Frequently Asked Questions on Natural Movement Training

Natural Movement Training is Whole Body Training

The McCarthy Project has developed and partnered with thought leaders in the world of natural movement training and the outdoors as our gymnasium.  The sessions are intended to develop the mind, as well as, the body.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.  When are your sessions?  Open Sessions are Tuesday at 10am and Friday at 12pm.

2.  Who and what ages workout together?  The McCarthy Project has two types of groups: open and invite only.  The open sessions are available to whoever would like to complete the session.  It is not age specific or advanced in difficulty. The “invite only” groups are scheduled on an as needed basis.  The “invite only” groups may be athletes looking to get ready for the season, a specific age group or a small group or organization with specific, individualized goals.

3.  Can adults participate in the session?  Absolutely, all parents of participants are encouraged to attend and complete sessions.  We feel that parents are integral to each young person and our goal is to create a path that leads back into creating strong families, not one more thing to separate. Adults with participants are free of charge.

4.  How long is each session?  Each session is up to 2 hours in length and it determined prior to starting. For the most part, each session is 90 minutes in length.

5.  What activities do you do during the session?  Each session is broken down in 3 parts; Natural movement training, strategy games or project-based learning, and walking or running.

6.  What is natural movement training?  Erwan Le Corre of MovNat coined the term natural movement to mean “training the whole, not the parts.” Erwan states, “Natural movement fitness is different. We don’t isolate muscles. We don’t obsess over burnt calories. We train our whole bodies in an integrated, practical way. Our practice is about movement. It’s about life.”

7.  What types of movements do you perform?  The following are a list of movements performed; leaping, running, throwing, balancing, and lifting.  We use the natural surroundings to work the complete body in outdoor environment all in a logical, scientific format.

8.  What is project-based learning?  John Taylor Gatto, former national teacher of the year from New York City, created a list of cognitive development action steps.  Our goal is to include as many of these concepts in our training sessions. More Details.

9.  Who influenced your thinking in developing the program?  Stephen McCarthy has completed deep research into the history of fitness and cognitive development.  He has been influenced by several philosophers from the 18th century to current thought leaders. More details.



Training at Three Rivers Park

Natural Movement Training at Crow River-Hassan Trail Park

By Stephen McCarthy, The McCarthy Project

Natural movement for the young and old should be pursued.  Society has told us to sit at a computer or school for 6-8 hours per day. Well, The McCarthy Project has developed a training system that uses the great outdoors.  Our goal is to build complex, creative thoughts in our clients by allowing their bodies to enjoy the outside and the freedom that comes from just enjoying the outdoors.

The location for our sessions:  The Crow River-Hassan Horse Trail Park is located on Hwy 116, south of Hwy 241.  Parking is on the east side of 116 across from the entrance.  The park is 2600 acres of prairie, trails and wildlife.  For a detailed map, click here.

Crow Hassan in the Summer
Crow Hassan in the Summer

What Is Your View While Doing The Back Squat

By Stephen McCarthy, The McCarthy Project

back_squatOne of the biggest misnomers about training is that you need to be in a totally, controlled environment at all times.  And when you lift big weight, that is true.  But the last time I checked the only sport that does that while competing is power lifting. Secondly, one of the biggest points of discussion is the concept of “dynamic correspondence” or what is the best way to translate in the weight room or training performance to the event or field. So why do we primarily use power lifting or weight room lifts for all sports?  Who told us that the facility has to have music blaring, plastic floors, a million treadmills and 75 degrees?

Well, power lifters and coaches who only learned to train athletes in the weight room the way power lifters train, of course.

Check out the view from my squat platform: 25 Degrees, Snowing, but I was sweating could hear the birds chirping while working out. One 40 pound, 6 foot log, a little creativity and you are good to go.



Everything Must Be Perfect, Wrong

The Recent Uproar over Lebron James’ Toes Shows the Body Does Not Need to Be Perfect

By Stephen McCarthy, The McCarthy Project

Lebron James's Toes
Lebron James’s Toes

The recent sighting of Lebron James’ toes proves the body does not have to in perfect position to be a great athlete. (Bleacher Report) For the last 10 years the craze has been for strength coaches and trainers use corrective exercise to solve an athletes problems with performance.  If this was the case, why can Lebron be who he is with toes like the ones he has?

I would argue that great athletes are made with their DNA, lifestyle,  and the mind.  While not everyone can be 6’8″ with a 35-50 inch vertical, you can do the work in your mind to compete are your highest level, no matter if a certain body part is in perfect position.

On the contrary, don’t assume that you are not able to manipulate your body to reduce pain, prevent injuries, rehab, etc.  The proper use of training can produce improvement, but it is not the silver bullet to success in sports.  That is up to the athlete.


Reclamation of the Soul

Erwan Le Corre Quote on Reclamation of the Soul

Erwan Lecorre of MovNat
Erwan Lecorre of MovNat

Erwan Le Corre of MovNat posted this quote on twitter this morning.

“To modern men, the next frontier has become the recovery of their health, the retrieve of their freedom, and the reclamation of their soul.”

The McCarthy Project can not agree more.  We must, as a people, slow down and look past the positive thinking, fast-paced, scientific world to find out who we really are, not just to rip off all the positive thinking words and thoughts.  Way down deep at a soul level, we must reclaim our soul and then we can have true success.

Kettlebells vs Barbells

Kettlebells vs Barbells: Pro’s and Con’s Discussion

kettlebellsBy Jack Woodrup,

I have been wrong. And not just a little bit wrong, but apparently, a lot wrong. You see I have until recently felt that kettlebells have been wildly overrated as far as athletic development, or more specifically, strength development goes. Outside of kettlebell swings (which for the record I have always loved), I have for the most part thought that any exercise you could do with a kettlebell you could do just as well, if not better with a dumbbell or a barbell.

However, recent experiences have taught me that this just isn’t the case. Let me explain. It all started with my love hate relationship to squats. I loved doing them, and have achieved some pretty good relative squat strength based results, but the fact is that I have never really been a great squatter. Every improvement in squat strength has taken a lot of dedicated effort and persistence and the most I have ever squatted without using chains or bands is 355lb (160kg @ 74kg, good for 2.16X BW. Also coincided with when I was jumping my highest).

So last year when I moved to Nashville, between the stress of the move, the displacement from my previously fully equipped gym to a cramped and only moderately well equipped gym in my basement, and my body just feeling being beat up all the time, I decided to stop squatting for a few months. Those few months pretty quickly turned into a year.

So what got me back into squatting? Well a number of things happened. Firstly I read an interesting article on T-Nation that stated:

“With kettlebells, you can decrease the training load by up to 75% and still make significant progress in strength, power, and body composition goals. While some may argue that kettlebells put you at a mechanical disadvantage (which is what forces you to use less weight), it really all boils down to tension.

The Central Nervous System (CNS) doesn’t know the difference between 300 pounds on your shoulders and 120-pound kettlebells in hand. The CNS does understand tension though, and if kettlebell training offers any benefit, it’s learning how to develop and use full-body tension.”

For the complete article, visit here.

University of Michigan Strength Coach Bo Sandoval

University of Michigan Strength Coach Bo Sandoval on the Balance of Specialized Strength Training by Sport with the Concept of Individualized Training

University of Michigan Strength Coach Bo Sandoval
University of Michigan Strength Coach Bo Sandoval

Coach Sandoval will be joining Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project to develop out how a structured training program works in both at a team and a individual level.

Coach has worked with athletes for over 10 years with an extensive background in multiple sports.  We will be covering ways to look at training for lacrosse, basketball and volleyball. The differences between each sport and how young athletes can apply the training information to their current programs.

Tune in October 30, 2013 at 9am CST for the complete show.

About Coach Bo Sandoval:

Bo Sandoval is in his fourth year at U-M. Prior to being named Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning in summer of 2012, he served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for Olympic Sports at the University of Michigan. Sandoval designs and implements supplemental performance programs for men’s lacrosse and women’s basketball. He specializes in providing comprehensive training programs focused on multi-year development. Sandoval’s individualized training programs are influenced by the requirements of each athlete’s specific competition needs and are based on each team’s competition calendar. Sandoval’s other responsibilities include directing the strength and conditioning department’s intern education program.

How To Squat Deeper Part 2

Proper Technique Critical For Success in the Weight Room

by Jack Woodrup, Vertical Jumping

Deep Front Squat
Jack Woodrup and the Deep Front Squat

In my previous article about how to squat deeper I talked about longer term solutions such as regular stretching and mobility work (which you should be doing anyway), reducing the training loads, gradual reduction of box heights for box squats, and ‘greasing the groove’ of the movement through a high volume of daily bodyweight squats.

In this article I am going to provide a more immediate solution that you can implement TODAY. That solution is to simply change the way in which you are squatting. You see most people when they think of squatting think of the traditional barbell back squat.

Unfortunately this is also the version of the squat that relies most heavily on good mobility and flexibility, particularly in the upper back and shoulder region (see picture below). Now that might not be a problem except for the widespread postural issues that sitting so much has caused, meaning lots of folks these days don’t have the necessary range of motion in those (and other) areas to perform a deep back squat freely.

For the complete article..

Sport Genes: Nurture or Nature?

Michael Much of Yahoo Rivals and on the Sport Gene Debate

Yahoo Rivals Genetic Outlier or Developed Athlete?
Genetic Outlier or Developed Athlete?

A recently published book, “Sports Gene: What Makes a Perfect Athlete” by David Epstein opened up the world of athlete development.  Michael Much of Yahoo Rivals and and Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project talked about the role genes play in the creation of future athletes.

Genetic testing has been on the rise in the medical community. So the natural progression for the technology is to arrive in the sports world, sooner than later, where the ultimate pursuit of speed, size and strength by athletes is paramount.

Michael and Stephen talk about the philosophical pro’s and cons of attempting to predict future performance based on current information.  And for that matter, future decisions on a set of data that is not 100% conclusive.

The complete show will air Friday, September 6th at 8am CST.

Visit the Minnesota Preps website for more information on Michael and to stay connected to Minnesota high school sports.




David Epstein of Sports Illustrated on Genetics in Sport

Sports Illustrated Writer and Author David Epstein on Genetics Role in Training and Sport

Sports Illustrated Writer and Author David Epstein on Genetics Role in Training and SportAuthor David Epstein of The Sports Gene:Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance joined Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project to discuss his book and his motive for writing Sports Gene.  Secondly, we discussed how to apply his findings to athletes and the future application of dna or genetic research. Complete interview will be aired on Friday September 6th at 8am CST.

David’s motive was his joy for researching, science and sports. He has always been fascinated with elite performance and why certain athletes from certain areas of the world perform at higher levels.  To listen to this portion of the interview, visit David Epstein and His Story.

During the second part of the interview, we talk about future applications of his research and the trend of analyzing your DNA for the purpose of understanding how you can train at a higher level.  We also discussed some of the pitfalls of the science and how athletes can use the information for their benefit. Click here to listen to David and Stephen’s thoughts on The Future of Genetic Testing and Its Application.

Author and Writer David Epstein
Author and Writer David Epstein

Sports Illustrated Senior Writer David Epstein writes about sports science and medicine, Olympic sports, and is an investigative reporter for SI. His science writing has won a number of awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists 2010 Deadline Club Award for an article on the genetics of sports performance; Time Inc.’s Henry R. Luce Award for public service for an article on the dangers of the dietary supplement industry; and the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association’s “Big Hearted Journalism” award for his story “Following the Trail of Broken Hearts,” on sudden cardiac death in athletes. Epstein was a 2011 Livingston Award finalist for a package that included articles on pain in sports and the anticipatory skills that allow Major Leaguers to hit 100 mph fastballs.

MovNat: Advanced Workout of the Day

Erwan Le Corre of MovNat Posted His Workout of the Day

erwan_lecorreBy Erwan Le Corre, MovNat

Erwan will the joining The McCarthy Project next Monday to discuss the world of physical fitness and how to live life in balance with the world, not a just a droning continuance of it.

Check out the post for his workout of the day:

Warm Up Mobility – (3 rounds)
Forward Sprawl to Pushup – 8x
One-Arm Deadhang – 20sec each side

Skill –
Jerk – 20x Bodyweight – break into sets as needed

Combo – (4 Rounds)
Balancing Tripod Transition – 3x each side
Muscle Up – 3x
Walking split squat – 100ft
Sprint – 100ft
Tuck Pop-Up – 5x

For the youtube video and more information on MovNat training, visit their website.


Frontrunning Health News Aug. 25th

1.  Could this be the motive behind the use of so many GMO Foods.. Eating chemicals, rather than food.  (Zero Hedge)

2.  Diet Coke and the Incorrect Justification of Aspartame (Natural News)

3.  Why are we so concerned with labeling supplements and not the food we eat? (Natural Society)

4.  Coffee used properly can be positive to your health (Natural Society)

5.  8 great foods to make sleeping more beneficial (Natural Society)

6.  6 natural supplements to use for a detox (Natural News)

7.  Air conditioner with sensors to monitor body temp and posture (Tech On)

MovNat: Know Self and Know Surroundings

Erwan Le Corre of MovNat on Moving Naturally in The World

Erwan Le Corre of MovNat
Erwan Le Corre of MovNat

Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project will cover the weekly news and Erwan Le Corre of MovNat will join us to discuss the world of physical education and fitness. The concept of mastery of self and your surroundings will create the foundation of the show and provide a platform for a great discussion on the world of human development.

To listen to the show.

1.  Erwan’s Story and Philosophy

2.  Thoughts on developing athleticism and decreasing injuries.

Erwan started MovNat to open the world thought on the freedom that can be created through human movement. And to provide a unique approach to the development of efficient movement. He has traveled the world researching and developing his philosophy of physical, mental and spiritual development.

Subjects to be covered:

1. The MovNat and Erwan Le Corre story and philosophy of human movement.

2. The fallacy of bodybuilding or bicep training as the only way to true fitness

3. The art of human movement as it relates to the brain or central nervous system

4.  The discussion of the true power in life: an accurate knowledge of self and your surroundings.

5.  The definition of recovery training and some basic concepts on implementing recovery into your life.

6.  Repetitive stress injuries and their prevention by training for human movement, rather than specialization in sport.

For more information on MovNat and Erwan Le Corre, visit his website.


Individualized On-Field Assessments

A Detailed Look Into Individualized On-Field Assessments

by Shawn Myszka, Explosive Edge Athletics

Individualized On-Field Assessments
Individualized On-Field Assessments

Editors Note: This weeks show Shawn visited his thoughts on the power and validity of detailed, individualized on-field assessments. Here is a post from his website on the subject.

For the interview only on Group Thinking vs Individualized Training, click here.

For the opening of training camps, I have spent each day in Mankato, MN for the Minnesota Vikings camp. For next 2 days, I decided to travel to the Viking’s next door neighbor rival in WI, the Green Bay Packers. Getting to see only 1 true practice, I obviously couldn’t spend a significant amount of time breaking down multiple players but I wanted to give any interested readers more insight on the team as they do have some interesting athletes across this roster. Luckily, of 2 of the players that I plan to evaluate (Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb) I have already taken some time to get to know them during the offseason by viewing their film (even though neither one is an athlete of mine). I do this frequently simply because I am intrigued by some of the movement that they have displayed in the past when I have seen them make plays on Sundays.

Today, I will start with All-Pro, All-Everything, Linebacker, Clay Matthews. Any trip to Lambeau Field that entails live football would be incomplete without giving rightful justice to #52. Unlike Chad Greenway who BTS evaluated last week at training camp, anyone who seriously watches football already knows who Clay Matthews is. Some of this comes from his freak athleticism and game-changing playmaking, some of it because he got paid straight-cash homie money in the offseason, and some because of his personality and unique look that has given him significant TV time. Though I am only a year removed from having long-flowing locks that some would argue would rival 52’s (no one would say about my hair, at all), I am not here to give any analysis on that piece of who he is. Instead, I will talk about the former because that is something I am actually an expert in (his unique athleticism).

To start, one look at his trademark flexing post-big play celebration and you quickly realize we are talking about a different breed of athlete here. He presents a special blend of speed, size, and strength that is immediately noticeable to witnesses. He flashes off of film (or to the eye in person) as soon as a ball is snapped (and even sometimes before). Like many of the hybrid outside backers playing in the league today, he is not asked to do many of the things that most other LBs across the league who play in more traditional defenses are required to do play-in and play-out. Instead, the defensive scheming by the Packers defensive staff really allows him to show off his strengths which revolve around go hunting by allowing him to be put in positions to show off by frequently running people down (esp. quarterbacks and much lighter runningbacks). His explosive linear burst for someone his size is unparalleled among his peers in the league. I don’t know what his combine times (not the 40, you fools…more like the 10!) were back when he entered the league but I would be more interested in his current (during game) 3 to 7 yard distance times. I believe that these quantitative figures would blow people’s minds if compared to others in similar roles across the league.

For the complete article, visit here

Heart Rate Variability Training

Background and Benefits of Heart Rate Variability Training

By Jack Woodrup, Vertical

Heart Rate Variability Training and Elite Performance
Heart Rate Variability Training and Elite Performance

A common question I get asked about my Vertical Mastery jump training system is “how many inches can I expect to gain?” Now as much as I would love to be able to say something specific like “9 inches in 8 weeks”, the truth is there are so many variables outside of the workouts themselves that can have an impact on the results making such predictions is actually impossible (and to be blunt about this – people who do make such claims about specific results are lying to you).

You see, when it comes to athletic training each person IS different. Here is a list of just some of the things outside of the actual training program that can, and indeed do impact how much an athlete improves:

Body type
Training history
Sleep habits
Life stress (exams, job, relationship, money etc)
Other sporting commitments (games, training, other sports)
Climate they live in
Lifestyle choices (smoking, drinking, drugs etc)

Custom Training: Sometimes the need for a custom training plan is rather obvious.

As many of you know my belief about ANY form of training is that from an actual programming point of view having a customized workout based on the individuals needs as they relate to a specific goal is the fastest way to get results. This isn’t a great revelation by the way, most good coaches and trainers would agree with this view. But even with a custom training program there are still all those other outside factors at play. The question this raises is how then do you account for them in building and designing workouts?

Heart Rate Variability Training To Rescue
This is where Heart Rate Variability (HRV) training comes in! What exactly is HRV? In really simple terms HRV is the variability in the time between our heart beats. If there is a high level of variability in those times it essentially means that the parasympathetic nervous system is more active. If the variability is low it means that the sympathetic nervous system is more active.

Read more..

Injury Prevention: Easier Than You Think

Injury Prevention and Sports Performance with Andy Barr of the New York Knicks

Injury Prevention and Sports Performance Coach Andy Barr
Injury Prevention and Sports Performance Coach Andy Barr

Injury prevention is a much discussed subject and picking up steam every year.  With the number of athletes participating in sport and the amount of dollars floating around the pro athletes, the concept of sports performance and injury prevention have a natural connection.  The ultimate goal is to eliminate injuries and keep the players playing.  This is a very complex problem to solve.  But as you will hear 80% of the problem comes from things that each athlete can control on their own.  The amazing part of the discussion is that even the athletes who are making millions to play the game they love are not doing the basics.

Today Andy Barr of the New York Knicks joined us to talk about these concepts and how they directly apply to game of basketball.

You will be surprised to find out that the basics: sleep, hydration, and proper nutrition are the starting point to elite level recovery and injury prevention.  Not some hyper scientific training program or diet.

For the complete interview, tune into today’s show or check out the special report Sports Performance in Basketball.

To connect with Andy Barr directly send him an email at or twitter.

Efficient Movement In Space Is King

Efficient Movement will Create Success in Sport

A Sports Car Is Efficient Movement
A Sports Car Is Efficient Movement

Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project will be breaking down the frontrunning health news of the week, as well as, the concept of efficient movement in sport. When you look at a top-end sports car, what do you see?  Sleek, power, efficient, high performance.  The majority of the training programs in our world are not creating sports cars, we are creating muscle cars.  Over the top show pieces that have a lot of power, but ask them to change directions and it is over.

Stephen will be joined by three distinguished guests in the world of sports performance.  We will be discussing the foundational concepts of talent development.  Once the foundation is solidly in place then you can account for the variables of each individual athlete.  (1) Current body composition (2)  The sport (3) Past and Current Injuries (4)  Goals of the program.  Then get to work creating the ability to create the necessary force to move efficiently in space to become elite and accomplish your goals.

Lastly, check out this youtube video of Erwan LeCorre moving naturally through space.  This is the end result a well rounded athlete should be able to accomplish. Once this level of mastery is obtained, add your goal specific training and your program will be complete.

Guests on today’s show include:

1.  Jack Woodrup of Vertical Jumping on goals, variables, and other components of training properly for performance.

2.  Shawn Myszka of Explosive Edge Athletics on assessment of energy leaks, proper movement and how to correct with training

3.  Andy Barr, Sports Performance Coach of the NBA New York Knicks, will be talking about how to fix structure in your body and then move onto development. Visit Andy at twitter.

For the complete show, visit Efficient Movement In Space is King.

Frontrunning Health News, August 11th

1.  How Athletes Get Great (Outside Magazine) and Talent or Skill (NPR)

2.  McDonalds Takes Another Hit on the Quality of Food Front (Political Blind Spot)

3.  Ingredients of A Donut (Natural News)

4.  Improve Drinking Water, Improve Performance (Natural Society)

5.  The Lunar Cycles and Sleep Patterns (Natural News)

6.  Bad news for Pigs and GMO’s. Humans next? (Responsible Technology)

7.  Non-GMO seeds better than Scientific GMO seeds (Responsible Technology)

8.  Chipotle First U.S. Chain to Label GMO’s (Nation of Change)

9.  Omega 3 Fatty Acids Aid in Curing Cancer (Womens Health)

10.  Sleep and A Heart Healthy Lifestyle (Mens Fitness)

11. Ankle Range of Motion: 95% Solved without Dr (Mobility WOD)




Frontrunning Health News, August 5th

Leading Health and Fitness News

1. 7 Natural Ways to Kick Morning Fatigue and Coffee Addiction (Natural News)

2.  Facebook bites the dust again.. Employers use during hiring process (Mens Fitness)

3.  Are you serious.. You need a drink counting app and you pay for it (Mens Fitness)

4.  Change a habit every day..7 Days to healthier life..Not going to happen, science says 21 days to change a habit (Womens Fitness)

5.  Butter vs. Margarine: The Big Fat Butter Lie. (Natural Society)

6. Suprise.. Suprise.. Kellogs Corn Flakes made of GMO (Natural Society)

7. List of Factors Behind Infertility (Natural News)


What Is The Best Vertical Jump Exercise?

Best Jump Exercise Ever? Practice Makes Perfect

By Jack Woodrup,

Jump Exercise: Practice
Jump Exercise: Practice

Here at we love squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, box jumps, power skipping, the 123 drill, and many more. But there is one exercise that rates above all else as the very best vertical jump exercise ever.

This particular exercise improves just about all the required athletic attributes for jumping high, and is head and shoulders above everything else at improving movement efficiency. Also if your sport requires you to do any jumping then this is the most sports specific exercise choice you can make.

Practice Makes Perfect

So what is this magnificent jumping exercise that trumps all others? The very best vertical jump exercise ever is, drum roll please, practicing jumping. Yep, it is that simple. As is the case with most things, the best way to improve at something is to actually go out and do it.

If you are training to jump for a particular sporting application then one of the best things you can do is to go and practice jumping as you would for that sport. For example to jump higher in order to slam dunk a basketball, go out, find yourself a basketball ring, and then spend time trying to jump up to it. At first you will work towards just touching it, then towards being able to grab it, and then, ultimately trying to get as much of your arm above the ring as possible. If you can get your wrist above the ring, then provided you can time it right, you should be able to dunk off a lob.

Practicing your actual jumping technique is one of the most commonly overlooked things you can do to improve your vertical jump. People often believe they need all sorts of fancy exercises, different sorts of weight training equipment, and cleverly designed programs, but it is amazing how often they overlook the basic act of going out and simply doing some jumping.

Spending time working on your jumping technique will help you jump higher in so many ways. First and foremost though it will improve your movement efficiency! This is a big one. If you have less than stellar co-ordination then you will be severely limiting your potential jump height. Poor efficiency means you cannot fire your muscles in the correct order to create a smooth and powerful jumping motion.

Practicing jumping also helps develop explosive strength and reactive strength in a manner specific to jumping. Box squats, power cleans etc also develop these strengths, but jumping itself is obviously going to help you improve these traits for jumping better than every other exercise you can do.

Basically all training you do is designed to force your body to adapt to its environment (also known as an adaptive response). Thus if you want to get stronger you must expose your body to continuously greater loads, usually by weight training. This sends the signals to your body that in order to survive it will need to develop greater strength. The same goes for jump training. If you want to jump higher you must go out and regularly try to jump continuously higher. The more you practice jumping high the greater reinforcement of the message to your body and the quicker it will adapt.

Just about the only thing jumping doesn’t do that well is to increase your maximal strength levels. This is better achieved using weights. At some point most athletes will need to spend some time getting stronger in the gym in order to fully maximize their vertical jump, but unless they have mastered the action of jumping in the first place, then really, they are just wasting their time.


If your training has stagnated and your vertical numbers are going nowhere maybe it is time you took a step back, removed all your other exercises from your program, and just went out and started jumping. You might be surprised how much you can gain simply by including a bit of sport specific jump work into your program.

Proper Squat Technique

How to Create Proper Squat Technique

By Jack Woodrup

Vertical Jumping

Proper Squat Technique
Proper Squat Technique

I have discussed the benefits of squatting deeper for the jumping athlete. These benefits included a better carry over to vertical jump performance, improved knee health, and increased mobility. All of these things are something any athlete should want. So, how do you create proper squat technique?

The 2 Reasons You Can’t Squat Deep

In my experience there are 2 reasons why someone can’t squat deep.

1. They are using too much weight.

2. They lack the flexibility/mobility.

Too Much Weight

Fixing the first on is easy, just take some weight off the bar. The weakest point of the lift is at the bottom, when you start squatting deep you will have to start with a lighter weight then you have been used to lifting. Don’t let your ego get the better of you – which if you have been used to lifting heavy loads for partial squats, can be easier said than done.

Lack of Mobility or Flexibility

The second issue is a bit more complicated but definitely not insurmountable. The obvious solution to a lack of mobility or flexibility is of course to start doing some more stretching and mobility work both before you lift, and as an ongoing activity to improve your range of movement.

The main areas of tightness that you should focus on with your stretching are the glutes, calves, hips, hamstrings, chest, and shoulders.

For the complete article, visit here.

Truth Training or Hype Program?

Is their “Truth Training” or “The Hype”?

Truth Training or Hype?
Truth Training or Hype?

By Stephen McCarthy, Director of The McCarthy Project

I see this all the time in the health and fitness world.  The hype in magazines and the media.  Take a look at the cover of Muscle and Fitness of Rich Froning, 3 time CrossFit Champion. Now take a look at the photo from Outside magazine. Which one is true and which one is false?  Is it just propaganda to sell their goodies? Are people lying to us on what they do for elite performance? Or is the truth training that comes from time proven health and fitness development not needed?  Just do the “random hard core workout” and eat whatever you want and you will be a champion.

I will let you decide the answers to these questions.. Here are some facts and observations for you to contemplate.

1.  Muscle and Fitness magazine cover of Rich Froning.  Look closely at his torso and notice the perfect taper from the upper part of his chest and back to his hips.

2.  See the photo from Outside magazine of Rich Froning.  Notice the taper is not there.  The dude is 5 foot 9 200lbs as mentioned on the Outside website.

Truth Training or Hype?
Truth Training or Hype?

Which one is the real Rich Froning?

Now lets move over to the information in the Outside website article on his tips for elite performance.  While I would venture to say that all the things that he passes along as “tips in training” are not bad, some of them are absolute hype.  Eating a whole apple pie and do not pay attention to your nutrition.  Workout 2-5 times a day and never take a day off.

On the other side of the fence, we have a PHD from Ball State who has proven that overtraining can occur in only 3 weeks.

What do you think? Who is telling the truth?

If this is all true, good luck.. You may be an outlier that can handle the same training and nutrition as Rich.  You may be the next CrossFit champion if you follow his philosophy.  But my guess is that you will probably burn out.

Why do we believe this stuff?  The majority of it is propaganda to sell a public that is addicted to the half-truths and pictures of athletes who would like to look like Rich Froning.  Here is a article that will make you mad, but it is the truth on why we continue to fall for these ideas.

You do not have to fall for lies and propaganda spewed into our lives.  Simply train and develop your mind properly.  You will arrive at your goal in due time.





Sleep Your Way to Improved Performance

Stanford Study Shows Improved Performance By Simply Sleeping

Sleep Your Way to Improved Performance
Sleep Your Way to Improved Performance

Today’s world is always looking for the silver bullet to improved productivity and performance.  Stanford and many others have proven that getting the proper type and amount of sleep will allow you to perform at a higher level.

On this weeks The McCarthy Project, we will be looking into the areas that will prove that sleeping will eliminate many daily maladies, like the need for energy drinks, caffeine, and constant entertainment to keep you alert.  Secondly, sleep allows your brain to process what you learned from the day, to formalize your thoughts into coherent, new ideas.

So what does sleep deprivation do to your life?

1. Decreased energy. Reduces your body’s ability to store glycogen — energy that you need.
2. Worse decision making and reflexes. Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are worse at making decisions and less accurate.
3. Hormone changes. Not getting enough sleep can increase levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can slow down healing, and worsen memory. It also lowers levels of growth hormone that helps repair the body.

Allow yourself to sleep and have some down time.  Your overall quality of life will improve and your performance will benefit.

Tune in when The McCarthy Project discusses the silver bullet of improved performance, sleep.

During the second hour, Lindsey Berg, USA Volleyball Olympic champion, shares her thoughts on sleep and recovery and how to perform at your best.

Central Nervous System and CNS Training, Part 2

CNS Training: Proper Means and Methods

CNS Training for Athletes
CNS Training for Athletes

Last week, we discussed excitotoxins and the use of proper diet and recovery as the foundation of stimulating the brain and athletic development. This week, we move on to the subject of cns training and creating athletes that use strength and speed development means and methods to improve performance.

The main focus of any cns training program is to activate motor units, the basic functional entity of muscular activity, while performing your event.

There are a many methods to improve, but almost as many to hinder.

On the improvement side:

1.  Sets in the 80% and above of 1RM

2.  Post workout exercises that promote recovery of the central nervous system

3.  Proper amount of rest during workouts that allow recovery of cns.  This allows for maximum effort during each set or rep.

4.  Allow yourself some downtime away from technology and sport. Paint a picture, walk in the woods, etc.

On the hinder side.

1.  Manage the number of random hard core workouts or survival of the fittest speed sessions.

2.  Training for multiple sports with multiple trainers at the same time.

3.  Refuse to look at restoration training or managing work loads.  If you are swimming at the lake all day, practicing for 2 hours and then going to workout. It may be too much for one day.

Tune in The McCarthy Project Show 11amCST on July 24th as we cover these areas and much more.


Central Nervous System in Life and Sport

The Role of Central Nervous System in Life and Sport

Central Nervous System in Life and Sport
Central Nervous System in Life and Sport

Could you perform at a higher level both mentally and physically by eating processed foods? False. Could you have a greater result from your training by not touching cash register receipts? True.

Why do we care, when we are talking about the central nervous system and improving athletic performance?

Answer: If you don’t take care of the foundational parts of your central nervous system, it will not work with the efficiency that it was created.   The house built on the wrong foundation will not stand.  The work capacity you are looking to build and the time you put into improving at sport will be futile and useless because your body will break down eventually.  There have been numerous prominent doctors talking about the affects of the food, air and water on the central nervous system, more specifically the brain, of young people and ultimately, their performance in life and sport.

Today we are taking a look at some general areas that force our central nervous system to not perform at maximum efficiency and clarity. If you would like to learn how to focus your thoughts without feeling like you are in a fog, stop getting headaches after you eat, have more energy when you workout or maximum restoration from my workouts.  These are only of few of the things we will be covering on the show and are occurring at a cellular level in your entire body.

Here are the basic components of brain care that should be addressed. Dr. Russell Blaylock, known as the foremost authority on excitotoxins such as MSG and aspartame. Dr. Blaylock is the author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills.”

The quality of our food, water and the environment will cause long term negative result by  not paying attention to these factors.   For additional information from Dr. Blaylock, listen to the complete interview with Mike Adams of Natural News.

A second opinion comes from Dr. Mercola, renowned TV host and author, on the same subject of excitotoxins, such as aspartame.

A third source for information would be the Paleo Diet for Athletes by Dr. Loren Cordain and Joel Friel.  They cover complete details numerous other threats to your long term heath and performance.

During the second part of our show, we will address the subject of BPA or bisphenal A in the things we touch and use to in our life on a daily basis. Here is an post related to the use of BPA on cash register receipts at major retailers.  BPA was thought to be only a problem for microwaving baby formula and causing problems with the young children.  The central nervous system is adversely affected BPA.  The endocrine system not producing the proper balance of testosterone, estrogen and growth hormone will cause your brain to be confused who you really are as a person, inhibiting your ability to think high quality thoughts. change how your body responds to workouts and at some levels, will change who you are as a person.

Testosterone and Estrogen levels in athletes based on BPA, excitotoxins like MSG and aspartame, and other environmental concerns are building blocks to receiving the benefits of your training.

Some common causes of Low T (low testosterone) include mineral deficiencies, and especially a lack of zinc; excess stress, which is often associated with raised cortisol production and lowered DHEA levels; too much exercise and weight training without enough rest; head or gonadal trauma; exposure to estrogens in the environment and from bad food; and accumulation of visceral, or belly, fat, and corresponding insulin resistance.” Natural News

And then the opposite,  BPA and male hormones and estrogen  The question would be is what is your estrogen level balance.

For the complete show, tune in to Central Nervous System on The McCarthy Project Talk Show.

Now that the foundation has been built, next week The McCarthy Project will look at how to develop the central nervous system for improved performance on the field or court.



Limited Technology and Sports Performance

Limited Technology Consumption Improves Sports Performance

Limited Technology Consumption Improves Performance
Limited Technology Consumption Improves Performance

“Dont have the phone smarter than you. So it they are looking at that as cultural contraband than that will let you know where we are at.” Rapper Chuck D. of Public Enemy

Limited technology is a foreign concept in today’s world.  The television, the smart phone, computer and video games have taken over a large part of our time, especially with young people.  We have all heard the stories and read the studies, that on average, we invest over 20 hours a week on television, now add 3 hours a day looking at our phone, watch a couple youtube videos, and read the sports on the Internet.  What maybe, 50-60 hours a week!  Add to this a scene from the movie, Children of Men.  The scene where Theo is talking Nigel over lunch and Nigel’s son is sitting on the computer stuck in a coma-induced state taking drugs for depression.  This it what could happen to athletes or is already happening right now.

So the concept of limiting technology takes on a whole new level within the context of Nigel’s son. It is not a false reality, it is reality that we need to look into decreasing the use of technology to improve performance.

So the concept of limiting technology takes on a whole new arena with the context of Nigel’s son. It is not a false reality, it is reality.

Here are a couple articles for further reading on the subject of decreased performance from technology.  These are articles are simply the start of the information around the subject of decreased performance of the mind and body after long-term bouts with technology.

1.  Boosting creativity with constraints

2.  Social Media and Team Unity

3.  Worse than Meth.. Facebook

4.  Role of dopamine and the Internet

5.  Digital multitasking decreases IQ

6.  Overloaded Circuits: Why not?

7.  Multitasking Adversely Affects Brain’s Learning

8.  Facebook and Depression

9.  Respiratory Fitness Lowered by Screen Time

10. Decreased Performance with Only 3 hours TV per day

11. Reading and Writing Preserve The Brain

The end game is limited technology will improve your performance in your life and your sport.  Get up and get off the technology.

Tune in to listen to the complete show on Wednesday July 10th at 11am CST.

The question was asked what is the biggest source of power in the world today. “Knowledge of self and knowledge of your surroundings.” Rapper Chuck D. of Public Enemy

Secondly, Shaun Goodsell of Mental Edge Today and I recorded a powerful show on the concept of high performance.  We talked about the power of vulnerability and its importance in life and sport.


#C4CT Concussion Awareness Summit: A Door to Discussion

Concussion in Sport: A conversation that needs to take place

Football and Concussion
Football and Concussion

Jack Brewer Sports hosted the #C4CT Concussion Awareness Summit at the Minneapolis Club.   The summit brought together thought leaders from world of sport and more specifically, the world of concussion in sport.  Research scientists, clinicians, vendors, agents and athletes attended the Summit to discuss the topic of concussion in sport.

I was honored to attend the meeting and walked away with a completely different perspective on the short-term and long-term concerns related to concussion in sport.

Some of the attendees sat down with me to talk about life and sport. The show aired last week on The McCarthy Project.

1.  Dr Jay Clugston, University of Florida Football Team Physician,  Dr. Clugston talked about the current situation on how to identify if you or your athlete has had a concussion or a sub-concussion.  He also spoke about the treatment and how to potentially, limit them going forward.  Here is a link to one of the tools he mentioned during the interview. SCAT3 Concussion Assessment Tool

2. Thomas Jones, 12 year NFL veteran, talked about the life of being a football player and it not being reality.  It is an extreme occupation with risks to your long-term life and health.  Concussion is one of those areas, he has spent many hours researching and documenting for future athletes.  The documentary is called NFL: A Gift or A Curse. Visit here for the entire interview.

3. Lance Kendricks, 3 year NFL veteran, talked about life in the NFL and how he grew up in Wisconsin to become a tight end for the St. Louis Rams.  He numerous concussions during his career and he decided to attend the summit on a recommendation of one of his colleagues.  He developed out ways that he felt you could limit the chances of being involved in collisions that cause injury.

4.  Jack Brewer, 5 year NFL veteran, sat down a couple weeks ago to discuss his motives for the Summit and the Blue Gala Celebrity Weekend.  Check out his story of using sports to gain access to education and a spring board to a successful future.  For more information on Jack Brewer events, visit his website.




Restoration Training or Recovery Training: What?

Restoration Training or Recovery Training: Just As Important as Regular Workouts

Restoration Training or Recovery Training for Elite Performance
Restoration Training or Recovery Training for Elite Performance

Constant Action Lifestyles, Survival of the Fittest or Workouts to Failure are the rage in youth and adult athletics.  Two weeks of this training by this coach and then the next two weeks a different coach.  Lack of rest, sleep or even too much technology.

Well..  That is what I did when I was a kid.   Most athletes need to have a clean break from their current training and development programs.  Why do you say a clean break you might ask?  Parents, coaches and athletes feel that doing something rather than nothing is a training strategy.  Would parents do this at work? Shoot from the hip on the action steps to develop success. Would a coach do this on the field or court? Of course not! Then why do we do it with training.

What about recovery after loading? What about recovery post race? How do you restore your body so that it can take another workout? Why do so many athletes burnout before high school?

Today on The McCarthy Project, Stephen McCarthy will answer all of these questions and more.  All parties should coordinate a schedule based on the proven science of mastering a sport with the proper training and the proper restoration training or recovery training.

Former Navy Seal David Rutherford on Limiting Technology
Former Navy Seal David Rutherford on Limiting Technology

Guests today include:

1.  Kris Swarthout, USA Triathlon Coach and accomplished triathlete.

2.  David Rutherford, former Navy Seal and Division 1 lacrosse player and Behavior Training Specialist.

3. Shaun Goodsell, Sports Performance Coach and former college athlete.

For the complete show, visit Recovery Workouts and Restoration Training Show.


Plyometrics and Basketball Effective Plyometrics for Basketball

By Stephen McCarthy

The McCarthy Project

Plyometrics for Basketball


Check out our thoughts on the effective use of plyometrics in basketball.

In the end, the prescription of plyometrics should be just than a prescription, not survival of the fittest training method.

For the complete post, visit

Parallel Squats or Quarter Squats for Jumping?

Are Deep or Parallel Squats Needed When Doing a Squat?

By Jack Woodrup

Parallel Squats and Your Vertical
Parallel Squats and Your Vertical

Jack Woodrup has done tremendous work over the years focusing on the subject of jump training or improving your vertical.  This post on parallel squats and many other forms of squats will put to rest the many questions related to depth on squatting related to increasing your vertical jump.

At the start, he makes a great case for squats that match the range of motion that would  occur during the event.  So are parallel squats needed for jump training? Almost every trainer will correct you if you don’t, It this really the truth?

For the most part yes, but build up to mastering the deep or parallel squats as your mobility/flexibility allow.

Check out he complete post at


Jump Program and Your High School

How do you combine a jump program with what the high school coach is doing? Possible?

Jump Programs and High School
Jump Programs and High School

By Jack Woodrup
For a lot of young athletes doing well in high school sports is a hugely important time in their life. Up for grabs for those who play are very valuable college scholarships, and in some cases, maybe even pro careers. Even if you don’t aim that high doing well on the court and getting more playing time can often be a pretty good reward in itself.
So with that in mind, it isn’t in entirely far out statement to say that High School coaches hold a great deal of power in the student athlete/coach relationship. So what do you do if you are looking to improve your vertical jump so that you can improve your on court or on field performance and your high school coach has you doing something that seems very counterproductive to that goal? Can these two situations co-exist?
Well, the first thing you need to realize is that the coach is not your enemy. If they have you doing something they more than likely have their reasons for it. If you think that what the coach is asking you is genuinely going to hurt you and your teams performance than you should consider setting up a meeting with him to ask him or her about it. Questioning your coach can be a bad move if you do it wrong (like in a timeout huddle right at the end of a tight game for example), but it can help build your relationship if you do it right.
This I would think meant visiting their office, asking your question, letting them answer, and if you are still unsatisfied, bringing up a few well researched counterpoints and maybe even offering an alternative suggestion.
Another issue you might face is that sometimes increasing your vertical jump isn’t necessarily the biggest thing that you should be working on. For example if you are a basketball player and already have a pretty decent running 34 inch vertical jump but have no endurance, well in order to get better basketball you might need to prioritize doing some more conditioning work so that you can still play solid defense and have your legs on your shot late in games. Conditioning work generally won’t help your vertical though so if you are looking to get that 34 inch running up to 40 inches you will need to way up which goal is more important.
If it is just jumping high for the sake of jumping high then you might consider quitting the team and trying out for high jump or long jump, both of which will definitely compliment your jumping goals a lot more. If you really want to play basketball though you might just have to shelve those plans for the 40 inch jump until the summer off season.
That said, even if your coaches goals differ from your jumping goals there is still plenty you can do to maximize your chances of increasing (or at the very least , maintaining) your vertical jump. In season work should consist primarily of basic strength training (squats, deadlifts, step ups), some dynamic low impact work (kettlebell swings, moderately loaded Olympic lifts), and of course some low level jumping drills to maintain the explosiveness (box jumps, seated jumps).
High school sports can be a very rewarding experience for the young athlete, but it can also be very stressful. On one hand you want to do right by your team and your coach, and on the other you want to challenge yourself to improve as an individual. How effectively you balance those two goals out can be a real challenge and sometimes the best thing to do is take a step back and reassess what you want out of your sport and then once you have made those decisions, give it your best shot to achieve your goals.

For more information, visit the Weight Room section of our site.

Jill Magee: Structure and Balanced Development in Sport

Structure First, Then Balanced Development

Structure and Balanced Development
Structure and Balanced Development

Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project and Jill Magee of Rock Tape talked about building the structure for athletes physically and then adding a balanced development program to the structure created.

Points made on the show:

1.  Understand what your past health history; down to sprained ankles, stubbed toes, etc and build a high-quality health history.

2.  Do not take extremes on training philosophies related to optimal position of the your anatomy or on the other side, just train through the pain.

3.  Movement must be efficient to produce high level results and if the structure is wrong. You will break. So fix it early.

For the complete interview, visit here.

For more information on Jill Magee, visit her website.



Swiss Ball Training for Cyclists

Swiss Ball Training is Good for Some, But Not For All Athletes

Ball Training and the Cyclist
Ball Training and the Cyclist


We posted on this article on the Nature Valley Grand Prix blog talking about the value of swiss or physio ball training.

For the general public, a great idea.

For the intermediate or high-level athlete, it is a learned event with limited upside.

Here is a couple excerpts of the post.

Check out this post by Paul Rogers, a former Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Australian National Sprint Cycling Team.  For his team, he did not see any benefits of the Swiss ball during the time his team used the ball training method.

Some examples of other training methods include:

  1. Dumbbell training on two feet
  2. Dumbbell training on one foot
  3. Bodyweight training
  4. Olympic lifts

For the complete post, visit the Nature Valley Grand Prix blog.


Elite Performance and The McCarthy Project

Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project Broke Down His Philosophy of Attaining Elite Performance

Stephen McCarthy on Elite Performance
Stephen McCarthy on Elite Performance

Attaining elite performance is easy to talk about, filled with blood, sweat, tears and failure.  It is a road less traveled.  Over the last 20 years, Stephen McCarthy has been involved in the sports community in Minnesota.  He started his journey as a young sports junkie in Spring Lake Park, MN. Attempted to play pro golf, while training young athletes. He has worked with over 10000 young athletes through the years, some have gone on to compete at a high level. Others have not.

Today on the show, Stephen discussed his thoughts on on attaining elite performance related to training, nutrition, sleep, recovery and the digital age.   He described a path to elite performance that he has seen numerous athletes travel.

For the complete story and philosophy, listen here.

In the second hour, Lindsey Berg of USA Volleyball joined the show to tell her story of growing up a coaches kid to the Gold Medal Game at the London Olympics.  Her story and successes are amazing similar to the philosophies at The McCarthy Project.  Could that be just a coincidence? Or truth?

For the complete show, visit Blog Talk Radio.

Lindsey Berg of USA Volleyball
Lindsey Berg of USA Volleyball

Lindsey Berg Bio Information:

MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: 2012 – FIVB World Grand Prix Preliminary Rounds…Olympic Games (Silver). 2011 – FIVB World Grand Prix (Gold)…NORCECA Championship (Gold)…FIVB World Cup (Silver). 2010 – FIVB World Championship (Fourth). 2009 – Final Four Intercontinental Cup (Silver)…NORCECA Continental Championship (Fourth) 2008 – U.S. Olympic Team Exhibition for Volleyball versus Brazil…FIVB World Grand Prix (Fourth Place)…Olympic Games (Silver Medal). 2007 – NORCECA Championship (Silver Medal)…FIVB World Cup (Bronze Medal). 2006 – World Grand Prix (Seventh Place). 2005 – Front Range Tour vs. Brazil…Pan American Cup…World Grand Prix…FIVB World Championship Qualifying Tournament (gold medal)…NORCECA Continental Championships (gold medal)…World Grand Champions Cup (Silver Medal). 2004 – Yeltsin Cup…Montreux Volley Masters (Silver Medal)…Pan American Cup (Silver Medal)…World Grand Prix (Bronze Medal)…Olympic Games. 2003 – Montreux Volley Masters…Russia Tournament…Pan American Cup (Gold Medal)…World Grand Prix (Bronze Medal)…NORCECA Zone Championships (Gold Medal)…Texas Tour…World Cup (Bronze Medal).

PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: 2008 – Led Asystel Volley Novara to the Italian Serie A semifinals. 2007 – Played for Scavolini Pesaro in Italian Serie A League. 2006 – Played for Scavolini Pesaro in Italian Serie A League. 2005 – Played for Scavolini Pesaro in Italian Serie A League. 2002 – Helped lead the Minnesota Chill to the United States Professional Volleyball league championship…Berg earned Outstanding Server, Outstanding Setter and All-USPV honors for her efforts.

COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS: Berg was a three-time All-Big Ten selection at the University of Minnesota (1999, 2000, and 2001)…She finished her collegiate career in 2001 ranked third in the Big Ten in all-time assists (5,913).



Plyometrics: Over-prescribed, Made of No Value

Overused Training Method: Plyometrics

By Stephen McCarthy

The McCarthy Project

Plyometrics for Increased Vertical
Plyometrics for Increased Vertical

Plyometrics for sport performance  are mainstay in almost every jump training program. The problem arises that plyometrics are probably one of the most misunderstood training methods in the training world today. They are very aggressive and overused which leads to less than stellar results. On the other hand, plyometrics will provide the stress needed to improve your game.

Before we go into the details, lets start with the definition. The word plyometric was originally used as replacement to the term “shock method” Over the years, the definition has expanded to include almost any form of jumping and landing training exercise. In my mind, this is an over reach. The purest definition of the plyometrics is a dropping from a raised surface, landing and then bounding in the shortest amount of time. Today, the definition does not include the dropping from a raised surface. It is the engaging of the stretch shortening cycle under stress to produce a training effect.

The biggest problem is that the training method is one of the most aggressive methods of training and is the easiest to do at home. And in America if 20 foot contacts or reps are the recommended prescription, then 100 would be better. This is not true for plyometrics. More is not better, you must stay within the researched methodologies to gain the results from your work.

Simply follow the plyometric training program including; the recovery time, limit your foot contacts and make sure each rep is done with max effort. And you may see the results of your work, not overuse injury.

Vertical Jump Training and Marketing Hype

Jack Woodrup of on How you would know if a vertical jump training program is marketing hype?

By Jack Woodrup

Jack Woodrup on Vertical Jump Training
Jack Woodrup on Vertical Jump Training

When I first got interested in vertical jump training I was shocked to discover that at the time nearly all the jumping programs that were available for sale were quite frankly terrible. One reason for this is that a very large part of the vertical jump market is made up of highly impressionable teenage boys wanting to slam dunk a basketball.
No offence to teenage boys (I was after all one myself at some point), but the biggest thing they don’t get is just how little they actually know about things. I am sure I am not the only adult who looks back on his teenage years and thinks “If I only knew then what I know now”.  Fortunately these days the internet has made is significantly easier to research the various jump programs available and find out if they are any good or not, but in order to help you out here are a few things to look for.
Firstly, does the sales pitch make promises of guaranteed gains? If the answer is yes be wary. I know it helps reassure people if they think they are going to buy a program and 12 weeks later be jumping 10 inches higher, and this sort of thing definitely helps people make more sales, but the truth of the matter is, any real coach will tell you that guaranteeing a specific minimum result for people is actually impossible and to do so is to tell a lie.
You see everybody is different and has different strengths and weaknesses, and different starting points. An absolute beginner who has never training might indeed improve 10 inches on 12 weeks, but a more advanced athlete might be lucky to get 1 or 2 inches in 12 weeks.
So as counter intuitive as this is, if you are after a program that is going to treat you right (i.e. not lie to you even before you make a purchase) then look for one that doesn’t make outlandish claims of guaranteed inches.
Another key indicator for determining what is a good program or not is how customised that program will be to you. As I mentioned earlier, everyone has different strengths and weakness and they shouldn’t be trained the same way. One size fits all programs, or cookie cutter programs as they are known, will treat every athlete identically and have them train the same way using the same set of exercises, sets and reps.
So why is this such a big mistake in a training program? Well jumping is a function of relative power, and relative power is a function of strength and speed (how quickly you can apply your strength). So a strong but slow athlete will get a lot more benefit from a plyometric and jumping focused program, while a weaker athlete would do better by hitting the weight room to increase their strength.
To recap if the jump program you have bought, or are looking to buy doesn’t make outlandish claims and false promises, and it is customized to your individual needs than these two very good signs that the jump program has been written by someone who actually knows the subject well and is honest enough to not try cheap marketing lies to sucker you out of your hard earned cash. And in my book, if I was forking over my hard earned cash and putting my jump training in someone’s hands, I would want it to definitely be that sort of a person.

James Harrison: Invest in Your Body

James Harrison Invests Time and Money Into His Body

By Brian McIntyre

Shutdown Corner

James Harrison of Cincinnati Bengals
James Harrison of Cincinnati Bengals

James Harrison of the Cincinnati Bengals invested a serious amount of money into his body. He realized that the better his body worked, the more results he would garner on the field.  If more athletes would understand his simple methodology and investment, they would succed succeed at a higher level.

I realize that not all athletes have $600,000 per year to spend on nutrition, training, message, etc. but the principle is obvious.

Invest in your body so that it runs like a performance car. It is not a rental that you beat on relentlessly and drop it off at the end of the day.

It takes time and preparation to eat the right foods from the right sources, drinking the right water, implementing recovery work and sleep, and lastly, speed and strength training.

All these tied together will allow you to perform to your expectations.

For the complete post, visit here

Shaun Goodsell: Mental Toughness Defined

Shaun Goodsell of Mental Edge Talked About the Basics of Developing Mental Toughness

Shaun Goodsell on Mental Toughness
Shaun Goodsell on Mental Toughness

Your host Stephen McCarthy and Shaun Goodsell of the Mental Edge discussed the different aspects of mental toughness.  It is one of those subjects talked about plenty, but what is it? how do you get it?

Shaun exposed a simple, clear path to developing your purpose to the point that you will succeed.  Then when the failure that arrives, the athlete, coach or parent can show mental toughness to face the defeat and complete the mission.

Shaun mentioned the following how-to steps to developing inner discipline and becoming mentally tough.

1.  Design your life intentionally and know you will fail several times

2.  Talk about how to act out the design you see happening

3.  Then stay focused and do the work needed to accomplish the design.

To listen to the complete show, visit here.

Secondly, on the show Shaun mentioned his online site for developing mental toughness, here is the link for his site.

Shaun Goodsell Bio Information:

Shaun has worked with LPGA Golfers, National Championship Hockey Players, Professional Triathletes, State Champion Football and Hockey Players, as well as those athletes who simply want to make “the team.” Every athlete deals with certain mental interferences and life impairments no matter what level they may be at competitively. There is no such thing as right and wrong, or, good and bad, in Shaun’s mind. I do not look at life in these terms. As a Performance Coach, it is my challenge to help each individual athlete develop a new way of defining his/her performance – it is not about good or bad, but about looking at what factors go into a quality performance and what each athlete can do and/or change, individually, to experience just that. With Shaun’s ability to teach and to inspire, along with his ability to communicate abstract ideas clearly, he is able to help each person he works with identify and look at ways they might be engaging in self-defeating patterns of thinking and/or acting, which results in an overall empowering experience for the individual, raising their level of mental toughness and overall self-esteem. Shaun also works extensively with coaches and parents of athletes in large groups, focusing on their integral roles in athletes’ overall mental development and their lives in general. Each coach and parents leaves these presentations and workshops inspired and better equipped to manage athletes with aim, purpose and compassion.

For more information, visit his website.