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  • I just want to give you a quick recap of one of the greatest coaching conventions I have been able to attend.  It was a solid 3 days at the 2011 Perform Better Summit down at the Providence Convention Center where I was able to hear some phenomenal lectures and meet some truly amazing people, finally.

As always, Chris Poirier at Perform Better has set up a summit that has exceeded all my expectations.  For those of you who aren’t in the know, this is pretty much the red carpet event for trainers, coaches, and physical therapists (physios  eh for my Canadian friends) and everyone in this ‘biz’.

This year I was able to not only attend some great lectures but I was able to talk shop with many coaches I have only been able to contact via Facebook and forum which was really cool.  It was truly humbling to be able to chat with such brilliant minds.  If you work as a strength coach or trainer and have not made it to one of these events then you suck at life are missing out big time.

As for the lectures, I was able to see Lee Burton, Gray Cook, Thomas Myers, Stuart McGill, Eric Cressey, Dan John, Vern Gambetta, and Todd Durkin.  There were so many more lectures I wish I was able to make it to but was happy with my choices this year.  I wish I could pick a favorite but they were all  phenomenal.

For all of you who weren’t able to attend I am going to bullet point some of the highlights of some of the lectures I attended.  Beware: I am a BIG nerd when it comes to this stuff.

Lee Burton: Understanding and Implementing Corrective Movement Strategies
  • Screen, test, assess, re-screen, re-test, re-assess…I think some people lose sight of this..
  • Focus on exercises that improve movement or reduce movement related risks first.
  • Gain MOBILITY then train STABILITY.
  • Stability is NOT strength.  It is reflex driven and neuromuscular.
  • Did I mention re-test?  If not then re-test.
  • Re-test.
  • Keep a toolbox of 10-15 corrective exercises, that is it.  Keep it simple.
Stuart McGill: What Great Athletes Have Taught Me
  • The spine only has so many bends, use them wisely.
  • Muscle, bone and tissue adapt.  Discs do not.
  • Sparing the spine will lead to higher tolerable volume of training.  Hundreds of crunches will limit training volume.
  • “fix posture to create functional capacity”
  • Both rate of muscle contraction AND rate of relaxation is important.
  • Train for relaxation?
  • there is too much focus on training to increase mass with hypertrophy rather than effective mass.
  • “If you can’t write it down and justify it DON’T DO IT!”
  • “bend” the bar during movements to stiffen the spine and ribacage
  • Ability to deep squat depends on body mechanics, not everyone should deep squat.
  • People need to do more carries, sled pushes and pulls.
  • don’t stop at the FMS.
  • To see how someone moves watch them get on the floor, get off the floor, sit down, and stand up.
  • Hammer (glutes) and the Stone (core)
  • long leg/short body = hip jumper (do deadlifts)
  • short legs/long body = knee jumper (do squats)
Thomas Myers: Anatomy Trains and Training
  • Soft tissue can be compared to grapefruit sections.  It is the outer, iner, and segmental conective tissue of the body.
  • muscles don’t “slide” on eachother
  • individual muscles don’t take all the force, why train them that way?
  • Muscles = engine of movement
  • Fascia = medium of movement
  • Fascia lays more fascia where you bring more tension (eg. constant bench pressing, sitting at a desk)
  • we need physical education for the “electronic world”
  • shoes = leather coffins, or sensory deprivation chambers
  • There are 27 bones and 90,000 nervendings in your feet…reason to train barefoot?
  • People must learn to be kinesthetically literate to survive
  • There are 5 “layers” of fascia, not just around the muscle
  • fascia is elastic AND plastic
  • strengthening the quads for most will weaken the body’s structure and lead to SI joint problems
  • “1 mind, 1 muscle” (I’m going to use that phrase a lot, get ready for it)
Stuart McGill: Painful Backs
  •  the leg press breaks the pelvis away from the spine and causes herniations
  • to fix a painful back if you sit at a desk, simply get up and walk 4 steps every 10 minutes
  • read “Low Back Disorders“, this lecture summed it up nicely
  • there is no such thing as “degenerative disk disease”…it is compression intolerence which is an injury NOT a disease
  • do NOT prescribe kettlebell swings for a shear intolerent patient
  • examine the hips to determine squat depth
  • use the shoulder tap exercise as a qualifier for all other core exercises
Thomas Myers: Fascial Fitness
  •  fascia is what makes meat tough…meat studies have relevence to us.
  • yawning and stretching is the best way to take care of your fascia
  • fascia is ALL collagenous soft tissues
  • If you change the environment (soft tissue) you will change the function (movement) positively or negatively
  • we are glued together by snot and fibers (awesome)
  • most sensing is fascial!
  • most injuries are fascial!
  • there are 10X the number of sensory nervendings in your fascia than in your muscles
  • you CAN train elasticity
  • you need different vectors to train fascia
  • stop using the same training patterns repetitively (eg. yoga)
Dan John: Four Quadrents of Lifting
  • Cayote Point Kettle Bell Club Workouts – Check this out for some great workouts and kettlebell exercises…I have been looking forward to hearing Coach Dan speak for quite some time and I was not let down.  He is a gentleman and a scholar.
Todd Durkin: Create I.M.P.A.C.T.
  • $25,000 piece of advice.
  • 1. Write down 5 things you must do today.
  • 2. Do them.

Holy bujeezus I just realized how long it will take me if I continue to write down all the highlights of the summit so I am going to cut myself off there.  I could go on for days but there are things that need to be lifted and as I have found out, they do not lift themselves.

Written by Steve