Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My apologies!

The combination of getting the new Fury Performance ready to go and the holiday crazies have left me little time to work on this blog of late. Starting with this month's newsletter in a few days, I promise to be back on the attack for 2011 with new content. Sometimes life just gets in the way when you are trying to get things done!

Hope everyone has had a happy holiday season!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

FPT Week in Review: Turkey Hangovers Anyone?

I wasn't in on Sunday for the first time in forever so nothing to report here. I know you are all crushed (insert sarcasm here)

HOD: None

After giving a massive shout out the Mon/Wed volleyball crew in last week's review, I am sad to say that Choo Choo practice schedules have dismantled it. It was great while it lasted I guess. The Helton sisters and "Meggie" Brown still rocked out though despite being in smaller group. As for me, all of my various clients and groups had strong workouts today across the board. The day saw heavy deadlifts from former featured athletes Bethany, Kasey, and Ash and some awesome explosion skips-sprints from Bayli C, who is proof positive that not all catchers are clunky with proper training! One of Fury Academy's trusty old tires got worked over today - congrats to JD, Allison, Katie, and Carly on your first tire flips!

HOD: Seeing Ashley "Princess" Irvin dominate her trap bar deadlifts. I originally had these in her workout plan months ago but it didn't go so well - I will simply leave it at that. Fast forward to now...the months of careful low back strengthening and hip mobility work showed out and she looked like a pro! Get em girl!

I guess the Choo Choo crew is trying to confuse me some with their schedules - the monster group simply moved over to Tuesday at 4! This new group has a nice mix of younger and older girls, who were all bringing it throughout the workout. In other Volleyball news, Rachel H. treated us to some knarly, calf-hugging, striped socks. I really should have gotten a picture of those retro bad boys! My crew was rocking as usual from 3:30-7pm with Lacye W., Monk, Hope, EB, and Logan all getting in some mean kettelbell and trap bar deadlifts. Unfortunately for us all, Logan managed to break the trap bar on one of his heavier sets. Since he PR'ed doing it, I guess I can forgive him. I'm sure everyone who hates deadlifts will cheer this announcement though.

HOD: Seeing the dungeon and immediate floor area packed with volleyball and softball studs from 3:45 - 5:15. We had 15 athletes and 5 different work out plans going all at once without it turning into a cluster. DO WORK SON!!! (as Blaes would say)

Wednesday was as hectic as ever for FPT. I started out with the Averitt crazies, had some good munchkin workouts in the middle, and finished strong with Taylor K., who is getting more confident with each workout. We also tested push ups and everyone that tested improved their scores - AWESOME! Clarissa had a pretty even mix of workouts and harness/skill session through out the afternoon/evening and was going so strong she had to pop outside to cool off. If the coach was getting her sweat on, you know the athletes were getting after it too!

HOD: Lil' Payton Cripps broke the U13 & Facility records in push ups and also qualified for the Women's All Time Record board with a score of 40. Here is a picture of her with her new shirt - I hope she grows into soon. Great job Payton!

Thursday was slower than normal this week - several clients had other obligations and couldn't make it over. I did have several good workouts with my older crew featuring rotational and side lunges. I'm predicting some serious groin soreness tomorrow (insert evil laugh here). A special shout out to Zach D. - I was pretty hard on him on Monday and challenged him to bring it in his next workout. I wasn't sure how he would respond but he busted his butt and had one of his best workouts ever. Clarissa doesn't usually work on Thursday but made a special appearance to train Hayli Raines, one of Soddy's top boppers. I am pretty confident that Hayli will have a standout Choo Choo season once Clarissa works her magic.
HOD: Zach Dean...New Push Up Record (51)...Again...BEAST

I had a "bookend" Friday with morning and evening workouts on the schedule. In the morning, the "Dinosaur" crew of Mary, Hunter, and "Killer" Sawyer had a good all around workout and were followed up by the Averitt crazies, who want to burn off some finals stress with a rare morning cameo. In the evening, I had two groups of boisterous "munchkins" AKA Fury Boles and Fury Millwood, assisted by super intern Bethany C. Both of the teams have already made a ton of progress and have vastly improved on the basics of Planks, TRX Push Ups/Rows, and various core drills. Both groups finished up with a little bit of fun by battling among themselves during partner tag drills. The races between Tory and Trinity from Fury Millwood were particularly entertaining since both of these kids can fly! For the record - Trinity won 3 out of 4. Clarissa had several smaller groups that featured some her top high school and college boppers in the afternoon, including Callie, Rachel, Meggie, and Brook Calhoun. Clarissa's last client of the evening, Brittany, was lucky to survive a near trampling at the feet of a excitable Fury Boles crew. Beware the munchkins - they don't always know how to use their brakes!

HOD: Neither of the munchkins crews had all of their players able to do a proper Plank for a full minute when they first started a month or so ago. I was really proud of both groups last night when I saw that almost all of the various team members can not only do a Plank correctly for a minute or more but also can "tuck" their elbows on Push Ups and seemed to be running more efficiently as well. As Blaes might say - such a proud papa bear...

The Cherokee Fury crew came up again today and have already shown some improvement over the previous session in their attention to detail and performance of various drills. We had to cut it short due to some other engagements but I could tell that several of them had been working on their own. This is one of the keys to longer term improvement so I challenge them all to keep at it. Good work guys.

HOD: Seeing Logan Long's transformation from last year to this year. At this time last year, I was all over him at times for his effort, mental toughness, and dedication to getting better. Fast forward to the present and he is helping me with a group of young guys (that are probably alot like him several years ago) and doing a great job at that. What a difference a year makes!

By the numbers...
The Blaes "THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO SHOW CONTEXT" exclamation ! tally - 11
Heaviest Med Ball at FPT - 20lbs.

Workout Song You Need on Your IPOD
Nonpoint - Bullet with a Name

Friday, December 3, 2010

Facility Update - Part 6: Bells & Whistles & Field Space

Here is the next round of pictures of the new facility. The field space at the bottom is multi-use practice space for Fury Fastpitch & Baseball teams but I will be able to use it some as well. I also hear that the new turf is going in FPT next week and we might be moving in the weekend before Christmas. Now, that's a early present for sure!
Heat & AC #1

HEAT & AC #2

The new sink
The New Utility Sink

Outdoor Workouts Anyone?

New Field Space View #2

Sunday, November 28, 2010

FPT Week in Review - Thanksgiving Week

Sunday was a little busier between Coach Clarissa and myself than it has been in recent weeks. It is still not where we would like it to be but we are finally getting some scheduling stuff sorted out from the fall/winter sport changeover.  I am certain that we will have "mad house" Sunday before too long! In other news, FPT was honored to have Alyssa C. and Baylee S. back in the house. These young studs haven't trained in quite awhile but they put in their usual outstanding effort the other day. Great job ladies - I look forward to kicking your butts in the coming months. We also had our first member of the Fury Crush baseball team in his first training session. I hear this is a talented group so I am excited to get involved with them.

HOD: Hannah and TO are two of my b-ball clients that are friends but play on rival school teams. During their last session, I remember jokingly telling TO, who is a forward, that she needs to throw some mean elbows on Hannah, who is a guard, the next time she drives in the lane. So, what happened the first time they played this season? Hannah drove the lane and TO "bumped" her and Hannah got a minor concussion in the process. FPT clients take note: Coach Green is always joking when he says such things!

 I have been babbling on and on about the crew of Amazonian studs that Clarissa has on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4pm so I thought it was time to document this awesomeness. I will let the video do the talking for me. I have also included a video of resident intern beast, Bethany Cowart, hitting a new Personal Record of 210lbs on Deadlift. To frame this achievement some, Bethany had just performed 29 singles in 29 minutes at 90% of her old deadlift max prior to this lift. This is a pre-season lifting test that Wake Forest uses with some of its teams to gauge whether they have worked in the off season or not. In other words...get ready Grace softball opponents - don't throw her any fatties this season. Remember - I warned you!

HOD: Seeing the camaraderie between the VB girls in the 4pm group. This is what we strive for at FPT - a supportive but challenging group environment. Athletes will always make more progress when they push each other like this crew does - do work ladies!

We had a pretty solid day overall from our smaller Tuesday crew. Nothing too fancy really - just good 'ol fashioned hard work.

HOD: I have been known to have kids push other kids, myself, and even their parents on the Prowler in order to push the limits and build the atmosphere at FPT. Well, I decided to add a new twist to this theme - partner sled drags! Ryan and Addison were the first athletes at FPT to drag each other and then Fat Boy Green up and down the room on the crusty trusty old red sled. It was a good time and I look forward to having others do it soon!

The day before Thanksgiving was pretty slow as people started to get ready for the holidays but we still managed to have several good workouts. The day started off with a boisterous Hughes and Sawyer family lift, which has become somewhat of FPT tradition. Clarissa followed them up with a pretty big crew of volleyballers, none of whom seemed to be very awake when I left for a short break - I hope she roasted them! Bad jokes aside, the rest of the day featured several of my stud high school clients including Kasey, Lexie, Bethany, and EB getting in a great pre-feast workout. The day ended with 'Zee Johnson taking on Mean Green all by herself. Even though 'Zee is fairly young and working out solo with me can be a challenged, she rocked it and held her own!
HOD: 'Zee had to do the dreaded "Countdown" finisher at the end of her workout. This has become one of FPT's most dreaded finishers and I wasn't sure how she would do. I am happy to report that she persevered and made it through it.You go girl!

Thursday - Saturday


By the numbers...
The Schmissrauter extraneous punctuation tally - 10
Most Deadlifts Performed Above 90% in One Workout by One Athlete at FPT -30!

Workout Song You Need on Your IPOD
Dropkick Murphys - I'm Shipping Up to Boston

FPT Newsletter - December 1st, 2010

November Featured Athlete - Erin Jackson
EJ - We need a gunshow!
Written by Coach Clarissa Ragsdale - Fury Performance Volleyball Specialist
Erin Jackson is named The Athlete of the Month for November!  Erin is on the Varsity volleyball team at Chattanooga Christian, as well as a member of Choo Choo City Volleyball Club.  There are several reasons why Erin has earned this honor, some of which can be measured and some that are 'intangibles'.

On paper, Erin has improved drastically in both her block & approach jumps since first starting training in November 2009.  She used to jump 9 1/2 inches on her block - now she jumps 16 1/2 inches!!!!  And her approach jump has increased from 15 inches to 19 1/2 inches!!  Those are some of the most amazing improvements I've seen in a volleyball player!

But just as important as vertical improvements are the strides Erin has made outside of testing days.  She's faster, she's stronger, and she takes a great pride in what she puts into her workouts.  A year ago, Erin could barely do a one-legged squat or a pushup.  Now she's rocking those things.  I never have to correct Erin's form anymore; instead, I use her as an example for athletes who aren't doing something properly.  Now girls look to her for guidance, instead of the other way around.

I'm very proud of the way Erin has responded to the physical demands that these workouts put on her body.  Summer came along and instead of taking time off, Erin requested to increase her workout schedule.  She didn't take time off during high school season.  She is proof that when you put the time and effort in, you will be rewarded with success.

Congratulations, Erin for graduating from "Twinkie Status" to "Athlete of the Month"!

Editor's Note: "Twinkie" was Erin's nickname before she went into beast mode.

The "List"  
Kat Knarr - GSAC All Freshman Team, GSAC Freshman of the Year, Piedmont Sportsmanship Award
Bethany Cowart - New facility Broad Jump Champion (86.5 inches)
Brook Calhoun - Committed to play volleyball at Tusculum
Emily Boyd & Monica Vickery - 2010 Times Free Press Georgia Best of Preps

Gunshows of the Month
Training Pic of the Month
Locke-ster with a the TRX 1 Leg Squat

Bonus Pic!
FPT's Latest Toy - (insert evil Coach Green laugh here)
Bonus Pic #2

Video of the Month

Fury Web Soup
Fury Performance Training is on YouTube!
Fury Performance is on Facebook!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

FPT Week in Review - Featuring Prowler Drives & Munchkin Power

Coach Clarissa was out talking at the Choo Choo club meeting and my parents were in town so it was an intentionally slow Sunday at FPT. However, I have heard that some old veteran clients will be making their triumphant return this coming Sunday so I hope to have more to report. Fury Parrot had another decent workout but everyone (including myself) was a little tired so hopefully we rebound with a better effort this weekend. 

HOD: Unfortunately, the day wasn't too memorable.

 We got a little crazy on Monday at FPT with tons of stud kids training all at the same time...i.e. Clarissa's rocking crew of older studs + my crew of older studs working out at the same time = kettle bell shortage! I think our kettlebells got more work in one day between calf raises and swings within these two groups than the previous month alone. We don't mind it though because that means that everyone is getting stronger when they are fighting over the big weights! Also, I got to play with my new fully adjustable hurdles with my 6:45pm crew of baseball players, which included an epic wipe out by Zach Dickson in the process (he was OK though).

HOD: Seeing all of my 6:45 crew get psyched out by the new hurdles and then having them all at least try them anyway. The mind can literally be your most powerful ally or your worst enemy - it's always a choice!

On Tuesday, Emily Boyd came to FPT for her first workout at FPT and I was pumped to say the least. A little back story...EB is one of the top pitching prospects in the Southeast Region and has been lighting up GA high school ball since her freshman year. I have been itching to work with her since the day she came into the dungeon one day and knocked out 6 chins up last year - COMPLETELY COLD! Ever since that moment, I have thought "I need to work with this beast!". Well, EB decided she wanted to take her training up a notch this off season and to FPT she came. It is well known that EB is a workhorse so I am particularly proud that she choose FPT to get right for the coming summer. BOO YAH!!!

HOD: Watching EB's face when I got out the Prowler and hearing her say with an uncertain tone "Oh, I've heard about this thing". She then proceeded to rock it anyways. LOVE IT!

FPT was rocking again from 3:15-6:15 - I am pretty sure that it was crazier than last Wednesday! We had all of our young and old crews in full effect in tough, no-nonsense workouts. I will try to keep a better mental log of this Wednesday because I am sure I am leaving stuff of note out. BTW...EB did 7 chin ups to break her own record - BEAST!

HOD: Watching the looks of the various high school kids in FPT as the 3:15 young crew kept grinding through a grueling strong man circuit. I'm pretty sure they all felt sorry for them (and thought I was being mean to them - haha) but they persevered and got through it. Good job Wyatt, Christopher and Tyler.

To start off the day, I traveled down to Lookout Valley for some speed consulting. It was a smaller crew than last year but we got alot accomplished with them. I think some of the rotational core drills we did that day will really help them once they get the hang of it. Clarissa doesn't have any groups scheduled on Thursdays so I had the floor to myself for afternoon at FPT. Katie Henderson, Logan Long, and Lacye Walker all had great workouts to finish their training weeks strong. You heard it hear first - all three of these athletes will have monster springs. Later in the evening, Gabby Hughes, who has been training at FPT for what seems like forever now, had one of her better workouts in recent memory. I think she is a good example of an athlete who has benefited greatly from a consistent and dogged approach in the weight room. She is not the fastest, strongest, or most powerful kid at FPT but she has never let that stop her from trying to get better. She is a blue collar kid and I respect her for it more than she knows (even if I get annoyed fussy at her from time to time).

HOD: The 6:45 crew of guys did 13 Prowler drives in a row. It pretty much sucked but they bowed it up and got it done. Good work gentlemen. Special shout out to Skylar Grimes, who keeps on trucking although he is the new guy in a group of veterans.

Friday ended up being unusually busy at FPT. I had the "Geriatric" crew (this came out of group member Mary Hughes' mouth just so you know) in the morning followed by the Averitt "crazies" in the early afternoon. Clarissa rocked out at East Ridge high for their volleyball team and then rocked out on "Meggie" Brown, Rachel Harper, and Hope Johnson in the early afternoon. I finished up the night with two crews of Fury munchkins back to back. I only survived to that crazy two hour stretch with the help of super intern Bethany Cowart - you are greatly appreciated. Bethany also did a 400+ lb fat boy Green push (sled + me + both vests + both belts) before working with the munchkins. Now that is hard core!

HOD: The Averitt "crazies" doing their first "fat boy Green" prowler push...when I sat on that sled the looks on their faces was priceless!

The Cherokee Fury baseball had their first official team workout with Mean Green. It was a pretty good effort all around by this young crew and they will make a ton of improvement in the coming months if they bring it like that consistently.
HOD: Corey from the Cherokee crew persevering through a tough workout and giving great effort throughout. He earned an FPT shirt for his effort and heart.

By the numbers...
The Blaes Schmissrauter honorary needless ! tally - 15
Most Prowler Drives Ever Done in 1 Workout Session at FPT-13

Workout Song You Need on Your IPOD
AC/DC - Rock and Roll Train

Sunday, November 14, 2010

FPT Week in Review: Let the off season CRAZINESS begin!

And so it begins at FPT...THE OFFICIAL OFF SEASON!  This is an entirely subjective decision on my part - it really could start at any time. However, FPT has a distinctive rhythm because our clientele is made up of primarily softball and volleyball athletes. Basically, November is the first month in which both of these sports are done with high school, middle school, and travel ball seasons. This week saw the return of our "Amazon" crew and we heard quite a few comments that went something like this "Ohhhh my abs hurts" or "Those push ups killed me the other day" etc... Interpretation - Clarissa is "getting work done" on the VB crew!

To sum up - the next few months should be an exciting time at FPT with everyone wanting to train and get after it simultaneously along with the impending facility move. I am really looking forward to updating everyone on the craziness.

Sunday used to be a ridiculous day for FPT - where is everybody?!?! We will have to get Sundays sorted out soon - I'm getting kind of bored over there! However, we did have an awesome first team workout by Fury Parrot with a suitably awesome gunshow picture to end it.

HOD: The Fury Parrot gunshow was one of the best we've ever had at FPT - by rookies no less!
FPT el jefe special note: Don't worry Fury munchkins from Boles and Millwood - your gunshow day is coming soon. I haven't forgotten about ya!

 Monday featured the return of some of Chattanooga's top volleyball talent to FPT, including close to 1/2 of Choo Choo 17-1 squad that qualified for nationals last year. Talk about some star power! The 12-14 guys at 6:45 also had a great workout.

HOD: Seeing 8 VB studs on the floor - it's been awhile...we've missed you ladies!

Tuesday saw the return of Callie Hildebrand to FPT. If you didn't know already, she was the state championship game MVP for Signal Mountain this year. Ironically, she trained with Rachel Harper, who was the top gun for Boyd Buchanon, the runner up to Signal Mountain in the title game. This was one of the coolest moments I've seen at FPT in awhile - two top flight competitors (who had never met before) training hard and supporting each other throughout a tough workout. Another great moment from Tuesday was Logan Long smoking his first true deadlift workout ever. He has come a long way from last year and is just starting to see the benefits of being consistent with his strength work. Great job "Mop"!

HOD: Seeing Callie and Rachel pushing each other 3 weeks removed from playing each other for a state championship ring!

FPT was rocking from 3:15-6:15 - there were athletes training everywhere. It was so hectic that I can't even remember/describe all that was going on other than all of the various members of the Wednesday crew were getting after it. A special shout out to all of my young crews last night (I have three of them on Wed) - your effort was awesome last night.

HOD: Bethany Cowart became the new facility champion in the Broad Jump (86.5 inches) and won herself a snazzy dri-fit shirt in the process.

Yet another solid day for FPT starting off with the boisterous Averitt sisters and finishing with Danzel, our lone football client. The Averitts are FPT's inaugural personal training clients and I am having a blast training them - they definitely provide a different energy to the dungeon! Danzel is finishing up his career at Red Bank and is look to play in college ball next year. We have been doing recovery workouts to keep this iron man healthy and playing at his best. Thus far,he hasn't missed a game yet. Keep up banging big D!

HOD: Zach Dean has been a Featured Athlete before and has been dominating our record boards ever since he walked in the door. We can now add another achievement to his list - the first documented busted med ball. BEAST!

Not much to report from FPT today. After the "Old Crew" aka "Dinosaurs" aka "Old Farts" got in their typically strong workout in the morning, I was done for the day.
My awesome nap from 12-1:30pm...EPIC SUCCESS!

FPT was inactive today...

By the numbers...
The Blaes Going Green gratuitous exclamation point usage tally - 13
Med Balls broken this year at FPT - 3

Workout Song You Need on Your IPOD
Linkin Park - Pushing Me Away

Friday, November 5, 2010

FPT: The Week in Review - (Insert Catchy Buzz Words Here)

I decided not too long ago that Fridays would be my main day to get cracking on my various "business" ventures instead of working in the afternoons at traffic-lite FPT (it has always been slow on Friday - I guess Chattanoogans don't roll like that on Fridays). My logic behind this decision was that my time would be better spent growing the 'biz rather than busting out HIT circuits with the few clients I normally get on Friday.

So, how would I rate my efforts on the first (long overdue) planned day of industriousness? Would I turn out to be beacon of productivity that starts thrashing the performance training market in the 'Noog with some new innovative idea or a slothful mullygruber (to quote UT coach Derek Dooley) that frittered away the day?

Shameful as it may be, I have to admit to being a total mullygrubber so far (don't hate me Coach!). To rectify this sad situation, it ironically dawned on me that I should start being productive by being using a vehicle that makes most people unproductive...can anyone say BLOGPOST?!?! And thus "The Week in Review" was born. Tongue-in-cheek appreciated but not required...

Lamest day in recent memory at FPT! Not because the very few people that did show up didn't train hard but because of the very many that didn't survive their Halloween sugar comas to come over and workout. MULLYGRUBBERS! I actually had to look at my schedule book to see who did show up - LAME!

 The Monday crew is usually a stout bunch and they lived up to their reputation this week. All in attendance trained hard and busted their butts so it was a good start to the week. 

Highlight of the Day: Bethany Cowart knocking out a set of 4x185lbs on Trap Deadlifts. 185lbs used to be her 1 rep max three months ago - BEAST! No one outworks this kids - NO ONE.

This day is dominated by my more advanced kids and longer tenured clients. From looking at my log, I noted a 3 year client, 2 year client, and two other 1 year clients - AWESOME! It is not a common topic but being dedicated to a solid training program over the long term is one of the most under-rated training variables for the common athlete. Some athletes are simply gifted and don't have to do squat to be good but they are vastly outnumbered by athletes who have to build themselves 1 rep, 1 set, and 1 sprint at a time. 

HOD: Katie Henderson knocking out 10 reps of swings for the first time with one of our 60lb KB's. There is a reason she can throw 65mph heaters people.

Easily our most hectic day at FPT...I will typically have several groups of munchkins (anyone under 10 years old in FPT parlance) training right along side some of my high school kids (who are all on different programs). Clarissa alternates between some pretty impressive VB training groups and skill specialization sessions. You might get blasted in the head by an errant serve if you aren't careful. It may look like chaotic at times but that's how we do! 

HOD: Seeing a "herd" of our VB studs getting after it. They have been in-season for 3 months so it just hasn't been the same without them.

Awesome beard - this picture will more sense later - Promise!

This day is not unlike Tuesday - mostly older and more advanced clients "doing work son" (as my illustrious fiance Blaes would say). Overall, it was another good blue collar day at FPT - not alot of talk but alot of work. 

HOD: The return of Monk to FPT - I can't wait to make her complain in coming workouts!

As noted above, this is my "work" day from here on out even though I will likely do some morning training and/or team training because it forces me to do my workouts as well. Can't be a mullygrubber all the time. Special shout out to Terri I. who took the FPT plunge this morning. It's been awhile for her but she did a great job and got through it. Sometimes the first step is the hardest but the most worthwhile because it gets you going somewhere.

HOD: Two unprompted texts in the span of 1 minute from two different people complaining about the extreme soreness they have from yesterday's workouts. LOVE IT!
This weekend is our bi-annual Scenic 16's tournament. I am running a testing combine right in the middle of it. Did I mention running events like this are total buzz kill? Sunday clients - please be advised that Coach Green will be extremely crabby on Sunday.

By the numbers...
Gratuitous exclamation point usage - 11
Mullygrubber name drops in this blog (including this one) - 6

Workout Song You Need on Your IPOD
10 Years - "Shoot it out"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Facilty Update - Part 5

I have totally forgotten what week we are in on the "rehab" process at the new FPT but we are getting closer to completion! Due to a "please EPB-take your time on getting power to the building" delay, we are looking like an mid-December move in. All that is left to do is the final paint job, the turf/carpet job on the floor, and some odds and ends. Once that is done, we are ready to move all of our equipment over and start getting after it. BTW...any help on the equipment  move is always appreciated - this stuff is crazy awkward and really heavy. 

Without further ado - here are some pictures of FPT's new private shower.(I did have a picture of our awesome utility sink but I accidentally deleted it - hope you can forgive me)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

FPT Newsletter - November 1st, 2011

Oct. Featured Athlete - Ashley Irvin
Notice the AWESOME socks!

Ashley, who plays softball for East Ridge and select ball in the summer, has become a regular and lively presence at FPT since she started training during the summer months. Due to a pesky back issue, Ashley started out on a very basic program designed to get her healthy and improve her fitness.  As she started to feel better and knock off some rust, Ashley saw some immediate gains in her hitting power and pitching velocity during her summer tournaments. These initial improvements have helped transform her into one of my weight room warriors who rarely misses a training session. Despite a recent injury setback that would have sidelined most kids, she has continued to train on an ambitious (but modified) 3x week program to keep her progress from stalling. Ashley is almost back to 100% and I look forward to see her dominate in high school ball.  Ashley is also FPT's current clashing sock champion - no one else can match her style!


The "List"  
Maraim Wood - Committed to play softball at ETSU
Heather Montgomery - Committed to play softball at Lipscomb
Taylor Harris - Committed to play softball at Southern Illinois
Boyd Buchanon Volleyball - District Champs, State 2nd Place
Red Bank Volleyball - District, Region, Sectional Champs, State 2nd Place
Signal Mountain Volleyball - District, Region, Sectional Champs, STATE CHAMPIONS!
Callie Hildebrand - Championship Game MVP

Gunshow of the Month
Dylan & Ellen showing off for the camera!
Training Pic of the Month
"Action" Jackson getting his TRX push up on!

Bonus Pic!
The Averitt Girl's - FPT's 1st personal training clients!

Bonus Pic #2
The Headrick girls beasting their new FPT shirts!

Video of the Month
Katie Henderson's Density Workout!

Fury Web Soup
Fury Performance Training
Fury Academy
Fury Performance Training is on YouTube!
Fury Performance is on Facebook!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Randomness on a Tuesday...Why FPT Rocks, Southern Weather Craziness, and Poor Linkin Park

FPT Rocks!
Who doesn't love a rockin' gun show?
I have to say that I that I feel fortunate for where the direction of FPT is going right now. We have a ton of great athletes who are working hard and getting better every week. Our parents continually support our training methods and business, helping it to grow from month to month. FPT is also getting closer to reaching one of my personal goals for the business - setting the bar high for what performance training should be like in the Chattanooga area.  As Eric Cressey (my biggest professional influence) would say, I feel as though FPT is "doing things the right way and for the right reasons" and that is really cool and important to me. While Clarissa and I make a good living doing what we do, the environment that we have tried to create has given us the added benefit of seeing our athletes grow as individuals. It is pretty sweet feeling when a kid knocks out their first chin up or improves their vertical 2-3 inches, or tells how they did things out on the court or field they never imagined themselves doing. When it gets nuts in the dungeon (as it often does), these moments mean more than most can imagine to a busy strength coach. Believe me - we love it!   

I guess all of this hit me during the last few weeks because we have been on a consistently great run of training sessions at FPT. When you do this every day for your living, you become accustomed to an occasional bad training day - they just happen and you tend to remember them. The bad days tend to add depth to the minutiae of my life as a strength coach by providing much needed perspective. I tend to appreciate the good days more when I get slobber-knockered by a bad one once in awhile. The cool thing that I realized the other day is that I can't remember our last bad training day at FPT. Sure, we have had some pretty crazy days but they weren't necessarily bad days. Bad days are like a skunk - you know one when you see one and you can't wait to get rid of it. This realization got me thinking of how much my life has changed for the better in the last year professionally. While owning a small business is definitely stressful and frustrating at times (and drives my ever patient fiance Blaes nuts all the time), it has allowed me to do alot of things that I couldn't do before. Not that I am content with it all - I doubt I ever will be because I have much left to accomplish. However, it could be a whole lot worse and I know it. For that fact - FPT definitely rocks.

Southern Weather Hysteria!
The South just doesn't seem to do well with bad weather. As I write this, the citizens of Chattanooga are gripped with fear that they might be swept away to the Land of Oz in a swirling vortex of doom (i.e. a really bad thunderstorm) this evening. While I can appreciate this sentiment (no one wants to be sucked into a swirling vortex of doom after all), the hysteria went a little far for me when they let schools out early...for a thunderstorm...that hadn't even happened yet!
Not that that I was particularly surprised by this really. After all, a mild winter storm this past winter dropped 3-5 inches of snow on the ground and pretty much incapacitated the city. If you wanted to get bread or milk the next day, you were screwed - that kind of incapacitated. Being a Yankee by birth has hardened me to weather like this - it really isn't that big of a deal. I can say with some certainty that I never got out of school for a thunderstorm (although the kid in me thinks that would have rocked back in the day). Similarly, 3-5 inches of snow, while annoying, isn't all that bad. It makes your car all dirty and slows you down but it will be gone in a day or so. To get me stirred up to freak out stage (as defined by the need to buy a week's worth of eggs on the fly) - I need at least 8+ inches or I'm not sweating it.

As an example...growing up outside of Philly, we would pray for 6+ inches just to get out of school early or for the whole day if we got lucky. We would occasionally get a 2 hour delay but those didn't count because you still had to go in. The truly awesome storms (monumental drive way shovelling aside) dropped 12+ inches, ensuring a day or two of freedom and sledding. I guess I find Southern tendency to freak out with bad weather somewhat amusing. So I say relax 'Nooga - you have 99.999999999999% chance of being just fine and dandy tomorrow. Of course, just by typing this snarky bit, I have probably doomed myself to a tree branch demolishing my car during the night. I think I will take my chances though...

What Happened to Linkin Park?!?!
Does anyone out there know what the guys in this once awesome band are thinking? Their latest album is some sort of pretentious electro-hip hop-metal fusion crap-ola. The first single lasted about one week on the radio and Sirius/XM if that tells you something. The fans clearly aren't buying into their new sound. We want loud guitars, heavy bass, and angst-laden vocals from Chester. We want our Linkin Park to thrash and trash us - kicking our butts in the process. WE WANT TO FEEL IT MAN! I keep getting reminded of their increasing lameness when "In the End", "Pushing Me Away", "Points of Authority", "One Step Closer", and "Numb" play on my IPod when I'm working out. These songs STILL get my juices flowing after almost 10 years, making me want to tear up the weight room.I guess the insta-classic Hybrid Theory has become to big a burden for Mike, Chester, and company to follow up on. Each album has gotten less and less awesome ever since (although Meteora isn't too bad). Unless they come out with something that rocks soon, I am going to have to officially de-list Linkin Park as one of my favorite bands. Can we at least get a Hybrid Theory re-release? Pretty please?

Other Music Stuff That Doesn't Absolutely Suck
Awesome new band #1 - Mumford & Sons (Lil' Lion Man)
Awesome new band #2 - Broken Bells (The Ghost Inside)
Awesome new song I can't get enough of - Say You'll Haunt Me (Stone Sour)

Brain Food #8 - Happy Meals Don't Mold?, Powerlifting Tips, Sprinters & Distance Runners Should Be Lifting Weights!

Happy Meal - no mold after 130 days?!?!?!?

I found this article from the LA Times on a friend's Facebook page. Apparently, an artist took photos of a Happy Meal on her shelf in her living room every 3 days to see how fast it would mold up. After 130 days, there was little visual change to the food based on the pictures. The article does offer some speculation as to why this happened but a Mickie D's rep denied it. Go figure!

The experts speak!

This is a great article featuring 8 elite performance specialists from around the country and their preferred assistance movements to strengthen the squat, bench, and deadlift. Quality info here!

Johnny Bowden - AWESOME!

Dr. Bowden is one of the best sources of high quality and practical nutritional advice in the industry. In this blog post, he takes a look at a recent Consumer Reports column on dietary supplements. Normally, mainstream non-fitness magazines tend not to have much good information on dietary supplements. However, Dr. Bowden tends to agree with their list of supplements to take and supplements not to take, which is very unusual. Coming from an author I really respect, I thought it was worth including here.
(props to Eric Cressey for alerting me to the fact that Dr. Bowden has a blog to begin with)

Disc Pressure Measurements?!?!

This is a pretty interesting read on how spinal disc pressure measurements should affect exercise selection by Nick Tumminello. He is an innovator in the profession and one of my favorites. This is an advanced article - reader beware.

Want to get fast? GET STRONGER!

Eric Cressey does an amazing job of explaining in this blog post the benefits of emphasizing strength training over SAQ training for younger athletes who play multiple sports through out the year. Basically, the sport activities for these athletes (practices, games, lessons, etc.) are their Speed Agility Quickness work and they need more strength training to fully develop their speed and power. I have pretty much come to this same conclusion with my clients over the past year and have seen great benefits to getting away from SAQ work in my programs with younger clients. If you are a multi-sport athlete or the parent of one, I highly recommend you read this article or at least just watch the video!

Why endurance athletes should lift weights and stop being wusses!

This is an another winning article by Eric Cressey explaining why endurance athletes should be lifting weights to improve performance. For any non-believers out there, he cites several research studies to back up his analysis. Great read and highly recommended!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Brain Food - 10/1/10

A cautionary tale for pitchers...

This article is for all of the coaches and parents out there who demand that their kids pitch all the time, learn curve balls too early, or don't teach them how to get physically prepared to pitch. It discusses the prevalence of shoulder/elbow injuries and the intense struggles it takes to come back from these injuries successfully. Definitely food for thought.

If you like to torture yourself...

Tim Henriques loves to push his clients with brutally hard workout challenges. If you have a masochistic side - here is a list of challenges for you to try (#7 has already been adapted into a workout at FPT and it really sucks). Enjoy!

Better nutrition by chewing more?

This is a really interesting article on the how not chewing enough and/or low stomach acid can be undermining your ability to digest your food and holding you back. If you suffer from the following problems (bloating after a meal, gas, bad breath, constipation, undigested food in your stool, difficulty putting on muscle mass), it will be worth your time to read it.

The lats - one of the most important muscles in the body?

This is an older T-Nation article by Eric Cressey on the many understated but important roles of the lats in human performance. I have read most of Eric's work but this article was new to me. It's a bit geeky in places but full of great information.

How many "cows" does your brand get?

It is no big secret that organic milk is superior to conventional milk. Would milk from grass fed cows be even better than organic? I would say yes since that is milk in its most natural state. While reading up on the topic, this cool chart was cited in one of the articles I was reading. It lists the quality and source of a multitude of dairy products (ranked by # of cows). The best part - it lists products by brand name! Very rarely is this type of non-biased info available to the public.

Week 5 Facility Update - Power Up!

The old electrical system
The new electrical system

One of the new light ban

Isn't that a bit bright? Haha

FPT Newsletter - October 1st, 2010

Sept. Featured Athlete - Austin Harkleroad 

Austin "I'm A Beast" Harkleroad
Austin, who attends Silverdale Baptist, started training at FPT in April to get stronger and more explosive for basketball. Austin started training 1x per week initially but quickly started training 2x per week once he saw improvements in his performance during summer basketball practice. Since Austin has started training 2x per week, he has rarely missed a training session and I occasionally have to chase him out of the "dungeon". Here are Austin's results from his first testing session. 

Vertical Jump - 15.5 inches
Broad Jump - 73.5 inches
Push Ups - 13 reps 
Chin Ups - 1

Here is Austin's most recent testing results - it's quite a difference!

Vertical Jump - 16.5 inches
Broad Jump - 78 inches
Push Ups - 25 reps 
Chin Ups - 9 

Keep up the great work Austin!

The "List"  
New 17-18 Block Jump Champion: Kalyn Helton - 22 inches!
Rachel Harper - Committed to play volleyball at Carson Newman!

Gunshow of the Month

FPT's very own TO - Taylor Ogle!

Training Pic of the Month
Makenzie Jone getting a mid-season tune up!

Bonus Pic!

Get mean wit it!

Video of the Month
Awesome tire battle between Bayli Cruse (Fury 95) and Lauren Lewis (Fury 96)!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 4 Facility Update - IT'S GETTING CLOSER!

The new exhaust fan - gotta keep that air moving!
Shower - AWESOME!

Before - the whole wall/ceiling junction looked like this
After - Full walls all around
Face Lift #1 - Fresh Paint
Face Lift  #2 - The paint job made the room look bigger!

Effective Core Training For Softball Pitchers: Part 2

Can too many Crunches and Sit Ups hurt a pitcher's performance?

As I discussed in Part 1 of this series, this might seem like a pretty controversial question considering that almost everyone does these exercises on a regular basis. Some pitchers' core programs may even be completely based off of these movements. If you really think about the act of pitching, however, you will see that these movements have no real place in a well-designed core program for several reasons.

A Visual Comparison of the Crunch/Sit-Up Movement and the Power Pitching Positions

Generally speaking, the typical crunch or sit up (and all of their variations) will have the athlete round at the shoulders and flex their trunk towards the lower body (anterior trunk flexion),while lying on the floor or a fitness ball. Here are a few examples to that show the core's relative function during these movements:

Let's compare them to these pictures of some top pitchers in action - you might just recognize them:

Jenni Finch - Pitching Stud #1
Monica Abbot - Pitching Stud #2

I didn't choose these pictures because these ladies are Olympians and two of the baddest pitchers ever to play the game. Rather, these pictures demonstrate the position and relative function of the core during the two most important power positions of the pitching motion, the "drive" and "land" phases. Having a strong and well-trained core is critical in these positions because the pitcher is "creating" and then "reducing" power during the process of accelerating the ball towards the plate. Using McGill's conceptualization of core function from Part 1, Jenny's core musculature is "transmitting" her leg power into her upper torso to begin this process. In Monica's case, her core musculature is aiding her front leg in  "resisting" the motion of her legs, hips and trunk so her arm and the ball have a solid pivot point to rotate around and finish the acceleration process. In both cases, our stud pitchers' cores are most certainly exhibiting an abdominal "brace" in order to accomplish these actions and effectively link the upper and lower bodies into a coherent movement pattern. Clearly, we see no "crunching" or anterior core flexion occurring in either position. Using this very simple visual analysis, we can see why having pitchers perform a majority of their core work in this movement pattern is questionable. However, since the crunch and sit up have been the norm for so long and are so easy to perform, such a simple analysis may not be enough to convince some people to change their ways. Is there any research that shows the crunch/sit up as an ineffective training tool in the core programs of pitchers?

Anterior core flexion and throwing performance

While there isn't much research available that deals with the specifics of softball pitching, there is a significant body of research concerning a related movement pattern, the overhand throwing motion. While the softball pitching motion and the overhand throwing motion are obviously dissimilar in some ways, they both share similar demands on the core musculature in terms of function (i.e. core power transmission, core bracing, rotational control, etc...), which allows us to draw some useful parallels.

Lying Crossover Crunch
 A study published by Stodden et al. the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2008 examined the relative translation between 4 rotational core exercises and throwing performance (velocity) in collegiate baseball players through kinematic (movement) analysis of the trunk during the throwing motion. The researchers found that, while their exercise selections showed similar kinematics to the throwing motion, the rotational speed of these movements was insufficient to likely elicit a measurable effect on velocity. One of these exercises, however, the lying crossover, was found to have the least amount of rotational movement when compared to the other exercises and the throwing motion. Why is this seemingly minor detail important? The researchers noted that this finding was likely due to the spine's inability to rotate when flexed. Essentially, anterior core flexion limits spinal rotational ability, which can inhibit maximal power generation and transference during the act of throwing. Clearly, this situation is not advantageous to the pitcher for peak performance.

What is the implication of this finding when considering core program design for pitchers? The goal of good program design is always to select exercises that can improve performance based on the specific needs of the athlete. If an exercise does not meet this simple criterion, it should be eliminated or at least minimized. Using the findings of aforementioned study, a pitcher (softball or baseball) looking to improve their throwing performance should want a core program centered around exercises that improve trunk rotation range of motion, rotational velocity, and improved power transference (among others). Wouldn't a program that emphasizes anterior core flexion condition an athlete and their core to perform in ways that are counter productive to improved performance? Using our good program design test from above, the crunch and sit up need to have a very limited role (if any) in a pitcher's core program who is looking for elite performance.

Where do we go next with our core training?

A proper plank
Now that I have shown you that a great core-training program for the pitcher should involve a minimal amount of crunch-like movements, what exercises should we be focusing on instead? Before I can answer this question, the next part in this series will address another famous core exercise- the plank. As I mentioned in Part 1, one of key functions of the core is to transmit power between the extremities through a "bracing" effect and the plank is one of the best foundational basic exercises for teaching an athlete how to do this. Unfortunately, I have found that most athletes either can't do it properly or were not taught how to do it correctly in the first place, meaning their foundation to build on with a great core program is faulty from the start. From this perspective, a poorly performed plank hold is almost as bad as program full of crunches and sit-ups in my mind. The next article in this series will discuss the importance of the plank and how to do it correctly. Once this key "building" block in place, we can move onto some really fun and really challenging pitcher specific core programs.

Full Disclosure: I do occasionally use some anterior flexion movements in my core programs for variety's sake but they are never my primary core exercises - they are only used sparingly as a change of pace. Once I minimized the use of these movements, my athletes have experienced a huge shift in their performance abilities.

Coach Green is the Director of Fury Performance Training and been helping softball players of all ages and ability levels reach their potential for the past 8 years. In the past year, he has helped 7 advanced high school pitchers (and counting) increase 1-3 mph on their peak and average velocities, including one who hadn't pitched in 12 months due to injury. The one constant for all of these pitchers was that they "re-engineered" their core training to be more specific and effective for pitching. Coach Green is available for consultations and custom performance programs. Please contact him at