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8 Take Home Thoughts From Martin Rooney

15 Apr

Editors Note: MBSC coach Dave Rak went up to Maine last weekend the NSCA seminar and wrote about a great post highlighting his takeaway points from Martin Rooney’s presentation. Enjoy!

2011 NSCA Maine Seminar Review

8 Taken Home Thoughts From Martin Rooney

Dave Rak CSCS

I had the opportunity to attend the NSCA State Seminar in Maine this past weekend.  Overall it was a great seminar filled with great speakers.  Eric Cressey and Martin Rooney really stood out and delivered great presentations.  I have never heard Martin speak before so I was excited for his presentation.  Martin’s presentation was awesome and I definitely took a lot away from it.

If you are reading this, it is safe to assume you are a strength and conditioning coach.  With this being said what do most continuing education opportunities consist of?  Mostly books, articles, and seminars are geared to learning the science of exercise,  injuries, and training.  How many of the presentations that you attend or the books that you read are geared towards the actual coaching aspect of your careers?  Probably not nearly as much as the science portion.  Isn’t this a problem?  This is what made Martin’s presentation so great.  He broke down the art of coaching! Here are some major take away points and “ahh-haa” moments that I took away from his presentation. Continue reading

10 Take Home Thoughts From The Perform Better One-Day

27 Mar

Last weekend all of us from MBSC were lucky enough to get to attend the Perform Better One-Day Seminar in Boston. There was a great line up of lectures in the morning so we dragged our asses out of bed early on a Sunday and headed down to the Reggie Lewis Center for a bombardment of knowledge bombs. Rather than give you a piece by piece breakdown of every presentation I’m just going to give you a some key points and quotes that really stuck with me as I have people to train and places to be. Enjoy.

Bret Jones

“Dynami =Power – The Kettlebell Push-Press”


Bret Jones gave a great presentation on the kettlbell push-press. He did a great job breaking down the progression from the tall kneeling position all the way to the dynamic press. Here are some gems from his talk.

1). Patterning > Slow Strength > Unilateral > Dynamic

Brett Jones broke down the progression of movement for the push press as shown above. Patterning before Slow Strength before Unilateral before Dynamic. This same though process has been stressed to me by Dan John, Neghar Foononi, and Joe Sansalone in the time that I have met with them over that past few months. No wonder since they are all excellent RKC coaches. I really buy into this thought process for all strength movements not just for ketllebells.  An example of this would be  as follows

Patterning: Tall Kneeling KB Press

Slow Strength: 1 Arm KB Press/ 2 Arm KB Press

Unilateral: Bottoms Up KB Press

Dynamic: KB Push Press

2). “The reason you cannot squat is because you don’t. You’ve just never been there before”

I thought this was a great quote because it’s so damn simple. When Brett said this it was one of those moments when I was like “duh I already know this”. I had just never had a way to tell my clients.  Now I have quote I can drop on my clients who say “I cannot squat” or wonder why I have them perform the Deadlift Goblet Squat Ride-Down (see below). Most people need to put into a deep position and learn to work out. The goblet squat does that.

3). “Your pressing groove is your pressing groove”

Some people can press with symmetry and some people can’t. It’s that simple. Don’t look for patterns that follow the exact same groove, look for patterns that are proper overhead patterns. The mystery in the injury history may warrant  slightly different pressing grooves from one side to the another this doesn’t propose a problem poor overhead mechanics does.

4). Neural Load Training is a good idea for in-season athletes

Training with exercises like farmer, suitcase and overhead carries imposes a great neural training stimulus and impose little metabolic stress and muscle soreness making them great choices for in-season training for athletes. Think about comparing the stimulus from overhead walking and overhead pressing. They both produce shoulder fatigue but the pressing will cause much more metabolic stress than the OH carry. Neural training from the OH carries will give you all of the motor control training without the muscle soreness that can be a burden during competitive season.

Lee Burton

“Understanding and Implementing Corrective Strategies”

Lee gave a very informative presentation on implementing corrective exercise progressions for your clients. Lee as always gave me a further understanding of the FMS and how to assess and correct movement.

5).” It’s only corrective exercise if your actually seeing improvement”/”Without positive short term adaptions long term progress isn’t likely”

I feel like it is very easy to get caught up to doing “corrective work” that is actually useless. Lee made a great point stating that corrective work is specific to the client and needs to be re-tested to assure progress. If a corrective exercise isn’t working then scrap it, try something else and keep re-testing. Make sure your are actually correcting something.

Mike Boyle

Success Secrets

Mike presented on his “Success Secrets.” Mike is arguably the most successful coach in our industry and he came up through long days and hard work. He had some great quotes and tips that I think all coaches should live by.

6).”If your life sucks, you suck” – Larry Winget


Mike hit the nail on the head with this one. This is a quote from Larry’s book “Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get A Life.” I hate when people complain and feel sorry for themselves. Your life is what YOU make it, so make what you want.

7). Service = Income

Your income will be proportional to the number of people that you serve.  If you are only doing one-on-one PT appointments your might only be servicing 20 or so people a week. If you train groups you could be servicing up to 100 people a week. You make much more affecting large groups of people. Even if we don’t agree with their approach this is why people like Jillian Micheals and Tony Horton are so rich. They service thousands of people a week. Don’t stress on the money do what you love, keep training people and the money will come.

8). Work your ass off

Direct quote: “4-Hour Work Week?..Bullshit, Work 80 and sleep on the floor..” I can definitely relate to this as I am currently living it. People become successful by working harder not by finding ways to work less.

Todd Durkin

Creating I.M.P.A.C.T. In The Fitness Field

Todd is truly a motivator. He makes me feel like an underachiever in a good way. This is a man who has his heart and priorities in the right places and can help you focus on a plan for success.

9). “Get Your Mind Right!!!”

Every time I hear Todd speak I get fired up. My clients and athletes have heard me utter this phrase repeatedly in the last week.

10). Have A “Big 5”

Organize and write down your tasks for the month, week and day into groups of five. I’ve always had “to-do” lists but I always find them balooning up to 15 tasks. Cutting them down to 5 has made me much more focused and effective.