Thursday, 06 February 2014

The Winter Olympics have begun and I'm sitting here watching and thinking about how hard every one of these athletes have trained and the injuries they've experienced and elected to trained around and/or trained though. Let's face it the term 'healthy athlete' is an oxymoron if you're an athlete pushing your body to it's limits then you are either coming off of an injury to about to be really is that simple!!

How you deal with that injury when it 'rears it ugly head' can make the all the
difference in your career. Are you just going to give up or are you going to fight? Only you can make the choice and from my own personal experiences it's a difficult decision. For me, I've chosen to train around and train though but what I will never do is give up, it's not something I can explain it's just how I've chosen to deal with the injury when it comes.

Pictured is Hurricanes' Blindside Flanker Faifili 'FaFa' Levave training though his injury

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 02/06/2014 8:36 PM by Ed Cosner
Friday, 31 January 2014

Not too often do you get an opportunity almost 20 years later and about 7500 miles away from home to visit with and thank a coach who not only taught you but who also influenced your coaching career as well. Today I got that chance, Coach Mike Burgener is in Wellington New Zealand to teach an Olympic Weightlifting course for CrossFit International and he came out to visit Hurricanes training. I had the chance to thank him for his teaching at my USA Weightlifting Club Coach course way back in 1995 and for several of his talks at NSCA conferences. It was at the Club Coach course that he not only taught the lifts, how to coach them and how to program the training plan but also how to apply them in strength and conditioning training. I told him that I still have my notes from that course and I refer to them from time to time. We talked about training, coaching, rugby, and my coaching philosophy. He complimented me on my dedication to Physical Development Training (which is what I call my philosophy of training) both in my coaching and in my own training. Told him I had moved to powerlifting after a major shoulder injury sidelined my competitive weightlifting and he looked at me and said. "Hey you're lifting and doing what you love"!!!  He is a class act and I love to see someone so excited and passion for coaching and life!!!  

Yes was a good day today!!! Thanks for your time Coach.   

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 01/31/2014 4:01 AM by ed Cosner
Sunday, 26 January 2014

Several months ago Ben Franks and I discussed him competing in a powerlifting meet prior to Hurricanes' Training Camp.  Well this past Saturday we did just that and yes I said WE

PowerHouse Gym here in Wellington, New Zealand put on a special Invitational Meet so Ben could compete and then he broke the news to me that I would be competing too. Well since my last powerlifting meet was way back in 1998 it was time to reach out to my friend Pete of Titan Support to set us up with the gear we needed. As usual they did an awesome job!! There's a good damn reason that Titan is the world's leader. 

Maybe I didn't hit the numbers I once had in my powerlifting days but I was on the platform competing and that was important to not only me but to Ben as well. Look let's be honest here, you're asking your athletes to train hard to be strong and powerful but also to trust that you know what you're doing. To me there's no better way than to show them. Understand that being a strength and conditioning coach is not just my career, it's my love and passion as well and it shows. It's a career that you live and wear everyday, if you don't think so then maybe you need to find another career.  

Like I had said it was a long time between powerlifting meets and in between I've not only competed but I've been very successful in strongman, weightlifting, and highland games. Anyone that knows my training philosophy knows that I use blend of all things strength, power and fitness in order to create my very own brand of Physical Development Training and the athletes I train have been very successful at all levels of competition....and I mean ALL LEVELS!!  

Okay off my 'soap box' and onto the meet.  I decided to only use a loose singlet, 1/2 knee wraps and no bench press shirt and to treat it like just another day training. Of course that 'day of training' came after about 20+ hours of traveling.  Remember when I said it had been a while? I wasn't kidding!! Started my warm-ups for squats too early and had to not only slow down but start over and if that wasn't enough proof then walking up to the bar for my second squat attempt and looking down only to realize I had forgotten to put my belt on surely was.  I went 8 for 9, missing my final deadlift.  I ended my day with a 230kg (508 pound) squat, 155kg (342 pound) bench press and a 200kg (440 pound) deadlift.

In retrospect it showed me where my own training has been lacking on this long road to recovery I've been traveling and it will serve as guidance when I design my next training cycle. I had a blast at the meet competing and becoming friends with so many great guys and even more fun after at a BBQ at Big Costa's house. Many thanks for the hospitality, great food and the Kava!!  Thanks to Warren Trent of PowerHouse Gym for putting on the meet and an even bigger THANKS for doing a live stream of the meet it was so cool to receive text messages from Sally while I was competing.  A big thanks to Ben for the motivation (as in kick in the ass) and my training partner Darren for the help in training. Of course a huge bit of gratitude goes to Pete and Matt from Titan Support but my biggest thanks and gratitude goes to Sally. She is forever in my corner and is my biggest supporter in this crazy life of mine. There is no way I could do this alone and I love you for it.

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 01/26/2014 8:55 PM by Ed Cosner
Saturday, 18 January 2014

I want to extend a big CONGRATS to Darren Williams for placing 1st in the 105kg+ Class in the Masters Division at the 2014 Texas State Weightlifting Championships!! In addition to winning he also posted a qualifying total for the Masters Pan American Championships on June 21st in Canada.  

Darren has been working extremely hard at one of the most difficult things to do in any sport and that is breaking down his competition lifts in order to find where the mistakes in his technique that were holding him back from achieving his goals and then working hard through many frustrating hours upon hours to learn the proper technique.  At the same time we are focusing on developing his technique we are also hard at work increasing his strength. For those of you who don't understand this is a difficult task both mentally and physically, it takes a dedicated CHAMPION to successfully accomplish this goal.

Darren lives up to the gym's motto of: Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES 

Posted on 01/18/2014 7:16 PM by Ed Cosner
Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Merry Christmas to everyone and their familes on this special day.  Please remember our brave military members who are serving our great nation in harm's way and are far away from their families. Hope Santa was good to everyone!! 

Posted on 12/25/2013 2:04 PM by ed Cosner
Thursday, 19 December 2013

Colorado State at Pueblo University senior volleyball player and a young lady that I've had the immense pleasure to know and train for a long time, finished her collegiate volleyball career with a couple of very well deserved honors and I can't begin to express how proud of her I am.  Kacy was named a first team Academic All American as well as the 2013 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Academic Player of the Year.  She carried a perfect 4.0 GPA into her senior season and is graduating with her Bachelor's Degree in Business Management. It's difficult enough to graduate with Honors but to achieve such high success in the classroom while playing a collegiate sport with all of the additional demands on your time is a true testament of how hard this remarkable young lady works and yet she still finds time to live her life to the fullest.

Something I always preach to the young athletes I work with is that if you are able to continue to play your sport in college especially as a scholarship athlete make damn sure you leave college with a degree that will help you become a successful person in the next phase of your life. Kacy has wonderful family support in life, the classroom and in sports. Her father Paul played in the NBA and is a successful businessman, brother Ryan played basketball at Sam Houston State University achieving high honors both in college and in his professional life, brother Cory played basketball at St. Edwards University and is a basketball coach in the San Antonio North East Independent School District. You can't forget the glue that holds this family together and that is their mom Kim!!

CONGRATS KACY!!!  We are very proud of you.     

picture is of Cory, Kacy and Ryan

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 12/19/2013 3:02 PM by ed Cosner
Sunday, 15 December 2013

Saturday was my 52nd birthday and I spent part of it in the gym training and I would have it no other way!! A very long time ago back...WAY BACK in 1973 my dad took me to the YMCA in Detroit. All I wanted for my birthday was to go with him to lift and thus began my journey and obsession with STRENGTH. Back then you had to be 12 to lift weights at the YMCA so I spent all summer learning the Olympic Weightlifting movements with a stick and empty bar so I would be ready when I went with him. He and everybody else in the gym had me loading and unloading the bars for them as my "warm-up"!! Someone would call out a weight and I had to load it...had to earn my way onto the platofrm.  Boy I sure could add weights on the bar by the time I started my training!!

40 years later and I am still training hard and heavy as I continue my journey. 

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 12/15/2013 7:19 PM by Ed Cosner
Friday, 06 December 2013

Today I saw a video of the Hurricanes using an exercise that I taught head coach Mark "Hammer" Hammet and strength and conditioning coach Davie Grey when I was last in Wellington back in February. In fact I talked about this exercise with Hammer way back in 2006 when I was visiting the Crusaders.  Ben Franks and I have spoken several times about the exercise. 

However, the story with this brutal exercise and how it became one of my favorites goes way back to the mid-1970's!!  It starts with me pushing my sisters up the hill by our house in their wagon. One day I was messing around in the parking lot of the local grocery store and decided to take a shopping cart to the park and push my buddies up the hill at Huron my mom's surprise I took that cart to Rogers City when we moved up there (thanks to my step-dad hiding it in the moving truck). I had seen the huge hill in front of our new home.  Man, I'd load that thing up with my weights and get to pushing, then walking it back down backwards...don't know why I just did!!!  

I have continued to use the exercise for so many years and it has been good to me!! I've pushed heavy loaded grocery carts up so many parking garages and hills...too many to count in far more places than I can remember.

Watch the video of the Hurricanes pushing the loaded carts up the hill outside of the weightroom and ask yourself...   Will I be welcomed back when I make my visit in January?  I wonder myself!! It sure is cool to see some of the greatest rugby players in the world using your training ideas!!   

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 12/06/2013 11:18 PM by ed Cosner
Thursday, 05 December 2013

Way back in 2003 while I was training boxer "Jesse" James Leija we traveled to Melbourne, Australia as he prepared to fight for the World Championship belt held by Kostya Tszyu. Our training gym was an awesome place called "Underworld" where they made us more than welcome. Anyways, the owner Matt Trihey gave me his business card and the poem Invictus was printed on the back. I had never read it before and for some unknown reason after I did it really seemed to speak to me and to this day it continues to do so.

Now I have had one hell of a life and like most people I've suffered though hard times and at other times was on the top of the world.  No matter what life has thrown at me I have always survived and come out on top.

I do not and I will never compromise my integrity nor my philosophy. I thank God for my unconquerable soul. 

by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me unafraid,

It matters not how strait the gate, 
how charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 12/05/2013 3:09 PM by Ed Cosner
Tuesday, 03 December 2013

Rugby World Champion New Zealand All Blacks closed out a remarkable and historic season last weekend with a hard fought victory over Ireland. They finished undefeated!!! This is something never before achieved since the sport became professional, which increased the number of matches played in a season. 

A special 'shout-out' and congratulations to Owen Franks and Ben Franks who train with me at PowerSport!! Well, in reality I go all the way to New Zealand to train them!!!  Already got my plane ticket for my next journey there in January.
Was awesome to watch Ben score when he picked up the ball and powered his way over the try line...and when I say powered his way I mean just that...he POWERED HIS WAY!! There was no denying this beast of his ultimate goal and that was to score!!  

Genna put up a great picture and nicknamed him "Franks the Tank"!!  What do you think? Would you like to tackle this beast? 

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 12/03/2013 2:32 PM by ed Cosner
Saturday, 19 October 2013

So tonight I am staying up way past my bedtime to watch the last Aotearoa test match of 2013 with the All Blacks facing the Wallabies from Dunedin, NZ.  I'm excited to get a chance to watch Ben Franks play and be able to watch it live on YouTube!!! New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison has done an outstanding promo video that I want to share and if it doesn't get you up off the couch and ready to hit the gym....well then you may just be dead inside!!  

There are several quotes from it that have really stuck with me but this one really has hit home because it describes so much of what I love to say about my own coaching and training, "This isn't Hollywood don't be blinded by the hype, as a matter of fact keep the icing brother, I want to eat the cake."   

This is All Blacks Rugby!!! 

Train Hard...Play Harder...NO EXCUSES


Posted on 10/19/2013 12:59 AM by Ed Cosner
Friday, 27 September 2013

Took a little trip down to Corpus Christi to visit one of my dearest friends Pete Alaniz who is the proud owner of Titan Support. For those of you who don't know Titan is the manufacturer of the best powerlifting gear in the world!! In my travels around the world its their gear I see on the lifters. 

Now, I've known Pete since 1984 when we use to stand in the living room at his parent's house to have his mom measure you for your lifting suit. Come back in 2-3 days and it was ready!! Now he's in a huge 12,000 square foot facility sitting on 2 acres and the service is still the same....WORLD CLASS. Sally and I toured the facility and watched as they made the wraps, suits, shirts, belts and so much more right there in house. Sally even got to design her own belt and then Pete gave me a gym bag to fill with all kinds of goodies!! Was like a kid in a candy store.

Via many emails and over lunch Pete and I talked about the wonderful history we share in our journey in the pursuit of Physical Strength and Power. We both feel blessed to have grown up in the 70's and 80's era of strength sports. We talked in depth about an opportunity I've been blessed with having been asked by Randall Strossen to write in Milo. I will be writing about my basic philosophy of strength and power development which is a fundamentally based system that emphasize hard and heavy training programs that focus on proper technique, common sense and knowledge. Pete and I both agree that too much of this has been lost or forgotten.  Well I aim to bring it back!!

We also had a long talk on some of the gear I use to create some of the strongest and most powerful athletes in sports!! The gear is used to support the athlete and to insure we can push safely in our training and it is never used as a crutch or a way of dangerously overloading. Look for some future writings on my thoughts of the gear I feel is important for us to reach our goals. 

You ever find yourself in need of anything to help in your pursuit of strength and power....don't hesitate to check out Titan Support Systems   "Always the Originator. Never the Imitator."  Make sure you tell them Big Ed sent you!! 

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

picture is Matt, Pete,me and Isiah of Titan Support Systems 


Posted on 09/27/2013 4:57 PM by Ed Cosner
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Peak performance in sports is a rare personal moment that remains etched in the athlete's consciousness. It serves as a reminder of the great intrinsic satisfaction that sports participation can provide. Peak experiences during an athlete's career are relatively rare but their intensity acts as a standard, or qualitative reference point, for subjectively evaluating future performance. 

Characteristics of an athlete's peak experience: focused awareness; complete control of self and environment; transcendence of self. 

Here are a couple of world class athlete's take on peak experience.

from Tennis great Billy Jean King

"It's a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility. When it happens I want to stop the tennis match and grab the microphone and yell...'this is what's it all about'...because it is!! It's not the big prize I'm going to win at the end of the match or anything else. It's just having done something that's totally pure and having experienced the perfect emotion. I'm always sad that I can't communicate that feeling right at the moment it's happening. I can only hope people realize what's going on." 

from Russian Weightlifting great Yuri Vlasco 

"At the peak of tremendous and victorious effort, while the blood is pounding in your head, all suddenly becomes quiet within you. Everything seems clearer and whiter than ever before, as if great spotlights had been turned on. At that moment you have the conviction that you contain all of the power in the world, that you are capable of everything, that you have wings. There is no more precious moment in life than this....the white moment and you will work very hard for years just to taste it again."                                                                                                                          

Posted on 08/28/2013 11:01 PM by ed Cosner
Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A few weeks ago Spencer was released by the Lions and came home. Anyone who has played sports knows that this is a difficult thing to deal with and if you're not prepared for it can be downright devastating. However, Spencer didn't sulk, whine, or make excuses he just went right back to training and preparing for his next opportunity and today that opportunity came.  He left yesterday for a try-out with the Minnesota Vikings and just called me a little while ago to tell me that he was signed to a contract!!  

I am very proud and happy for him because he truly worked hard to put himself in the best possible situation by showing up in shape and ready to rock!!  It has been great for me too in how he keeps telling me how that the conditioning I have him do is far superior to anything he has ever done in college or in the NFL.  He talked to his coaches about my conditioning model for him and they were quite impressed. As a coach who is always in the background you have got to like that!!

I preach to my athletes that you must always be prepared because you never know when your opportunity will come. You get so few opportunities in sports to impress your coaches and the fact is you may only get ONE have to make the best of it!!

Are you prepared to make the best of your opportunity when it comes?

Train Hard...Play Harder...NO EXCUSES. 

Spencer after driving up to Houston from San Antonio for a training session.  I hear all to often the excuse about how far it is
or how long of a drive it is to my gym here on the Northwest side of Houston...


Posted on 08/20/2013 3:27 PM by Ed Cosner
Friday, 02 August 2013

Yesterday I received a wonderful gift from my friend Pete Alaniz of Titan Support.  A new lifting belt to help me in my quest to regain my strength and size lost because of the incompetent doctor in San Antonio and also because Ben Franks of the New Zealand All Blacks made a big order for the partly my thank-you!! Now this is no ordinary belt as when Pete was telling me he was sending it to me I was told to "think outside the box" just didn't think that far outside of it.  I opened the box and there was a beautiful Bison and South Texas Rattlesnake hide belt with a gold buckle!! This thing screams out...TEXAS BELT!!  

If there is a product or company I write about or promote you can damn sure expect it to be a quality company with superior products and support. Just like what you get when you train at PowerSport Strength and Conditioning. I'll tell you that Titan is all of that and more!! I've known Pete, the owner, since 1984 when the entire operation was in his mother's living room now he has a complete manufacturing center in Corpus Christi, Texas!! For those who don't know Titan Support is the original powerlifting gear manufacture and the best!  Always the Originator, Never the Imitator is their logo and they live up to it everyday. 

Thanks for everything Pete and Titan Support

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES




Posted on 08/02/2013 8:38 PM by ed Cosner
Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ed Cosner has been one of the most influential people in my life. Behind my father, who played 12 seasons in the NBA, he has taught me the ins and outs of what it takes to be a competitor. Without Ed I would NOT have been near prepared enough for college and the same has carried forward to the NFL. When I had realized that the NFL was a realistic opportunity I immediately sought out Ed for what to do and how to do it. He has consistently given me workouts that just don’t compare to how any of other guys are training for the NFL. His no nonsense approach to strength/power training combined with some of the most brutal conditioning/speed workouts are second to none. This  was evident to me during OTA's and its no wonder that the gains made in training actually show up on the football field. I know I am ready for the Detroit Lions training camp. 

I love Ed and what he has done for me throughout the 5 years that I have known him. Everything I am and will become and the knowledge gained is all owed to Big Ed. What makes him so rare is that he is personable and has been through every situation you can think of. In times of doubt and panic he calmed me and in times of happiness Ed was there to celebrate along side me. I could write a novel on how great Ed is but to truly understand you have to experience it.

Posted on 07/17/2013 6:39 PM by Ed Cosner
Thursday, 06 June 2013

The National Strength and Conditioning Association's Midwest Regional Conference is right here in Houston this Friday and Saturday.  I was honored when asked to I'm downright excited!!! However I am not really all that comfortable speaking in public but it's something I am working on as I continue to present and look forward to more opportunities in the future to share my love of training. If I was standing on the weightroom floor I'd be good but standing on a stage in front of my peers...damn scary!! I'll be looking in the audience for my friend and colleague Raymond Tucker to keep me focused and on topic.  

I have been a proud member of the NSCA since 1989 and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) since 1996. I will be presenting on Sandbag Training and NO I am not talking about the pretty sandbags that are balanced with handles...I am talking about heavy, awkward to pick up, grab the damn thing and create a handle with your grip or hug it and get it from point A to point B or pick it up and load it on a tall box or just hug it and start squatting!! 

Guess if you want to find out why and how I use them in my training programs you will just have to show up and find out!!  I will be presenting on Saturday at 2:30-4:00. Afterwards you can find me at the USA vs Ireland Rugby game at Dynamo Stadium.  

Posted on 06/06/2013 4:31 PM by ed Cosner
Monday, 03 June 2013

Well the NY Jets screwed my man Spencer around but as he always does Spencer didn't give up and continued to train and he landed on his DETROIT!!  Last Tuesday he went up for a try out and was signed that day. I spoke to Lions' assistant strength and conditioning coach Ted Rath about him and Ted had nothing but great things to say.  Got a chance after he signed to talk to Spencer about everything as well. 

Congratulations and Good Luck you have damn sure earned your opportunity!!  Sure am proud of you. 

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 06/03/2013 5:48 PM by Ed Cosner
Wednesday, 01 May 2013

"No citizen has a right to just be an amateur in the matter of physical training; what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable"

Greek Philosopher Socrates (469-399 BC) 

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES


picture is copyright protected and property of Ed Cosner and may not be reproduced without written permission.   

Posted on 05/01/2013 10:59 PM by Ed Cosner
Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A couple of weekends ago I attended a Hammer Strength Clinic here in Houston at Klein High School (which ain't all that far from my gym).  As always it was a great clinic with awesome speakers and in the audience coaches that care enough to give up a Saturday to get better and in turn make their athletes better!!  Back when I first joined the NSCA we had several State Clinics that were awesome.  Small and very personable where you could not only listen to the speaker but interact with them as well.  My first one a very long time ago I was talking to some of the greatest strength coaches around and around noon we broke for lunch and since I was not at their level of coaching(YET) I assumed that I would be going to lunch alone when Mike Clark of Texas A&M looked at me and said " coming?!"  To me THAT is what is missing from the NSCA but they are working hard to improve but I'll tell you right is going to be hard to beat a HAMMER STRENGTH CLINIC.

They had several great speakers but the highlight of the cinic was having a couple very good and successful coaches speaking. What a treat to have Kevin Yoxall of Auburn University!! He gave a great talk on structure of a training program with quite a bit of information as I filled up a couple of sheets of paper while listening. I also realized that I have always been doing things the right was in terms of my coaching programs.  I had a chance to talk to him for a few hours and found that we have traveled parallel lives right here in Texas though powerlifting all the was back to 1983 and in coaching.  He referred several times in his talk to strength & power athletes which is what I specialize in developing here at PowerSport Strength and Conditioning!! Texas State's Blake Cundif and University of Houston's Antwan Floyd both gave riveting talks that I throughly enjoyed and got plenty of information from.

Posted on 04/30/2013 12:49 PM by ed Cosner