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    The effects of Foam Rolling on Myofascial Release and Performance

    June 20th, 2013

    Healey K, Dorfman L, Riebe D, Blanpied P, Hatfield D.Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research 25, Supplement 1. 2011

    Who: 26 healthy college aged individuals with normal BMI, divided into two groups.

    What: Each group came in on two different days and performed a standard dynamic warm up (walking lunges, walking knee to chest, side squats, walking butt kicks, frankensteins and penny kickers) followed by either 30 seconds of foam rolling on quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, latissimus dorsi and the rhomboids the lower limb and back or light “planking” for the same time period

    Results: There was no significant difference between foam rolling or planking on vertical jump power, vertical jump height, isometric force production, 47 yard sprint  or the pro-agility test performed after the two mentioned activities.

    Did the participants need the foam rolling (i.e did they have trigger points, myofascial adhesions etc? Would we expect SMFR to be an effective modality if the athlete/client did not have any trigger points/myofascial adhesions etc?

    If they had trigger points myofascial adhesions etc, was the tissue released within 30 seconds? A key challenge for strength coaches and personal trainers with respect to self myofascial release is not to prescribe a certain time or a certain amount of repetitions (as we are used to) but rather to educate our athlete and clients to roll until the release is felt.

    Practical Application: In my opinion a key take home message from this particular study is that SMFR might NOT have an effect on subsequent performance. For SMFR to work it must be done right!

    PS: Take a look at the Yes To Strength recommended SMFR tools here.

    PPS: In Victory Loves Preparation, you will learn the “who, how and when” of self myofascial release (and much more). Please join me on July 21st at Body&Soul in Toronto!

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    What’s wrong with 6 minutes on the bike?

    June 13th, 2013

    In the movie, The Mechanic, starring Jason Statham as a professional killer and Donald Sutherland as his mentor, Donald Sutherland’s character has a revolver with the inscription “Victory Loves Preparation.”

    If you have seen The Mechanic, you will know that Jason Statham’s character was the prepared one and ultimately did not do Donald Sutherland’s character well!

    Anyway, when I was asked to present a workshop on warm-up and cool downs, I thought that “Victory Loves Preparation” was an appropriate title.

    Does the world really need a workshop on warm-ups and cool downs?

    I mean, what’s wrong with 6 minutes on the bike or jogging around the perimeter while catching up with team mates? The athletes or clients ARE getting ‘warm.”

    Next week I will share my perspective on warm-ups and cool-downs and why I created an entire one day workshop on the topic.

    However, I am very interested in your take on warm ups and cool-downs:

    • What type of exercises are you using with the athletes/clients during warm ups cool downs?
    • What’s the duration of the warm-up/cool down in the programs that you create?
    • Do you supervise the warm-up/cool down? (Why/Why not?)

    To your Success,


    PS: If you would like to know, right away, why I created “Victory Loves Preparation” and how this knowledge can make your workouts more EFFECTIVE, please take a look at the seminar description here.

    PPS: Does self myofascial release really work? Check next weeks blog for a review of some of the current research on the topic?

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    One exercise is not enough

    May 30th, 2013

    Any significant change in any bio-motor ability requires months and years of systematic continuous training.

    The exercises that the beginner can perform correctly without injury will not result in performance improvement for the advanced athlete.

    Vice versa, the exercises that results in performance improvement for the advanced athlete may injure the beginner.

    Further, each exercise will only be effective for a period of time, after which it loses its effect. This is the Principle of Accommodation.

    Thus, we can see that any athlete or client over time will have to utilize a sequence of exercises.

    Just knowing how to select one exercise is never enough.

    We must learn how to select SEQUENCES of exercises.

    Exercise progressions are examples of exercise sequences.

    Power lifting coach Louie Simmons is famous for using the conjugated sequence of exercises, where the purpose of each exercise is to create favorable conditions for the training of the next exercise in the sequence, ultimately leading to peak performance in the desired activity.

    When we define exercise sequences, some of the fundamental questions include:

    • Which exercise should be the first one in the sequence? (type and difficulty)
    • For how long will that exercise (or any other exercise) result in a significant training stimulus?
    • Which exercise should follow?
    • How should the second exercise be different and more difficult than the first exercise?
    • Does the optimal time to use a given exercise change as the athlete gets more advanced?
    • Does the rate of increasing an exercise’s difficulty change as the athlete or client reaches advanced stages of training?

    First and foremost, it is the principles of Periodization of Exercise Selection that gives us the principles for creating exercise sequences and progressions.

    On May 31st, 2013, I teach“Beyond Functional Training” for the first time. The strength coaches and personal trainers who have chosen to be there will leave armed with new and advanced knowledge on exercise periodization.

    If you do not make it this time, check our seminar page regularly for updates. I will teach Beyond Functional Training again in the fall.

    To Your Success,

    PS: Check out this article that talks more about Beyond Functional Training.

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