About Mike Young

Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting & a CrossFit Level 1 coach.

Save Big with Athletic Lab’s Family Plan

Effective immediately, Athletic Lab is pleased to offer a new and updated Family Plan. The plan is designed to provide an affordable way for entire families to train at Athletic Lab and take advantage of all our group service offerings. This membership allows adults to attend Performance Fitness (including Cary CrossFit) classes. Youth and high school athletes will have access to Scholastic group training classes. Children will have access to our Lab Rats program. The family plan purchases 36 total sessions that can be divided across as many as 4 individuals over the course of the month. For a family of 2 parents and 2 children this plan is as much as 40% off the combined cost of individual plans. Here are the details of the membership: $399.95 / month with a 3 month commitment An additional 10 sessions (and one family member) may be added to the membership for $74.95 / month Individuals may be any combination of adults and / or kids living under the same household (proof of residency may be required) Membership entitles the family to 36 total visits each month These sessions can be used / distributed between as many as 4 people at the discretion of the family Children in grades 2 through 6 may join the Lab Rats program Youth in grades 7 through 12 may join our Scholastic Sports Performance group training classes Adults may join any of our Performance Fitness classes (including Cary CrossFit) Unused sessions do not roll over to subsequent months No refunds or accounts holds will be granted Payment must be made automatically by bank draft Your account will be billed monthly No additional discounts may be applied If you’re interested in taking advantage of this amazing offer please contact [...]

By |2017-04-12T19:27:47-04:00February 8th, 2017|News|0 Comments

Why do we sometimes take long rest periods?

When we're working on speed, power or maximal strength (rather than aerobic or anaerobic conditioning or muscular endurance) you need to take sufficient rest to ensure that the body can continue to operate at the level necessary to best train those qualities. To train those qualities you need to be relatively fresh. You can not be overly fatigued and expect to train speed, power or maximal strength well. To train these qualities, one needs to be able to recruit muscle fibers maximally and efficiently. When someone is overly fatigued this is not possible. So while there's certainly a time and place for fast-paced, minimal-rest workouts or portions of workouts, that would be inappropriate if the goal of that workout or portion of the workout was to train maximal strength, power or speed.

By |2013-10-02T23:18:56-04:00October 7th, 2011|Training Info|0 Comments

Why we use the Russian Kettlebell Swing

Many gyms, especially those that practice CrossFit, perform kettlebell swings so that the swing ends with the arms completely overhead. We do not. We prefer to teach what is known as a Russian kettlebell swing. The high swing is characterized by an end point where the kettlebell is completely overhead at the top of the swing and the knee and hip opened completely. This is referred to as an American kettlebell swing within the fitness community. It's motions is longer and smoother. In contrast, we teach what is known as a Russian kettlebell swing. This is characterized by a high point right with the kettlebell directly in front of the eyes. The movement is shorter, faster and more compact. We feel very strongly that this kettlebell swing variation is superior to its American counterpart. It's not only the original and most widely practiced version of the swing around the world, it's also safer and a better training method than the American version. While the American version of the kettlebell swing moves the kettlebell through a greater range of motion, it places the highly unstable shoulder joint in a compromised position at the top of the swing. The shoulder joint is the most unstable joint in the human body and bearing a load overhead in a close grip position is not orthopedically sound. Furthermore, despite claims that the greater range of motion associated with an American swing increases work (Work = Force x Distance) and therefore power (Power = (Force x Distance) / Time)), we are certain this is simply not the case in actual application. Although the range of motion in an American swing is greater than its Russian counterpart, this also requires the athlete [...]

By |2017-04-13T11:13:30-04:00October 5th, 2011|Training Info|2 Comments

Why do we squat so deep…isn’t it bad for your knees?

We squat deep regularly. In fact, one of our beliefs is to emphasize range of motion before load. This means that if you're unable to perform a movement through its entire range of motion that we don't want to see you go up in weight until you can. Strength training is one of the best ways to enhance joint mobility and flexibility....but only if you are moving through the largest range of motion possible. For this reason, we squat deep to ensure you attain or maintain the range of motion that we're supposed to have in the ankles, knees, and hips...the same range of motion that we're all born with that allows babies to easily sit down in to a deep squat. Additionally, squatting through the entire range of motion is the only way to maximally develop the glutes (your butt). The glutes are most active only during the deepest range of motion. And because glute strength is so important in posture, running, lifting things up, etc., it's important that we perform the movement to develop the glutes to the greatest extent possible.

By |2013-10-02T23:18:57-04:00October 3rd, 2011|Training Info|0 Comments

Why do we squat so often?

At Athletic Lab it wouldn't be unusual to see a workout that involves some form of squatting (overhead, back, front, loaded, bodyweight, etc) every day of the week. Squatting is a foundational movement that provides a high 'bang-for-your-buck' in terms of training stimuli. Because you're incorporating the majority of muscles in your body to perform a squat it is a great exercise for training economy...no need to do leg extensions for the quads, leg curls for the hamstrings, and hit the "Thigh Master" for the adductors when the squat hits all those muscles at one time in a much more functional manner. Because the squat hits so many muscles at the same time it kicks your metabolism in to overdrive really quickly. The squat also has a lot of carry over to other exercises. In fact, Russian sport scientists found that when technique in the Olympic lifts is proficient, the limiting factor is often one's back squat max (an efficient power clean:squat ratio should be 1:1.3). The same thing has been found for the deadlift by the elite powerlifters of the famous, West Side Barbell powerlifting club. Finally, the squat is functional. It's something we all need to be able to do well or we risk losing our ability to accomplish many simple tasks. Standing up, sitting down, picking things up, carrying heavy objects, and a host of other activities are all related to our hip and leg strength and mobility. Once we lose either the strength, range of motion, or both to perform a full deep squat we are on the road to a lower quality of life where we're unable to do many seemingly simple actions. The squat is a great movement because, [...]

By |2017-04-13T11:13:31-04:00October 1st, 2011|Training Info|2 Comments

Importance of Rest in Speed Development

The two most common critiques we receive from parents of athletes in our Scholastic program is that we let the kids rest too long or the kids aren't exhausted when they leave training. There's often times an expectation that you're paying for constant vomit-inducing movement for the duration of a session and anything less is money wasted. While there's certainly a time and a place for this type of conditioning, the reality is quite different. Hard training is easy to do. Anyone can put together a training routine that makes someone nauseous. It's much harder to put together a training routine that is smart and effective. There are some sessions that actually NEED more rest within the session to accomplish the goals set out for the session. Interested in knowing why? Read on.... The main reason why Athletic Lab and other scientifically informed coaches use longer rest periods during certain workouts than what may be considered normal at your typical practice is because we understand that in order to work on true speed and strength work there needs to be adequate rest. The body is like a rechargeable battery. If you do something hard, the battery becomes depleted. If you let the battery recharge then it will continue to work well. But on the other hand, if you don't recharge the battery it will quickly deplete and eventually cease to provide energy. Not only that, but there is some evidence that a skill needs to be performed in excess of 10,000 times for mastery. If the skill we're working on is speed and strength related, and we do that skill slowly or with low force output, then we will be teaching ourselves to do the [...]

By |2017-04-13T11:13:40-04:00September 23rd, 2011|Training Info|0 Comments

Train. Get better. Repeat.

One of the t-shirts we've had printed for sale several months ago had a back imprinted with the following: Train. Get better. Repeat. We used this because it's a short and to the point way of explaining the training and adaptation cycle. To further expand, if you are willing to put in the time and effort and trust in our best-in-class services, you will get better. It's that simple. But that just covers the first two points of the shirt. The third is just as important. Training is a process and not a goal. It's something which must be done repeatedly or you will lose what you have gained. We've explained detraining timelines HERE and the fact that results derived are dose dependent. Knowing this, there's only one solution...get you butt in to Athletic Lab, train hard, and repeat.

By |2017-04-13T11:15:15-04:00June 16th, 2011|Training Info|0 Comments

Being your Best

Being better than you've ever been is an indescribable feeling. Knowing that you've set an all-time personal best in an athletic or fitness related activity is the reward for your hard and smart work. This is one of the reasons why measurement and benchmarking workouts and performances is one of Athletic Lab's calling cards. We measure the important things related to fitness and performance and train you to improve them. That way you know with 100% certainty that what we're doing and the hard work your investing is working.

By |2017-04-13T11:15:35-04:00May 22nd, 2011|Training Info|0 Comments

Dose Dependency

Just like many medial drugs, the effect of training is dose dependent. You need to at least meet minimum thresholds of dosage to expect to realistically see results from the training. Frequent, regularly recurring doses are necessary to expect to see the results that you want. Regardless of whether you're training for fitness, speed, strength or weight loss, your training is never done. It is a continual process that is just as much about the process as the destination. Just like taking a medication, the training has to become a regular part of your life, a habit, if you are realistically expecting to see long term sustainable results. If training stops, detraining can occur very quickly and you may lose what you have gained.

By |2013-10-02T23:18:57-04:00April 30th, 2011|Training Info|0 Comments

You can’t improve what you don’t measure

Without getting subjective, you can't improve what you don't measure. This is why at Athletic Lab we make a point of testing and cataloging performances in areas that are most relevant to an athlete's sport performance. We stand by our ability to QUANTITATIVELY improve an athlete's strength, speed, stamina, jumping ability, or any other capacity important in that athlete's sport. Be wary of trainers or training facilities that promise improvement but don't measure progress or don't use tests that are relevant to your activity.

By |2017-04-13T11:16:01-04:00March 14th, 2011|Training Info|0 Comments