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The New Rules of Sleep for Athletes

By Phil White | Mon, Sep 24

For the longest time, coaches have only considered the need for their athletes to get adequate rest from the perspective of “recovery.” While you must pair this with training stimuli to get adaptation, it’s far from the only reason to prioritize sufficient slumber.

Sleep is also imperative if your clients or athletes are going to commit what they’re learning to long-term memory.

A study conducted by Matthew Walker and referenced in his excellent book Why We Sleep compared undergrads who prepared for a test over several evenings and went to bed at a reasonable time versus those who pulled a pre-exam all-nighter. The results showed that “there was a 40 percent deficit in the ability of the sleep-deprived group to cram new facts into the brain (i.e. to make new memories).”

Most of the studies on this topic have been done with classroom students, but the gym is an equally rich learning environment (and perhaps more so, particularly for kinesthetic learners). Every time an athlete does something physical, it’s an expression of skill, and each skill has an intensely cognitive component.

Simply learning a new motor pattern or honing an existing one in the gym or on the practice field is only half the job when it comes to skill acquisition and progression. For it to take, getting enough premium quality shut-eye is imperative.

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Why Understanding Arm Action Is a Critical Factor in Teaching Speed

By Joel Smith | Wed, Sep 19

As a coach with over a decade of experience in the realms of track and field and sports performance, I’ve noticed a common trend when it comes to the arms: people think arms aren’t that big of a factor in how we sprint. 

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Path to the Podium Episode 1: The Road to AO3 Las Vegas

By TrainHeroic | Wed, Sep 12

We're on a mission as partners with USA Weightlifting to help identify the next generation of American weightlifting talent.

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Energy Systems 101 Part 2: What Every Coach Really Needs to Know!

By Jonathan Mike | Mon, Sep 10

In Part 1 of this series, we thoroughly examined the truth about energy systems, their classification, specifics of each energy system, correct terminology used, and most importantly, how each energy system is interconnected and contributes to one another for energy provisions.

One of the more confusing aspects that continues to purvey is the role of fuel use during training, and even during recovery, and how intensity has large implications for these energy systems.

Many are discussing and even advocating basic programming ideas based on these systems without ever really thinking and knowing about how they work. This article will help set the record straight and examine the truth about energy systems.

Let’s get started with Part 2.

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Pre-Season Camps Are a Go. Here’s How to Get Your Athletes Through...Injury-Free

By Tim DiFrancesco | Wed, Aug 29

‘Tis the season once again. The pre-season that is!

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7 Mental Keys for Unlocking Your Athlete's Potential

By Micah Kurtz | Mon, Aug 20

Doubt is the cancer that kills dreams and prevents individuals from pursuing and achieving their ambitious goals.

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The Fundamentals of Increasing Strength to Improve Speed

By Bill Parisi | Tue, Aug 14

There are three aspects of improving speed – running technique, muscle elasticity, and strength! The problem is many coaches and athletes aren’t optimizing their speed strength training with the right program design to reap the greatest benefits in speed and force production.

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Energy Systems: What Every Coach Really Needs To Know!

By Jonathan Mike | Mon, Aug 6

Energy systems within the framework of coaching and athletic development is always a heated topic, and there has been this very unsettling trend within social media and online articles discussing the best methods to incorporate these systems into programs. While this topic is critical to the improvement of athletic performance, implementation, and program design, the use of specific terms and application have been misinterpreted.

As times goes on, the staggering amount of self-proclaimed training and nutrition "experts" within the industry become more obvious. Many are discussing and even advocating basic programming ideas based on these systems without ever really thinking about how they actually work. There are way too many people who speak and write as though these energy systems are completely independent of each other.

Here’s the truth - and I know it may be shocking - but all these energy systems are not independent of each other. They never have been and never will be.

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Training On One Leg Is Better Than Two

By Wil Fleming | Mon, Jul 16

At Force Fitness we work to develop all aspects of athleticism with the hundreds of athletes we see each week. Speed, strength, power, reaction, lateral movement, balance, and even injury prevention all go into this equation to create better, more resilient athletes.

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