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Tag Archives: Eric Cressey

  • What program are you on, and does it really matter? By: Gunnar Thompson CSCS; NASM-CPT, PES, CES; CPPS

    I have some news for you: it does NOT matter what program you are on or following.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to believe the program that I followed was all that mattered. I was confident that the number of sets, reps, throws, and pitches were the secret sauce that would separate me from all others. I thought, if I could just optimize my program, I would be better than everyone. I wrote everything down. I had a plan going forward. It was PERFECT! Until, things changed.


    My body changed. I felt good some days, bad others, and somewhere in between most of the time. There were some days when I was scheduled to go all out—max effort—yet, I physically felt like crap. But it was on my program, so I did it anyways.


    My lifestyle changed. Some days I stayed up later at night. Other days I would have other things to do besides train. That's life. But I would literally change everything else to accommodate my workouts because it was my planned program. This led to a lot of internal conflicts.


    So here's what I realized from all the trial and error and the numerous seminars I attended by people a lot smarter than me. It's not the program that matters, but rather the system! No, this is not a play on words that can be used interchangeably. There are distinct differences.


    A program is a single strict series of exercises, sets, reps, and throws. A system is a series of multiple programs that can be used to achieve a specific goal. A system allows progressions and regressions based on how an athlete feels that day, but it still works toward the specific goal. It is called auto-regulation, a word that I learned from CPPS by Joe DeFranco and Jim Smith. For something to work, it must adapt on a monthly, daily, and even on an exercise by exercise basis. Something Ron Wolforth explains really well is the idea that we want to create adaptable athletes not adapted athletes. It is easy to write a program and follow it to a T, but does it really give you the best chance for success?


    At Oates Specialties, we get questions such as “Do you have instructions with your products?” on a daily basis.  I get it. People like to be told what to do and what to follow. Coaches like to implement a program they found to a “T” because, well, it is easier.  It is easy for me to write a program that is thoroughly detailed and planned, but is that really what is best for the athletes? After listening to great minds like Ron Wolforth, Frans Bosch, Randy Sullivan, Joe DeFranco, Jim Smith, Mike Robertson, Joel Jamieson, Louie Simmons and Eric Cressey, I realized why they are the best coaches. They develop a system that they can modify, enhance, or evolve based on each individual athlete.


    So I told you programs don’t matter, and you should follow a system. How does this help you right now? This should spur some thought. You should want to do your own research, and come up with a system for you or your athlete. If you want the easy way out, follow a program. If you really want to be your best or help your athletes reach their best, it is time to put in the work and do your research or go to someone who does their homework and has a system in place like the names mentioned above.

    Be Unique and #BeELITE!

  • Let's Get Nerdy!

    Hey guys! I wanted to start a series of blogs digging a little deeper into the human anatomy. Do not freak out though! I will make it easy for anyone to understand and be able to get something out of it.

    First I want to tell you real quickly why I am doing this. Here lately the numbers of studies on baseball and sports have dramatically increased, and while I have no problem with studies, I just am not sure if all of these are really helping you get better. I wanted to present things from an anatomical or body perspective. We have a good grasp on the muscles in the body and how they work. This hasn’t really changed much in the last few years if not longer. I wanted to present something to you that would be simple enough that you can implement today to improve your performance! Do not get me wrong, the body is not simple by any means, but there are some ways to start and advance from there.

    Now let’s talk about the Gluteus Medius. It can be found lateral aspect of the upper buttock. It is responsible for abduction and medial rotation of the hip. Hip rotation is critical in creating power in rotational athletes and also serves as a way to stabilize during other activities or sports.

    Here are a few examples on how coaches train this with their athletes:

    Exercise Band Activation: Band just above the knee. Knees are forced outward in order to gain tension in the gluteus medius. Wes Johnson presented this at the ABCA where he stated he tried to implement this with as many drills as he could like wall ball series, squats, hip bridges, clams, and etc…

    Donley Hip Spin: This is different than most products because it actually places the tension on hip and not the waist. It also works unilaterally so the athlete is not able to compensate.

    Pummel Ball Throws: This incorporates and integrates the full body while still keeping the primary focus on hip rotation. The ball tosses are commonly referred to by Eric Cressey, Lee Fiocci, and others as a great way work on full body rotation and power transfer. The pummel ball is ideal for this as it was made to be slammed into walls or the ground and is very durable.

    These are just a few exercises that can be used to activate and strengthen the Gluteus Medius. It may be important to stretch or work on tissue quality in this area as well. This is why you should consult with your instructor or therapist to make sure you are getting the right balance of strengthening, stretching, and tissue maintenance.

    Hopefully this gave you an insight to a powerful muscle utilized in rotational activities, and showed you how some of the greatest strength conditioning coaches train this in a holistic approach. As I stated before, one muscle is not everything, but it provides and good basis to start with and advance further. Make sure to tune in for the next video for another look into the anatomy of the human body.

    Remember to be unique And


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