Next Assignment

Hey all, I know you have been waiting for it.  We gave you a couple of weeks off, and now, here it is, your next assignment:


Each of you are doing a variety of things in various places this summer.  Take a look at past comments on the blog (from fellow classmates), find something interesting, and ask them a question about what they are doing.  This could relate to how they are coaching, what their perspective on a specific training method is, etc.  In return, when you are asked a question, you must respond to it.  You all have a wealth of information right now that you didn’t two months ago, let’s share it.

This assignment will be due no later than Friday, July 27th at 5:00 pm.


Each of the numerous sites I have visited over the past weeks have been interesting and all different.  However, the responses of the supervisors are the same, “Send us more SC students.”  You have no idea of great it is to hear this.  I look forward to hearing more of this as I get ready to head to Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Montana this week.  Keep up the excellent work, and for further advancing our reputation.

Take care


47 Responses to “Next Assignment”

  1. Colleen Faltus Says:

    okkkk so i will be the first one to respond to this question……….I am going to gear this question to Mike and Henry and anyone else with a primary focus in strength and conditioning

    When first entering into the strength and conditioning field prior to having experience in this concentration, how did you adapt to learning the ins and outs of creating and designing a strength and condititiong program and what approaches did you take to become more familiar with the intricacies of designing a program (Ex. Is exposure to the anatomy and physiology behind each exercise helpful in being able to comprehend the design of a specified strength program)?

    How would you or how does the strength and conditioning program you are currently working under handle incoming student-athletes that have never had prior epxerience with the strength and conditioning aspects of the sport before? In other words, how would you initially start off a freshman athlete in the strength and conditioning program in regards to modalities and resistance used?

  2. Mike Tremble Says:


    Thanks for the great question. I was really lucky to fall in to two great internships both in Austin. Last summer I worked with Train 4 the Game and this summer I am with the University of Texas Basketball team. Both sites share similar training philosophies and training methods. That put me at a direct advantage this summer especially when designing programs because I already had a base to build upon. The most important things to take in to consideration are the physical demands of the sport that the athlete will be playing and how dos the athlete move in relation to the movement demands of that sport. We use a movement screen that is similar to that of Gary Gray Functional Movement Screen, but we have tweaked it to be more specific. Colleen I am going to answer both of your questions in this one response because I also feel that how we deal with new athletes will tell you a lot about how I design programs. But first I would like to go in to the second part of question one. What I think you were asking was how important is functional anatomy in program design? I would say that it is crucial. For every exercise I think that the coach better have a reason for why he or she does it. Without this the coach risks losing their credibility or worse potentially hurting an athlete due to a lack of knowledge. To truly understand functional anatomy a coach must also understand movement patterns and the chain of events that occur as soon as the foot makes contact with the ground. A major resource for me in learning functional anatomy is Gary Gray’s Functional Video Digest series. It is a series of videos put out by the Gray Institute for Functional Training and has been extremely helpful in advancing my learning in both functional anatomy and program design.

    In program design I like to watch as much of the sport as possible and observe the sport specific movements necessary for success. For example how much linear, lateral, or multidirectional movement is required? Here we do a lot of overhead action in our exercises and pivoting among other things because basketball requires so much of both. In terms of adapting to the system and designing programs I just tried to surround myself with as much material as possible and run everything I write by a coach. Listening to my athletes has also helped me out immensely. If one of my exercises hurts of pinches and athlete I will avoid or tweak it. what I mean by tweak is if I have someone in a lunge position and I have them reaching in different planes if they are unable to get through the full range of motion I might change their stance by bringing the back foot closer, bending more in the front knee, or maybe widening the stance.

    For new athletes we have a specific protocol that everyone goes through. We begin with a postural analysis, just looking at how the stand from the front side and back. Then we put them on the table and take a look at their feet. What we check in the feet is a few things; one we look at big toe hallux, next for mid-tarsal joint mobility and thirdly for calcaneal eversion. After the table we move them on to the floor where we ask them to keep their shoes off. We watch their gait. We look for whether the athlete is toed in or out or if they have a normal or abnormal arm swing. They are then asked to go through a series of excursion tests. We look at tri-planar motion of the ankle joint, hip, and thoracic spine. We would then design their program based upon how they load the kinetic chain in tri-planar action.

    I hope this helped.

    Mike T.



    Is there any way that you could provide us with a list of everyone doing internships and where they are at? It would help out a lot as far as who I can gear my questions towards.

  3. Mark Novellano Says:

    This question is for David Forrette

    I am looking into doing an internship at equinox abbd even applying for a job there when I graduste. The certs Im going to try and get before tahat are NSCA-CPT or CSCS not sure which one would br btter at first and NASM-CESwhich involves rehabilitatiion and muscle balance correcting injuries which I think is good to have wherever way you go bc injuries occur all the time . What are the common certifications there of the employees. I would like to also like to know briefly what main principles do the practice what some range of philosophies used and what I could do to prepare myself to be able to fit in there. I know it will be a different facility but im sure the standards are the same. Im really intrested in how an equinox facility works. If you can help me out with some advice and input it will hwlp out tramendously .Thank you

  4. Mark Novellano Says:

    I am looking into doing an internship at equinox and try and get before that are NSCA-CPT or CSCS not sure which one would br better at first and NASM-CESwhich involves rehabilitatiion and muscle balance correcting injuries. Which I think is good to have whichever way you go bc injuries occur all the time . What are the common certifications of the employees that work there. I would like to also like to know briefly what main principles do the practice what some are some variety of philosophies used and what I could do to prepare myself to be able to fit in there. I know it will be a different facility but im sure the standards are the same. Im really intrested in how an equinox facility works. If you can help me out with some advice and input it will help out tramendously .Thank you
    this is the proofed readed blog sorry bout the first one I sent I by accident.

  5. Mark Novellano Says:

    sorry bout the typing on the first 2 iits hard typing with one hand.

    I am looking into doing an internship at equinox, but also looking to possibly apply for a job there. The certifications I am looking at obtaining before that are NSCA-CPT or CSCS not sure which one would be better at first. Also NASM-CESwhich involves rehabilitatiion and muscle balance correcting injuries. Which I think is good to have whichever way you go bc injuries occur all the time . What are the common certifications of the employees that work there. I would like to also like to know briefly what main principles do the practice what some are some variety of philosophies used and what can I do to prepare myself to be able to fit in there. I know it will be a different facility but im sure the standards are the same. Im really intrested in how an equinox facility works. If you can help me out with some advice and input it will help out tramendously .Thank you
    this is the proof read blog sorry bout the others I sent them by accident.

  6. Mark Novellano Says:

    That question is for David Forrette, again sorry about posting my question so many times it was late and I was typing with one hand

  7. Colleen Faltus Says:

    Hey Mike if you check under assignment #1 you will find the vast majority of all the interns and where they are located for their internships this summer……….thank you so much for the response to my questions it really helped out alot!!

  8. Mike Tremble Says:

    thanks Colleen… i am glad it helped… how is your internship going? Coach Wright speaks very highly of the strength coach at PC.

  9. Colleen Faltus Says:

    my internship is going well…..i just have to get used to becoming familiar with strength and conditioning and designing programs

  10. Ryan Koenig Says:

    This question is for anyone who is doing their internship at with a college, as a strength and conditioning coach. Coming in as an intern to a school where no one knows who you are, do the athletes give you the respect you deserve, and take the time to listen to you when you correct them or criticize them? Sometimes i think that when your working with college athletes who have been training for sometime, they will be more likely to think that they know it all, and they dont need your help. Is this the case sometimes, or do all the athletes look at you as a professional in the field of strength and conditioning, and take you seriously.

  11. Colleen Faltus Says:

    Ryan I think this is a great question that all strength and conditioning coaches should look at when they enter either the collegiate or even professional level of strength and conditioning.
    I am currently at Providence College right now. All the athletes that I am working with right now are very respectful of me and understand that I am interning at PC in order to earn credits for school. When I offer the athletes advice on how to correct their form on a particular drill they will listen intently on what I have to say. However there are some athletes that will not listen regardless unless I am the head strength and conditioning coach. As an intern you need to prove yourself to some athletes by having strong communication skills with these athletes and making sure that they understand that you can really help them progress towards future strength goals and improvement within their own sport.
    Since I am at PC every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I see the same athletes come in on all three days. Unless these athletes are inncoming freshman, then these athletes are very familiar with their own strength program and wish to do things on their own. These athletes either work out with various other memebers from their own sports team or just run through the strength program by themselves. They are very self-sufficient and will only ask for help if it is absolutely neccessary. At the same time to, as a strength coach, you have to learn to fall back a little bit instead of being on top of the athletes all the time. By falling back and letting the athletes go through the strength program themselves wil allow them to learn faster and become more acquainted with the ins and out of the strength program without the assistance of a strength coach at all times.

  12. Mike Tremble Says:


    I had to work really hard to be treated professionally. The thing that did it for me was to figure out who the leader of the team is and i got really close with him. I would work really hard with him on his lifts rebounded for him during practice etc… after 2 weeks of that things fell in to place.

  13. Nick DeCele Says:

    This question is for those who are not in a strength and conditioning setting. Do you find it more difficult or less difficult to create workouts for clients? Is there a general workout you follow for the general public? I know that everyone is different, but how close to the ACSM guidelines do you have to stay (pretty much what I mean by that is how creative are you able to get with your workouts)?

  14. Brian Bert Says:

    This question is for Colleen, i read that you have been doing alot of plyometric work. I also find this a very essential part of strength and conditioning. I was wondering what some of the plyo’s were that u are using at PC. I am actually writing a program now and i was trying to think of some good plyo’s i could use for training womens basketball. i have some good ideas i was just wondering if u had any ideas that you use with Providence’s basketball program. I hope your internship is going well and i am looking forward to hear back from you.

  15. David Forrette Says:


    I would have to say that designing programs for the general public is a bit more nerve racking simply because it is all based on a case-to-case system. Something for one client will not be appropriate potentially for another. For me, I have been trying my best to keep things simple at Equinox, but at times I find myself staring at my program blankly because there are so many exercise choices for joint movements or biomechanical movements I would like to encorporate, but know I have a limited amount of time to work with that one person. Also, taking into account their goals, experience, and injuries (if any) sometimes can cause me to overthink what I am actually doing. In my best efforts, I have been trying to look at two major components: goals and health. If a client wants more upper body strength, and has no physical limitations (injury or medical condition) then just stick to the basics, such as a bench press or DB press and progress them to harder exercises as they become more effecient with the exercise.

    In regards to guidelines, they do really help. Being NSCA, there is obviously some stricter guidelines when beginning with a new client, such as multijoint movement prior to single joint, bilateral before unilateral, proximal before distal, etc. Even though this may seem limiting when just beginning with a client, through adaptation the client will soon be accustomed to many movements or exercises (some advance quicker than others) and you can then begin to change the variables. The room for creativity is always there, a major reason being that some individuals will not be able to do the exercise you initially want, so you tweak it into something brand new perhaps. I’ve had the experience to see where a trainer needed to modify an exercise for their client, creating something that I had never seen before. So I think that even though there are guidelines perhaps to order of exercises, sets, reps, etc., there is a great amount of room for targeting different muscle groups and joint motions that can add a great amount of variety to your program. Hope that helps!

  16. David Forrette Says:

    Hey Mark, how’s the summer going?

    In respect to your question (which I am sorry I did not answer first, shows how much I read up here =/ ), I have seen a wide variety of ceritifications here at Equinox. They do have a strong affiliation with the NSCA, and a good amount of trainers here do have either their CPT or CSCS. But, I have also seen that many do have NASM backgrounds, whether it be the CES or PES, and they have given me a great insight to aspects the NSCA does not look into. We do have at least 1 trainer with ACE, and I do not believe I have encounted someone with an ACSM certification yet.

    As far as principles and philosophies go, I have seen a variety of both. A common one is that the principles of program design are based on a NSCA model, in which we utilize a 3 cycle system of exercise: base building, balance and coordination, specialized movements and advanced training. Each stage has its main concentration, but of course, they are tailored to the goals and needs of every client. The great thing about Equinox Mark is that we do not stop learning. About 3 weeks ago we had two individuals from Kettlebell Athletics come in and run a group of us through their KB Level 1 cert. I am involved right now in a case study looking at program desigin of a designated candidate and the differences between a 6-week, 2 days/week program and a 6-week, 3 days/week program. On top of that, all the trainers love to critique and talk about different approaches, exercises, movements and ideas about different goals, injuries, or programs that we are experiencing. It is very close to a giant think tank, and the managers are amazing at helping everyone out when needed.

    Lastly Mark, the standards and expectations are actually much higher than any other facility. I will admit I was a bit depressed early on, spending 40 hours a week doing floor shifts and minor trainings on how Equinox does things, but it is needed tremendously. There were days I felt that I couldn’t get things to go right, but I am happy to say the waiting time has paid off. My manager told me that at any other gym, I would have started training clients in the first week. It took my until yesterday to do my first fitness evaluation, and I am not ashamed or upset it took that long after looking back at all I had to learn. I’d love to talk to you on the side about coming in to see Equinox if you would like, and I can answer some of those questions more indepth for you. Hope that explains a bit Mark!

    Contact info:

  17. David Forrette Says:

    This question goes out in a general sense to those individuals that are working in a public setting (sorry to those strength and performance coaches), whether it be personal training, clinical, youth, etc.

    What has been the hardest skill or concept that you had to learn that SC did not prepare you for? I have spoken with Dr. Jones that the Strength and Conditioning program is very strong due to having a large concentration on it, while personal training and other public or commercial avenues are still in the works. For those individuals like myself that are trying to feel out that career path, what were the “bumps in the road” if you will, that you encountered?

  18. Colleen Faltus Says:

    Hey Brian…….hope your internship at URI is going well also

    Yes, like I said before PC does various plyometrics for all teams that come in. In regards to the men’s basketball team in particular, we will do plyo pushups either on med balls or even plyo boxes. Progression will be used depending on whether the athlete is an incoming freshman or is familiarized with the program. We would start with basic pushups and then untilize med balls and the plyo boxes to enhance the difficulty of the exercise. We also use plyos for lateral and forward box jumps, either at speed or just to make sure the athlete is sticking the landing. Although these are the primary ways we use plyos at PC there are various other areas that can utilize these. Not only do plyo boxes have to be used but hurdles can tke the place of the plyo boxes as well.

    Hope this helps

  19. Colleen Faltus Says:

    hey Nick……although I am doing my internship with strength and conditioning I would like to give you some input in regards to personal training since I have done some PT myself.
    First and foremost there is not one particular workout that I use to target toward the general public. All the clients that you are going to see are going to have different contraindications to exercsie, fitness levels, experience with lifting or even use of the equipment in the gym or setting your in, and different likes and dislikes. Although I feel that the ACSM is a very good baseline for personal trainers, like yourself, to use to risk stratify and comprehend the ability of your client to do specific exercsies based on their fitness level, I feel that a consultation with your client and a review of their medical history and health questionnairee is an even greater standard (more relative) for predicting where your client is at in terms of fitness and health. After reviewing their medical history and understanding their own goals for the future, I think it is easier for a personal trainer to create a workout for that particular client. Like i said before I do not have a particular workout I use for the genral public since all of the clientel you will be working with are going to be completely different. However, when I do have a client that is new to a gym I prefer starting the client off on weight assisted machines and do a mini circuit with the client. I feel that starting the client off with free weights initially would not be appropriate since they may not have proper technique and their own comfort level with free weights may not be there yet. Also I feel that with free weights you may need more core strength than if you were utilizing a weight assisted machine and most of these clients will come in with lumbar and abdominal weakness, something that must be worked on prior to advancing towards free weights.
    In reagrds to creativity, you can be as creative as your client is fit. What I mean by that is the more fit your client becomes the more equipment you can utilize in your program to spice things up (For example adding a kick boxing class to your clients routine for cardio…..and most gyms do have kick boxing classes free of charge for members or even adding in stability balls for resistance exercsies)!!! So like I said as the client progresses so too will your program and this could actually be part of your client’s goals……to be bale to work with stabilty balls or med balls and what not!!!

    Okkkk sorry I hope you did not mind my input…..but hope it helps!!

  20. Mike Tremble Says:

    This question is for anyone who wants to answer.

    What do think about doing an internship 450 or 90 in another part of the country (not the new england area)? What are the benefits? What are the detriments? Given an opportunity where money would not be an issue would you have gone somewhere else than where you are at right now? Why>


  21. Anthony Papacoda Says:


    In response to your second question, Coach Kamal actually has an evaluation that each incoming freshman/transfer athlete must complete prior to starting their exercise program with us. It consists of 7 exercises (Overhead BB Squat, Side Hip Thrust with Abduction, SB push-up to name a few) in which there is a point scale to determine their results. What we evaluate them on are things such as hip extension/flexiblity, Quad strength, ankle flexiblity, etc. and from there we are able to see some problem areas which can be worked on once training camp and the season start. Suprisingly, we have had a wide array of results, with guys scoring in the 20th percentile all the way up to the 90th percentile.
    As for the training program, they have a seperate program from the upperclassmen. It is a developmental workout which works a lot on flexibility and somewhat lighter weights in order for them to perform exercises such as squats, and olympic lifts correctly. Many of the auxillary exercises are the same as the upperclassmens lifts, it is just the core lifts are altered.

    In response to Ryan’s question:
    Surprisingly I have not run into a problem with the athletes treating me with disrespect. From the moment I arrived, the athletes have been respectful, as well as listen to whatever words of advice that I have had. Between my internship at Holy Cross and here at Bucknell, I have been very lucky to have been surrounded by hard-working and respectful athletes. That was something that coming in I was worried about, like yourself. These schools are both Division I and I thought that they would be a bunch of know-it-alls who wouldn’t listen to some kid who is just out of college. I was surprisingly wrong the minute that I walked into both training facilities.

    A similar question that I had concerning that was: Do you feel that you are more comfortable being thrown right into the action of coaching the athletes or you need to feel yourself around first and slowly get to know what is going on before you start making yourself more vocal?

  22. Mike Tremble Says:


    Thanks a lot you can answer their questions but not mine…. awesome man…. thanks. I dont think i can use the buddy system with you anymore…

    seriously though i hope all is going well this summer.


  23. Anthony Papacoda Says:


    You do not mean that…you know I am more of a reliable buddy than drew.
    As for me I am no longer in the New England area doing my 450. It is a completely different experience, because the way of life is different here in Pennsylvania. Everything is much slower, and you almost have to adjust to it because it is not like the fast paced, Northeastern region of the country. Also, the type of athlete seems to be different as well. Many of the athletes that are from this region and from the south seem to be better athletes than the ones from our area. Some of the incoming freshman that are training with us are very strong and their athletic ability seems to be much higher than we can see back home. As for choosing Pennsylvania, I chose Bucknell because I wanted to get an experience that was further than home, as well as work with a coach who is very knowledgable and has a coaching style which I like.

    P.S. Hope Texas is treating you well….definately stay in touch!

  24. Jesse Demers Says:

    This is in response to POPS and the question about gaining respect from the athletes. I feel that when you go into a new situation it is important to be vocal from the beginning. When you are shy or timid the athletes may feel you are not a leader or maybe that you are scared of the situation. You must think about this like a try out for a team. For instance when you try out for a football team the coaches watch you from the time you step on the field to the time you step off. That is how the players also view you. It is all about first impression. Iam not saying you need to be intense but you must make your presence felt on the first day. Make sure you gain trust. By being thrown into the situation there is a term i like to use ” Being Baptized by Fire” meaning that your true side comes out when you get tossed in to a situation. These situations can make or break you. Use these situations to learn. One thing I commonly hear about SC kids. Most of the talk is about how natural we are, we seem to have the ability to take over a situation and make it better. I mean that’s just how we do it.

    … The question i have to any one is… How have your philosophies changed since entering your internships?

  25. Mike Tremble Says:

    Thanks Pops… I know that you are a better buddy than Drew. He would leave me in that staircase in a heartbeat and feed me to the wolves. I am glad your experience is going well. Enjoy the rest of your 450 man and good luck in the months after.


  26. Lisa Thomas Says:

    This question is for emma, and anyone else interning with a wellness center.

    Em, how do you feel about the jumps starts and new member orientation type training you are doing? Do you feel as though it is drawing on the knowledge we have gained with SC? I know that I do similar things at my internship, and I personally cant stand it. Especially being limited to how much creativity I can put into ex prescriptions. Also, how do you feel about the use of machines, such as nautilus in place of free weight exercises.

  27. Anthony Papacoda Says:

    Jesse I completely agree with you on that response….the way I feel is that in order to gain a good experience is to actually be in contact with the athletes and show them what you are all about. In both my 90 and 450, the moment I arrived I was already interacting with the athletes and helping them get better. If I showed them in any way that I was timid…I feel that they would not have trusted me as much and probably doubted my ability to make them better.
    As for your question, I do not feel that my philosophies have changed since entering this internship. My philosophy leaves me with a No-Bull attitude and that is the way I feel I coach. Sure there are times when activities are more laid back, but when it comes time to work, you must initiate the tempo and get them motivated to attack the weights.

  28. Colleen Faltus Says:

    Okkk so first to answer Mike’s quetion about training in ther parts of the country….I feel that whether you are in New England or even downsouth you are going to experience different styles of training and different philosophies on how to get your athletes stronger and more fit. I feel that by just staying in new england you are limiting yourself in terms of different approaches of training and what philosohies fit you best. By just staying in one distinct area you are marginalizing yourself and not being open minded to othe ideas and types of training that could benefit yuin the long run in any field of study you would enter into. I feel that it is essential to get a taste of what other parts of the country have to offer in regards to strength and condititoning, personal training, cardiac rehab, etc in order to becoe more familair with what works best for you.

    To answer Jesse’s question about philosophies changing or not changing I would have to say that ever time I walk into the strength room my goal is to make the athete’s stronger and see obvious benefits from their training. I want all of the athlete’s to come into the strength room with the attitude that tey are their to train hard and not mess around. The athletes will give 100% every time they walk into the strength room and leave the strength room satisified knowing they have put in a solid workout. PHILOSOPHY: TRAIN HARD OR GO HOME!

  29. Andrea Gallo Says:

    This is a question for anyone who has experienced this or a similar situation:

    Have any of you run into a trainer (either strength or personal) who had a client/athlete performing an exercise, whether it be a plyo, lift, or even a progression, that seemed to go against what we have been taught at SC? If so, how did you approach the coach and did they give you a sound explaination? We are all still new to the field and I feel that asking questions about certain training methods can help us form our own.

  30. joe knauer Says:

    Hey guys… It looks like most of you have had quite a different experience then the rest of you. I completed my internship at a cardiac rehab facility and mostly faced an older population, at least everyone 50+. In some of the training plans you have designed or routines you have created have you put any thoughts into the future of these clients? For when they are in the 50+ stages of their lives. For the strength coaches out there are you worried about neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, or cardiac problems clients may face when they reach an older age due to heavy lifting they may have done? Anyone feel free to answer.

  31. Andrea Gallo Says:


    I do my internship at a sport specific training facility, and I’m pretty sure that the athletes aren’t concidering what aches and pains they will deal with when they are older. Heavy lifting, plyos, and physical contact will rough up one’s body, no doubt. In the weight room I think it is important to teach the athlete form so that they do not put any unnecessary stress on themselves. My internship often travels to other facilities to train teams, and from time to time there will not be an adequate surface for plyometrics so we can’t do them. Incorporating pre-hab activities into a routine can benefit an athlete in helping prevent injury that may cause them probelms later on in their lives. With older athletes who may be nearing the end of their career, it may be beneficial to talk to them about how their program will change when they no longer need to train for competition. As for cardiac problems encouraging the athelte to do some sort of cadrio besides their sport can help them, and also letting them know why it is good for them so they they hopfully continue after the sports end. Athletes are encouraged to become stronger, so it’s necessary to put together a sound program that strenghtens the whole body with out over stressing them. Every individual is different, and I think the best thing to do is educate the athlete on how what they do every day can effect their current and future health.


  32. Tony R Larkin Says:

    Hey all,

    To answer Andrea’s question about an exercise being taught differently, I would have to say that the way Olympic lifts are taught here are much different than anywhere else I have seen or read. Instead of going through all the progressions that are taught at SC (i.e., RDL, hang shrug, hang pull, catch, full hang clean) we teach a basic sequence here at Holy Cross that sets everyone up for the lift. All newcomers are taught this and I have asked Ollie (Head Strength Coach) about this set-up (it’s really odd the first time seeing it). His response was that, overall, he has had a lot more success with his athletes using the “rock” method and they tend to pick it up a lot quicker than performing the standard clean. Okay, to technique: 1. Starting stance is similar to the starting stance of a hang clean. 2. The first movement is a “sitting” motion with the weight resting just above the knees as the arms are kept straight. 3. From this sitting position, athletes are instructed to straighten out their legs while pushing their butts back, creating a stretch in the hamstrings. 4. This is where both methods come together (at the stretch-shortening cycle). Once the stretch is felt the athletes are told to explode and jump while catching too complete the clean.

    It’s a bit of a different set-up, but in the end, it produces the same result. My question are to those that have dealth with patellar tendinosis. What kind of protocol have you administered to those athletes that have come in with it? Decreasing volume? Focusing on increasing strength in the posterior chain? Both? Thanks.

  33. Chris Fee Says:

    I would first like to say that the above comments are impressive.

    Question for Pops:

    Anthony when I was talking to you on the phone last you were talking about this evaluation period you do with the incoming freshman. Do you feel that this is effective? Also, did you have any freshman that were at the standards of what you guys look for?

    I understand that this question was put up late Anthony.

  34. Anthony Papacoda Says:


    It is fine that the question was put up late lol….As for your answer, I feel that the evaluation is exteremely effective because it gives us an idea of what level they are at training wise. Some guys are overall good, good in certain areas, or just bad overall and need tremendous amounts of work. Most of the guys that we evaluated already have been here for most of the summer, and we have seen a ton of progress in their overall flexibility, core strength and overall ability to perform exercises. All of the guys do go through the same developmental program together, but some of the guys who are weaker in areas have shown great improvement, whereas the guys who are already pretty good lifters have shown us that they can definately compete with the upperclassmen.
    As for any freshman that were at the standards of what we look for, I’d have to say yes for about 4 of the guys, after doing 15 or so evaluations thus far. They came in very strong with a few minor spots to be corrected and they are improving each day here. A few of the guys are already record holders and they haven’t even officially started here!

    I’ll be talking to you soon Fee…I’ll be home for a few days tomorrow, to rest up before camp starts.

  35. Henry Ruggiero Says:


    Sorry it has taken so long for me to answer your question things have just been really busy. Ok an answer to your first question regarding program design. This may be a cop out answer but here goes anyway. I think the biggest thing that I have learned this summer is how little program design means if you can’t coach. It doesn’t matter how great of a program you write if you can’t coach your athletes properly to do it.

    I think one big mistake that a lot of people, including myself, make when first getting into this field is that we want to go right to the good stuff, we want to be a the head coach we want to write the program the revolutionizes the field. Well what I have learned is that you can only use smoke in mirrors for so long, that when it comes down to it you need to be able to coach. I am not saying that program writing is not important because it is extremely important, but the point I am trying to make is that you don’t just go from working in the mail room to being CEO it’s a process and the first step is learning to coach and as you learn to coach you read on your own and pick things up from those around you on how to write a proper program.

    I could sit here and throw out a bunch of ideas to you about different types of periodization and making sure that you have an introductory period for new athletes, and talk about detraining weeks and relative intensity, but what I have found is that it doesn’t mean anything until you’ve seen it in action and been around it, that’s how you understand how to write a program in my opinion.

    Plus to added to that if I did try to explain it would be a lot of typing haha. But if you want to IM me my screen name is Hank2the2tank and I’d be more than happy to talk shop.

    Now as for your second question. Our athletes come in and all go through flexibility testing and then baseline testing to get training max’s for them and we also measure vertical jump. We take heights and weights as well pictures so we can physically show them the changes that take place to their body. In terms of the programming a lot of the exercises we use at BC we teach as a progression. So an athlete may start on a bear squat but as their flexibility increases they then get under a bar etc. things like that. But obviously we start them out working as a group by themselves not with the veterans and they are working at a much lower and more moderate intensity. I think what is also important to remember is that we are working with high level division one athletes who’s bodies can handle a great deal of stress because a lot of these kids are so genetically gifted. Many of them adapt very easily to coming into a new program even if they haven’t lifted. Now I cannot say this for sure but working with division three athletes and especially high school athletes who are not as genetically inclined I think it may be harder to progress them through a program as quickly.

    Okay that’s just my brief take on things hope everything is going well at PC.


  36. Henry Ruggiero Says:

    Okay I’m going to throw my two cents in on a bunch of things now sorry if it seems like I’m shooting my mouth off I don;t mean to.

    In terms of gaining respect from athletes I think there is a lot that is involved. I think it starts with the head coaches in the weight room and of the indvidual teams, if they set a tone that they demand respect and that they demand there athletes to respect all of the staff i think it definetley makes things easier. But in terms of gaining respect i think the most important thing is to remember where you are at you are not a head coach you are an intern that is most likely the same age or close to the same age as these athletes so try not to talk down to them. Take an intertest in them outside of their sport and talk to them about that. When kids are in strong divsion one programs the last thing they want is another coach harping on them especially when one that is still wet behind the ears and the other last thing that want to do is talk or be questioned more about there sport and what they are doing. These are college kids they have lives they do other stuff talk to them about that and then start throiwng stuff out there about lifting. I’m lucky at BC because I have to stretch athletes before every lift so i get to sit and talk with them and learn more about them. Through communicating with them I build trust and let them know I am taking an intrest in who they are then they in turn will do whatever i ask. Thats been my strategy so far and it seems to have worked well.

    I would without a doubt, and plan on, going to another part of the country/world. My main reason is for networking. I want to have as big a network as possible, I want to have contacts all over the place not just in one region. THis will allow me to be exposed to many different philosophies and ideas. The detremints are you have to leave everything you have known and been comfortable with but in my eyes that is almost more of a plus. Also it allows you to expereince another style of life and learn more about that as well.

    I think you always need to get into a place and keep your mouth shout putting in hard work for a while before you start coaching, at leat in an internship role. I know some places don’t want this and willt ell you to jump right into coaching and if they do more power to you. But my take is how can you coach what you don’t know? You have to see how a place teachers certain things, the language they use, the way they want things done before you can go telling others how to do it. Thats my take at least.

    Just from expereince from petallar tendonitis, I have found strengthening the quad to be even more benficial. You strengthen the quad and it no longer alwos the knee cap to rup as much because it can absorb more force. Also try using more of an open stance when squating point the toes outward about 10-20 degress and see how that feels allows for potentially better tracking of the knee. Finally look into the petelavator by medspec best piece of bracing equipment there is for tendonitis.

    People do stupid crap evey where and teach stuff wrong all the time. They see something once think its cutting edge and then try and use it. Along those same lines, everythin we learn at SC isn;t absolute, meaning that it isn;t the only way to do things there are hundreds of different variations and ways of doing things. Thats the beauty of this field you have the freedom to put your own take and spin on things, create your own philosophies based on others or you own knowledge, just try not to hurt anyone along the way.

    Sorry I hope no one thinks im trying to be a not it all by writing so much but just wanted to make some comments on the stuff I thought was interesting. Hope everyones summer is going well.


  37. Henry Ruggiero Says:

    This is my final post I promise.

    So it is getting down toward the end of the summer and everyone is begining to finish up their internships, my question for everyone is this, what is the most important thing you have learned from your expereince, and it can be anything doesn;t have to just deal with strength and conditioning.

    sorry for the million and one posts.


  38. Alex O'Keefe Says:

    I think the hardest thing that I have had to deal with is the kids who come in and you can tell that they don’t want to be there. I find that I need a lot of patience and I really have to stay on top of them to make sure they are getting the most out of there workout. There are some days that I feel like a babysitter but as long as you can develop a good relationship with the client they will get a good workout in.

    Fortunately I have not run into a situation where someone has been teaching techniques differently than I would. However, I think the most important thing to remember is why you are teaching it the way that you are and being able to tell that to the client. I have found that each client wants to know why they are performing the exercises that you tell them to and how it will help them outside of the weightroom, whether that is on the field, at work or anything that they choose to do. Every client that i have dealt with has craved this knowledge and they are constantly asking for more.

    In my case I found that it was much better to be thrown in the mix right away. Not only did it help me with my confidence in teaching the kids but it also helped me gain their respect immediately. I think that it might have been different if I had started out observing and then started teaching and leading groups. However, I have been fortunate enough to be in a situation where I can observe some of the professional players that come in, watch their lift, and then run groups for teh rest of the day.

    The question I had is for everyone and has come up on occasion where I work a few times is this: Is there another line of work that you think matches up well with strength and conditioning or personal training such as chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy or anything else. At our facility we are fortunate enough to have a chiropractor that works in our facility and with some of our clients. He is always willing to answer any questions that we have about injuries, imbalances, what to look for and how to prevent them. I think that it is a great occupation that matches up very well with what we are trying to do and has been very helpful to me and my development as a coach.

  39. Mark Novellano Says:


    I think that it is a great idea having another aspect there especially someone who know injuries and can help educate them. I think a physical therapist should alway be involved with strength and conditioning. I did my internship a t a therapy facility and my supervisor not only had a wide range of knowledge with preventing and healing injuries and how to avoid thm. But he also has knowlegde of strength and conditioning because he was a good athlete and has experience with all movements and exercises with tehniques that I never thought or heard of that will lower risk of injury. For example if you check that last assigmnent blogs I wrote something about bench press that I never would think of. It has to deal with bench press technique. I think along with the certification any one recieves they shoud look into NASM-CES bc it also deals with muscle imbalance, rehabilitation and skeletal problems. Areas like that can help a coach become better at what they do bc they have more to offer.

  40. Nick DeCele Says:


    I have also been working with an older population in my internship. From what I have experienced from where I am, and what I understand, targeting each section (euromuscular, musculoskeletal, and cardiac), within a weeks workout maing sure not to overuse one’s body, this will prepare the client for a stronger and healthier future. Hopefully, within the workout you have created progressions can be made. The most important thing with an older population though is balance and not to overd-do anything. But I guess you can say that with any population lol.

  41. Conor Hughes Says:

    This question is for Chris Fee. Chris do yuo have the high-school athletes cleaning and if so how do you break it down for them to do it. To you teach different parts of the motiong each week. Or try and show it all at once.

  42. Emma Homberg Says:

    In response to Lisa’s question I mainly feel that jumpstarts are helpful for the new members. They can get a bit repetative but all in all I feel that it helps a lot of new people who aren’t used to lifting. I think that the new members who are unfamiliar with the nautilus it is good to get them set up with the nautilus initially because it helps them with their form and the full range on motion. I feel very comfortable with all this and how to progress the weights and such based on what I was taught at SC. For other new members who are more advanced and may have been lifting for a while I usually suggest they make an appointment for a personal training session to get more of a variety. For instance, not using the nautilus so much but more of getting used to the freeweights and other exercises that can be more beneficial for them where they will be engaging their whole body instead of isolated muscle groups.
    I have a question for Jesse and Anthony or whoever else it may apply. In working with athetes do you think it might just be the age group you are working with? Is it hard maybe because you are right out of college and still fairly young and they don’t take you as seriously because of that? I never thought about that relationship until I read your responses. I would think it might be tough gaining that power being so close in age.

  43. Erik Garnis Says:

    I’m not sure if any one is still reading this blog, but I will still complete the assignment. This question goes out to anyone in the strength and conditioning area. My question is what type of training program peridioization styles do each of the teams use that each of you are working with? Also what different lifting styles did they base and build their program off of?
    Since no one will probably be answering this question I’ll answer my own. The teams that we are training at Valdosta State University follow a non-linear undulating periodization program. Even though it is much more complex to create it allows for longer cycles, several different training goals and phases during each cycle and unloading every week. To the second part of the question, the coach at Valdosta combined different facets of the tier system, west coast styles, powerlifting and olympic lifting all into creating his training programs.

    Hey Ryan, in response to your question I felt it would be very difficult coming into a college setting and trying to coach athletes who are most likely older than you. What helps to remember is that you are not above them in any way, but on the same level. The first week at my internship I spent time getting to know the guys on the football team, not barking orders at them. Then the next week when I would see them doing something wrong or have tips on how to correct them, it would make it much easier to help them because you would seem more like a friend to them and not as much a coach or boss. The collegiate strength and conditioning programs do not have to be extremely strict. It is important to create an atmosphere where they can all progress and learn safely how to train. But, from the begininning I was treated with respect and the athletes would do their best to apply the advice that I had given them. With some players you need to stay with them and help coach them a little more than others because some form errors or training mistakes are not a quick fix, but for the majority I was listened to.

    Mike, I chose to leave the New England area for my 90 hour internship in southern Georgia. I feel it has made a great deal of difference. Leaving my home area has taken me out of my comfort zone and has allowed me to learn much more. There are a lot less distractions when you are not around home and that gives you more time to focus on what you are learning. I also feel that it is important to go to a different area to work with athletes because in the future in taking a job you will most likely come across many different athletes from many different areas. I feel that getting this experience with many different types of people now will help to reinforce your athlete communication skills in the future.

    Andrea, in response to your question, at the internship where I am now the coach has the athletes perform Clean’s from the floor, which at SC I was told was extremely dangerous with college athletes due to the increased risk of injury. I asked the coach and he gave me a thorough explanation and even related the different training angles of the Clean to gameplay and competition. I now believe that with enough good coaching on proper form and progression it is important to train athletes from the floor as with other angles because the benefit will be greater.

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