A couple weeks ago an article I wrote entitled “Mystery Meat” (http://www.t-nation.com/article/bodybuilding/mystery_meat&cr=) was published on T-nation.com. The feedback was unbelievable! Many people instantly heavily criticized the article, while others were intrigued by the unique idea. For the record, my stance on the weight gained from that experiment is this:
The weight gain is almost definitely entirely water. The reason the weight can be maintained over such a long period of time is because I (and others that have tried it with similar results) drink a ton of water everyday. My bet would be that, in all instances, the cessation of adequate hydration would result in a significant drop in weight. The significant gains in strength can be explained by a neural adaptation. Performing that many repetitions throughout the course of a single-day will reinforce the neural connections associated with producing that movement, thereby strengthening it. This is one of the reasons that physical therapists have their clients perform a few exercises several times a day throughout the rehabilitation process, opposed to just once. So what is the point of writing an article discussing a weigh to put on a few pounds of water? Simple. I have encountered innumerable athletes and lifters that have become extremely frustrated by their inability to put on weight and discouraged with their training. If they could perform a 12 hour protocol that boosted their weight noticeably, it may keep their motivation for training high. Also, the strength is real! Say what you want about the weight gain. If you’re an athlete, relative strength (strength per pound of body weight) is typically more important than absolute strength. 12 hours to a noticeable increase in strength…I’ll take it.
While it seems that many did not appreciate my attempt to add another tool to their training toolbox, my newsletter subscriber list increased dramatically. This reminds me of when Howard Stern first came on the radio and people that claimed to hate him tuned in anyway. When asked why they responded “I wanted to hear what he’d say next.” Stay tuned, articles on neural adaptations are coming soon…
Athlete, lifter, or other-everyone gets hurts nowadays. The injuries aren’t always traumatic. In fact, they’re usually nagging aches and pains that flare up just enough to interfere with your training. Unfortunately for me, I’ve had to deal with some sort of injury in almost every joint in my body. Fortunately for you, the experiences have given me the opportunity to experiment with a ton of corrective exercises and stretching patterns to learn what’s most effective. I’d like to add a question and answer section to these newsletters in the future. If you’re currently dealing with some sort of injury and want some help in working around it or some corrective exercises to help alleviate some of the pain, and strengthen the associated weaknesses, send me an email at email@example.com describing your situation in detail and I’ll make an effort to answer your inquiries in upcoming newsletters.
Today I spent a half hour on the phone with San Jose Sharks Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Mike Potenza. We ended up discussing how certain movement patterns can be trained off the ice that lead to significant on-ice improvements. One example was for defensemen that have to transition from backward skating to forward or lateral skating. An off-ice drill would be to backpedal for 10 yards, then open up to a side (either left or right), and sprint 15 yards in that direction. There are dozens of examples. The take home: If you’re an athlete and you’re ignoring movement patterns, you’re sprinting on one leg. You may get where you want to go, but you’ll be getting there in the slowest way possible. Efficient movement and strength go hand in hand. If you have strength without efficient movement, you end up expending a TON of energy as your muscles fight against each other to produce a smooth movement. For instance, your adductors (the muscles on the inside of your thigh) internally rotate your femur. Your gluteus maximus extends and laterally rotates the femur. If you have tight adductors (as all hockey players and most other athletes do), the glute max has to work double time to resist excessive internal rotation AND extend the hip. Almost invariably, this leads to a muscle becoming chronically tight, strained, or developing trigger points. Learn to move effectively and correct any imbalances you have. It will keep you injury-free and performing well for a long time.
Last, but not least, www.KevinNeeld.com is finally up and running. Having no web design experience, it was quite a project to put it all together. Check out the blog page. While most of the posts will be hockey specific, they will almost all have implications for other sports and for lifters alike, since many of the injuries and training program pitfalls are the same among various populations. Until next week…
Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.