Posts Tagged ‘strength and conditioning’


Mark Asanovich Assists You In Your Educational Evolutionmabajpeg

Develop strength and conditioning programs for athletes and active persons of all ages, as well as special medical populations. Learn methods of testing fitness, prescribing exercise, managing injury rehab, and motivating clients.

You can also purchase Instructional DVDs at Mark’s Web Site!!

Training Anywhere, Anytime…With Anyone DVD and Book Set
by Mark Asanovich, MA, CSCS, HFI
to order this and other items visit

This instructional DVD and book set will provide the practitioner with all of the information necessary to implement a Manual Resistance Training program that is prudent, productive, practical, and purposeful. item

Mark knows as much about strength training, conditioning
and exercise physiology as anyone I’ve ever been around. He was
a huge part of our success in developing playoff teams.
Tony Dungy, Former Head Coach
Indianapolis Colts/Tampa Bay Buccaneers


5th Annual Strength and Conditioning/Athletic Development Conference

5th Annual Strength and Conditioning/Athletic Development Conference

5th Annual Strength and Conditioning/Athletic Development Conference

Sponsored by Rogers Athletic
hosted by the Gordon Institute in Baltimore, Maryland on July 15 and 16.

Former and current NFL and MLB strength coaches, an Olympic medalist, NCAA and NIT champions, NSCA and NCAA conference professional of the year award finalists and winners, master strength and conditioning coaches, international experience, leading high school consultants, personal trainers, and coaches have all made the starting line-up. With discussion and hands-on/from-the-field learning opportunities, several organizations have recognized this conference as an approved CEU opportunity. Everyone interested in athletics, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, and the fitness industry can benefit from the information that will be shared at this year’s conference. More information can be found at

Here is the starting line-up to date:

Bob Rogucki, Baltimore Ravens
Mike Gittleson, Formerly at the University of Michigan

Allan Johnson, Formerly at The Ohio State University
Mike Joseph, West Virginia University
Jason Gallucci, Princeton University

Ralph Cornwell, Jr. Concussion Researcher





Matt Kavalek Head Research Assistant -Project Neck

Bernard Williams, Olympic Medal winning sprinter

Jim Kielbaso, Director of Total Performance Center
Nick Tumminello, Men’s Health author and international fitness presenter

Dr. Perry Nickelston, Owner of Stop Chasing Pain

Mike Kelly, Post-Rehab specialist at LifeBridge
Eric Gordon, Physical Therapist and CEO at Gordon Institute
Rob Taylor, SMARTER Team Training

What are people saying about the annual SC/AD Conference?
“This is my second year attending this conference and I really enjoyed it. Can’t wait for next year!”
“The attention to detail, helpful and friendly staff, and unexpected networking opportunities makes this conference rival events sponsored by much larger organizations.”
“The conference was great. There was a lot of variety and personality.”
“Loved the information on the website. Looking forward to keeping in touch on Facebook and Twitter. I’m saving the date for the 5th annual conference already.”
“Good all around program. I learned a lot.”
Note: All quotes were unsolicited and anonymous.


Weight Room Percentage Charts Send The Wrong Message

Weight Room Percentage Charts



Charting The Course                                                                                                                                                    describe the imageWeightlifting percentage charts grace weight rooms throughout the country.  They are utilized to provide direction. By testing ones best effort in a lift athletes and coaches can then make plans.

The weight lifting percentage charts are derived from strength testing a population by having them perform a single maximum repetition (1RM) of a given exercise.  Once the values are obtained the group is tested in maximum endurance at a percentage of their obtained 1RM.  A formula is gleaned that assigns a numerical value to each repetition.

Example :

A population of people found to have a max of 300 pounds on the bench press are further tested at 75% (225 Pounds) of their maximum .  The average result is 10 repetitions for the test.  The value of each rep is therefore 0.0333 or 7.5 pounds a rep.

0.0333 x 225 pounds = 7.5 pounds per rep.

7.5 pounds x 10= 75 pounds

225 pounds + 75 pounds = 300 pound max

Once a value is assigned to the repetition based upon the study, in this case 0.0333,  a ‘Weight Lifting Percentage Chart’ is constructed for the general population.

To use the chart a weightlifter simply finds his or her maximum along the left side.  The weight to workout with is taken from the chart based on the percentage and repetitions they are asked to utilize in their workout plan.

Sample of an athletes instructions from the Coach…

Today we are going to use 75% of our maximum for 10 reps, then 85% of our maximum for 6 reps and 90% for 4 on the bench press.  The above chart tells you the weight you should be working out with based on your individual max to Get Strong.

The athlete with a 270 max chooses…

75% – 205 x 10

85% – 230 x 6

90% – 245 x 4

Exactly what these percentages really mean to the muscle tissue is a huge question.  Weight Charts can be used as guides, yet to be accurate and take into account individual differences you need to make a chart for every exercise and every individual.

Try this to explore the reasoning of many charts…

Find your one repetition maximum in a multi-joint exercise such as a free weight barbell squat or bench press.  Select a percentage such as 65%, 75% or 85% of that maximum and do as many repetitions as possible with that percentage and record your repetitions.

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Now select a ‘single-joint‘ exercise such as barbell curl and repeat the test.  Whether trained or untrained you will find you achieve fewer repetitions at the same percentage of 1RM with a single-joint movement and more repetitions with a multi-joint movement.   In other-words multi -joint and single-joint exercises have different values of a repetition.  The amount of muscle mass involved in a multi-joint exercise and the neural system alter the outcome.

If this same test is done with a large group of athletes, say a team, you will get a similar result.  You will also find a great deal of variability from athlete to athlete in the data.


Try this also……

Take all your athletes who’s maximum is the same in a particular exercise.  Let’s say their maximum is 270 pounds on the bench press.  Using 75% of their max in the above chart (205), test the maximum amount of repetitions they can do.

In general, most may achieve 10 reps as indicated on the chart, but you may find an athlete who can only do 6 reps or another who can do 15.  Very normal stuff, as we all have different neurological efficiencies.

describe the imageCharts are charts, they set a course.  They give direction. Understand that they are not based on the scientific method and each athlete will be effected differently with the recommended weights and repetitions.

The best chart to hang in your weight room is the ‘Effort Chart’.  When you go to it, it says…. give a 100%  effort to any weight you choose to….. Get Strong.

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Pendulum 3 Way Row

The Cornwell Files

Eight Weeks Of Training On The Pendulum 5 Way Head And Neck Machine

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Ralph Cornwell is a Ph.D. candidate in health promotion/human performance at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to pursuing his Doctoral Degree he was a collegiate strength coach.

describe the imageRalph finished a pilot study on head and neck training.  The purpose is building a training model for force dissipation by increasing the circumference of the head and neck musculature.  Dissipation of force from contact will lower concussive forces and protect the athlete during play.

Most Improvement in 8 weeks

4 inch circumference increase in upper neck,
3 3/4 inch circumference change in lower neck
53. 5 pound increase in head and  neck extension
49.5 pound increase in flexion
140 lb increase in parallel grip row
261 lb increase in levator scapula/ shoulder girdle elevation barbell movement

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Least  Improvement in 8 weeks

1.5 inch increase in circumference upper neck
2.5 inch increase in circumference in lower neck
125 pound increase in parallel grip row
47.5 pound increase in neck extension
44 pound increase in head and neck flexion
215 pound increase in levator scapula/ shoulder girdle elevation barbell movement


Keep in mind, the speed of movement used was 3-4 second concentric 4-5 second eccentric, there was a pause in the contracted position of 1 second or the rep was not counted.  Over the weeks of the study the form became better and the weight increases continued steadily without compromising the strictest of technique required.

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Use The Pendulum 5 Way Head And Neck Machine to Get Strong.

Ask about the New 4 Way Pendulum Head And Neck Machine.

No ‘Paine’ No gain?

No ‘Paine’ No gain?

Isolationism can be a good thing.

Thomas Paine has a claim to the title, “The Father of the American Revolution”, because of his book ‘Common Sense’.

common‘Common Sense‘, presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of independence was still undecided.

Thomas Paine was what many called an isolationist, others a non-interventionist.  Thomas first published the book anonymously, full well knowing his views would bring some heat even though they proved to make sense.

It has been observed with muscle hypertrophy, that is tissue enlargement, that increases are delayed in muscle groups participating in complex multi-joint exercises like bench press and squats in comparison to single joint exercises like a bicep curl.

describe the imageIt certainly makes common sense as it is much easier to develop a single muscle fiber in the lab than a single muscle.  It is also easier to develop the musculature associated with a single joint rather than multiple muscles around multiple joints when doing one functional multi-joint exercise.

Exercise physiologists speculate this may be do to the neuromuscular challenge  posed by training a complex movement.

For rapid growth, isolation of tissue is a good thing.  Isolation exercises should be embraced not left out of a well organized program.

Develop the muscle tissue that you need as rapidly as possible and then go out and enjoy your sport.  Your brain will hook up the various hypertophied muscule structures and make it operate in a functional way.  It is only common sense.

leg curl

Using The Pendulum Leg Curl To Get Strong.

Teaching Progression

Teaching Progression                                                                                          

Gabriel Harrington is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Colgate University explains:

gateThe post season is the perfect time to take a couple of weeks to revisit your squat technique.  Ironing out bad habits and reinforcing fundamentals  will pay back tenfold.  This is the teaching progression I use with my players.

•    Begin with feet slightly wider than shoulder width – toes pointed slightly out
•    “Spread the Floor” with your feet: if you were on ice, you would do the splits – this helps to keep your knees from buckling in during the movement
•    Push through the heels, falling forward can put unnecessary strain on your spine – keeping your weight back keeps your center of gravity from falling forward and helps keep your knees behind your toes (more on this later)… try lifting your big toes slightly just before performing the movement 

•    Always breath into your belly, not your chest – this helps promote internal stability around the spine
•    Breath in at the top – now hold your breath on the way down and in the bottom position for a split second (unless you have high blood pressure)
•    Once upward movement is initiated breath out as you stand up

•    This series will help you learn to sit back rather than down when you squat as well as to keep your knees behind your toes
•    Begin by setting an adjustable platform or low box near a wall – make sure it is sturdy enough to support your bodyweight!
•    Set the platform such that as you sit on it the tops of your thighs are parallel with the floor
•    From the seated position place your toes against the wall and assume your squat stance
•    Take a breath into the belly, Spread the floor, lift your big toes and stand
•    Try to sit back onto the platform without “plopping” down onto it and return to the standing position once again
•    Once you can repeat this 2-3 times in a row without “plopping” down you are ready to move onto the next progression

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•    This time begin standing with your toes against the wall in your squat stance
•    Breath into the belly, spread the floor, lift the big toes, push your hips back and maintain a good arch in your spine
•    You will notice that at ¾ of the way down you will have to use your hip flexor muscles to pull you down
•    This is where it gets tough!  Your partner will have to spot you from behind and keep you from falling backwards – your partner’s job is to push you forward enough so that you can pull yourself down to parallel… you want to get used to your hip flexors working hard here!

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•    Once you feel comfortable enough, try this without your partner
•    Note that this is the exact form you will use with the bar on your back – you must master this exercise before moving on!
•    You may pick this up right away, or you may have to practice 2 sets of 3 reps on this each day for as long as a couple of weeks to master it – either way, stay with it because it will pay you back down the road!

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•    Once you have mastered the wall squat place an empty barbell across your shoulders and extend your arms out straight with your thumbs up to the ceiling and at eye level
•    Now squat like you’ve been practicing against the wall: breath into the belly, spread the floor, lift the toes, push the hips back and maintain a great spinal arch
•    The purpose of the bar here is to give you some feedback as to whether you are falling forward or not – if the bar rolls off your shoulders you are falling forward – check your weight distribution and keep working on it!
•    Once you can do this for a set of 2-3 reps in a row you are ready to back squat!


•    For the back squat, we want a “low bar position”
•    To achieve this, squeeze your shoulder blades together hard – this will create a natural “shelf” for the bar to sit on… The “shelf” is your trapezius and rear deltoid muscles contracting – the bar will sit here comfortably without feeling like you are rubbing your spine with the bar
•    Grip the bar firmly – experiment with the width of your hands for comfort – try to turn your wrists in… they won’t move very much, but by contracting your wrist muscles your wrists will hurt less from the awkwardness of the position
•    Keep your eyes up and push your head back into the bar (like when you try to make your neck look bigger in your team photo)
•    Note that this may feel uncomfortable at first… your wrists and upper back may not be strong enough initially to support much weight in this fashion, but STICK WITH IT, your upper back will grow thick with muscle from supporting weight in this manner – not to mention this is the most advantageous way to hold the bar (in time your spine will thank you)
•          At this point, having mastered the previous progressions, the back squat should be a breeze
•          Perform your practice sets with no more than 2 reps at a time with light weight until you get the hang of it (have a partner watch you!) and add weight slowly – in time you will have a healthy and impressive physique from all of your hard work!

Breath into the belly
Spread the floor
Lift the toes
Head back
Great arch
Drive through the heels… and…. Get Strong

Muscle Tendon Springs

Springing Into Action

romanIn actuality, running is a series of leaps and our tendons act as springs.

The ancient Romans understood the elasticity of tendons and hurled rocks on catapults with twisted tendon of animals.

When we run we want our muscles to contract isometrically, that is not change their length upon landing.  We then spring into action.  Tendons are similar to  steel springs that store energy and return energy, (not produce energy) and once stretched propel us forward.


Like all biological tissue tendons can be stretched.  When stretch occurs the tissue resists and exerts an elastic force on the skeletal system.  Though more complex we can simply look at this springphenomena as:

The elastic force = stiffness x amount of stretch

For high force eccentric contractions of the calf muscles (tricep surae) during running, the Achilles tendon may be stretched as much as 10% of its resting length.

As mentioned, a muscle and a tendon, like a spring, store and return energy.  The stiffer the muscle-spring, the greater the energy stored.  This translates into better speed and economy of effort.


Strength training along with sprint training increase the chemical cross-links between collagen molecules in the tendon.  The more cross-links the greater the passive stiffness of the tendon.

When running, muscles start to contract before contact with the ground.  This increases the stiffness of our tendons.  This also maximizes the amount of energy we can return to the track.  The timing of this event has everything to do with how the foot is placed to absorb energy and utilize our muscle tendon springs.


The isometrically contracted calf muscle absorbs as much energy as possible when the foot is on the ground.  The foot then goes from flexed to extended during this time due to the tendon being stretched not the muscle being shortened.

The good news is that you do not have to worry about quickly   contracting the muscle during strength training as you only need to build up the passive stiffness of the muscle tendon spring.

Since the stiffness of the muscle tendon spring is controlled by the precise timing of muscle isometric contraction upon landing, practicing your running skill maximizes the stiffness of the passive tendon that you achieved through strength training and skill development.


Training On The Pendulum Squat Pro To Get Strong