Almost 4 years ago now, I met AJ Fitzhenry for the first time outside a local coffee shop in Lafayette, La.  He saw my Ironman tattoo (thought I’d only do one back in 1995 so I got a tattoo) and asked me If I did triathlons.  The rest is history!

From this point on AJ has been one of the hardest working clients I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.

As I do with all my clients, I informed AJ that road he was about to embark on, was not an easy one and that it would take discipline and sacrifice to accomplish the lofty goals he had set for himself.  (Especially since he was on the road 330 days plus each year for his job)  I also told him that it would take 3 years for him to achieve his goal race weight (he was 35 lbs of muscle over ideal endurance race weight at 5% body fat) along with everything he had set forth for himself.

Since this time, AJ has done everything that I’d asked of him and not once even during the holidays has he ever asked for a day off regardless of his outside training responsibilities or commitments.  If he had to be at work by 7 a.m., and his training dictated 3 hours of training beforehand, then he’d get up at whatever time he needed to in order to get that days training accomplished.

It’s this steadfast determination that has delivered him a 75th overall placing at Ironman Wisconsin this year (3:25 run split) and a 4:24 at the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in Florida last week.

Great job thus far AJ, you are a pleasure to work with and I can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store for us.  But for now, it’s back in the weight room to move some heavy weights…..

In Strength,

TB

Running for Performance workshop November 28th, 2010.  For more info click on the pic below~

Eric Cressey is one of the best young minds in the sports performance arena and is renowned for his baseball expertise.  I recently read his article (see below) on Crossfit for Baseball and found it to be right on point.  I will also add, that I believe his vision holds true for all Crossfits’ “so called” sports performance entities.

In Strength,

TB

Crossfit for Baseball?

Written on September 14, 2009 at 7:25 pm, by Eric Cressey

I’ve received a lot of emails just recently (as well as some in-person questions) asking me what I think of Crossfit for baseball players and, more specifically, pitchers.

Let me preface this email with a few qualifying statements.  First, the only exercise “system” with which I agree wholeheartedly is my own.  Cressey Performance programming may be similar in some respects to those of everyone from Mike Boyle, to Louis Simmons, to Ron Wolforth, to the Crossfit folks – but taken as a whole, it’s entirely unique to me.  In other words, I will never agree completely with anyone (just ask my fiancee!).

CP_monogram_ol.eps

Second, in spite of the criticism Crossfit has received from some people I really respect, I do feel that there are some things they’re doing correctly.  For starters, I think that the camaraderie and enthusiasm that typifies their training groups is fantastic; anything that gets people (who might otherwise be sedentary) motivated to exercise is a plus.  Moreover, they aren’t proponents of steady-state cardio for fat loss, and they tend to gravitate toward compound movements.  So, good on them for those favorable traits.

However, there are several issues that concern me with applying a Crossfit mentality to the baseball world:

1) The randomness of the “workout of the day” is simply not appropriate for a sport that has quite possibly the most specific sport-imposed asymmetries in the world of athletics.  I’ve written about these asymmetries in the past, and they can only be corrected with specific corrective training modalities.

I’m reminded of this constantly at this time of year, as we get new baseball players at all levels now that seasons are wrapping up. When a player presents with a 45-degree glenohumeral internal rotation deficit, a prominent scapular dyskinesis, and a complete lack of rotary stability, the last thing he needs to do is a 15-minute tri-set of cleans, kipping pull-ups, and push-ups – following by some 400m sprints. It not only undermines specificity of exercise selection, but also the entire concept of periodization.

2) The energy systems development found in Crossfit is inconsistent with the demands of baseball.  I wrote extensively about my complete and utter distaste for distance running in the baseball world, and while Crossfit doesn’t go this far, in my eyes, anything over 60yds is “excessive distance” for baseball guys.  Most of my guys sprint two times a week during the off-season, and occasionally we’ll go to three with certain athletes.  Let’s just say that elite sprinters aren’t doing Crossfit, and the energy systems demands of baseball players aren’t much different than those of elite sprinters.

Please visit Eric’s site for the rest of the article.  http://ericcressey.com/crossfit-for-baseball

Here are seven thoughts to ponder as to how one can become a better endurance athlete:

1) Long Slow Distance training (=’s)  Long Slow Distance racing (why be out there any longer than you have to?) ~

2) If you want to go fast, you have to train fast (at least once a week)~

3) Nutrition & hydration is vital~

4) Take care of your muscle tissue daily i.e., Ice baths, contrast showers, rolling out, stick, trigger point technologies~

5) Mental preparation and visualization can play a key role to your mindset when everything else is telling you to quit~

6) Strength training for elasticity and injury prevention (at least once a week)~

7) Constantly go over form and technique~

If any of you have any thoughts, questions or comments please feel free to send them to me.

Till next time~ TB

It was truly an adventure for the boat named “Le Launcer de La Terre”.  A 130 miles in a Kayak down the Bayou Teche.  This wasn’t my first extreme endurance rodeo, However, it was only my second time being in a kayak (first being Eco Challenge Alaska in 2000) and never before had I spent any more than a few hours in one for training.  My main part of training for muscular endurance and motor pattern work, was done on a concept 2 row machine.  I also added in high reps on inverted rows, plank holds 5 x 3′ @ 30″ sr, along with snatches, jerks and cleans several times each week.

As with any endurance event (which I consider to be 3hrs or greater), your performance comes down to hydration and nutrition.  Our plan was simple:

1) Eat 250-500 kcals per hour (85-110 grams of which should be carbohydrates)
2) Drink at least 24oz of fluids per hour (this was done with & without calories)
3) Take in 1 gram of protein for every 4 grams of carbohydrates taken in each hour

Additionally, when racing during the day in extreme heat or cold you have to prepare for the elements.  Since we were racing in the heat, we wore sunblock (highest we could find) along with long sleeves shirts and hats that had a cover for the back of our necks as well as ice socks (socks that were made specifically to hold ice) that wrapped around the back of our necks and hung down the front of the body.  All of which was done to keep the body core temperature down.

All in all, we finished 10th overall against some steep competition in 37 hours and 42 minutes with no sleep!

In my life as a fitness consultant, there is one question that I get asked more than any other… “How can I lose weight?”

A lot of people would like you to believe that it’s really difficult and takes a genius to figure out, but the truth is if you want to lose weight all you have to do is avoid three things and the weight will come off immediately and drastically.

#1 – Avoid all Dairy (not only will this help you lose weight, but it has also helped people with allergy issues).

#2 – Avoid all Alcohol regardless of whether or not it has carbohydrates or sugar in it.

#3 – Avoid all Sweets (There are several sweetener substitutes that won’t spike your insulin level for your coffee and tea).

It’s that simple! Cut these three things out of you daily caloric consumption and not only will the weight come off, but you
will feel better, and be a happier, healthier you.

P.S. You can send the thousands of dollars I just saved you to me at Strength and Endurance or you can use it on the new warddrobe
you’ll be needing.

P.S.S. This is my 5th week on my plan (I’m training for two big endurance events and needed to drop weight) and I’m down to 188 lbs., this
morning from the 205 lbs. I weighed during the first week of August.

Oh yeah, almost forgot… You can lose weight on this plan without exercising! (not that I’m encouraging that)

Till next time,
TB

This video does not cover my entire class on running form and technique, but It will give you some things to think about before you go out for that next run or practice.  The athletes in this video are baseball, football and basketball players, so my instruction was leaning more towards the power running form than the endurance runner.  However, the basics are the same for all athletes regardless of your sport.

Tips for the Endurance athlete implementing this form

  • Keep hands close to the body as described in video, but don’t cross centerline of body.
  • The slower you run, the lower the knee is in front of the body & the more flat footed it feels at first
  • Leg turn-over should still be around 95 strikes per minute
  • Strike of the foot is mid to for-foot
  • Keep Glutes tight, toe pulled up, run tall & lead with hips

If you are going to try and run using this form, I suggest that you start slowly.  One of my clients didn’t listen to me on this one and went for a 20 minute run the day after he took my class and he couldn’t walk for 2 days because his legs and glutes were too sore……

Should you want more information on this technique or would like for me to come to a facility near you and teach it, please contact me at: Terry@strengthandendurance.com

Run Smart, Run FAST~

TB

Coach Terry with SEPI athlete AJ Fitzhenry during his visit to Strength and Endurance Performance Institute last year to conduct a VO2 max test and nail down his nutrition / caloric needs.  As with most athletes I train, AJ quickly learned that he was way under his needed daily caloric intake.

Since visiting us he has made great strides, most recently he landed a spot to Clearwater, Florida for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships with a time of 4:43.

Next month AJ will race his first IM distance race of the 2010 season at Ironman Wisconsin.

I know he will bring his A-game and will make it exciting for me to follow online.

Keep up the great work brother!

TB

Sorry for the lengthy time between articles, I’ve been on a cruise with my family.  I never realized how little (QUALITY TIME) we truly spent together, until we were all on a boat 24/7, enjoying whatever the day brought our way.

Now that the simple life is over, and it’s back to work, I thought I’d talk a little about over-training.

As a lot of us strive to improve our performance, we spend a great deal of time training hard and long whether at the gym, on our bikes, in the pool or running.

Of course we do, this is what is required in order for us to improve our fitness.  We increase our training load and our fitness improves, it’s that simple, or is it?

The truth is no, it’s not that simple, most competitive athletes recognize that getting the balance between training and recovery wrong can, and will, lead to reduced performance and what most people call over-training.

In order to detect over-training you must first know some of the signs and symptoms.

  • Reduced maximal heart rate (HR)
  • Increased sleeping or resting HR
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Prolonged recovery
  • Increased susceptibility to illness and allergies
  • Changes in appetite
  • Depression
  • Sleeping issues
  • Loss of competitive drive
  • Increased anxiety or irritation
  • Unexplained underperformance

I know that in the beginning of my endurance racing career, I too felt some of these.  It’s this type of mentality that pushes us to become better at whatever our sport is.

With that said, there are several steps to help you avoid becoming over-trained.

  • Monitor your performance ( keep a diary)
  • Periodize and individualize your training program (If you have a coach this should be done for you, but never assume)
  • Keep a training diary (goes hand in hand with keeping a diary)
  • Monitor your physiological state (regular massage will help you keep your muscles performing properly)
  • Eat for performance (your performance is a direct reflection of your nutrition)
  • Rest for performance (sleeping = naturally increased testosterone levels)

I know that some of this seems elementary, but you’d be surprised at how many of my online endurance clients don’t even keep a training diary.

Train hard, but train smart!

TB