Friday, 10 February 2012

PowerSport Strength and Conditioning Athlete and University of Texas at Dallas men's basketball senior forward Chris Barnes became the Comets' all-time leading scorer last night in a game against Mississippi College.  Chris now has 1,345 career points with three games left in the regular season.

UTD secured its fourth consecutive American Southwest Conference East Division title.  The Comets are guaranteed the No. 1 seed from the East Division in the ASC Tournament.

I've been training Chris for 6+ years and he is a dedicated and hard worker who deserves all of the honors he recieves.  He is a direct result of the work that he puts into his training.  From strength sessions to conditioning and speed sessions to jump and agility sessions to his constant work on his basketball skills.

Good Luck Chris Barnes and the Comets in the ASC Tournament Feb 24-26.

Posted on 02/10/2012 5:21 PM by Ed Cosner
Wednesday, 08 February 2012

Got a phone call the other day from my friend National and World Powerlifting Champion Rick Gaugler.  This is the one person I can honestly say had a big influence on me as an athlete, as a strength coach and as a man!!  We had a great conversation about strength and how it affects all aspects of performance.  It was his system that I was exposed to while powerlifting and it was from that system I developed my training philosophy that I use today in training my athletes. 

A little personal history lesson is in order.  See, when I finished my active duty commitment to the Army I packed up my stuff and headed to Corpus Christi, Texas so I could train with Rick.  I mean if you’re interested in strength training why not seek out the best in the world and that is just what I did.  Rick is a 3 time National and  2 time World Champion in Powerlifting before the “gear craze” took hold of the sport.  He has held numerous National and World records in multiple weight classes.  We trained in a little 1 1/2 car garage with no heat, no air conditioning and damn sure no fans!!! We had all we needed to become champions and a champion I became.  Nothing fancy just heavy weights and hard training.  We ate lunch together everyday and he taught me more about strength training than I could have ever learned anywhere!!  What a wonderful time to be alive and lifting heavy weights!!  I once spotted and loaded for him on a Saturday afternoon as he squatted a double with 800 pounds weighing 180 pounds!!!

So our conversation was a wonderful reminder of why I have had the success in coaching, athletics and in life that I do.  

“Maximal strength is the foundation that maximal power is built on”
Nick Winkleman; Athletes Performance.

“If you want to be quick and powerful you had better be strong”
Rick Gaugler; National and World Powerlifting Champion

"A strong athlete always has the advantage over a weak athlete"
Al Vermeil; Strength and Conditioning Coach Chicago Bulls NBA

Guess these quick statements about sum it up!!  You take a look at some of the best athletes and yeah they are fast, quick, powerful and they are STRONG!!  

I think at times too many strength and conditioning coaches out there have forgotten how important strength is in the overall development of the athlete.  They are too busy trying to entertain and WOW the athlete!!!  Now I’m not gonna sit here and go in depth about it because that would make this way too long.  It does seem that training is coming full circle back to more strength and power based training.  I’ve never left this training because it works.  My training philosophy is from a lifetime of training to be strong and powerful.  There seems to be too many “trainers” out there working with athletes that change their training philosophy anytime something new comes out...WHY? How do you change what you believe in?  Because they don’t have the “time in the trenches”!!!  I have paid my dues so to speak and my training philosophy is a direct result of that.

As we’ve talked about before Power is defined in sports as Strength X Speed / Time.  Not only is strength important in explosion off the line or in a jump but it is equally if not more important in the deceleration of your body.  Strength maintains correct body position when landing or stopping.  It’s strength that allows the body to decelerate the arm when hitting the volleyball or throwing the baseball.

All components have their place and time in performance training but you must continue to train to be strong and powerful if you want to have continued success in sports.  It also must be trained properly and within the periodized training plan.  Failure to make a well designed and carefully thought out training plan will result in not achieving your goals.

I’ve heard this quote and have taken it to heart, “Failure to plan is planning to fail”  Do you have a training plan?

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


Posted on 02/08/2012 3:03 PM by Ed Cosner
Sunday, 15 January 2012

Enjoyed a great day watching the Texas State Weigthlifting Championships at Alvin High School.  Coach Garrett Taylor did a great job putting the meet on.  I got to visit and catch up with some of my friends like Tim Swords of Team Houston who I consider the one of the best weightlifting coaches in the world, Mark Rippatoe of Witcha Falls Athletic Club and author of Starting Strengh, Thea Taylor and Jason Starks of Team Texas both great lifters and coaches, and many others.  However the biggest thrill for me was meeting Tommy Suggs.  I have had the experience of watching Tommy many times as he competed at the highest levels of weigthlifting.  What made it even more exciting to me was that he remembered me from some of my early years when I competed.  photo: Tommy Suggs and myself

There was some great lifting and I was happy to watch my friend Mike Calley and Cameron Swart lift.  Cameron is an amazing young lifter who is trained by non other than Coach Tim Swords!!  There were some other solid athletes out there competing hard in what I consider one of the greatest sports. Go out and watch a weightlifting meet and you'll quickly understand why the movements are used in strength and conditioning....IF you are trained by a real strength coach and not a personal trainer!!
Photo: Cameron with 210kg (462pounds)

So after we finished Sally and I headed to grab a quick bite to eat.  We worked up a big appitiete cheering!!!  So off for some chicken and steamed spinich.  Then she took me to Snap Kitchen for a little shopping.  What a place!!  Fresh and tasty food already prepared all you have to do is take it home and nuke it!!  There is another place like this called My Fit Foods whose quality and portions have been steadly going down hill and they don't seem to give a shit.  Guess Snap Kitchen is earning my business!!

Posted on 01/15/2012 7:50 PM by Ed Cosner
Wednesday, 04 January 2012

As we begin the countdown to the San Antonio Highland Games I wanted to put this up here from last year.  We had the biggest turnout of athletes in our history and expect the same this year!!  Come out and visit up on March 31 & April 1 2012.

Posted on 01/04/2012 11:17 AM by Ed Cosner
Saturday, 10 December 2011

It is time for coaches and trainers to be held accountable for programs and training that leads to injured athletes! PARENTS, would you not step in if the instruction of a teacher or private tudor was causing your kid to test poorly on their ACT or SAT? What about coaching that is causing your kid to deal with injuries for the rest of their life due to improper strength training technique 

I am sick and tired of reading and hearing "trainers" talk about "getting after it", or "we were in beast mode" and then you see the video and the exercises are performed with technique that is sure to get the athlete's not a matter of "if" but more like "when" the injury will occur.  Is it all about intensity and/or weight on the bar and not about proper technique? How about the idiot mentality among some coaches in saying, "I don't care what it looks like I only care how much they do".

If it's always about proper technique on the sports field and in drills then why not make sure that during strength training proper technique is used at all times.

Posted on 12/10/2011 5:13 PM by Ed Cosner
Monday, 28 November 2011

Ben and Owen Franks, training for the All BlacksI've been down under (New Zealand) for a couple of weeks. The people and the scenery have all been amazing.

Just when I thought things couldn't get better, I was blessed to be singled out for a short television piece during my stay down here.

The news station TVNZ learned about my training a couple of New Zealand's favorite sons, elite rugby players and brothers, Ben and Own Franks. The piece aired on the evening news and covered some basics of training such high-level athletes as well as exposing the sad fact that I am not a shy eater.

The people at the station were professional and way more than gracious to put my bubble head on their airwaves.

Have a look.

Click here or on the picture below

Ed Cosner's TVNZ interview regarding training Ben and Owen Franks

Posted on 11/28/2011 8:21 AM by Ed Cosner
Sunday, 27 November 2011

.3 seconds...that's all the time you have in sports

Got your attention?  Doesn't sound like much time does it?  You're asking yourself what the hell is Ed talking about has he lost his mind...what about .3 seconds.   Well, if you want to be an elite athlete that had better be your reaction time!!  I'm talking about change of direction, exploding out of your position, creating or closing seperation, and so much more and it all happens in .3 seconds. 

In sport we define power as the product of strength x speed (distance) / time

Each of these components must be part of your overall training plan.  Of course there are different emphasis not only during each train cycle but also within each training session.

One of the best ways to develop Explosive Strength and Power is by the use of the Olympic Weightlifting movements in your training.  First let me tell you that any coach that says that the lifts are too technical and/or difficult to teach, there are other exercises just as good, I don't have the athlete long enough, or that they are dangerous...Seriously?? Then find a new job!!

Let's explore a few reasons for why I think the way I do.  The olympic lifts produce the highest output of power and rate of force development.  The "dip and drive" phase of the press or jerk and the "jump and pull" phase of the clean or snatch take .2 to .3 seconds.  Consider that maximal strength takes .7 to .9 seconds or more to develop and in sports that's an eternity.
The lifts also help in the systematic and coordniated movements of the body and aid in the development of force production (the initial movement from the ground into extension) and force reduction/stabilization (the catch).  This will strengthen and prepare the athlete's body for change of direction, jumping and landing, the explosive release of an implement, and the impact of a collision in sports.

The peak power development of the Olympic Weightlifting movements are: 

  • 4-5 times more than the squat or deadlift
  • 11-15 times more than the bench press

*from John Garhammer Journal of Strength Condtioning Research 7(2): 76-89 1993

Let's get some real examples:

  •  800 pound squat produces 765 foot pounds per second
  • 500 pound bench press produces 420 foot pounds per second
  • 280 pound power clean produces 1885 foot pounds per second

*from Mike Clark, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Kansas City Chiefs NFL

Stay tuned as I will cover the role that maximum strength plays in the development of Explosive Strenght and Power.
Then later we can go through the use of plyometrics and medicine ball training to "bridge the gap" so we can take the gains made in the weightroom and have them show up in the sport you play!! 

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


Posted on 11/27/2011 5:48 PM by Ed Cosner
Tuesday, 22 November 2011

We ended another great week of training the other day and now that I've had an opportunity to observe and test Ben we have a better feel for how the training program will evolve. 

One word can describe how our strength training is going....STRONG!!!  We're moving big weights and moving them explosive.  However,  we need to move the improvements from the weightroom to the rugby pitch.  So now time for us to add in aglility, quickness, and some plyometrics into our training plan.  

Now I already knew that this is one strong dude!!  I mean come on look at the sport he makes his living at and then look even closer to the position he plays.  He is athletic and he is strong but there is something missing for him and he knows it or I would still be in San Antonio not here.  Before I came Ben already had a list of goals for the off season training.  Together we broke those goals down into goals for each training cycle and each training session.

Do you have goals that guide your training?  Are you secure enough to be one of the best in the world at your sport yet sit back and evaluate yourself honestly?  Without goals it's hard to have focus in your training or in your life.  How do you know that your training plan is working?  Write them down and put them where you can see them.  I heard a quote once and it applies here, "When you write down your goals you own them"

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

Photo: James (Red) McLeod; Whero Films

Posted on 11/22/2011 4:17 AM by ed cosner
Thursday, 17 November 2011

So the month of November finds me at the bottom of the earth here in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Of course getting here was quite the ordeal thanks to the horrible "customer service" that was offered by Continental/United Airlines or whatever they call themselves.  Thanks to Air New Zealand for making my 14+ hour trip from LAX to Auckland a wonderful experience.  Note to self...always fly Southwest Airlines or Air New Zealand when you can.

However, I am not here on vacation, I am here to train Ben Franks of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup Champion New Zealand All Blacks.  So why did Ben bring me here all the way from the USA you ask?  Simple he wants to become stronger, more powerful, more explosive and quicker and he knows I am just the right man for the job.  I've been training him since February and he trusts me to get the job done.  Even if that means moving me into his spare bedroom for a month...poor guy just didn't realize how much I can eat!!!

I did come bearing gifts so I'm not that bad;  from Ironmind Ben got the #2 gripper, a copy of Milo, and training straps and from Titan Support a great new belt, wrist wraps and the Ram!!!  From Ben I got an autographed All Blacks jersey,  an autographed rugby ball both from Rugby World Cup and All Blacks shorts. Also a place to stay and food!!!  He and Genna are great hosts opening up their home to me.

Now this is Strength and Power Training, my passion, my life's is going to be heavy and it is going to be hard!!!  This ain't some bullshit training plan designed by some pencil neck geek that has never lifted a heavy weight...this is MY training plan!!  It is simple and it is basic  not some flashy fad's called a workout for a reason.  He ain't alone in this I am training right there with him and pushing him to his body's limits.  He is a committed athlete and a blast to work with!!  He does all the right things to be successful.

So I got in and got some food and we were off to the gym where we will spend almost every morning training, sweating, suffering, and getting strong and powerful...the very reason I am here.  Eastside Barbell/Gravity Gym is an awesome place for some real training.  It has jerk boxes, squat racks, benches, and plenty of bumper plates.  The afternoon training sessions will find us at Linwood Rugby Academy for agility work followed by rugby skill training with Scotty or you can find us at Canterbury Crossfit the gym the Frank brothers own with their dad, yes scary there are 2 of these beasts playing for the All Blacks.  There we will be doing our medicine ball training thanks to all I have learned and stole from Vern Gambetta one of my mentors and hereos in Athletic Development.  

 Please check back and see how our training is going.  Got some pictures posted in the gallery go check them out!!
Until next time remember      Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 11/17/2011 12:44 AM by Ed Cosner
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