[Frank Muntis recently finished his Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Louisville and is currently in the Coaching Mentorship Program at Athletic Lab.] The internet is full of information about different nutritional topics and it can be difficult at times to sift through all the information to find practical, research-backed strategies to improve health and performance. When talking about sports nutrition it is common to hear discussions of the benefits of whey protein, casein, fish oil, carbohydrates or other various topics for the health and performance of athletes and these topics deserve discussion. There is, however, one nutritional supplement that I have found to truly make a difference in my well-being and performance…collagen. Collagen is a protein that is found throughout your body in your bones, skin, tendons, ligaments, hair, nails and more. In supplemental form, collagen is usually derived from cows and is also commonly used as gelatin in cooking. About 30% of the body’s protein consists of collagen. While much of the research on collagen supplementation is geared towards clinical populations, the implications of the findings from these studies shine a light on an area of sports nutrition that can potentially lead to fewer injuries, increased performance, and improved health and wellness. Effects on the Prevention of Injuries The number one goal of any good strength coach or athlete is to prevent injury. Some of the most common injuries in sports are related to connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, and bones with sprains, strains, tears and fractures as some of the predominant injuries. While these are incredibly strong tissues, they also take a greater amount of time to heal and adapt than other tissues. One study by Dr. Steffen Osser in the [...]
Athletic Lab will host their annual Winter Weightlifting Classic February 17, 2018. Registration is now open at the link below. Early-bird pricing is available until January 6th, but this Black Friday through Cyber Monday, take an additional 33% off! Between November 24th and 27th, lifters can sign up for only $40! Athletic Lab hosts multiple weightlifting meets every year with the most experienced staff on meet day. We have a competition platform (13'x13'), Eleiko competition bars and bumper plates, and 9 warmup platforms with competition bars and bumper plates for each. We take high-quality photos of every lifter, use meet management software, and provide meet t-shirts to all of our competitors as value added benefits. We've held some of the best local meets in the state of North Carolina and also held the 2013, 2014, and 2016 North Carolina State Championships. Register NOW! Take a look at some of the photos from our past events: 2017 Fall Weightlifting Classic 2017 Summer Weightlifting Classic 2017 Winter Weightlifting Classic
[Hayden Giuliani recently finished her Master’s degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she now works as a research coordinator. She is currently in the Coaching Mentorship Program at Athletic Lab.] As we age, there are obvious changes in our performance and the way our body responds to loads or exercise. Many adaptations occur within the body, specifically the muscles, that allow for these more global decrements. But, for some, it seems there is less of a decrease in performance and quality of life. Exercise is the key method in attenuating many of the muscular adaptations with aging. The primary adaptations that occur with aging are decreased muscle size (sarcopenia), decreased muscle strength (dynapenia), and decreased muscle quality, which other muscle architectures and structural adaptations contribute to. With a growing number of older adults, this is a very relevant topic to discuss. Muscle Size Sarcopenia differs from atrophy in that it occurs despite lifestyle and weight changes. Beyond the overall decrease in lean mass and inherent increase in body fat percentage, research has shown that muscle size decreases 25-36% in the thigh musculature with aging, compared to younger adults. (Lexell, Overend) An invasive study by Lexell and colleagues found that size changes within the vastus lasteralis can begin as early as 25 years and decrease as much as 10% by age 50. This loss of muscle is different between the upper and lower body, with the lower body reducing at a rate twice that of the upper body. This decrease in size is caused by a reduction in muscle fiber size and quantity. Neuromuscular fiber changes occur through a continual process of denervation and reinnervation, which leads to not only a loss of fibers [...]
Athletic Lab's Dr. Mike Young provided a lecture at the South Carolina Sprint Jump Hurdles Coaches Clinic. The clinic was held at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. The event featured top speed coaches and researchers from around the country. This was Mike's 2nd time speaking at the event. Mike spoke on "Strength Training for Speed." Mike next presents at a 1 day workshop in Seoul, South Korea on December 8th. If you are interested in having Dr. Young and any other Athletic Lab staff lecture or provide a private workshop for your organization please contact us for details.
In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday, we will have special hours on Thursday, November 23rd. Please note the following changes to our class schedule: All afternoon classes will be cancelled Performance Fitness Endurance 9 am Performance Fitness CrossFit 9 am & 10 am Scholastic 9:45 am Performance Fitness Weightlifting 9 am Open Gym 9am – 11 am Friday’s classes will resume as scheduled Join us for our 8th Annual Thanksgiving Day Workout (all members are welcome and can bring a friend or family member for free). We’ll have coffee and healthy snacks for after the workout.
Athletic Lab is proud to announce the additions of Devin Cornelius, Ivan Jukić and Vince Ragland to our staff. All three join Athletic Lab following successful completion of our Mentorship program in the Summer of 2017. Devin and Vince join Athletic Lab as Sports Performance coaches and Ivan will assist with Athletic Lab's ongoing sports science research initiatives as well as host our popular Sports Performance Podcast. With our most recent additions to the Athletic Lab staff, we continue our tradition of bringing in some of the best and brightest in the field of sports performance. In Devin, we add someone who has an MS in Sport Management who has already gained extensive athletic and mentorship experience. Similarly, Vince is a bright young coach who has already proven himself working in our Scholastic Sports Performance program. With Ivan, we add an accomplished researcher and coach who will help take our research efforts to the next level. – Mike Young, PhD Athletic Lab Director of Performance & Research
Athletic Lab is restructuring our coaching staff to enhance efficiencies and improve our services. Highlighting the staff restructure are the promotions of Greg Gustin to Assistant Director of Performance, Brian Guilmette to Director of Content & Community and John Evans to Assistant Director of Content. Athletic Lab already has one of the most educated, experienced and credentialed coaching staffs in the entire country and we expect this restructure will make us even stronger. Greg Gustin: Assistant Performance Director Greg Gustin has been promoted to Assistant Performance Director. In his new capacity, Greg will take on a greater role with business administration, member relations, staff education and programming of training. Greg Gustin joined the Athletic Lab coaching staff in 2016 following his successful completion of our coaches mentorship program. Previously, Greg served as our Director of Facilities. Greg has been a lynchpin at Athletic Lab from the moment he joined our staff. He's always gone above and beyond in his duties as a coach and in his prior role as Director of Facilities. Greg is one of the most all-around coaches we have and understands "the Athletic Lab way" as well as anyone. He's the perfect fit to keep us moving forward. – Mike Young, PhD Athletic Lab Director of Performance & Research Brian Guilmette: Director of Scholastic Training Brian Guilmette has been promoted to the new Director of Content & Community. Brian joined the Athletic Lab coaching staff in the Fall of 2015 following his successful completion of our coaches mentorship program. In 2016, he directed our NFL Combine Preparation Program and prior to this promotion, Brian was the Director of Scholastic Training at Athletic Lab. In his new role, Brian will continue coaching while overseeing our media efforts and community events. In Brian, [...]
[Hayden Giuliani recently finished her Master’s degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she now works as a research coordinator. She is currently in the Coaching Mentorship Program at Athletic Lab.] A rotational athlete is any athlete who uses twisting within the torso in order to perform their sport-specific movement. This is done in order to transfer forces generated from the lower body through the core to accelerate the upper body and dominant limb. Sports that incorporate this type of movement include, but are not limited to, baseball (swinging and throwing), tennis, and a few field events in track & field. The ball (or object) can be either stationary or be moving, but the intent is the same – accelerate it outwardly, as hard and/or fast as possible. These movements are very dependent on the adequate use of the body’s kinetic chain. In this case, we are speaking of a closed kinetic chain, due to the foot (feet) being planted on the ground. Ground reaction forces generated from foot contact and the strength of the lower body are transferred through the pelvis and torso to move the upper extremity, whether that is one or both arms. Because humans are naturally stronger in their lower body, it is very important to be able to properly utilize the body’s intrinsic kinetic chain. This is will increase the amount of strength and power that they can generate, but also minimize the stresses at the shoulder and upper extremity joints that contribute to injuries. First, let’s discuss the kinetic chain a little bit further… Simply speaking, a kinetic chain refers to the body’s segments that are linked to allow for the sequential transfer of forces and motions. This [...]
[Michael Bruno recently finished his undergraduate degree at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He is currently in the Coaching Mentorship Program at Athletic Lab] Post Activation Potentiation (PAP) is a phenomenon by which muscular performance is temporarily enhanced as a result of the subsequent conditioning activity. PAP can be used to improve short-term performance in sprinting, throwing, swimming, and jumping capabilities. This is the underlying mechanism that training methods such as complex, contrast, and French contrast all seem to improve. Complex training involves a heavy compound exercise, followed by plyometric exercise with similar movement pattern (i.e. half squat and vertical jump), aimed at improving rate of force development or the ability to put force into the ground over a short period of time. Whereas contrast training is a heavy set followed by a relatively lighter set over a period of time, aimed at improving maximum strength with use of submaximal drop sets. Although there are many ways to implement PAP into workouts, we are still unclear as to the underlying physiology of PAP. In the past decade, there has been a significant amount of research done on PAP and rightly so because of its wide range of performance improvements. The research has shown that there are three proposed mechanisms behind PAP. The phosphorylation of regulatory light chains, increased recruitment of higher order motor units, and changes in pennation angle of the muscle fibers. Phosphorylation or the adding of a phosphate molecule is done through catalyzation of an enzyme called myosin light chain kinase. This kinase is activated when calcium molecules are released from sarcoplasmic reticulum during muscle contraction. After being released, they then bind to calmodulin. This phosphorylation is thought to potentiate subsequent contractions by [...]
Just 2 weeks after presenting in São Paulo, Brazil, Athletic Lab's Dr. Mike Young provided a lecture at the North Carolina State Meeting of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. The meeting was held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and was a sold-out affair with over 150 coaches in attendance. Mike spoke on "Programmatic and Technical Considerations for Plyometric Training." Mike next presents at the South Carolina Speed Clinic in Columbia, SC. If you are interested in having Dr. Young and any other Athletic Lab staff lecture or provide a private workshop for your organization please contact us for details.