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No Bull Sports Training
December 08, 2006
Here are my most recent updates to higher-faster-sports.com
You can read the article we were discussing here:
I now have the affiliate program up for the new "No-Bull" products. Find out about it Here
If you haven't already, don't forget to check out the new products:
1. Sample Routine For Volleyball
2. Dealing with competitive anxiety
3. Weight Training, explosiveness, and "bulk" - Are bodyweight exercises enough?
4. Wrist measurements and growth potential
5. Speed training for older athletes
6. Vertical Jump Improvements - Breaking it down
7. Tendonitis, tendonisis, and prolotherapy
Q: I am a assistant coach for a varsity volleyball team and I have a middle hitter who would like to increase her vertical. Right now changes have been made to the program to get more conditioning in the program but not like there should be. Currently they do about an hour of conditioning one day a week. This includes weights, some speed and plyometrics. The weights are the biggest portion of it as they do 2 leg and upper body exercises plus shoulder savers and abs. What would you suggest I set up for her during season? She is willing to things on her own time and is a motivated player with a 22 inch vertical and a decent strength base. Thank you for your time,
A: Providing her strength base is solid and she's not getting run into the ground you could add some extra movement and strength work 1 or 2 days per week. Something like this:
A1. Single leg low box jump x 3 front x 3 left x 3 right (use low box about the height of a stair (6-8 inches high), stand on one leg face forward and hop on the box, freeze, then off, freeze, repeat 3 times...then do the same thing hopping on the box from the right, then the left....3 reps each direction for 3 sets with each leg.
B1. Depth drops - 3 x 3 left right back, forward (stand on medium box 18-24 inches high..step off the box and land in "athletic" stance up on balls of feet...do 3 sets of 3 lefts stepping off to the left, 3 sets of 3 stepping off to the right...3 sets of 3 backwards, and 3 sets of 3 forward.
C1. Jump squats - 4 x 5 with 30% load
D1. Single Leg Deadlift/reverse hyper/glute ham- 2 x 6-8/side
As long as her strength is maintained this type of setup should work well for her as it should get her moving better. If she starts developing any signs of overuse injuries back off.
Q: When I play basketball I chicken out to put the ball on the floor and drive it. Its not as if I'm a bad ball handler. And before I use to do it all the time and get past anybody no matter how clogged up the paint was I would just dip my head low and go for it amazingly I would rarely hit any one while doing it. Anyways I would like to ask you what can I do mentally to just give me confidence to do it with out getting scared? Because I can do it with ease but I just get scared and blow it.
A: Well I'd say you're probably thinking too much. Based on what I've learned, there are 2 predominant schools of thought for dealing with something like this:
1. You can try to get it off your mind and focus only on what's positive. With this you would do something like repeat positive affirmations or positive visualization.
2. Instead of trying to get the negative "off" your mind you zero in on it even harder until you can vividly feel and experience the worst case scenario. Negative emotions (including fear) only occur due to resistance. Once we fully accept what it is we're resisting we can relax and let whatever happens come.
I prefer the 2nd method.
Let's say you were in a big game on national TV in front of millions of fans and had one free throw to tie or win the game. You're afraid you're gonna airball the freethrow and embarass the heck out of yourself so you start sweating and shaking. I don't care how much positive self talk you give yourself, IMO none of that is gonna drown out the fear you have of airballing that free throw.
What is the worst thing that could happen when you drive the ball to the hole? You get the ball stolen from you, people laugh at you, you get rejected, you blow a lay-up, or all of the above. Whatever that is, it is something that you fear or have resistance too. Here's what I'd do: Think of the worst thing that could happen and accept it happening in your own mind. Once you can feel ok with the worst case scenario you'll find you have nothing to fear. So sit and visualize getting the ball stolen from you, getting rejected, laughed at, or whatever. Keep visualizing until none of those thoughts bring you any anxiety. Then you'll no longer have any fear. You'll probably be able to laugh about your misguided fear and will find it easier to shift into positive mode.
Q: I read that VJB has weight lifting which is required to make the best gains. Since I'm a hybrid Martial Artist / Gymnast / Acrobat, I don't want big, bulky bodybuilder sized legs (I want to remain as small-framed as possible with dense, powerful muscle. How can what I want be achieved? Can bodyweight be good enough?
A: Size is more how you eat and not how you train. In other words..take 2 twin brothers at 150 pounds...put both of them on a standard bodybuilding leg workout. One of them eats just enough to maintain his weight at 150...the other eats to gain weight and goes up to 180. Even though they train exactly the same, the first guy will build strength, but not any size to speak of. The 2nd guy will build both. In order to jump high you need to make your legs very strong relative to your bodyweight. You can do bodyweight squats and assorted other exercises, but the quickest way to get really strong (particularly in the lower body) is to lift weights. Whether you get 'bulky' or not depends on whether you gain overall scale weight or not. Having said that, the VJB has at least 6 complete routines that don't require any weights.
Q: Do the methods described in your new speed manual apply to trainees in their late 20's and 30's?
A: I actually had a 50 year old ask me this the other day. Regardless of age, the principles for speed development don't change. Coordination, power, and movement proficiency. So whether you're 15, 35, or 55 the principles don't change. You might need more recovery as you as age but that's about it.
Q: Do you know what the correlation is between bone structure and potential for adding muscle? My wrist measurement puts me on the smaller end of the frame size and I wasn't sure how that affects my potential to gain size and strength.
A: The more muscle cells you have in a given muscle at baseline and the shorter the tendons the greater the potential for growth you have. That's regardless of whether your bones are big, medium, or small. Some people with small bones also have a ton of muscle cells. These people have the potential to look freaky and gargantuan as the contrast makes the muscles look even bigger. A lot of good bodybuilders fit into this category.
However, typically the size of the bones also correlates with the number of muscle cells you start out with. Thus, big boned people tend to have the potential to generate lots of size increase. Small boned people have less potential. That doesn't mean they can't grow, just that there's less ultimate potential.
Flex your forearm muscles, look at your wrist, and see how big of a gap you have between your wrist and the point where your forearm muscle starts. Do the same for your calves. If you have small wrists you'll probably find that there's a lot of tendon or 'empty space' in between the wrist and the point where the forearm muscle starts. That typically means less muscle cells and less potential for growth. If you have big wrists chances are pretty good your forearm muscle starts jutting out only an inch or 2 up from the wrist. That tends to mean more muscle cells and more potential for growth. Look at the difference between the 2 pics below. Even though there is a huge size discrepancy, the forearm on the left pic starts only an inch or so up from the wrist. There is about 5-6 inches of empty space on the right before you even see a change in the width of the bone. Next time I'll dig around and see if I can't find some pics of small boned guys who fit this description who also developed an impressive amount of muscle mass.
Q: Just a general question. On average, how much do you think your clients improve their vertical leaps after working with you? Who's been your best pupil? In terms of gaining total inches gained on their vetical.
I've worked with quite a few yonger guys who've had improvements of up to 14 inches in a year or less but a lot of that is probably because they're growing and maturing as men and athletes. A 6 inch gain in 3-6 months is really good for a mature individual. Making dramatic gains tends to be a long term process and the absolute KEY is to stay injury free. If you get injured not only do you regress but then you gotta spend time building yourself back up to where you were.
The thing I recommend is instead of worrying about the vertical jump itself, focus on other measurable qualities that will directly impact the VJ. For example, if you drop 10 pounds of fat you can expect a gain of a least a couple of inches...if you improve your relative strength by 25% you can expect another couple of inches. Bottom line...if you have a bodyfat of 8-10%, are strong enough to squat 2 times your bodyweight, are powerful enough to do a high catch power snatch with your bodyweight, have good mobility, are light on your feet with good coordination....if you have those things it's IMPOSSIBLE not to jump very high as well. Those things in isolation are relatively easy to do and focus on and are what I would focus on for the most part...just let the VJ come along for the ride as you become a better athlete all around.
Q: I have achilles tendinopathy issues in both my tendons, how do you usually deal with these? I also have tendinopathy in my right knee. I play basketball right now, but will play football come summer.
A: First determine if it's tendonitis or tendonisis. If swelling is present and it's a relatively recent injury it's tendonitis. If it's chronic without swelling that's tendonisis. Most injuries like yours are actually tendonisis. With tendonitis the standard rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, etc. will work. With tendonisis issues the most important thing is you gotta rest and lay off the tendon. The only exercise you'd want to perform for the affected area (other than low intensity aerobic exercise) are negative contractions such as slow negative kneeling squats. 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps every other day.
If you do all that and the tendonisis still persists it's a good idea to eliminate anything else that might be causing the inflammation. Believe it or not a lot of times that can be due to food intolerances like wheat and dairy products. If all else fails you can try prolotherapy which has often proven fruitful treating chronic tendonisis. What Is Prolotherapy.
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