Watching the Olympics is always an incredible experience. We shake our heads watching those athletes perform. We have all been wowed, shocked, and sometimes saddened. That’s why we watch.
As a coach that works with athletes in an Olympic sport, the march for 2020 has already begun. The coaching staff at LEAN talk daily about the things that need to happen for our athletes to make the next team. Yesterday Coach Don McCauley was tweaking the jerk techniques of two of our female athletes. He says that he wants to go ahead and make the changes, so that they will be prepared for 2020. I say amen to that.
As coaches we have to make sure that our athletes have “No Weaknesses”. That’s our job. We need to look at all the variables that we can affect, and then our job is to improve as many of those variables as possible. I am not talking just about programming and coaching technique. I am talking about all the mundane aspects of athletic performance, and even general fitness.
This article isn’t just for Olympic weightlifting. I am talking about all sports and all fitness levels. If you want to improve at a steady rate, you have to do the things that no one wants to do. If you are an athlete, I have some news for you. Everyone goes to practice and trains hard so don’t be bragging about that. All of my athletes train hard in the gym. However, what are you doing when no one is looking? That’s the question.
Let’s look at the variables that coaches can affect other than just programming and practice:
- Overall nutrition
- Body Fat
- Muscular balance
- Sports Psychology
- Joint manipulation to deal with aches and pains
These are just a few that I can think I want to touch on. A lot of variable will vary based on the sport, but all of these are pretty common amongst all sports. Optimal mobility is important in just about every sport on the planet. Notice that I said optimal mobility. That doesn’t mean to stretch everything for hours every day. Some sports require maximum mobility, and some sports like weightlifting require just the right amount. If a weightlifter is hypermobile, they could be at risk of injury due to joint instability.
Nutrition is an aspect of athletic performance and general fitness that can be a real game changer. There is an optimal body fat percentage for all sports and all people. The key is to find out that percentage, and then eat to optimize your own body composition. For all of you in strength sports, I have some news for you. Fat doesn’t move weight. Look at all the top powerlifters in the world, and you will see some ripped dudes. When I was competing, I was very lean. In weightlifting all you have to do is look at the Chinese. Those athletes are ripped and jacked. Fat has nothing to do with muscular contractions. It just sits there.
Nutrition is also important to overall recovery. If you are an athlete, you either need to understand macronutrients or find someone who does. It’s not just about losing body fat. It’s also about performance during training and competition. If you are a competitive CrossFitter, you are going to need carbs and lots of them. You need carbs for energy.
Recovery can be affected by nutrition, sleep, stress levels, and outside forces to deal with the stress on the body. The body treats working out the same as an infection. Isn’t that crazy? We break down tissue, and then the body sends a signal to repair the breakdown. The speed of those repairs as well as the efficiency of those repairs is what we call recovery. Besides sleep and nutrition, we use a team Physical Therapist, John Davidson, DPT to help our athletes recover and mend their aches and pains.
Muscular Balance is the new buzzword, but this time the buzzword is for real. If your athlete can reach and maintain muscular balance, they will have a better chance of optimal performance and a lower risk of injury. I am on my way to see Louie Simmons today, which I am very excited about. He has been preaching about muscular balance, since the 1990’s. Now people are talking about it like it’s a new idea. It’s not!
We developed a 30-point test that will help us pinpoint the weaknesses in our athletes. It will give us ratios that will help quantify muscular imbalances, give us ideas of what to target with accessory movements, and it will help us quantify improvement. We plan to use this as a major tool to help our athletes and our general fitness clients to ensure overall health and performance.
We came out with an EBook that has this test for all of you. The book has way more than just the test. It also tells you exactly what to do with each ratio. The book also has several of the techniques that we use to keep our athletes recovered and moving properly.
The book is called “No Weaknesses”. I loved creating this product. It’s a tool that I wish I had when I was competing at my highest level. If you are interested in taking the 30-site test.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will schedule a Free Assessment for you.
- Buy the book at: ==> www.mashelite.com/noweaknesses/
Supplements are another way to maximize recovery and performance. They key is knowing which supplements to take. Dr. Gray, my longtime sport’s doctor, is going to do several tests on our athletes. One of which is to determine which vitamins and minerals that my athletes are deficient. Then we can pinpoint, which supplements to give them. That is the best way to optimize supplement use.
Sports Psychology is something that I have been curious about for many years. I have watched it affect the performance of several athletes that I have worked with over the last few years. Some athletes are born with the ability to perform well during competition, and some struggle with negative or irrational thoughts. A good sports psychologist can help program healthier game day habits and thought processes. If you’re not an athlete, a healthy mind will go a long ways for limiting stress. Stress is really the killer of all of us.
Every athlete that competes is going to experience aches and pains. Sports at an elite level aren’t the healthiest thing in the world. You are pushing your body to its limit. At the highest point the body is somewhere between awesome and crushed. It’s that fine line that all athletes must learn to balance. If you are training for general fitness, the goal is to minimize all of that. We want you feeling better after leaving our gym.
A big key is knowing when you are just aching and when you are hurt. If you aren’t able to perform the movements of your sport or you are altering those movements, I recommend going to a professional. The key is finding someone that you trust. We are blessed to have Dr. John Davidson, and Dr. Gray to go to. You need to find someone as well. If you are an adult trying to stay healthy, I recommend a monthly visit to a solid practitioner to keep everything firing properly.
In our book “No Weaknesses”, we have included all the ways that we have dealt with aches and pains in the various joints with all of our athletes. We have also included ways to stabilize those joints to prevent injuries. I think that you guys are going to love “No Weaknesses”. My goal is that it helps all of you reach your goals, stay injury free, and keeps you competing for many years to come.
Of course, if you join our gym, we will do all of this for you. We will assess you with our 30-point test. We will give you ongoing nutrition information. We will help you overcome mobility issues. Basically we will help you with all aspects of fitness.
If you live anywhere near our location in Lewisville, NC, email us at email@example.com to schedule your FREE assessment and visit.
Thanks for reading,
Coach Travis Mash
USA Weightlifting Senior International Coach
Co-Owner LEAN Fitness Systems