Entries by Aaron

Training Considerations for Canadian vs. American Football

North American football is one of the most popular and exciting sports in the world, and while the term ‘football’ in North America will typically refer to the American game, north of the border, Canadians have their own unique version of football that overall has similar physiological demands. However, there are several noteworthy differences in rules and gameplay that will change an athlete’s approach to physical preparation. As a result, the purpose of this article is to compare and contrast how the differences in Canadian and American football might alter an athlete’s strength and conditioning program.

Is the FMS useful in a high-performance sports environment?

The FMS/strength debate is a contentious one, so I wanted to make sure I had the time to sit down and give you a thoughtful reply. Firstly, it’s great that you’re already starting to think critically about these things early on. I’d agree with you that it’s potentially dangerous to become narrow minded, no matter what stage of your career you find yourself in. That being said, jumping in head first into a particular stream or philosophy is the best way to learn about it, so long as you keep an objective/critical mindset and don’t drink too much of the kool-aid.

Why performance athletes should avoid unstable surface training

One of the most misguided ways that speed/power athletes can train is by using unstable surfaces. In a gym setting, unstable surfaces usually come in the form of BOSU balls, exercise balls, and balance boards. Uneducated athletes and trainers will often perform weight training exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifting and even pressing variations while standing or kneeling on these unstable surfaces.

How to enhance recovery via low-intensity exercise

In his book “Training Systems,” Charlie Francis defines recovery or regeneration to be the: continuous management of muscle tension/spasm, accelerated removal of the effects of fatigue, rapid restoration of body energy systems and substrates, and improved ability to renew physical activity without wasting unnecessarily the energy of the athletes. Low-intensity aerobic exercise, or sub-maximal exercise, for recovery purposes can be implemented in a variety of ways including running, biking, or swimming

Cultivating a Culture of Canadian Sports

Why does Canadian sport struggle? In sports, conditioning is paramount.  All else being equal, the strong, quick, powerful, agile, and efficient athlete will always dominate the weak, slow, and uncoordinated athlete.  Given this common knowledge, why then in typical Canadian athletics is formal strength and conditioning an afterthought?  In the typical Canadian athletic program, largely […]

Caffeine: The cheapest and most effective legal performance enhancer

After talking with other coaches and athletes, it seems that caffeine is one of the most underrated and underutilized training aids in strength and conditioning. This is surprising considering that the ergogenic benefits of caffeine supplementation are well documented in the literature. Caffeine is taken as a pre-activity supplement in order to enhance performance outputs during training or competition, and it is one of the only supplements used to increase performance for both aerobic and anaerobic activities