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Strength training for Youth Athletes: Here’s how

Strength training is an important aspect of a young/ youth athlete’s development within their sport, or sports.  When it is properly supervised and appropriately planned it is a SAFE and an effective method of developing strength and power. Here's why youth athletes, coaches and parent's should be paying attention to this!  Stages of youth development Youth strength training, especially between the ages of 13-18, falls in the early to middle stages of a Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model.  These models are based primarily on physiological adaptations and can show how athletic potential can be developed alongside biological growth. Essentially, they give coaches,...

Athletic Training: Addressing Common Concerns For Coaches And Athletes

There are a huge number of training systems/ approaches out there designed to improve sports performance. Some work exceptionally well, and some are flawed. These flawed systems are easy enough to spot if you know what to look for, but most often, it’s the perfectly good systems- the ones WE KNOW WORK- that cause the problem.  They are used out of context, and slowly but surely, start to fall apart.  This has resulted in a huge problem: Sports coaches telling players that the best approach is to “stick to the sport”. Weaknesses are never improved, strengths never maximised, and ultimately, talented athletes don’t get the opportunity to reach their potential.   As...

The benefits of strength training for women

This blog post will cover the top reasons why women should opt for strength training and the benefits that will follow. It still amazes me that despite all the benefits that come from lifting weights, many women still shy away from it. Maintaining adequate muscle mass is one of the best ways to keep body fat in a healthy range and to improve overall fitness and Resistance training is the best way to build muscle. Still, the number of women who follow a consistent weight training program is extremely low in comparison to men. Lifting can seem intimidating, especially in a gym where...

Making sense of heart rate training

Heart rate monitoring can be an awesome addition to your training. Not only can it provide you with crucial information to optimise your workouts, it can also be used to monitor your progress and adaptations to a plan, as well as most systems having a great community element, helping you to keep motivated throughout your programme.  That said, most people use HR training completely wrong, and the lines get blurred between what’s a “great workout” and what’s a “random, unfocused workout”.  I’ve added a reference to a phenomenal paper on energy systems, so feel free to check that out for the nitty gritty of energy system training, but this is...

The power of sleep & how to improve yours

What happens when we sleep? When we sleep our bodies are hard at work repairing and rejuvenating itself. To name just a few things that happens when we sleep:Muscle tissues grow and repair Blood flow to muscles increases Human growth hormone is released (the muscles building hormone) The immune system produces important infection-fighting proteins  Soo.. What are the benefits? It is obvious why sleep is important for everyone but especially for those who are physically active. The many benefits of sleeping well include:Improved concentration Improved mood Sharpened memory and planning skills Maintains the fat burning system that regulates our weight Reduced...

The four C’s for success

Here are what I have found to be the top 4 factors that constitute the pillars to success in building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.Consistency Control Connection Concentration  Consistency Consistency is by far the most important factor in creating a legitimate lifestyle change. Being consistent with your workouts and nutrition plan, whatever that may be is a profound act of self-discipline. Put your workouts into your work calendar and treat it how you would a work meeting or appointment, be reliable and dependable on yourself. Likewise, be consistent in your diet and the choices you make for yourself. We are far...

Performance Training at Home

 For the purpose of this blog, we are going to use football as the performance sport, although the principles that I want to talk about can be used in in your training for other sports. At the minute you might be having a very unusual mid-season break or your training and match schedule might be very different to what you are used to. Perhaps you are not playing games? Your club training, both technical-tactical and conditioning sessions have been shortened or you have reduced numbers and you’re having to adapt.  You might not even have any club training at all, and...

Mindset Manifesto

Top tips to working on your mindset when beginning your fitness journey Changing your mindset is the key to your success and this post blog offer my top tips on how you can start working on yours.  1. Firstly, no more excuses Excuses will run the whole show if you let them. You have a 9 to whenever job so don’t have time to exercise? You’re a parent to 3 kids so you don’t have time to dedicate to yourself? You don’t know the first thing about nutrition and diet, so why start now?All it takes to overcome these so-called “obstacles” is to commit...

Values: What’s important to you & why our values matter?

Values & Principles What is most important to you in your life? What guiding principles do you wish to live by? These might seem like strange questions to ask here, but they’re hugely important to the lifestyle changes that you are considering making when committing to a health and fitness journey. Having a clear idea of what is important to you enables you to prioritise those things, and make daily choices that are in alignment with those things.  These are just a few examples of what values you may hold:Being fit enough to play with your grandchildren To have a successful...

Health First: Why we need to reopen Fitness ASAP

We are walking into a national disaster for health and fitness.Gyms being closed is more than just a short-term problem. We will be feeling the effect of this as a nation for years to come. For a month or two, this approach made sense, but 10 months since the first lockdown in the UK, it’s now time to consider the bigger picture, in particular with regards to general health and fitness.For millions of people, gyms are more than just somewhere to exercise. They’re the “third space”- the place people use to focus on themselves, and to “feel good”. We can’t...

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