 1:

I love that. And so, so this gets back into that. We talked about maybe we weren't recording yet, but I was talking about I have a bad habit of like I put things in for an athlete and they don't do 'em and so that I don't progress them and eventually I just stopped doing them. Um, but I think that's part of it, right? Like athletes want to fill the burn kind of thing and because it's not hard enough, they don't think it's hard enough. Pretty soon they're doing it on a Bosu ball and they're doing it with a weight on their back and things like that so that they can like feel the burn. But it's like that's not the point.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly. Because I mean if you're feeling a burn, like it goes back to, okay, so what's that training adaptation? What are you trying to achieve by adding a Bosu ball? And is that actually going to facilitate the adaptation that you're looking for? You know, so there are definitely ways to progress exercises and I certainly don't want to advocate against that because you need to, you need to continue to overload the body, but we need to make sure that we're staying consistent with our primary training goal at that time. Okay. Now we talked about something I'm a little bit earlier before we started too, and that was everybody's focused on the concentric phase of lifting and really focusing on that and that we don't spend nearly enough time on the East centric phase and then it wasn't isometric, but you had another word for it.

Speaker 2:

Oh, um, the motivation phase essentially. So we were talking about kind of stretch shortening cycle, right? Exactly. Yeah. Endurance athletes could really benefit from that. And so will you discuss that a little bit? Sure. And let me know if, I'm kind of going a little too into the weeds here cause I can talk a lot about, well, anything but this particularly. Um, so I'm a huge fan of Cal Dietz. Um, I kind of do like a modified version of like try phasic training. So if we think about movements, all movements inherently are going to be try phasic. And so that kind of refers back to that stretch shortening cycle where we have three phases, hence the term try phasic. So usually there's that East centric loading phase, uh, so where muscles are lengthening underload and then you'll have that transition phase also known as the [inaudible] phase.

Speaker 2:

And then you'll have that switch into concentric. And so if you're kind of looking at a graph, it's going to look kind of like a V. so you kind of have that deceleration phase that's going to be that a more desertion phase, the transition kind of where your inertia, you have to change direction essentially. And that's going to be that [inaudible] phase. And then finally we get into the concentric phase of the movement. Well, if we think about something as basic as a body weight squat, a lot of times when we're squatting, I think most people when they cue it, they slay slow and controlled on the down quick on the up. Because we think, Oh, we want to be explosive, we want to be powerful. So I need to make sure that I'm training that concentric part of the movement, so where they stand up from the bottom, I need to train that to be quick and explosive.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, that that's great, but there's still two other phases to that movement pattern that you need to be training. So one is going to be that deceleration phase. We are actually lowering yourself down from standing into the squatting position. And so that's that East centric loading phase, lengthening the muscles underload but then there's also that time that you spend hanging out in a squat position. How many people do you know on their training programs when they're doing body weight squats that do tempo work taking 10 counts, five counts to lower down into a squat, or maybe they spend five to 10 counts hanging out at the bottom of the squat and then they explode out of the bottom. And so that's kind of a missed opportunity for a lot of athletes because where we get a lot of the soft tissue remodeling is not going to be in the concentric part.

Speaker 2:

That's going to be kind of more like muscle belly. But if we want to actually train connective tissue, we need to be training more on the ecentric and that isometric phase. So there's kind of a a saying in our field that you can only generate as much force as you absorb. If you think about Newton's third law of motion for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction, hence the stretch shortening cycle. That's why it looks like a V. so a lot of people we get stuck kind of in that a more desertion phase. So one of the points that we are kind of talking about before we started recording was how kind of novice athletes have a wider V essentially because they're slow to decelerate because every action has an equal opposite reaction. Most of the time generating that force back out is going to be a little bit slow as well.

Speaker 2:

And so what you need to train is you need to be able to train your body to decelerate force quickly and then to reaccelerate force. So essentially you need to redirect that inertia and you need to minimize that pause at that bottom. That immortal [inaudible] phase is where a lot of people get stuck. The longer that you're stuck there, the more energy and power you're going to be leaking. So if you want to be as elastic as possible and you really want to take full advantage of the stretch shortening cycle, you need to learn to decelerate quickly and then reaccelerate the whole lot quickly. That's the difference between novice and elite level athletes.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. Yeah, that's a, that was definitely news to me when you're, when we talked about that earlier, about only being able to generate as much force as you're able to absorb.

Speaker 2:

Yes. And nobody trains them.

Speaker 1:

And so in, just so that I'm clear and I feel like I have a handle on it, but so really like you said, and that's what I think we talked about this in the past where I was trained through ACE personal training. Right. And you really do like that, like three count, like even doing pushups, it's like one, two, three, two, three. And so like we'd be better off like speeding that up so that we're decelerating. And then, um, the concentric concentric phase is kind of matching that East centric phase.

Speaker 2:

Well it depends. And so that, that's kind of the interesting thing is that that's that kind of time under tension training in a sense. And you can do this, um, with body weight essentially. And so if you go through kind of the typical try phasic a block that's kind of in that base training or like GG GPP kind of phase, um, you'll go through specific ecentric phases, isometric phases and concentric phases where you're specifically focusing more on that East centric loading phase. So I might take five to seven counts to lower down into a squat and then I'll explode out of it. Or maybe I'm focusing on that isometric phase and I'll go pretty quick down. But then I'm going to hold right at the bottom for a good five seconds or so and then I'll explode out of it. And then you can start to kind of shorten up those time intervals.

Speaker 2:

So the biggest thing first is we want to start with those slower tempos because you need to get used to decelerating weight, whether it's your body weight and then we need to start to add force to that. So you need to be able to decelerate a good amount of weight. Then from there we can drop the weight and start to speed things up, but you need to have that base first essentially where we're training that deceleration so you don't want to start too fast otherwise that can definitely lead to injury. But then as we get closer to sport, that's where we can get into some really cool, uh, kind of different methods where we can get into like oscillatory based training, uh, to work on like acceleration or maybe like top end speed type work, um, and kind of rate of force development turnover. And there are ways to do it body weight or even with unilateral movements.

Speaker 2:

So I've been kind of playing around with some of those over the last couple of years with some of my endurance athletes. And seeing a lot of great effects from those. Um, but yeah, you definitely want to try to build that foundation first. You know, don't just load up a ton of weight on the bar and say, okay, I'm going to take 10 counts to lower this down. Cause remember to the East centric loading under loading the body and lengthen the muscle underload is going to cause the most damage and microtrauma so you're going to get more adaptations from it. That's why it increases the resiliency and it gives us so many physiological changes to our connective tissues, which is great. Uh, but because of that you are going to be sore and it's going to be an adjustment. So it's definitely something you want to kind of sprinkle in with your athletes to start, especially if they're not used to that style of training.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Awesome. Um, so before I let you go, is there, what else are we missing? Like, um, we've touched on a few of the things, the body weight training, um, the anti rotational training. Um, what else are we missing? What should we be including that most people aren't even thinking about?

Speaker 2:

Gosh, I mean honestly I would just say try to make it into the weight room and try to stick with a plan, you know, year round. I mean that's, that's kind of the biggest, um, I don't want to say let down in a sense, but kind of, well not let, it's just you put in so much work and to then have your training effects just completely drop off. I mean, it's not, you're, you're not rewarding yourself for all of the hard work that you've been putting yourself through for however many months if you just eventually stop going. So it's, you know, maybe in season you're only gonna be able to, you know, go one day a week in the gym. But you know what, that's better than nothing. And it's enough to at least kind of continue to maintain some of those training effects. It's just, I hate to see athletes and coaches put in, you know, so much work into this training program.

Speaker 2:

And then, you know, to have all of those training adaptations just kind of fall by the wayside. Because, you know, our schedule gets a little bit complicated. We're focused on competitions, you know, we're racing every single and then we're busy training and working and commuting during the week and you know, you want to, you want to reap the benefits and the rewards of all of your hard work. So I don't want to see people lose all of the hard work that they've already put in. So I definitely want to try to see the shift for people actually training year rounds. And you know, maybe you can't do a full workout where you're doing, you know, seven to eight or even nine 10 exercises in a lift, but maybe they're like three things that you can do in the weight room and then maybe you can supplement with some easy body weight type things. Um, you know, that you can tag in to other parts of your day, but you definitely want to make sure that you're preserving those training events.

Speaker 1:

And so I just kind of had an epiphany as I'm sitting here listening to you. Perhaps, maybe I might come off like a total idiot as well. But yeah, listening to you, I think it really, what it boils down to, and I think any athlete listening to this is if you're an athlete and you say you're truly concerned with performance, then strength training has to be part of that recipe. If you're somebody who's just interested in participation and you're just doing it because it's something to do with a group or thing, you know, you're doing triathlon just because it's fun and totally fine. Right? But then there's one more aspect to this as well, and it's, you mentioned it when we first started and it's about being an athlete and um, Colby prayers, uh, mentioned something and it's like cycling is great for making a cyclist, but like terrible at making athletes, right? Because it's, everything's just so controlled and like so linear. And so I think that's the other part to this too, is that if you want to be an athlete, a well rounded athlete strength has to be part of it. But yeah, so just, I'm not saying there's a right answer to any of those, but I just, that's what's clear to me is if you're truly interested in performance or being a well rounded athlete, you need to include strength.

Speaker 2:

You do. And honestly, I'm, I'm going to challenge your epiphany and take it a step further and kind of say, even if you, you know, don't identify, you know yourself as an athlete per se because maybe you are just doing it recreationally. Um, you know, I listened to the podcast, you know, uh, that you had with Colby. You know, I, I love him. He has such a brilliant minds. Um, and like me, we're not afraid of, you know, controversial points and we have lots of opinions on things, which is great, but he made this great point about cyclists, um, about really, if you think about it, how unnatural it is and especially now that we're kind of getting into like winter training season, people are going to be spending a lot of time on their trainers. Your bike is locked in now and it's not going to be moving the way it would kind of on the road or on a mountain.

Speaker 2:

And so you're just forcing your body even further into set dysfunctions. I mean, at least when you're running or when you're swimming, you have some extremities that aren't really grounded. But when you're on a bike, your four extremities are really locked into place essentially. And so any force that you're generating within the body, it's going to transfer somewhere else into the body. And that's why it's so easy for cyclists to have so many dysfunctions. And if you think about it, most people who participate in endurance sports, you know, this isn't like being a wide receiver in the NFL where you're lucky if you can get like two to three years at that, you know, endurance sports people do these sports because we love them. But most people who, who participate in these, we want to be active for life. Our health is important to us.

Speaker 2:

And so even if you're a recreational cycler, if or cyclist, if you're cycling, you know, five to 10 miles a week, that's still a significant amount of volume that you're placing on your body where you're locked into place in a very unnatural position. And so my philosophy is a strength and conditioning coach is to yes, optimized performance, but mostly increased resilience to the physical demands of sport and life. And so whether or not you identify as an athlete and you're saying, I'm doing this, I'm training for my sport, will you still need to make sure that you're training your body for life in a sense. Because I think most people want to be able to walk up, right? You know, when they're in their eighties and nineties and we live in Colorado where the weather's a little bit variable to say the least. And so if you slip and fall, you know that's reactionary training.

Speaker 2:

You want to make sure that your body can respond and respond quickly. Otherwise, depending on how old you are, you might fall, you might fracture a hip. I just tweaked my ankle on a hike by slipping on some ice the other day. And so these are still important variables. And so a base level of resilience and robustness and athleticism is necessary just to go through life the way most people want to with a high quality of life. So I would kind of take that point another step further and say, yes, absolutely. For sporting competition, we need to be training for performance. But you also need to be training your body to be resilient for life. And if you want to be healthy and well balanced and you want your body to last just like your car, you need to, you need to get its alignment check. Do you need to take it in for tea, for a tuneup every now and again to make sure that things are working the way they should.

Speaker 1:

Okay. I think that's a very fair point and I think it makes a lot of sense. And so I won't argue with you on that. Um, and I, I was gonna let you go, but I did. There was one thing after talking to Colby that I wanted to ask you about, um, because it makes a lot of sense to me too, but I want to get, uh, I just want to find out more. So, um, Colby mentioned that the first time you ever met you, I think you had said something as far as push versus pull exercises.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah. The ratio.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly. And it makes so much sense to me because I, as I've started to do more and more cycling can feel my shoulder starting to rotate it and everything get a tight.

Speaker 4:

So I need to know what do I do to correct what you were like, Oh, this is something that Colby told me like about the first time you met her. I was like, Oh gosh. Oh God, what is it? Um, no,

Speaker 2:

that's absolutely very, very true. So general rule of thumb, um, is kind of a two to one to pull the pushing ratio. Um, and so if you think about, um, what your sport is or kind of just your positions of life, I mean, even in the corporate environment where I'm working right now, I mean, people start to have, you know, that thoracic kyphosis where they're starting to be very, you know, flex, they're very anteriorly locked up and very dominant on that anterior side. Their hip flexors are very tight, so they might go into like an anterior pelvic tilt. They can't even get into true hip extension. Um, and so yeah, we need to spend about twice as much time working on the posterior side. And so really you almost can't get enough posterior training. So when it comes to shoulders, I mean there's the mobility side of things where you can just lay vertically on a foam roller, having your head in your pelvis supported, and then just doing like an open chest stretch on the ground, you can add in kind of some arm slides to open up the chest.

Speaker 2:

And so in that position where you're kind of supine on the ground, it uses gravity to help reverse and open up the chest. Uh, but then we can also do some resistance training work. So resistance band tees. Okay. Things that are going to be pinching those shoulder blades back together. Usually when we're sitting at a desk all day, we're going to get that shoulder protraction where everything gets pulled forward. And so then we start having a lot of aches and pains and our chest muscles get tight. And so we have to release that. So we need to release everything that's tight, but then we need to go and activate everything on the posterior side to pull it back into its normal position. So that's kind of the two, two step approach to kind of fixing things as you need to release one side and then activate the other.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Cool. Um, so I don't know that you [inaudible] think when we were talking before, you're not in a position to take on a lot more athletes at this point. Is that correct? If somebody would look, if somebody were really, really set on having you coach them, where would they find you

Speaker 4:

putting on the pressure? I'm sorry? Do you have

Speaker 2:

a kind of social media presence? I have my website tag performance, ceo.com. Uh, you can find me on Instagram. I do have a Facebook page, but honestly Instagram is probably better. I haven't been admittedly as active as I would like to be on there, but my Instagram profile, it's just same thing, uh, tag performance CEO. Um, but yeah, honestly my website has methods of contacting me, re reaching out to me if anybody has questions or they just want to follow up on anything. I'm sure we definitely touched on some controversial points. So yeah, definitely if anyone wants to reach out to me, find me in any of those outlets, I'm always happy to talk shop. And as far as coaching goes, um, I have no pressure. I'm just saying I've just printed it out. I've had some, you know, I've had some local coaches kind of reach out and especially when it's local and they're, you know, kind of athletes that I know and we're kind of connected, you know, through a lot of the local coaches, et cetera.

Speaker 2:

It's hard to say no. And so it's kinda one of those things where it's because I have so many different, um, kind of things up in the air right now and different jobs and things. Um, mostly my business is focusing on coaching education right now. I think that's actually a really good place to go for this sport in a sense. Um, so if anything, I think more so I'd almost prefer to operate more on the consulting side, like helping sport coaches or working with athletes alongside their coaches to maybe take what they're currently doing to the next level as opposed to kind of being somebody's full time strength and conditioning coach or someone saying like, Hey, you know, Jess, like, I, I've been having this knee pain issue. Can you just like kind of help me out a little bit? I'd rather kind of see things on more of like an individual case by case basis as opposed to trying to, um, take on a lot of different clients.

Speaker 2:

Cause I think as you know, when you're doing remote coaching, there are only so many, so many athletes that you can coach at at one time while still delivering. Kind of like we talked about before, that high level of coaching, um, and that standard that we really seek to deliver to our athletes. And so as opposed to only serving a few people maybe really, really well, I'd like to try to, um, help as many people as possible. And I think that's why I'm so appreciative for opportunities like this to come out, talk some shop with you and maybe hopefully share a little bit of knowledge, uh, with the community. But yeah, honestly, like just opening up conversations with athletes on social media or with coaches, things like that. I'm always happy to help.

Speaker 1:

That's perfect. And I know that, I don't know if you're still adding videos, but I know on Instagram you have quite a few videos there. And on your website, on the blog there's some videos about like dynamic warmups and stuff like that.

Speaker 2:

Uh, I kind of, I've, so when I was taking active clients, you know, I needed to have a kind of my base library, so to say, um, to where people, I could send them videos because it got to a point where I was like, Oh my gosh, I'm like, I can't keep like YouTubing other people's videos and then saying, okay, here's a link to how to do this movement, but don't do these three things that this athlete's doing instead I want you to do like this way. It just wasn't very efficient for anybody. So I finally broke down and created my own video library, but it's definitely not as extensive as I would like it to be. But actually now that we're kind of approaching the winter season and hopefully over winter break when I'm kind of in between semesters, um, I'm hoping to kind of take that time to refresh my library, get some more videos up on the blog up on my website and social media.

Speaker 2:

I was kind of revamping my social media page. And so, uh, my Instagram page I should say. And so you'll notice some of the videos got taken down, but it's because I was kind of changing the format essentially to make it a little bit more, more modern, I guess, a little bit more aesthetically appealing. Cause apparently people respond to things like that. So yes, stay, stay tuned for things. Uh, I definitely have taken kind of a hiatus from, uh, from Instagram, at least on my business page, but I'm definitely planning on getting back up there and uploading some good content for you guys. Okay, awesome. Well, thank you very much for your time. I know we touched on so many subjects, but I definitely got a few nuggets out of there and I'm sure there'll be some followup questions as well. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me. It's always a pleasure.