Congratulations to the Champions!

Congratulations to Justify, jockey Mike Smith, and trainer Bob Baffert on Justify becoming the thirteenth Triple Crown winner in history with an impressive wire-to-wire victory in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday! Prior to Saturday’s victory, Justify won an exciting Preakness Stakes following his thrilling victory in the Kentucky Derby. It is quite an accomplishment to win the Triple Crown and I am glad to see Justify join American Pharoah and the other great horses that have accomplished the feat.

Also, congratulations to the Golden State Warriors and the Washington Capitals for winning their respective titles last week. I am particularly happy for the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin. He is a great player. Now he no longer has to listen to the critics saying, “But he never won the Stanley Cup.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Congratulations to the 2018 Kentucky Derby winner!

Belated congratulations to Justify, jockey Mike Smith, and trainer Bob Baffert on the 2018 Kentucky Derby victory. I really enjoyed watching the races two Saturdays ago (and a few mint juleps), particularly Justify’s thrilling win in the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby. I am looking forward to seeing his run at the Triple Crown resume at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 19th. I had bet on Bolt d’Oro to win and Justify to place in the Kentucky Derby. However, I almost changed my betting plans upon hearing Bob Baffert gush about how special he felt this horse was. After all, this is the trainer of the last Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah. I will be rooting for him (and likely betting on him) to win in Maryland and perhaps New York. Good luck, Justify!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Passing of Another Olympic Games

Once again we have witnessed the end of another Olympic Winter Games. I am a little sad to see them end, but it has been fun to watch these displays of athleticism and sport. Goodbye, PyeongChang! Hello, Beijing! 😃

Greg Maness' Functional Sports Performance Blog

I always find the end of the Olympic Games to be a little sad. For a little while we are reminded of what a human being can achieve from an athletic (and perhaps an artistic) perspective. The performance envelope is pushed a little further at each new Olympic Games. Memories are made for athletes, coaches, family, friends, and spectators. Athletic glory is won. Medal-winning performances are celebrated (unless more was expected) and disappointing outcomes mourned.  For a little while, the world is united by a love of sport. Then the closing ceremony inevitably arrives. The young people of the world are invited to assemble again in the future to compete at the host city of the next scheduled Games. The flame is extinguished and we are left to await the next Olympic Games.

An Olympic athlete has sacrificed so much in pursuit of their athletic goals (of course, their families…

View original post 241 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Guy Winch: How to fix a broken heart | TED Talk |”

“Heartbreak shares all the hallmarks of traditional loss and grief: insomnia, intrusive thoughts, immune system dysfunction. Forty percent of people experience clinically measurable depression. Heartbreak is a complex psychological injury. It impacts us in a multitude of ways.” — Guy Winch, psychologist

This is a great TED Talk to watch this Valentine’s Day if you are dealing with heartbreak. If your heart is broken please know that you are not alone and that you can get through this.

Greg Maness' Under Carolina Skies

“Guy Winch: How to fix a broken heart | TED Talk |”

“In over 20 years of private practice, I have seen people of every age and background face every manner of heartbreak, and what I’ve learned is this: when your heart is broken, the same instincts you ordinarily rely on will time and again lead you down the wrong path. You simply cannot trust what your mind is telling you.” — Guy Winch, psychologist

I recently celebrated forty-nine years of life. Approaching the half-century mark has found me often being in a somewhat reflective mood. I suspect that many of us, as we get older and move beyond those seemingly immortal days of our youth, find ourselves taking a measure of our lives. It has been somewhat surprising to me though when I look back at past romantic relationships to realize that some of the relationships that had…

View original post 234 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Helen Fisher: The brain in love | TED Talk |”

“In the jungles of Guatemala, in Tikal, stands a temple. It was built by the grandest Sun King, of the grandest city-state, of the grandest civilization of the Americas, the Mayas. His name was Jasaw Chan K’awiil. He stood over six feet tall. He lived into his 80s, and he was buried beneath this monument in 720 AD. And Mayan inscriptions proclaim that he was deeply in love with his wife. So, he built a temple in her honor, facing his. And every spring and autumn, exactly at the equinox, the sun rises behind his temple, and perfectly bathes her temple with his shadow. And as the sun sets behind her temple in the afternoon, it perfectly bathes his temple with her shadow. After 1,300 years, these two lovers still touch and kiss from their tomb.”

This is great TED Talk to view on Valentine’s Day, either alone or with a significant other. 😉

Greg Maness' Under Carolina Skies

“Helen Fisher: The brain in love | TED Talk |”

“And indeed, it has all of the characteristics of addiction. You focus on the person, you obsessively think about them, you crave them, you distort reality, your willingness to take enormous risks to win this person. And it’s got the three main characteristics of addiction: tolerance, you need to see them more, and more, and more; withdrawals; and last: relapse.”

Anyone that has experienced romantic love can speak to the intense, powerful feelings that accompany it. Anyone that has been rejected by the object of their affection can speak to the crushing pain that feels physical, mental, and even spiritual. They can also attest to the sense of utter hopelessness that accompanies that pain. Romantic love has the potential to carry us to the peaks of euphoria and to drag us down to the depths of an agony and…

View original post 100 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Meet Day Strategy for Weightlifters”

Athletic Lab’s Chris Hoina and Brian Guilmette have put out a helpful (and humorous) series of videos along with some additional resources for the beginning weightlifter. Athletic Lab is hosting their Winter Weightlifting Classic on Saturday, February 17th, 2018. Athletic Lab puts on great weightlifting meets and the video series with the accompanying resources is another example of their commitment to the sport of weightlifting in North Carolina and beyond.

Sadly, the Jeff Connors’ Strength & Conditioning Clinic in Greenville, North Carolina is also scheduled for the same day. So if you are interested in both of these events, you will unfortunately have to chose which one to attend. Either way you can’t go wrong.

If you are a weightlifter, a prospective weightlifter or just want to know more about the sport, I highly recommend that you access this material by clicking on the link above. Another great resource is Catalyst Athletics Weightlifting Competition Guide by Greg Everett of Catalyst Athletics. You can get a copy of the e-book via their Web site ( It is a short, easy read and has some great information for the new weightlifting athlete or coach.

Link | Posted on by | Leave a comment

“Jeff Connors’ Strength & Conditioning Clinics”

Registration is now open for the Jeff Connors’ Strength & Conditioning Clinic scheduled for Saturday, February 17th. I attended Coach Connors’ clinic in 2015. It was a fantastic event at which I was able to see Coach Connors, Al Johnson, Mike Gentry, and Ethan Reeve present. I also got to enjoy some delicious Eastern North Carolina BBQ with the attendees. 🙂 After attending the 2015 clinic, I read Coach Connors’ Strength Coach: A Call to Serve, an enjoyable and enlightening read.

In 2016, I was unable to attend, as I was already registered to attend the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute (a great learning experience in its own right) in Alexandria, Virginia with my Empower Personalized Fitness coworkers. In 2017, I was unable to attend, as I was transitioning between jobs. Sadly, I will likely be unable to attend this year’s event, as I may not be able to make the necessary arrangements at relatively short notice, particularly with me living in faraway Northern Illinois. But if you can make this year’s event, I don’t believe that you will be disappointed. Coach Connor’s put on a great event in 2015 and he has had respected speakers in each of the subsequent years. If you are interested in attending the 2018 Strength & Conditioning Clinic, you can get further information by clicking on the link above. Perhaps I will see you there. 😉

Link | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Congratulations to the Champions

Congratulations (albeit belatedly) to the Alabama Crimson Tide for winning the NCAA National Championship over the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23 in a thrilling overtime win on Monday, January 8th. Keep your chin up, Bulldog fans. It looks like your team will contend for some time to come.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Certification – 8 Weeks Out”

Last year I purchased Joel Jamieson’s Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach Course. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked after getting started on the course and ended the year without having completed it. Now, here in 2018, I am back to studying the materials. I must say that I am impressed with what I have seen so far. It is clear that Joel wants the viewer to understand the science behind conditioning without feeling the need to overwhelm the viewer with more detail than is necessary to understand the principles behind effective conditioning practices.

As I see it, the great thing about this particular course is that the information can be applied to both athletes and the general population. As a sport performance coach/personal trainer/fitness specialist, I have taken courses and attended lectures and workshops that were geared to a specific population. That is understandable and it certainly makes sense when you consider that each population has specific needs and requirements when it comes to training. However, if the human being is basically a biological machine, it stands to reason that we all share certain basic traits as human beings. I would argue that our similarities vastly outweigh any individual differences. That is what allows fitness and sport performance professionals to work with a variety of individuals and groups from a variety of backgrounds, and with a variety of goals and needs. Much as a well-trained and experienced auto mechanic can work on a variety of cars and trucks, so can a well-trained and experienced fitness/sport performance professional work with a variety of individuals. The specifics are important and it appears that this course will address those specifics. But it also appears to provide the necessary grounding in the science and practical considerations for working to address any conditioning need. To say that I am looking forward to completing this course is an understatement.

It should be noted that I did not sign up for this course to complete any continuing education requirements for certification renewal. It is my understanding that this course has not been pre-approved for any continuing education units. That is not surprising, as the course is marketed as a certification. I am less motivated by the desire to earn another credential, than I am by the opportunity to learn and strengthen my knowledge as it relates to conditioning. With that being said, I will be proud to earn the Bioforce Certified Conditioning coach credential, as I respect Coach Jamieson’s knowledge in this area and his contribution to the field.

To learn more about this course and to get on the “free Insider’s List” so that you can “save $200 on the certification when it opens again on February 26th, 2018,” click on the link above. Here is hoping that 2018 is a year of learning. 😉

Link | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Leaving North Carolina for Japan!

This was undoubtedly the most surprising post as it relates to views from last year. This post was viewed 42 times last year, in spite of it having been originally posted on April 1st, 2015. It was the first in a series of posts regarding my fictitious plans to move to Japan to coach sumo athletes. As I mentioned in my final “Leaving North Carolina for Japan!” post, “It was merely me taking the opportunity to come up with a fanciful tale and take some lighthearted jabs at some topics in fitness/strength and conditioning/sports (i.e., the paleo diet, balance training and balance training equipment, corrective exercise, and tradition in sports).”

Perhaps the popularity of this post last year was due to an interest in moving to Japan and/or in the sport of sumo. Perhaps the viewer, upon discovering that this series of posts was merely part of an April Fools’ Day prank, decided to move on to other Internet resources for further information on their chosen topic of interest. That might explain why the subsequent posts did not see the same traffic last year. In any event, the series of posts is still available for viewing. If anyone is interested in discussing the topics that I touched on in the posts, be sure to comment on one or more of the posts and I will reply as warranted.

Greg Maness' Functional Sports Performance Blog

It is with a great deal of excitement that I can finally announce that I will be leaving North Carolina later this month to pursue a somewhat unusual opportunity. I have recently been offered a position in Japan as a “Special Coach” with a sumo wrestling team that competes within the Japan Sumo Association. I will be given the task of improving the strength and conditioning programs of a stable of up-and-coming sumo wrestlers. I suppose that I now need to purchase those Rosetta Stone lessons in Japanese. 🙂

I will be part of a team of performance specialists that will be tasked with making these athletes the best that they can be at their chosen sport. Perhaps most exciting is the opportunity to live onsite at the training center with the athletes. I am really looking forward to being immersed in the culture.

I just want to take a…

View original post 60 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment