Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Arizona NSCA State Clinic Oct 26th 2013

2013 Arizona NSCA State Clinic 

Date: Saturday October 26th

Location: Arizona Grand Resort

Time again for our Arizona NSCA State Clinic. We had record attendance last year with 120 people and we are excited to see attendance increase once again. We have an incredible line-up of presenters including Mark Verstegen, Guido Van Ryssegem, Dale Cannavan, Dan Pfaff, and Wade Gilbert. We will also be hosting a round-table at the end of the clinic for participants to pose questions to the entire panel. 


Meet our 2013 Presenters:

Mark Verstegen, MS (Owner and Founder of Athletes' Performance)

Presentation: Everyday is Game Day

Description: Mark will share how individuals can permeate their entire day with opportunities to elevate and create sustainable performance. The focus will be on scientifically backed and engaging ways you can upgrade your client/athlete’s rituals across Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery. You’ll leave this talk with tangible information you can apply with everyone you work with Monday morning.

Background: This presentation is based of Mark's new book "Everyday is Game Day" which can be pre-ordered for January 2014. This will be an exclusive look at the content and principles behind the acclaimed success of the Athletes' Performance and Core Performance Brand. Mark Verstegen is one of the most motivating figures in the human performance industry and this presentation will be a fantastic way to open up the 2013 Arizona State Clinic.

Get a glimpse of the brand Mark Verstegen has created (NFL COMBINE 2013):


Guido Van Ryssegem, MS, ATC, CSCS (Owner of Kinetic Integrations)

Presentation: Deciphering the Myth of Proprioceptive Training

Background: This is the second time Guido has presented at the state clinic. His first presentation on Movement Variability has taken off around the world and has earned Guido a spot on the acclaimed Perform Better circuit. With this new presentation we get another sneak peek at an important emerging topic. Guido spends years perfecting the science and practice behind his presentations and this is no exception. This presentation alone will save you years of reading and get you right to the pure conclusions.

Description: Although it is often claimed by exercise and health professionals that balance exercise interventions improve proprioception, very little proof confirms this. The presenter will review the hard facts on what balance and proprioception really are: a skill vs. a sense. Arguments on why balance exercises should be performed and progressed differently depending on the population you work with – sedentary, vs. fit, vs. athletes will be brought forward and practiced. This presentation will bring the wobble board and other unstable surface training to the next level.

Guido's Movement Variability Presentation:



Dale Cannavan, PhD, CSCS*D (Seattle Pacific University)

Presentation: The Science Behind Stretching

Description: This research focused presentation will provide an in-depth view of stretching and what it does to the muscle-tendon unit at both the macro and micro level. Further discussion will focus on the implications of stretching on exercise performance, and highlight when and whom to stretch.

Background: Dr. Cannavan is one of the foremost experts on applied muscle physiology and function. Dr. Cannavan was born in Northern Ireland and educated in the UK where he studied under one of the top professors now at Edith Cowan University, Dr. Anthony Blazevich. I first saw this presentation a few years ago and was incredibly impressed. Dr. Cannavan merges science and practice seamlessly and makes complex information seem incredibly accessible. If you ever wondered what stretching actually does and how different types of stretching differ then you will not want to miss this presentation. Using dynamic ultrasound, Dr. Cannavan is able to look inside the muscle while we move and provide the truth about what actually happens when we stretch.

Meet Dr. Dale Cannavan:



Dan Pfaff (Former director at UK High Performance Centre for 2012 Olympics)

Presentation: Planning and Periodization for Vertical Jump Development

Description: This presentation will discuss the science and application for the long-term development of jump performance. Jumping and associated qualities have widespread application across sport and therefore this presentation will provide a detailed understanding of how to develop one of the most important motor abilities in athletic performance.

Background: Dan Pfaff is considered one of the top Track and Field coaches in the world. He has worked with countless medalists in world championships and the Olympics. Most recently he was the director at the UK High Performance Centre for the 2012 London Olympics and trained Greg Rutherford who won the Gold Medal in the Long Jump at the 2012 Olympics. Dan is currently the Education Director and Jumps Coach at the World Athletics Center in Phoenix, AZ. I can't stress the incredible opportunity it is to see Dan Pfaff present. He is a pioneer in our field and the opportunity to see him present should not easily be missed.

Get to know Dan Pfaff with this 3-part series documenting his coaching philosophy:




Wade Gilbert, PhD (Fresno State University)

Presentation: "To Infinity and Beyond" Principles of Talent Development

Description: A comprehensive understanding of talent development requires a broad sweep across the scientific landscape. Sampling extensively from sport, education, business, psychology and medicine, I have learned that talent development rests on three principles: (1) individual needs are the spark that ignites the talent development fire, (2) talent development requires high levels of personal mastery, and (3) settings matter more than individual behavioral intentions. Audience members will leave with a better understanding of how to apply these principles in their own roles as talent developers.

Background: Dr. Gilbert is a foremost authority on talent development for both coaches and athletes. He is a premier sports psychologist who merges applied science with practice. Dr. Gilbert embodies his principles with how he teaches and provides an engaging experience every time he presents. His current presentation is gaining momentum as he has been the focus of multiple keynotes over the last year including the National Coaching Conference in Colorado Springs. This is a game changing presentation that sheds light on a topic that is often elusive and will be a perfect conclusion to a great clinic.

See Wade Gilbert present an older version of the presentation he will do at the clinic:

Every year I look for the best of our field. I feel this year's group of presenters have diverse backgrounds but all balance science and application. This should be an incredible clinic that will challenge conventional wisdom and be a platform for critical conversations. 

I hope to see you there...



Nick Winkelman

NSCA Arizona State Director


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

NSCA Arizona State Clinic Saturday October 20th

We have put together a world class group of presenters for the 2012 NSCA Arizona State Clinic. This 1 day clinic will cover a diversity of topics that will meet all interests. This course is open to students, NSCA Members and non-NSCA Members. Please find a list of Presenters, Topics and Descriptions below...

Course Outline/Registration (Lunch Included)
Facebook Event

Speakers Include:

Alwyn Cosgrove
Training the Executive Athlete
This seminar will define the executive athlete, help attendees understand the psychology/decision making that will help attract and keep this market and demonstrate coaching techniques, programming, and the execution of a delivery system that produces results.

Chris Frankel
Functional Conditioning: Energy System Training

The way coaches approach the “conditioning” side of Strength and Conditioning is often lagging behind the “strength” side. How can we get to “functional conditioning” akin to how we have arrived at “functional training?” The first step is breaking the old paradigm of separate energy systems and appreciating how duration and intensity domains apply to intervals, sprints and endurance training. This session will cover relevant science and best coaching practices related to work capacity, interval training and repeated sprint ability. In addition, the connection between movement training and strength conditioning will be discussed.

Amanda Carlson-Phillips and Danielle Lafata
Modern Diet Trends: A Review of the Evidence

We are continually inundated with different ideals and beliefs on how we should fuel our bodies for weight loss and overall health. It makes it difficult to discern fact from fiction with so many different opinions on the proper way to eat. How could all these diets be true and absolute? During this time we will take a look at evidence supporting these diets and sort through the pros and the cons.

Jared Porter PhD
Practice Makes Perfect: Strategies to Make Practice and Training More Efficient and Effective
Do you want to get more out of your training sessions? This presentation will discuss how to incorporate well established scientific principles into your practice sessions with the goal of improving performance. The presentation will focus on scientifically validated strategies every practitioner can use to make practice more efficient and effective.

Patrick Ward
The Role of Stress Resistance in Athletic Performance and Program Design
The goal of this lecture is to gain an appreciation for the role stress plays in athletic performance and how we can use these ideas in program development. Both theoretical and practical information will be provided, along with case studies, to help attendees understand the lecturer’s process of designing training programs around both specific and non-specific stressors.

Sue Falsone
Flexibility & Mobility: How Does it Fit Into Our Strength & Stability Programs
In this lecture we will discuss different types of flexibility and mobility, the science behind these techniques and examples of where and how to place them practically into your programming.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NSCA Arizona State Clinic October 22nd-23rd

We have put together a world class group of presenters for the 2011 NSCA Arizona State Clinic. This 1.5 day clinic will cover a diversity of topics that will meet all interests. This course is open to students, NSCA Members and non-NSCA Members. Please find a list of Presenters, Topics and Descriptions below...

Course Outline
Course Registration
Facebook Event Group

Speakers Include:
Mark Verstegen
Performance Systems: How to Make Sense of Everything You Know

We often acquire information independent of any connection. This presentation seeks to create a context for a performance system that can seamlessly integrate all acquired knowledge in the field of strength and conditioning.

Sue Falsone
The Thoracic Spine: The Missing Link to Core Stability Programming

During this session, you will learn about the concepts and importance of thoracic mobility and how it interacts with the lumbar spine, upper extremities, and breath. After this session, you will be able to expand your core stability programming for better results with your athletes.

Amanda Carlson-Phillips
Danielle Lafata
Nutrition and the Athletic Brain

Keeping our brains fueled properly is just as important as keeping our muscles fueled for peak performance. Mental health and function can be support through proper nutrition strategies. We will cover the most up-to-date theories and nutrients that can possibly help support optimal brain function.

Gabriele Wulf
An External Focus of Attention Enhances Movement Performance and Efficiency

A performer’s focus of attention while executing a motor skill has an important influence on performance and learning. Specifically, an external focus of attention (i.e. focus on the movement effect) has been shown to result in more effective and efficient movements than an internal focus (i.e., focus on the movements themselves). Advantages of adopting an external focus have been found to be generalizable across different sports skills, skill levels, or age groups. Findings showing that an external focus promotes movement automaticity, accuracy, consistency, and efficiency – including greater force production and reduced oxygen consumption – will be discussed.

Charles Staley
Escalating Density Training: Time Management Meets Program Design

Escalating Density Training is now nearly 10 years old. If you're not familiar with EDT, this is a great introduction to a very popular training system. If you are familiar with EDT, here's your chance to get up to date on Charles Staley's latest thoughts and implementation strategies on EDT.

Eric Reed
How to Start a Successful High School Strength Program

The presentation is the “how to” for starting or taking over a high school strength and conditioning program. Topics to include: Philosophy, Programming, Periodization and Testing and Coaching. Attendees should be able to gain a better understanding into what goes on in a Successful high school program.

Nick Winkelman
The Science of Coaching: Applying Theory in Practice

This presentation will review the literature on the coaching sciences and their application in athletic performance development. Topics will include instruction types, cueing, feedback types and scheduling, practice design, and learning/retention of skills. Each attendee will be given the science and application to improve the delivery of their coaching to ensure optimal retention of information for application on the field of play.

John (JC) Cole
Long-Term Athletic Development and Skill Acquisition Design

This presentation will cover the overall concept and design of Long-Term-Athlete Development and Skills Acquisition templates for your athletic programs. These simple template designs cover peaking and tapering cycles for 6 and 12 month cycles and the Skills Acquisition template can be a broad based document including volume and intensity that reverse engineers the 10,000 hour rule that can take your athletes from inception of sport to completion at National Governing Body level.

Guido Van Ryssegem
Movement Variability: What is in it for us?

Variability in movement is a natural and normal phenomenon that influences our lives, our physical accomplishments and our musculoskeletal and mental health. Motor skills in the healthy populations are associated with an optimal amount of movement variability, while in the unhealthy populations it is less than optimal. As exercise is prescribed as an intervention, we need to understand how much or how little variability of movement should be recommended so our audiences’ goals can be met.

This presentation will review the literature on movement variability and how this variability impacts different populations. Exercise recommendations will be brought forward for these populations.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I have recently had many friends and colleagues in the strength and conditioning community ask about my experience with the Edith Cowan University (ECU) Masters of Strength and Conditioning. I though I would take the time to put my answer in a Blog format so everyone who has interest in the program can benefit.

ECU is a top university in Perth, Australia and produces some of the best applied research in the area of strength and conditioning. If you are familiar with any of the journals published by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) then you probably recognize ECU. Their faculty includes Dr. Rob Newton, Dr. Prue Cormie, Dr. Jeremy Sheppard, Dr. Greg Haff, Dr. Mike Newton, and Dr. Anthony Blazevich. These professors represent the caliber of education one receives when going to school at or through ECU. There are both on-site and online courses available. I have been specifically asked about their full Online Masters of Strength and Conditioning (O-MSC).

The O-MSC is composed of 8 semester long courses with a two week practicum in Perth, Australia that counts as the 9th course. This practicum is only run during November of semester 2 and must be completed before the MSc is awarded. The curriculum is as follows:

Unit Description
Stage 1
SPS4101 Strength and Conditioning 1 - Physiology (Points 20)
SPS4102 Strength and Conditioning 2 - Biomechanics (Points 20)
SPS5126 Advanced Resistance Training (Points 20)

Stage 2
Unit Description Points
SPS4108 Physiological Testing of Human Performance (Points 20)
SPS4110 Applied Biomechanics in Strength and Conditioning (Points 20)
SPS4100 Strength and Conditioning - Practicum (Points 20)

Stage 3
Unit Description Points
SPS5113 Research and Computer Methods in Strength and Conditioning (Points 20)
SPS5116 Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation (Points 20)
SPS5119 Current Issues in Strength and Conditioning (Points 20)

You can complete this Masters in as little as 1.5yrs, but as a practitioner I spread my coursework over 2yrs. In the end it took me 3rys to complete the whole Masters since I had to wait until November of my third year of enrollment to complete the practicum.

As a Strength and Conditioning coach who works 50+ hrs per week, and travels quite a bit, I found 2 courses a semester very doable. Additionally, the professors are very good about working with you if there is adequate lead time on a conflict you may have. The coursework is very challenging and they hold you to a high standard of quality. Every paper is graded based on publish worthiness and ECU uses the NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research as a guideline for grading. As an American I was not used to the grading system used in Australia. I quickly found that the following conversion was true:

90-100% AU = 100% USA (PhD Status)
80-90% AU = 90-100% USA
70-80% AU = 80-90% USA
60-70% AU = 70-80% USA
<60% AU = <70% USA

The highest grade I ever saw was an 89-91% and the average for most classes was between 65-75%. So if you are an American looking to take this Masters, please don’t have a heart attack when you get you first set of grades back because anything above 80% is High Distinction, which is an A.

I found the courses were very well done and I am sure they have been improved since 2009. Each class typically has 1-2 written tests and 1-2 term papers. Since there is not a lot of busywork, there is no room for error on the 2-3 assignments you will have. I personally enjoyed this because it gave me time for my job, but also forced me to produce very high quality work. Every course is on Blackboard and you will have access to the professor and other students. This will happen over Skype and the built-in forums. This Masters will force you to look very deep at a wide range of topics and to receive high marks you will end up completing 6+ literature reviews on topics of your choice. I looked at each of these papers as an opportunity to get published. To date I have been blessed to have three of my papers published in the UK Strength and Conditioning Journal.

If you are the type of person who needs weekly assignments and work to keep you engaged then you may have difficulty with this Masters. You have to make a focused effort to read and study, if you don’t you will have trouble on the test and paper that each course requires. The only courses that did involve more frequent assignments were the two biomechanics courses and this makes sense considering the topic.

The cliché holds true that the more you put into this Masters, the more you will get out of it. No one will hold your hand and you literally have no room for error on any of the assignments. If you are like me, you will find the topics very engaging and high level. ECU presents applied science better than any other university I have found. You will learn quality theory and research methods, but most importantly they will empower you to apply the information you have learned.

Arguably the most important experience you will have is during the practicum. This is completed over two weeks with 8 contact hours per day. You will have the opportunity to have high level lectures from all of your professors and ECU brings in some of the top coaches in the world. During my practicum I spent time with Dan Baker and Jeremy Sheppard. I felt these two weeks were worth the whole Masters and has been the #1 Professional Development experience I have had to date. I can’t say enough good things about the professors, but more importantly the students you will meet. I had 65 world-class people with me at the practicum and many were working-professionals. Students included Professional Fitness Coaches for Rugby League, Rugby Union, UK Cricket National Team, Aussie Rules, Gaelic Football, Soccer and many other sports. Many of the students were sports scientists and worked for their national sport institutes. I was amazed that I was one of only three Americans and found out that this is the standard. Apparently, this O-MSC has not become a well known option in the USA yet, but it needs to be. ECU is helping to breed world-class coaches who know their science.

The ECU O-MSC will cost between $20,000-25,000 including your travel to Australia.

I highly recommend this Masters for all strength and conditioning, personal trainers and sports scientists who want o be challenged. ECU will take you to another level and will help you create an invaluable network of professionals. Below is a list of important links:

Master of Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) (Apply Online)
Course Fees (Select Student Type, Course, and Code: U94)

Yours In Performance,

Nick Winkelman MSc

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Next Resource Every Strength Coach Needs

click me

Great New Resource:

Finding time for self-education is not an easy task when you are a fitness-therapy professional working 6am to 6pm. Every year we try to go to conferences and seminars, but as life takes place that does not always happen. With digital media capabilities we now have access to great resources like http://www.strengthcoach.com/ and http://www.coreperformance.com/. Additionally, facebook and twitter provide a great platform for micro-blogging and getting information quick.

With a greater need for depth of understanding we can look to podcasts for help. Websites like http://www.strengthcoachpodcast.com/ provide a wealth of knowledge from authors like Mike Boyle, Gray Cook, Mark Verstegen, Brandon Marcelo and many more.

The next evolution in anytime education is here with the launch of webinars. From the comfort of your own home you can watch and listen-in as presentations are being given by leading authorities in the field of strength conditioning, personal training and sports therapy.

Anthony Renna, the forward thinking coach who brought us strengthcoachpodcast.com, now has developed a new webinar site called strengthandconditioningwebinars.com.


Each month, members of the site will see at least 2 webinars from strength coaches like Michael Boyle, Alwyn Cosgrove, Brett Jones, Mike Robertson, and Eric Cressey; therapists like Gray Cook, Mike Reinold and Lee Burton. The site will also bring great coaches and therapists to the forefront who have not necessarily become mainstream.

The great thing about this site is that all of the webinars are being recorded so members can watch them anytime they want, there is no need to be present. There will also be a forum on the site that the presenters will be checking in on so members can ask any questions that they have about the webinars.

Check out the site and let me know your thoughts. I will be doing some talks on there in later months that will be in-line with some upcoming blogs I have planned.

Separate Yourself

Nick Winkelman
Director of Performance Education/Strength Coach
Athletes' Performance (Tempe, AZ)

Optimizing Recovery

Regeneration: Enhancing Recovery for Optimal Performance

Recovery through regeneration sessions and proper planning is critical to the success of every athlete/client. Within the Athletes' Performance Training System (APTS) there is a large focus on balancing the Work + Rest = Success equation. Work breaks the body down and it is the planned rest and recovery between training sessions that allows the athlete to achieve maximal performance and supercompensation. Within this equation the proper planning and periodization of work is just as important as the planned regeneration sessions used to enhance recovery. Kraemer (2) defines periodization as programmed variation in the training stimuli with the use of planned rest periods to augment recovery and restoration of an athlete’s potential. By this definition we can see that periodization is designed to optimize recovery which leads to supercompensation and therefore more work does not always relate to greater performance. Many leading authors would argue that the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS), and more recently the Fitness-Fatigue Models (FFM), describe the physiological defense for using programmed variation through proper periodization (2). The FFM describes how there is a short-term fatigue effect that varies based on the type of work (i.e. Power vs. Endurance) followed by a long-term fitness or performance effect that is specific to the type of work (i.e. Maximal Strength vs. Hypertrophy). If work is reapplied during the fatigue state too often then performance will continue to fall and there is a potential for overtraining. For a detailed review on the FFM and the practical application for training please reference Chiu and Barnes (1). Additional reading on tapering and the proper use of the “Unload” is explained in the paper by Wilson and Wilson (3). The first step in optimal recovery is proper planning specific to the athlete’s abilities, sport demands, available time and the training age of the athlete.

Within the optimal periodization plan there needs to be planned regeneration sessions, active rest phases and periods of complete rest. The supplemental regeneration will focus on the following strategies: soft tissue through various self-myofascial techniques and stretching; proper nutrition; mindset and psychological stress management; sleep strategies and napping education. Self-myofascial techniques can be broken into general massage and local massage. General massage focuses on blood flow, lymphatic stimulation and general relaxation through the use of foam rolls, vibration and massage sticks. Local massage works towards the release of tissue adhesions and efforts are focused on specific trigger points using Trigger Point Technology tools, tennis ball + vibration and specific practitioner techniques (ex. Active Release Technique). These strategies will be followed by stretching methods that include joint mobility work, active isolated stretches and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. These methods are followed by hydrotherapy using the cold plunge and/or hot-cold contrast work. To enhance recovery further the use of compression garments can be provided for travel and wear at home.

Nutrition will be addressed day one with the athlete and an empowerment approach is used to give the athlete understanding and control of sustainable strategies. The following guidelines will be addressed in detail with each athlete that goes through the APTS: Meal spacing and timing; portion control based on goals, pre-workout nutrition, during workout nutrition, post workout nutrition, hydration, grocery shopping, and travel strategies.

It is critical to understand that stress is cumulative as explained by GAS, and stress outside of training can positively and/or negatively affect performance. For this reason we must monitor and manage any negative psychological stress outside and within training. Strategies that can be used or recommended include the following: Progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, meditation, music and aroma therapy, and many other relaxation based techniques.

Sleep is essential for mind body reconstruction and supplemental “Power Naps” are very important for optimal recovery. Going to bed before 10pm and getting 8-10hrs of sleep is not always a reality for the athletes/clients we work with. For this reason naps can be used to supplement, but not replace night time sleep. During a 20min nap the body will drop into brain frequencies that support memory, motor learning, mental recovery and general relaxation. The best time will typically be between 1-3pm, but an earlier nap prior to an afternoon training session is perfectly acceptable. It should be noted that progressive alarms that slowly bring the athlete/client to an awakened state can be recommended, and naps should be limited to 20min so not to fall into slow wave sleep which is extremely difficult to wake-up from and train.

There are many other strategies, but these are sustainable suggestions that can put an athlete in the best possible position to perform every time they step into the weight room or onto the field. In the end the best methods are those that the athlete believes in and feel empowered to complete on their own.

Athletes' Performance Training System: Regeneration

The following is an example of a perfect day scenario for optimal recovery:

8am: Breakfast + Hydration
9:45am: Pre-Workout Nutrition + Hydration
9:55am: Training Monitor
10am-11:00am: Training + Hydration (Electrolytes)
11:00-12pm: Soft-Tissue Work, Active Stretch, Post-Workout Nutrition + Hydration and Hydrotherapy
1pm: Lunch + Hydration
2pm-2:20pm: Nap
2:45pm: Pre-Workout Nutrition + Hydration
3pm-4pm: Training + Hydration (Electrolytes)
4pm-5pm: Soft-Tissue Work, Active Stretch, Post-Workout Nutrition + Hydration and Hydrotherapy
6pm: Dinner + Hydration
8pm: Snack
10pm: Bed

Chiu, L., and J. Barnes. The Fitness-Fatigue Model Revisted: Implications for Planning Short- and Long-Term Training. J Strength Cond. 25:42-51, 2003.

Haff, G. Roundtable Discussion: Periodization of Training- Part 1. J Strength Cond. 26:50-69, 2004.

Wilson, J., and G. Wilson. A Practical Approach to the Tape. J Strength Cond. 30:10-17, 2008.

Nick Winkelman CSCS, *D; NSCA-CPT, *D
Education Manger/ Performance Specialist
Athletes' Performance (Tempe, AZ)

Energy System Development

Energy System Development: Developing Movement Capacity

Energy System Development (ESD) plays a critical role within the Athletes' Performance Training System (APTS). ESD will be completed at the end of every workout unless otherwise specified by the therapy team or there are contraindications for any reason. Prior to the completion of the first ESD workout each athlete will complete a Peak VO2 test using the iMETT system and software. This 8-12min test is completed on a treadmill or bike and provides a detailed 3-Zone periodized heart rate system that is predicted off the actual Anaerobic Threshold (AT) and Peak VO2. Note that ventilation, heart rate and power is captured to provide highly specific training zones. The final product is a 5-Phase periodized conditioning plan designed to match the metabolic and movement demands of an athlete’s sport. Each phase will alternate the use of the following three heart rate zones: Yellow (85-95% of AT), Green (AT-110% of AT) and Red (110% of AT-Peak VO2 HR). These 3-Zones are then split into recovery days (Yellow Zone), medium days (Yellow, Green and Some Red) and hard days (Yellow, Green and Red). The emphasis of each zone will progress based on the athlete’s abilities, time availability and the needs of the sport.

Phase 1 (Base Development):

The dominant goal of Phase 1 is to create an aerobic energy system which will be the foundation of the following 4-Phases. To create a strong aerobic base the athlete will spend the majority of their time working around AT in the yellow and green zone with a progressive increase in red zone time as they improve. This will not only strengthen their aerobic capabilities, but also is critical in teaching them how to properly recover and introduce “true interval” training. This phase will last 1-7 weeks depending on the level of the athlete and any weight loss considerations that may need to be addressed before the intensity level is increased.

Phase 2 (True Interval Training):

The primary goal of Phase 2 is develop cardio and leg strength through the introduction of the red zone. This phase will still use cardio equipment, but the intensity achieved on medium and hard days will be significantly higher than the previous phase. True Interval training is characterized by the ability of the athlete to achieve and sustain the heart rates in their red zone for a period of time and then fully recover back down to their yellow zone. As the athlete improves they are able to achieve the higher heart rates sooner and sustain work/power at those levels for longer intervals. Additionally, the time to recovery decreases and we can use more advanced work to rest ratios. This phase will typically last 1-2 weeks and will prepare the athlete for the subsequent phases.

Phase 3 (Linear Movement):

The goal of Phase 3 is to introduce linear specific movements while addressing the metabolic and work to rest demands seen in their sport. When possible these sessions should be completed on the actual playing surface that the athlete will need to perform on. Note that movement quality is still emphasized in addition to the intensity needed to reach the heart rates in a given zone. The linear phase will last 1-2 weeks and workouts will only take place on the hard days due to the dominant focus on movement intensity. Therefore, the workouts on recovery and medium days will be completed on cardio equipment. This phase will use jog to sprint progressing to sprint to jog protocols for various time and distance intervals.

Phase 4 (Multi-Directional Movement):

The multi-directional phase is the same as the linear phase, but the movement focus will transition to change of direction and pivoting movements. Note that there is a dominant focus on acceleration and deceleration capabilities. Sessions will still take place on hard days using 6-cone drills to address the specific movements and metabolic demands of the athlete’s sport. Work to rest ratios will move from 1:2 to 2:1 once the athlete has shown mastery and adaptation.

Phase 5 (Sport Specific Movement):

This phase will introduce the actual technical/tactical drill work seen in the sport with emphasis in the specific work to rest ratios that characterize the sport. Keep in mind that work to rest ratios should reflect the random nature of the sport and the rest should also represent the type of rest the athlete will receive during play (i.e. Passive vs. Active).

Each phase represents a step to get the athlete in the metabolic and movement shape needed to play their sport at the highest level. This is done through specific heart rate training that focuses on capacity and power production. This is important because the athlete may have the cardio strength, but lacks the leg strength to sustain the power endurance demands of the sport. Therefore, the ability to increase speed, incline, resistance, reps per time interval and the actual monitoring of power (wattage) allows you to track heart rate and power adaptation through all 5 phases of training. The end goal should be to produce the sport specific energy systems matched with the appropriate lower body power endurance and movement durability.

Please see EPISODE 17 on www.strengthcoachpodcast.com for a detailed review of the Athletes' Performance ESD System by our lead Metabolic Specialist Paul Robbins.

Nick Winkelman CSCS, *D; NSCA-CPT, *D
Education Manger/ Performance Specialist
Athletes' Performance (Tempe, AZ)