Monday, June 8, 2009

Embrace your pregame jitters: A little stress can improve your athletic skills.

British scientists who studied 40 collegiate athletes concluded that those who tried to quiet their nerves reduced not only their heart rates but also their confidence levels, which dampened their reflexes. See the mantra below created by Jennifer Cumming, Ph.D., the study's author. When the athletes in the study chanted it, they were able to keep their heart rates up without feeling overwhelmed with anxiety:

"I am mentally and physically ready.... My body is signaling that it is prepared.... I have butterflies in my stomach and slight feelings of nausea...telling me that adrenaline is pumping round my body...confirming that I am prepared to body is in its optimal state...I am supremely confident that I can dominate the situation.... My muscles feel tight...they will react to my every command.... I am totally in control of my body and this focuses me on the task ahead.... My heart is racing faster...and faster...and my breathing is rapid.... I know that oxygen is coursing through my body.... I recognize these as feelings that I always experience prior to my best performances.... This makes me even more confident in my own ability.... Any thoughts of the competition that I experience just prove to underline my level of readiness.... All the other competitors can see that I am a well prepared, supent athlete who will succeed...."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stay Fit During The Holidays

Thanksgiving and Christmas are great holidays, but they also can throw a huge curve into your workout plans.

Go here to get some tips on staying fit during the holidays.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Training Now and Over the Years

"...our mission is for you to learn to fight well for real. Someone with this training should be able to handle himself proficiently in real time with sticks, clubs, knives, staff, improvised weapons and empty hand in all ranges. He should have skills and intelligence for multiple player situations. He should have a clear sense of what he can and cannot do, and be able to assess situations and people well. He should be seasoned in handling his adrenaline and know for what he fights and for what he does not. He should be fit and healthy. This is whether he is a younger man, a middle aged man, or an older man.

"And for each of these there is short, middle and long term training, which should be done together in an ever changing blend. One should not try to live permanently in the testosterone frenzy of getting-ready-for-a-fight training, but one should always be of a level of fitness able to apply maximal effort without notice. One needs to train for now and for over the years. This promotes physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual health as well as fighting skill.

"To last over the years, one needs to be intelligent-- the secret of life is to get smart faster than you get old. If we try to always operate in that young male testosterone frenzy, just like Bruce Lee we're not going to last very long. In training, there must be the "three Fs"...Fun, Fit, and Functional. To be functional, we must be fit and healthy, and what we do to be fit and healthy must be fun to do or we will not do it."

Mark Denny

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New SEALS Recruiting and Training Program

CORONADO, Calif., April 10 (UPI) -- A U.S. Navy program to boost the elite SEALs force is starting to pay off, the Navy Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said that the Naval Special Warfare Command had overhauled both its recruiting and training techniques in the past year in a bid to boost volunteers to the under-strength force and also to boost recruits in their efforts to pass the unit's demanding training program.

The NSWC and the Navy had even set up a mentorship program to ease the transition of recruits in their training process, the newspaper said.

The paper said a new recruiting division at Recruit Training Command had been established to strengthen teamwork concepts among recruits, boost physical training levels and capabilities and boost their overall general performance.

The Navy Times said the program was already showing some improvements in recruitment figures and in the percentage of recruits who made the grade.

It said that SEALs class 263, which completed a six-month basic course on March 30, produced 46 men SEALs out of 144 class members who started the program, giving a success rate of 32 percent. This was a significant improvement on the old average completion rate of 26 percent, the Navy Times said.

U.S. security concerns have created a growing demand for the skill sets of the SEALS. However the current force level of 2,270 SEALS is below the officially required level by 12 percent. The Pentagon wants the force to grow to 3,038 SEALs by 2011, the report said.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sports Injury Index

How to alleviate and prevent more than 100 sports injuries

Program to Increase Your Vertical Jump

The vertical jump is an important aspect of almost every sport. It trains for explosive power and speed. The source of this program is Josh McHugh from Outside magazine.


Mondays and Thursdays
Increase starting weights in each exercise by 5 to 10 pounds per week
•15 reps at whatever weight you can squat 15 times.
•12 reps with 30 pounds more weight
•8 reps with an additional 30 pounds
•6 reps with 20 more pounds
6 reps with 10 more pounds
•4 reps with 10 more pounds (you should be lifting 100 more pounds than you did on your first set)

Step-ups with barbell on shoulders (Step-up onto a bench or platform that's at least 18 inches high)
•10 reps with a light weight
•10 reps with 10 more pounds on the barbell
•10 reps with 10 more pounds on the barbell (there should be 20 more pounds on the barbell for this set than used for the first set)

Bulgarian squats (lunges where you step your front leg up onto a 12-inch platform)
•3 sets of 8 reps with a moderately heavy (for you) dumbbell in each hand

Stiff-leg deadlift with barbell
•4 sets of 8 reps. Start with a light barbell and add 10 pounds to the barbell with each set.

Hamstring curls
•15 reps at a moderately heavy weight
•12 reps with an additional 10 pounds
•10 reps with an additional 10 pounds
•8 reps with 10 less pounds than the last set

Vertical jump squats holding dumbbells.
•From a squat position jump straight up and as you land return to a squat position.
•4 sets of 8 reps with light dumbbells in each hand.

One-legged Calf raises
•4 sets of 10, starting with your body weight and add 10 lbs per set. Use a dumbbell, so that by the fourth set you're holding a 30-pound dumbbell.

Dips at a dip station.
•4 sets of 8

•4 sets of 8

All exercises except for hill sprints done with Jumpsoles plyo training apparatus. After two weeks, begin wearing hypergravity belt, adding 2.5 lbs per week.

•1 set of 30 reps
•1 set of 25 reps
•1 set of 20 reps

Step-ups (onto bench, or 12" platform)
•2 sets of 15 reps
•1 set of 10 reps

•2 sets of 15 reps
•1 set of 10 reps

•3 sets at 50 yards

Two-legged hops (frog-style)
•3 sets at 40 yards

Double one-leg hops (left, left, right, right)
•3 sets at 40 yards

Vertical jumps
•2 sets of 15 jumps
•1 set of 10 jumps

Knee-tuck jumps
•1 set of 10 reps
•1 set of 15 reps

One-legged 12-inch bench hop-ups
•3 sets of 10

Depth jumps (jumping down from 12-inch bench)
•First 2 weeks, jump and land only after 2 weeks, 3 sets of 10, exploding straight upward upon landing

Uphill sprints
•1 x 30 yards
•1 x 60 yards
•1 x 90 yards

Sit-ups, holding 10 lb medicine ball to forehead
•3 sets of 20 each: twisting left, straight, twisting right (180 total)

Super Mini Gym isokinetic squats, wearing jumpsoles
•6 sets of 45 reps, starting at max resistance and decreasing resistance with each set

•Speed ladder with 18 rungs
•Ankle skips, keep leg straight, flexing only at hips and ankles, hit every square,
•Knee-raise skips, swinging arms, hit every square,
•One-leg hops, hit every square
•One-leg hops, hit every other square
•Standing long-jump, landing with feet outside 4th square, launching with feet
•inside square, jump four more squares
•Standing long jump, as above, to 5th square
•Standing long jump, as above, to 6th square
•Standing long jump, landing (and launching) with feet inside 4th square
•Standing long jump, as above, to 5th squareResistance jumping, with surgical-tubing restraints clipped to belt and held to floor (by trainer, floor clips or weight)
•10 jumps for maximum height
•20 quick "ankle jumps," knees bent only sightly
•10 jumps without resistance for max height
•20 ankle jumps, no resistance
•repeat once

Platform jumps, using 12 inch, 18 inch, 24 inch and 30 inch high platforms
•20 two-foot hops to each platform
•2 sets of 10 two-foot hops to highest platform•5 sets of progression: small/floor/medium/floor/large/floor/med/floor/small
•10 jumps: mid-height platform/floor/highest platform/highest/floor/mid-height
•4 sets of 20-hop freestyle jumps. Hit all platforms in random order five times.

Jump rope with 20 lb. ankle weights
•150 two-legged jumps
•75 one-legged jumps on each leg
•200 push-ups

South Beach Diet
•Whey protein shakes within 90 minutes after each workout
•ZMA compound before sleep (increases testosterone levels and muscle growth rates).
•After desired weight loss is achieved, take a serving of creatine 1 hour before each workout

Marines Release New Concept for Functional Fitness

Recently, the USMC released its groundbreaking new "Concept for Functional Fitness."

As perhaps the truest form of "combat athlete", the Marines are utilizing the best knowledge to train for function.

Check out the PDF of the report "Concept for Functional Fitness."