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A review of Perform Better Phoenix | Boddicker Performance

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A review of Perform Better Phoenix

by on Apr 19th, 2010

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As usual, attending seminars is one of the highlights of my year.  There are few other places where you get to spend a day with a number of bright minds and talk shop.  As usual, this year’s Perform Better Phoenix did not disappoint.  Presentations were given by Michael Boyle, Alwyn Cosgrove, Todd Durkin, and Gray Cook and I picked some good information from each.

1.  Michael Boyle: Preparing to Workout

Coach Boyle’s presentation, as always, was full of good information and good humor.

One quote that I very much apprecaited was one from Frank Gelett Burgess who said, “if in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse, you may be dead.”  While many are critical of those who change their minds, I am not of that conviction.  To me, changing your opinions demonstrate constant evolution and desire to provide the best programming for your athletes.

In discussing static stretching, he made a point (from Cantu and Grodin’s book) that the majority is probably fascial stretching, as muscle tissue without fascia is 300 times more extensible than fascia.  Also, despite the recent fear of pre-training static stretching, Boyle has his athletes static stretch because a dynamic warm up washes out the performance decrements.  As he says, the research is “statistically significant, yet practically insignificant.”

Alwyn Cosgrove: Designing Effective Semi-Private Training Programs

This was majorly a business talk with some training underlines.  A few things you may want to question in your own practices:

-The IHRSA shows that 1 on 1 training has a 3 percent penetration rate, while group exercise is closer to 50%

-His programs are, simply put, up-down-front-back.  So on one day he may do a total body exercise, a lower pulling exercise paired with an upper pushing exercise, then a lower push (unilateral) paired with an upper pulling exercise.  Fill in a few “pure” or “dynamic” stability exercises and you’ve got it whipped.

-He has given up on traditional means of metabolic work in favor of more kettlebells, medicine ball, and rope slams.  For those fearful of dropping treadmill running or bike sprints in your personal training clients, you might want to try 20 minutes with Alwyn.  It can be a challenge.

Todd Durkin: 3-D Approach to Program Design for a Successful Fitness Business

For those who have seen Todd speak before, you know one thing for sure.  Todd is a man of PASSION.  As he speaks his enthusiasm is contagious (contagiasm).  His programs are also written enthusiastically and executed with intensity.  Todd says that he gets his athletes in and out of the door in about 60 minutes and covers warm-up, joint integrity work, core conditioning, strength work, plyometrics, SAQ work, energy systems work, mental training, and flexibility.  It is definitely high intensity.

Gray Cook: Dynamic Stability Training

Gray’s presentations have yet to disappoint and, while much of what was covered is not new knowledge, he did an outstanding job of making things flow and applying his ideas.  Much of the presentation revolved around a discussion of the evidence concerning injury biomarkers.  Previous injury, asymmetry, motor control, BMI, and stupidity are those that are evidence based, though Gray contends that the research on stupidity is ongoing in the field of athletic development.

I really appreciated his discussion of using a solid assessment to determine issues, and showed limitations in the one size fits all programs for a number of things like ACL prevention.  He showed two videos of girls showing valgus collapse on landing, but revealed that they had two entirely different issues.  He then said “these girls will be doing the same program in three weeks, but not today.”  I think that is a golden nugget, once you take care of movement deficiencies, it makes little sense to have two vastly different programs, but you need to take care of dysfunction first.

Gray also discussed the merits of EMG concluding with a “so what” comment because simply increasing EMG peaks with an exercise is only as good as the brain is able to sequence movements and form patterns.  In looking at EMG feeds it is hard to tell “if that muscle is screaming, smiling, or crying.”

If you have a chance to go to a Perform Better event, I, again, offer my highest recommendations.

Best regards,
Carson Boddicker

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  • Dave April 20, 2010

    Great post Carson, What did Gray say were the different issues between the two girls? And how did he approach this?


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