Monday, 8 August 2016

Students at BCSS Training Independently This Year

Welcome back smarter athletes!

Those of you who are hoping to train independently this year... this message is for you:

If you are interested in training on your own during a drop-in training session or during a spare period, please download and complete these forms, and return them to the athletics office as soon as possible!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

“As many repetitions as possible” probably not your best bet while conditioning during the in-season...

You can hear me out on this one- or turn the other cheek... but I’ve been at this for a while folks, and this isn’t rocket science. 

If you’re approaching, or well-within your competitive season in your training year, the fitness you’ve built up-to-now should be looked at like an investment. Because it is one.

It is your time and your energy packaged up into a measurable state of potential performance...  And if you haven’t been working on it that much- better luck next year. 

Either way, there’s nothing you can do overnight to magically boost it. Truthfully, your biggest goal in-season should be to maintain the fitness you’ve built, avoid injury, and recover well between competitions and training sessions. 

This doesn’t mean that it’s a good time to be lazy or slack off during training sessions either though. Remember, the goal here is to maintain fitness, so you still need to manage your current ability levels when it comes to the fitness you’ve built. 

One of the most effective ways of communicating this in my opinion, has been to tell athletes that during their competitive seasons, they should end their training sessions feeling like they could have done more. 

By reducing volumes, increasing inter-set rest times, and maintaining regular intensities rather than trying to push for new heights in every session, athletes recruit muscular strength and utilize energy systems in capacities that encourage fitness levels to stay where they are while working at non-exhaustive, sub-threshold levels.

So... Don’t call it “hitting a plateau”... call it “maintaining fitness”- when you’re in-season, that’s the whole point.

Happy training, 


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

If you're not going to take it from me, take it from Kevin Pillar...

In an era of weight loss tips, CrossFit challenges, and other body-image trends dominating media coverage in the health and fitness industry, there are very few things that can make a strength and conditioning person happier than this story.

Toronto Blue Jays star outfielder Kevin Pillar needs no introduction- but to aspiring athletes in all sports and positions, his off-season workout philosophy might...

Pillar's focus on "moving more like a child..." is in the simplest of terms- focusing on the foundations of building and maintaining a healthy state of physical conditioning. Mobility and stability are top priorities. Yes. At this point, the relaxed and healthy state of muscles and joints are more important to Kevin Pillar than muscular size or the exact amount of force those muscles and joints working together can produce.

Without achieving optimal levels of mobility and stability, we immediately place ourselves under disadvantaged circumstances when it comes to strength, power, and speed.

This is where we should welcome our friends in the respected fields of physics and biomechanics...

They will tell us that the ability to produce force will forever be restricted by the limitations imposed on a joint angle. In physiology, this often means that the high-resting tension in large muscle groups caused by a lack of mobility training, poor recovery, and excessive volume are in-fact our biggest limiters.

But let's put a positive spin on it...

If our biggest limiters on gaining new strength, power and speed can be lifted through increased involvement in flexibility/mobility training and improved recovery, likely without even breaking a sweat, what are we waiting for?

Happy training,


Monday, 1 February 2016

Exercise Video Index for SSF Programming

Happy Monday Everyone,

This week, students in the SSF course are going to begin programming their first phase of strength and conditioning work.

To help you with that, here is an index of resistance exercise videos that you can use to help re-familiarize yourself with some of the strength training exercises you might like to incorporate into your program. For those of you looking for the PDF version of the program builder, you can download it here.

Once you've finished developing your program design, feel free to bring it to me so that we can go over it together!

Happy training!


Monday, 25 January 2016

A Simple YTP Template

Students in HPA, SSF, and LTAD are currently reviewing and learning about the important role of a yearly training plan (YTP) in coaching and training. A YTP is a tool used in the long-term planning process for athletes who require an integrated approach to balancing and monitoring sport-specific training loads with strength and conditioning, and other commitments throughout the year while paying special consideration to key dates and time periods in the calendar.

Those of you who are taking on the challenge of integrating your fitness class activity with your yearly training plan for the rest of the semester can download this simple version of a YTP template to help you.

Note: Please remember that students must be logged in to their YRDSB Google Apps (GAPPS) account to view / download this file. 

The template will allow you to budget and map out the relationship between your weekly fitness training totals and sport-specific skills training totals along with average intensity levels. Volume and intensity considerations for each microcycle should align with your fitness training goals for the specific macro-cycle in your training plan. You should also us the template to designate fitness assessment weeks and specific tests for those weeks.

If you would like to brush-up on periodization theory before getting started, you can review the Smarter Athletes presentation on periodization concepts by clicking here.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Template for Monitoring Elective Fitness Tests

Students in LTAD and SSF courses can download and use this simple template for monitoring their elective fitness testing results.

The template allows for up to six tests (up to two from each category) to be recorded for submission and has a built-in visual component for demonstrating trends / progress. Students will only need to change the names of their elected tests and the results. When naming a test, use the following naming method:

for example:

Students only need to change the names of tests and enter data in the columns from their three rounds of testing.

This template is accompanied by a visual that will automatically adjust to the new values you've entered in the tracking chart above.

This simple visual model used to illustrate trends in testing/assessment will update automatically.

Students that have developed their own tracking sheet can feel free to continue using it instead of this one as long as testing and results are being tracked effectively.

To view a PDF of the elective fitness testing presentation, click here.