Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jeff Friday to Become Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach for Bengals

I hope this letter finds you well and that the New Year has been full of fitness. I am writing this note to let you know about a significant and exciting transition in the weeks ahead.

Back to the NFL

I recently accepted the position of Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. As is customary in the NFL, the hiring process happened suddenly. The transition will not only reunite me with several former Ravens' coaches with whom I have worked with in the past, it will also bring my family closer to our hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We will be relocating to Cincinnati at the end of the school year.

Even as my wife, Jennifer and I look forward to this new opportunity, there is great
sadness at the thought of leaving Baltimore. The athletes, coaches, and clients I have had the privilege of serving over the past 11 years have had a profound impact on my life. My life has been greatly enriched by the relationships I have developed during my tenure with the Ravens as well as the evolution of ProShape Performance.

Unfortunately, I will be phasing out the day-to-day operations of ProShape Performance in Baltimore. I will, of course, continue to be available to our clients via email or phone.

Please know how very much I appreciate you and how thankful I am for the opportunity to serve you. I look forward to talking with you soon.


Jeff Friday
Owner & Head Coach
ProShape Performance

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Question: Post Workout Nutrition

Guys at work talk about protein shakes and muscle milk, etc. At my level (and given that I still like red wine and Godiva chocolate), would I really see any difference if I added that in after my workout?

Your friends at work are correct in that you should have protein and carbohydrates within 45 minutes of a workout. This can come via supplements or foods.

Muscle damage is one of the most significant effects of a resistance workout. During the 45 minute period after a workout your muscles are extremely sensitive and providing the right nutrients will cause a tremendous surge in anabolic (building) activity.

For adequate muscle growth, development, and replenishment, adhere to the following guidelines:
Within 45 minutes after a workout (↑ carbohydrates + ↔ protein).
Consuming a quality lean protein and carbohydrates will:
• Initiate tissue repair and sets the stage for muscle growth.
• Reduce muscle damage and bolsters the immune system.
• Speed the elimination of metabolic wastes by increasing muscle blood flow.
• Replenish muscle glycogen stores.

If you decide to use a supplement, choose a carbohydrate/protein product that also contains vitamin E and C and glutamine which strengthens the immune system.

Whey protein is an inexpensive yet fast acting protein that offers many advantages as a post-workout supplement.

Low fat chocolate milk is a great post-workout protein food.

The timing and right combination of nutrients will enhance your ability to gain strength and maintain energy. This replenishment scheme will help you achieve your goal of recovering as fast as possible for your next training session whether it be lifting, running, biking, swimming, etc.

I would also recommend the following:
1. Fish oil (reduces inflammation and tissue damage)
2. Multi-vitamin (strengthens the immune system)
3. Energy drink or gel product for fueling strategy during endurance activities – consider Hammer Gel (single serving package) http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HNT?PAGE=PRODUCT&PROD.ID=4039

I'm really seeing great progress with your workouts and I hate to change a good thing, but I need to start adding in some other activities to prepare for a 5k in March and 10k in April. Soon I'll have to start biking to get ready for my leg of the Iron Girl relay. I've never included the intense conditioning I'm doing with you. When do I reach the point of diminishing returns or overtraining?

As far as diminishing returns, I think you have to listen to your body so you don't over train and get injured. If you adhere to the recovery strategies of proper nutrition, sleep, and physical therapies, there is definitely a place for a MetaShape class or two in your weekly plan despite the other activities. The strength training provided in the MetaShape class will 1) enhance performance, 2) reduce the risk of injury, 3) correct muscle imbalances, and 4) prolong your athletic career.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Advice from a Pro: Scott Player

I recently posed the question to Scott Player, New York Sentinels (UFL) punter, of what he has learned during his 10 year NFL career. His answer:

1. Don’t believe everything you hear
2. Believe in yourself
3. Be persistent
Scott’s career echoes his advice in that he did not break into the NFL until the age of 28. A chronology of his career after college:

1993-1994 school teacher
1995 semi-pro & in the Canadian Football League (Birmingham Barracudas)
1996 Arizona Cardinals training camp
1997 New York Giants training camp – allocated to the World League
1998-2006 Arizona Cardinals
2007 Cleveland Browns for 3 games
2008 New England Patriots off-season
2009 New York Sentinels of the United Football League
Scott was a Pro Bowl selection in 2000 and would not have had such a successful career if he did not adhere to his own advice. How can you learn from Scott’s career to help you reach your potential?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baltimore Sun Article

The Howard County Housewives are official! Check out the article featuring the Housewives (+3) and the United Football League.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Question: Female, I am looking to tone my arms and upper body, but I’m concerned about getting bulky. Can you suggest some exercises?

I would like to address the concern about females getting “bulky” due to strength training. Women have a tendency to not participate in a strength program because they feel their muscles will look large and less feminine. A study has shown that the greatest increase in various body circumferences in women due to a ten week strength training program was 0.6 cm. These gains are barely noticeable. The same study also showed that the hip, thigh, and abdomen circumference actually decreased during the same time period. This is great news for females who want to strength train without the increased size of the muscles.

The average female has difficulty producing large “bulky” muscles because of their low testosterone level. Men typically have a 20 to 30 time’s higher testosterone level than women. Testosterone is the primary hormone that interacts with skeletal muscle tissue to increase its force potential and mass.

Another misconception is that females need a different strength training protocol than men. Research indicates that identical resistance training programs for men and women elicit the same, if not a greater, strength gain for women.

A third misconception is that females will become muscle bound when they initiate a strength training program. Muscle bound is a term that refers to a lack of flexibility. Again, research supports that strength training can cause an increase in flexibility.

The benefits of a strength training program are numerous. Scientific research does not support the misconceptions of a women’s strength training program such as developing “bulky” muscles, performing a separate routine than men, and losing flexibility.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Question: Shin Splints and Shoes

Ok, many of us seem to have questions about shin splints.....Could you please give an explanation about how to use the resistance band? Also, do your shoes have anything to do with shin splints?

The ankle and foot are the final weight bearing segments within the body; their stability and alignment play a crucial role in the function of all structures above these appendages. A pronated foot (flat foot) has a decreased vertical component in the arches, and a supinated foot (high arch) has an increased vertical component. Either deformity will negatively affect balance, muscle efficiency and performance. Putting weight on either of these types of feet will lead to compensation through the hips and low back. Running results in a force of three body weights per impact.

It is necessary for a runner to choose the right type of shoe to protect his/her body from the damaging effects of this exercise. Runners with flat feet need to choose a shoe with extra support through the heel and arch, while runners with high arches require shoes with absorption qualities.

Shoes are not the only answer to ankle stability. The muscles of the lower leg that surround the ankle joint act as a sling of support and must be properly developed to improve stability. A strengthening program for the ankle should include exercises for each of the four basic motions (dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, inversion, and eversion). Muscles imbalances may result in strains. People who overtrain their calves may develop shin splints. If the muscles are balanced, they will distribute forces evenly.

Exercise bands are an excellent alternative as a tool in strengthening your ankles. The exercise bands are flattened loops of rubber tubing of varying widths. The width of the band determines its strength. Bands are available from ¼ inch to 1 ½ inches. Exercise bands can be purchased at most sporting goods stores.

In order to strengthen the ankle dorsiflexors (shin muscles); anchor a band around a sturdy support at floor level. While facing the anchor, sit on the floor with your legs straight ahead of you. Place the band around the ball of your foot. Without bending your knee, slowly pull the top of your foot towards you. Slowly return to the starting position.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Question: Increase Your Testosterone Levels

I have recently heard that working larger muscles in the beginning of your workout releases more testosterone throughout your body and that this will benefit you during the rest of your workout. Because of this, I have decided to incorporate a quick 5-set leg workout before I hit my regular weights for that day. Is this true/the right idea?

Testosterone is the primary hormone that interacts with skeletal muscle tissue. It has both direct and indirect effects on muscle tissue. Basically, the effects of testosterone can enhance the force production potential and mass of the muscle. Several exercise variables can increase testosterone concentrations:

• Large – muscle group exercises (squats, deadlift)
• Heavy resistance (85-95% of one-repetition maximum)
• Moderate to high volume of exercises, achieved with multiple sets, multiple exercises, or both
• Short rest intervals (30 seconds to 1 min)
• 2 yrs or more of resistance training experience

Your quick 5 set leg workout would qualify as a protocol to increase your testosterone levels. If time does not allow (as it does for the majority of the population), a wide variety of exercise protocols have been shown to elicit increases in testosterone.