Mike Robertson recently released his “Bulletproof Athlete Project“, an outstanding training program series that suits the needs of current and former athletes alike. Mike has been a great resource for me over the years, so I wanted to take this opportunity to get him on the site to do an interview. If you had an opportunity to watch the three free videos Mike released last week, you know he knows his stuff. The interview below provides a lot of great insight into developing effective training programs. Enjoy!
KN: Mike, first and foremost, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share some of your insight and experience with us. I think most of the people reading this are familiar with your work, but for those that aren’t, can you give us a quick glimpse of your training philosophy as a whole, and how you approach training your clients at IFAST?
MR: Wow, Kev, way to start me off with an easy question!
In all seriousness, I think my core belief is that movement is our foundation. Proper mobility, stability, and the ability to perform basic movement patterns like squats, lunges, hip hinges and push-ups are critical to our development.
I’m probably not too far off from Gray Cook in that regard – you need a basic movement foundation before you move forward.
From there, I think it’s all about putting the pieces of the puzzle together. So you move well, now what?
Do you need to get stronger?
Do you need to develop the appropriate energy systems?
That’s where things get fun. But it all comes down to that foundation on which to build.
Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training
KN: A thorough assessment really helps with both tracking a client’s results, as well as individualizing their programs. Can you talk about the importance of program individualization, both from “corrective” and goal standpoints?
The assessment is the cornerstone of our process. Without an assessment, I really don’t know how you write a program because you’re just guessing as to how a client moves, feels, etc.
So we use the assessment as a two-part process:
From there, it’s pretty simple – you develop a program that merges what you know they need, with what they want to get out of training.
KN: A lot of people tend to focus on the “stimulus” components of the training process and largely overlook the “recovery” components. How do you approach coaching recovery with your clients, and what are some things you think the majority of people are missing?
MR: I think just opening up the “recovery” conversation is a huge step forward in the athlete-coach relationship.
We start off with simple questions initially:
In the beginning, it’s all about opening up the door to that conversation, and getting them thinking about recovery.
After you’ve started to lay that foundation, then you can get deeper into it, given the client is on board.
This could be tools such as tracking heart rate variability or resting heart rate. It could be something that you as a coach do, like a quick 2-3 questionnaire prior to their training on how motivated they are to train, how much they slept, quality of sleep, etc.
The bottom line is, this is the next step in the process. We’ve talked ad nauseum about training and nutrition, but recovery is the third pillar and we need to put more of a focus on it, especially in today’s society.
KN: You recently released your “The Bulletproof Athlete Project”, and I was fortunate to grab a copy of it right away. After reviewing it, I’ve been really impressed with how well you’ve been able to integrate all of the things you just discussed (individualizing correctives, effective programming for folks with different training goals, simple but extremely effective recovery strategies, etc.) into one cohesive package. For those that haven’t seen it, can you give a sneak peak into how it’s laid out, and how may benefit from it?
MR: Thanks Kevin. I think it’s pretty awesome, too, but I’m a little biased!
Here are a few goals I had when I created the product:
Now let’s go through each of those individually.
I laid out the first program, and quickly realized it wasn’t perfect (and definitely not for everyone). So what I did from that point was use that as a skeleton, and then created a shorter version for busy clients/athletes, and a longer version for people who had the time and energy to get full-on beastmode.
My next goal was to merge training, nutrition and recovery. Let’s be honest, training programs are a dime a dozen these days. But I can’t think of one single program out there that gives you a program, and teaches you how to eat more nutritiously and helps you improve recovery to boot.
Another key to the program was giving people a training foundation they can build from going forward. If you’re anything like me, you probably just jumped right into training with no real movement foundation. Couple that with little or no coaching, and it’s no wonder we have so many beat up clients in our gyms.
This program will break you down to build you up. It will give you the movement foundation you need to be successful going forward.
Last but not least, I hate my own training when it’s boring or monotonous. I grew up an athlete, playing every sport known to man. So when I go in the gym and train like an athlete, it’s just a heckuva lot more fun than any other type of training I can imagine.
So there was a ton of thought that went into all this, and I think it shows as BPA is a really creative and unique product.
KN: Mike, thanks again for taking the time to do this. I’ve learned a lot from you over the years, so it’s always great to get your perspective! Where can people learn more about you, IFAST, and The Bulletproof Athlete Project?
MR: Thanks a ton for having me Kevin. I’ve learned a thing or two from you as well, so don’t act so damn humble!
You can find out more about myself at RobertsonTrainingSystems.com, and more about IFAST at IFASTonline.com.
And if you’d like to learn more about the Bulletproof Athlete Project, please check it out ASAP as it’s on sale for $50 off this week only!
To your success,
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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.