Performance Fitness Team Competition at Athletic Lab

Athletic Lab is holding a team competition Saturday, September 5th. This competition is open to all members. Two person teams may consist of M/M, F/F, or M/F. At least one person from each team must be a current member at Athletic Lab.

Competition Date: September 5th
Registration Closes: August 29th
Divisions: Rx / Scaled
Price: $40 per team ($20 per person)

All teams are guaranteed three events with an opportunity to compete in the final event for a chance to win a free team entry to SuperFit Cary. If you have already registered for SuperFit Cary we will refund your fee. If you compete and win in the scaled division at this event, you must compete in the Scaled division at SuperFit Games Cary.

In addition to the top teams winning a free SuperFit Cary registration, part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Special Olympics of North Carolina.

All events will be released the week before the event.

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 30th, 2015|News|0 Comments

I Choose You: Squat and Bench Press by John Vilardi

The purpose of this blog is to compare and contrast the bodybuilding and powerlifting style squat and bench press. The squat and bench press are two of the most fundamental exercises, and when used properly can drastically add strength and muscle hypertrophy. First, let’s start with the bodybuilding style squat and bench press.

Bodybuilding Squat

The bodybuilding style squat typically consists of a narrow stance (roughly shoulder width), and a high bar placement on the traps. The purpose of the bodybuilding style squat is quad development, so it makes sense that the bar is higher on the back, which shifts the center of gravity forward (Swinton et al., 2012) placing more stress on the quads, as well as forcing the lifter to keep their body more erect, again, placing a greater demand of quad activation. Another common theme with bodybuilding style squatting is the idea of time under tension, and using the greatest range of motion capable. The best way to increase time under tension is going through a full range of motion using different tempos (typically slow eccentric, as well as slow concentric, possibly with pauses at various depths).

Bodybuilding Bench press

The concepts here are very similar to the squat mentioned above. Essentially, for bodybuilders it is more important to go through a range of motion that works the desired muscle group in the most efficient manner (Clemson et al., 1997) (Wagner et al,. 1992). The bodybuilding style set up is typically more relaxed lower body, no arch in the back, and a hand grip where the forearms are perpendicular to the floor at the bottom of the lift. The bar path […]

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 30th, 2015|Training Info|0 Comments

If Sleep is Credit, We Are All In Debt by Houston Deck

“……. feel like you were in a coma last night and not asleep. Anytime you can wake up and say, I feel like I had a mini death.”  This is the best anabolic sleep we could ask for.  (Parsley, 2014).

Let’s take a look at the #1 overlooked supplement in the world; sleep.  But eight hours isn’t enough. The quality and how deep of a sleep we are in is what really matters. This week I will very briefly discuss the importance of sleep and its effects on our body’s hormones. I highly recommend listening to the podcast cited below for an in depth look on sleep and your bodies function.

Dr. Kirk Parsley, a health optimization physician simply puts, insufficient deep sleep means insufficient testosterone production. But why is testosterone so important? Simply put, testosterone diffuses straight to the cell wall binding to protein, goes straight into the nucleus and changes DNA expression. As a result, mRNA comes out producing more protein, receptors, energy, or whatever that specific hormone does that testosterone traveled too. So when there isn’t any deep sleep or lack of, we are committing anabolic suicide and throwing away everything we worked for that day. And if this continues, so does the vicious cycle.

But that’s not all that happens because one hormone can’t be affected without affecting them all. Growth hormone and cortisol depend on your sleep to get what it is they need to get done. A lack of sleep can affect testosterone by 30% and in turn affects growth hormone and cortisol. What does cortisol do? Very briefly, cortisol regulates stress, energy metabolism (spikes/drops in blood sugar), and […]

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 30th, 2015|Training Info|0 Comments

Early Specialization by DJ Hicks

During the summer of 2014, I had the privilege of assistant coaching for the prep club track team that I once ran for, which was being led by my high school coach. Considering the age of the athletes we were working with, six to 12, the head coach did a tremendous job of creating the perfect balance between doing everything possible to prepare the athletes for potential collegiate careers in the long run, while at the same time keeping in perspective the fact that we were still working with children. Unfortunately, not all coaches and parents are able to achieve this same middle ground of understanding.

Spending the summer attempting to emulate my coach’s charismatic nature in the way he guided his athletes to the best of their potential at various track meets and practices, I had the distasteful experience of witnessing countless other coaches and parents howling at their children about trivial matters such as attacking a curve incorrectly or failing to execute a race strategy properly, you know, because things like that matter when you’re six years old. In addition to the obvious psychological damage that took place in those instances, another huge problem was prevalent — early specialization.

As a parent, I’m sure witnessing your child excel rapidly and be much better than their peers on account of their early specificity is a great feeling, but that doesn’t exclude them from the possible dangers of burnout in the long run. Many studies have been conducted to determine the effects of early specialization on athletes, and most of them have turned out negative. The chart summarizes some of the most […]

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 29th, 2015|Training Info|0 Comments

Athletic Lab weightlifting team shines at Summer Open [Full Results]

Athletic Lab hosted our annual Athletic Lab Weightlifting Summer Open last weekend. Over 60 athletes competed for a chance to win a cash prize. A cash prize equivalent to the top Sinclair Metzler Malone score for each gender. Athletic Lab’s Vivian Papp won the award as the top female lifter and also posted a total that qualified her for the American Open. The American Open is a national championship meet that is held every year. Her total of 176kg (78kg Snatch; 98kg Clean & Jerk) at 71kg bodyweight was a lifetime personal best. Also competing and setting or tying personal bests for Athletic Lab were Allie Hall, Nickie Dane, Ryan Moravick, Josh Rudock, James Gold, Chris Graner and Athletic Lab coaches John Grace and Mike Young.

Special thanks to all who attended, especially the teams from CrossFit Brave and CrossFit Accolade who were both well represented by high quality lifters.

Find the full results HERE.

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 28th, 2015|News|0 Comments

Stop Cheating your Cool Down by DJ Hicks

We all know why we train for our sport. It’s no secret that in order to get better at any skill, some sort of practicing must take place in order to gain an adaptation that will translate to the field of play. Adaptations that come in the form of increased cardiovascular capacity or absolute strength are easily identifiable by athletes, and for this reason, are received with minimal groaning and complaints.

Consisting of a warm-up, workout, and cool down, most training sessions don’t have a problem incorporating the first two correctly. Why would there be a problem? Obviously, if you don’t train, you won’t reap an adaption, a very simple truth. Warming up, admittedly not as clear-cut an activity, is still something that is observed by even the most uninformed of coaches for its ability to prime to body for whatever training stimulus it’s about to receive. Cooling down, however, is not so easily received.

Dependent upon the training session and the amount of physical exertion that an athlete is put through, a lot can occur inside of the body. For the sake of relatability across the various sports, let’s look at high intensity interval training (HIIT) for example. During one of these extremely metabolically taxing workout sessions, in which bodily temperature and heartrate significantly increase, a considerable amount of waste product is built up inside of the muscles, and  adrenaline and endorphins are released into the circulatory system (1). As a result of all of these occurrences, the circulatory system is forced to work double time in order to efficiently transport blood to and from the heart in order to […]

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 28th, 2015|Training Info|0 Comments

Grace Nelson commits to Ohio State

Athletic Lab scholastic athlete Grace Nelson recently committed to play lacrosse for Ohio State University as part of the class of 2022. Ohio State is located in Columbus, OH and is one of the top athletic schools in the country. In 2015, the lacrosse team ranked 14th in the NCAA finishing with a record of 13 wins and 8 losses. Grace is a long time Athletic Lab scholastic athlete and has participated in both our group and private sessions. She is a rising sophomore at Cardinal Gibbons High School where she plays midfield for the top ranked girls lacrosse high school team. Grace is also a critical member of the Carolina Fever lacrosse club.

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 27th, 2015|News|0 Comments

Plyometric Training, Sport Specific Training, and Functional Training: How they are Misused by John Vilardi

What is Plyometric Training?

Plyometric training was first introduced in the United States by a Track and Field coach, Fred Wilt in 1975. The core idea behind plyometrics is the idea of reactive power; essentially, an aggressive lengthening of muscle fibers (eccentric phase), followed by a powerful shortening of muscle fibers (concentric phase). Reactive power is another way of saying stretch shortening cycle. The stretch shortening cycle utilizes sensory receptors in the belly of muscles called muscle spindles. Muscles spindles are sensitive to change in length and the speed of the change in length. The faster the muscle spindles are stretched, the faster and more powerfully the muscles contract in response to the stretch. The stretch shortening cycle has three primary phases: (Baechle, 2008)

Eccentric loading phase: Muscle stretching.
The amortization phase: The transition after the eccentric portion, and before the concentric portion.
Concentric phase: Muscles contracting in response to the change in length.

There a couple ways of making the concentric phase more powerful, they are a fast eccentric loading phase, and a quick amortization phase (so, no pause).

How we commonly mess up plyometric training

There are plenty of ways that we commonly mess up plyometrics in our training, some of the common ways are:

Calling anything that involves jumping, such as box jumps, plyometric training

The problem with calling jump training plyometrics is the lack of the eccentric loading on the muscles, tendons and ligaments. There is little, or no loading phase. Plyometric jumps are defined by the incredibly small ground reaction time, or the turnover from being in the air, hitting the ground, and being in the air again.

Utilizing plyometrics as conditioning, or even the entire workout

Trying to […]

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 23rd, 2015|Training Info|0 Comments

Squatting Our Way to Health, Moving Our Way Back to Life by Houston Deck

What’s the largest organ in the body? Unless you’re playing Jeopardy, skin isn’t the answer. Doctor of bioenergetics Andy Galpin says, ”To be an endocrine organ, signals must be sent. And as of recent studies, muscle is actually our biggest organ. Muscle is sending signals to the brain, liver, immune system, nervous system, and skeletal system (Galpin, 2015).” Because of this, overall muscle function and development is a direct link to our overall quality of life. Typically the more severe the chronic disease, the more sarcopenia and muscle atrophy we see; ultimately affecting our quality of life.

With that being said, pound for pound (literally and figuratively), the back squat is one of, if not the best, resistance training exercises we could do for ourselves. But is it for everyone? What about your grandmother? What if I’ve had a back injury? Now, degrees of intensity and volume are an entirely different subject but the fact of the matter is everyone should squat to some degree. Dr. Andy Galpin made a fantastic point, if we stopped relying on prescriptions to aid in the heart’s performance in elder adults and focus more on resistance training, reliance on the prescriptions and dosages would be affected drastically (Galpin, 2015). Why?

Simply put, for many elderly individuals even simple tasks are a max effort attempt! Standing from a chair may take an elderly individual all they have because the muscles are so undertrained and resistance training isn’t event being considered as a modality. That’s why the heart rate spikes to drastically just to stand up, it’s a max effort attempt! Let’s look on the opposite end of the spectrum. Take […]

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 22nd, 2015|Training Info|0 Comments

Athletic Lab Player Monitoring System by John Evans

If you have ever spent a considerable amount of time studying training theory, you have likely seen a variety of fancy graphs with loading schemes. Early on in my athletic career, I would look at these graphs and find myself inquiring about how they were created. How were they measuring training load? Were they using an equation I had never seen? Was it a point system? Were they drawn to scale?

In other words, how were they quantifying training load? What can be more confusing is considering how one training stimulus equates to another. How do three sets of four reps of power cleans at 85% compare to five sets of 40 meters of sprint volume? How does one stimulus affect the other? What happens if an athlete misses a day? What if they have an upcoming game and want to be sure they are fresh? How do those variables affect the graphs I am staring at in a textbook?

This is where the player monitoring system comes in. It doesn’t necessarily answer all of the questions stated above, but it does tell you about the athlete’s fatigue and fitness state. Athletic Lab’s Dr. Mike Young has developed similar monitoring systems for other teams such as the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS. 

Instead of creating a hypothetical graph with a great deal of guess work, the player monitoring system assigns values to each athlete’s state of fatigue and creates a pictorial view of how that athlete is responding to training. This takes the focus off of an ideal training […]

_______________
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.

By |July 21st, 2015|Training Info|0 Comments