“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. 😉

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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.

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“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. 😉

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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…

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The popularity of this post last year was also a surprise to me, having been originally posted in November 2014. Zack McCarley and Patrick Castelli do a great job of teaching the Apollon axle clean and press. If you are training for a strongman competition or you are just curious about the technique for this lift, I encourage you to check out this video (along with the other strongman training videos on 8weeksout.com).

Greg Maness' Functional Sports Performance Blog

“Axle Clean and Press”

In this third installment of 8weeksout.com videos focusing on strongman techniques, Zack McCarley and Patrick Castelli present one of the techniques used for the Apollon axle clean and press. This particular technique presented is primarily used by strongman competitors. It is decidedly different from the clean/power clean technique used in weightlifting competitions and fitness/sport performance training.

One difference is the use of a mixed grip at the start of the lift, which then necessitates that one hand be released so that the strongman competitor can get both hands in an overhand or pronated grip which sets up the competitor for the press. I recommend a mixed grip for heavy deadlifts, as it helps the athlete/client hold onto the barbell. Weightlifters and fitness/sports performance trainees use an overhand or pronated grip, even with heavy cleans/power cleans. The rationale for using the mixed grip on the Apollon axle…

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I originally posted the link to this video in January 2014. I was surprised to see it appear as one of my most viewed posts in 2017. Mr. Haddin’s TED Talk is well worth viewing. So if you haven’t watched it before or you haven’t seen it in some time, be sure to check it out.

Greg Maness' Functional Sports Performance Blog

“The 5 ‘Musts’ to Sustainable Exercise: Michael Haddin at TEDxPSUAD”

Fitness entrepreneur Michael Haddin shares his must-haves to ensure sustainable exercise as part of your lifestyle.

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“21 Nonsensical Fitness Contradictions”

“Many coaches and trainers like to say that the word functional is a meaningless fitness buzzword because it means different things to different people. Yet, the word strength also means different things to different people, but no one says it’s a meaningless term.” — Nick Tumminello

Above is a link to an article by Nick Tumminello outlining some of the illogical statements that sometimes get bandied about in health, fitness, and sport performance circles. Coach Tumminello excels at logically examining a position or statement and pointing out the contradictions contained therein. But he is not simply a contrarian; content to merely skewer someone’s sacred cow. He also educates and produces materials in an effort to improve the field. Take a few minutes to read this article and eliminate some of these contradictions from your message in the new year.

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Congratulations to the Champs

Congratulations to the Houston Astros for winning the 2017 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers by winning the decisive game 7. Also, congratulations to Gun Runner and Florent Geroux for winning the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic in Del Mar, California. You can see video of Gun Runner’s performance here (http://content.jwplatform.com/videos/4k55KIeQ-tuGURZyo.mp4).

Arrogate, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, was unable to match the performance that enabled him to defeat California Chrome last year at Santa Anita Park, but he finishes his career with over 17 million dollars in earnings. You can see video of Arrogate’s performance last year here (http://content.jwplatform.com/videos/6dLinu0T-L36BsZ6K.mp4).

If you want to watch American Pharoah, the most recent Triple Crown winner, win the 2015 Breeder’s Cup Classic at Keeneland Race Course you can see the video here (http://content.jwplatform.com/videos/JMMQRLwJ-q77L8Cy2.mp4). 😉

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“Using Data to Inform Decisions and Drive Athlete Intent”

Above is a link to the seventh video in the Smart Speed and Power Training with Mike Young video series from Fusion Sport. In this seventh video Mike describes how a coach can use data from a timing system like those from Fusion Sport to motivate the athlete to put forth the necessary effort and to confirm to the coach that he or she is getting the desired performance from the athlete during the training to ensure that there will be the desired training effect.

Click the link above to watch the video and while you are at the Fusion Sport Web site be sure to check out any of the six preceding videos in the series that you may have missed.

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“Varying Starting Positions for Speed Sessions”

Above is a link to the sixth video in the Smart Speed and Power Training with Mike Young video series from Fusion Sport. In this sixth video Mike provides some examples of various starting positions that can be used to teach / train the mechanics of acceleration. While I am not a proponent of variety just for the sake of variety, that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize the value of variety so far as keeping athletes mentally engaged in their training. By having an athlete work on acceleration from a variety of starting positions, the athlete is less likely to be bored with starting from the same position day in and day out while also providing the athlete with valuable non-verbal, intrinsic feedback. I have used these various starting positions with athletes that I have coached and I can vouch for their effectiveness.

Click the link above to watch the video and while you are at the Fusion Sport Web site be sure to check out any of the five preceding videos in the series that you may have missed.

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