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Youth Strength & Conditioning

A great deal of our youth participate in sports with a large percentage doing so in a competitive nature, striving to be the absolute best they can be.  While this may be a great option to keep kids doing some activity, there is another piece of the performance puzzle if they want to reach their athletic potential. That piece is non-sport strength and conditioning. This is what we refer to in our facility as Mixed Modal General Physical Preparation.  Let's break that down into two parts, Mixed Modal: combining different modalities in the same workouts and leaving none untouched.  Examples being Mono-structural (Running, Biking), Gymnastics (Push Ups, Lunges, Pull Ups), and Weightlifting (Medicine Balls, Squatting, Pressing).  Then General Physical Preparation, also known as GPP, cements the building blocks for Specific Physical Preparation, or SPP. In the GPP phase, athletes will work on general conditioning to improve strength, speed, endurance, stamina, flexibility, balance, coordination, accuracy, agility and power.  GPP training is generally performed in the off-season, with a lower level of GPP-maintenance during the season, when SPP is being pursued. GPP training will help improve an athletes ability to increase their SPP as well as prevent imbalances and boredom with both specific and non-specific exercises. Going a bit further into the topic of out-of-sport training and GPP for athletes, a top concern is their safety.  While safety must always be addressed, the efficacy rate must also be considered.  Mixed Modal-General Physical Preparation has a high ratio of safety and efficacy for training; while also increasing both factors outside of their training time and inside of their sport.  In short, leading to less injuries when they play their sport while being the fittest they can be to for their sport. Many programs will only look at the movement patterns created in an athletes sport and simply try to mimic those movements in the gym.  While this can be an effective short term specific preparation approach, these specific movement patterns should be reserved for practice and game times.  In a GPP program, athletes will work on all movement patterns and muscle groups both active and reserved during their sport.  For example, while a Downhill Ski Racer may not need strong shoulders or be able to lift anything over their head during a race or practice, it would be very beneficial to have strong shoulders and arms in the event of a fall.  It is even more beneficial to strengthen the active muscle groups not in the exact movement pattern they are used in sport to ensure proper natural and functional movement.  We refer to this as increasing the durability of the athlete. One of the great benefits of sports for young athletes is how reactive they must be.  Almost no game, play, inning, period or shift is the same; they must react to every situation very quickly.  While the most practiced way of doing this is to simply play the game, there may still be a number movement patterns or dynamics that are not being trained.  One may argue that if an athlete doesn't ever perform a certain movement in their sport, there is no need to learn it.  We believe that the more tools you have access to (movement and motor patterns) the easier you will be able to react as well as perform any maneuvers easier as your overall coordination has vastly improved by broadening your tool bag of how you can move. Here is a brief video with Certified (CrossFit Level 2) Trainer and former Junior hockey player Terrence Limbert giving a brief explanation of what this program offers. Contact us now if you are interested or have a teen that is interested in improving their performance in their sport.