[Brandon is a student at the University of Mount Olive majoring in Exercise Science. He is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] It appears now that eccentric training is thought to be most effective in reducing the risk of injury to athletes. In a study of hamstring strains it is stated that “biomechanical observations suggest that eccentric contraction is a necessary condition for a hamstring strain injury during running and this claim is strengthened by the lack of strain injuries in concentrically biased sports, such as swimming and cycling” (Opar, Williams, and shield, 2012). Eccentric training improves the amount of force that a muscle can absorb which makes it a clear benefit to preventing injuries in athletes. If you have heard of Cal Dietz method to tri-phasic training you will know that every muscle action has three phases: eccentric, isometric, and concentric. An eccentric action occurs when the “proximal and distal muscle attachments move away from one another” (Verkhoshansky & Siff, 2009). An isometric action occurs when the “proximal and distal muscle attachments do not move relative to each other” (Verkhoshansky & Siff, 2009). A concentric action occurs when the “proximal and distal muscle attachments move towards each other” (Verkhoshansky & Siff, 2009). Training a muscle through a full range of motion is typically the best way to see improvement throughout the entire muscle. This just makes sense because if you are using the entire muscle then the entire muscle will become stronger. However there may still be a need to focus on each phase of the muscle action during workouts. “Most muscle strains occur in an eccentric contraction and are affected by muscle strength and contraction velocity” (Liu, Garrett, Moorman, & Yu, 2012). [...]
Athletic Lab is happy to announce we will be adding 2 new Senza Classes to our Performance Fitness schedule. Senza is our 45 minute twist on traditional bootcamp training. Senza is an Italian word that translates to 'without' which is fitting for the simplistic and non-threatening format of the class. Sessions focus on bodyweight, medicine ball and light kettlebell exercises without touching a barbell, doing complicated weightlifting exercises or training in the competitive atmosphere that many of our other Performance Fitness classes have. Senza classes will be added on Tuesday and Thursday at 5:15 am beginning February 21st. Open gym will also be available during this new time slot. Class: Senza & Open Gym Start Date: February 21 Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays Time: 5:15-6 am Accompanying our new Senza class times is the new option to purchase Senza only punchcard memberships. Senza punchcards can now be purchased in 10 ($94.95) and 20 ($169.95) use packages.
One of the things that makes Athletic Lab amazing is our members. We have members from all walks of life and all fitness and sport backgrounds. For the month of February we're highlighting two of our Elite Track & Field athletes as Members of the Month. Matt Hunter and Aaron Port are emerging elite decathletes who moved to Cary, NC to train at Athletic Lab with the goal of becoming professional Track & Field athletes. Aaron and Matt recently took 1st and 2nd place respectively at the Tobacco Road Multi-Event at the University of North Carolina. You can check out our previous members of the month here. Name: Matt Hunter Age: 23 What city were you born in? Cambridge, MA What's your favorite exercise? Least favorite? My favorite exercise is power cleans, my least favorite is dips. How did you first hear about Athletic Lab? I first heard about Athletic Lab through a former track and field coach of mine. What do you enjoy most about competing post-collegiately? I find that competing post-collegiately with the goal of finding out what my full potential is has allowed me to enjoy the sport again in a way that is similar to how I felt when I fell in love with the sport to begin with, and a large part of that is the community at Athletic Lab. What competition stands out the most to you and why? The meet that stands out the most to me would be during my senior year at Lexington High School when we beat our rival school to win the conference championship for the first time since I had been there! We had been working towards that goal for years, and to do it with many of my lifelong friends will allays stand out! [...]
[Lauren Cowley is currently a senior at the University of Mount Olive and will graduate in May 2017. She is an Exercise Science Major, and a former NCAA DII Soccer Player. She is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] We’ve all seen how it happens, January comes around and suddenly the gym is full of people, the streets and parks are filled with runners and walkers, all attempting to fulfill their new year’s resolution of losing weight or achieving the ‘new year, new me’ status. Then suddenly summer creeps around, and this all happens again with people attempting to lose weight with the aim to fit into that one dress, to look better on the beach on vacation, or even wanting to avoid the embarrassment of not feeling comfortable in summer clothes. First of all, I applaud each and every person who engages in exercise, for taking that step and going to the gym, or for a run, or even just a walk. For some, that’s the hardest step of all. Exercise has a multitude of established benefits with minimal negative side effects. These benefits include: weight control, improved body composition, decreased risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus, improved coronary benefits, lower blood pressure, decreased risk of osteoporosis and cancer, improved psychological wellbeing, improved overall quality of sleep and improved cognitive function. Exercise is extremely cost-efficient and is widely accessible at a societal level. Regardless of age, gender or physical ability, everyone and anyone can benefit from exercise. Which is why exercise is commonly regarded as medicine and regularly prescribed by medical practitioners. Through these extensive benefits, an improvement in overall health status and thus, a reduction in risk of chronic diseases and disability can be [...]
Athletic Lab has an amazing and diverse community of members. To kick off 2017, we're highlighting one of our Scholastic Sports Performance athletes as our January Member of the Month. Laksheeta Devanand is a high school sprinter who has made a serious commitment to be her best and always put forth a great effort in training. We're proud to have her as our first member of the month for the year. You can check out our previous members of the month here. Name: Laksheeta Devanand Age: 13 What city were you born in? Chennai, India What Sport do you participate in? Track and Field What events do you participate in? 100m, 200m, 100 relay How long have you been participating your sport? 1 year How did you first hear about Athletic Lab? From my Dad's friend What is your favorite and least favorite exercise? Short sprints are my favorite. Least favorite is push ups :) What do you feel have been your greatest accomplishments so far? My fitness has improved and I'm mentally & physically ready to race. What motivates you? My dad and the sensation of adrenaline running through my body while running
[Lauren Cowley is currently a senior at the University of Mount Olive and will graduate in May 2017. She is an Exercise Science Major, and a former NCAA DII Soccer Player. She is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] According to the ACSM, “muscle contractions involve shortening and lengthening while the muscle is still producing force. The phase of contraction that occurs when the muscle shortens is concentric, whereas the phase of contraction that occurs as the muscle lengthens is eccentric” (Eccentric Resistance Exercise for Health and Fitness, n.d.). Throughout my education in the field of Exercise Science, I’ve always been interested in the concentric versus eccentric debate. Following a video I viewed recently, I expanded my knowledge of eccentric movement profoundly. It is essential to strengthen both concentric and eccentric phases of muscle contraction in order to sustain sport performance and prevent injury throughout the whole range of motion (Eccentric Strength Development, n.d.). It appears that recent training programs place emphasis on the eccentric phase of muscle contraction. The benefits of eccentric resistance training appear to be copious, with one major benefit being its effect on muscular strength. It produces augmented strength in the entire range of motion of each joint, greater strength across a range of movement speeds and amplified sport performance and muscular power (Eccentric Resistance Exercise for Health and Fitness, n.d.). An article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine investigated “the effects of eccentric versus concentric resistance training on muscle strength and mass in healthy adults” with the aim to determine whether eccentric resistance exercises were superior to concentric exercises in stimulating gains in muscle strength and mass. Their findings, following meta-analyses, were that high intensity eccentric resistance exercise showed more [...]
Last week, Athletic Lab's Dr. Mike Young, spoke at Altis for their January Apprentice Coach Program and at the North Carolina Strength Coaches Association Clinic. Altis is an elite athlete & coach training environment focused on the sport of Track & Field. The group is based in Phoenix, AZ and boasted 16 athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympic games. Altis regularly offers learning opportunities for coaches and performance therapists. Young was invited to speak to the visiting coaches and staff at the Altis January Apprentice Coach Program which featured coaches from around the world. Several days later, Young spoke at the North Carolina Strength Coaches Association Clinic at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. The North Carolina Strength Coaches Association holds an annual clinic and this is Young's second time speaking at the event in 3 years. If you are interested in having Young or any other member of the Athletic Lab staff speak privately or at an event please contact us for details.
Join Athletic Lab coach Greg Gustin for his skills workshop on hand balancing. This workshop will give attendees the opportunity to learn in a hands-on, classroom setting, fully dedicated to teaching the technical aspects associated with different types of hand balancing and handstands. With this 90 minute workshop, you will learn and practice progressions from basic hand balancing to full handstands. While some inversion experience is preferred for this skills class, modifications can be made for all experience levels. When: Sunday, January 29th 10:30am – 12:00pm Cost: FREE to members and non-members We're limiting this workshop to 15 people. Register NOW!
To kick off 2017, we sat down with legendary Track & Field coach Dan Pfaff. Dan is currently the Head Jumps Coach and Multi-Events coach at Altis in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been the coach of multiple Olympic medalists including gold medalist and world record holder in the 100m, Donovan Bailey. His most recent medalist came in 2012 with long jumper Greg Rutherford. He as also coached at power-house Track and Field programs at LSU, University of Texas, and the University of Florida. This podcast includes topics on: A brief coaching history. Ideas on training intensities, volumes, and densities. The general to specific training continuum. Training strengths and weaknesses. Mechanical models of sport and when to deviate. When and why to make technical changes and how to decide if investing the time is worth it. Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C scenarios. and more... If you liked this podcast, you'll love: Episode #3 - Nick Winkelman Episode # 1 - Mladen Jovanovic
The newly minted North Carolina FC (formerly Carolina Railhawks) have officially partnered with Athletic Lab for their Sports Science and Strength & Conditioning needs during the upcoming 2017 season. North Carolina FC (NCFC) is a an American professional soccer team based in Cary, North Carolina. The team trained at Athletic Lab during the last weeks of the 2016 season on a trial basis. The team was founded in 2006, as the Carolina Railhawks and recently announced a rebranding to become North Carolina FC and make a bid to join the MLS. The team currently plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The team previously trained at Athletic Lab during the 2010 and 2011 seasons during which they won the 2010 NASL Conference title and the 2011 NASL regular season title. Following those two banner years, Athletic Lab's Mike Young joined the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS where he served as the Head Fitness coach for the First team from 2012-2014. During his time in Vancouver, the team became the first Canadian team to make the MLS playoffs by posting one of the largest turn-around seasons in MLS history. In the 2013, the team improved on their record again and won the coveted Cascadia Cup over the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders. We're very excited to be working with North Carolina FC again. With myself and Coach John Grace both having experience in the MLS, I believe we have the knowledge and know-how to really help the team. The organization is top notch from the players all the way up through the coaches and team executives. NCFC is the top soccer club in a state with an unbelievable soccer history so we're very proud that they [...]