I had a college athlete approach me the other day and wanted to know more about our Athletic Performance Center and what we could do for him. He stated that he is starting college in the fall and was recruited to play football and received a full-ride scholarship to do so. I asked him what he wanted to achieve by working with us. He told me he wanted to come into football camp in the best shape of his life. He then proceeded to hand me a copy of the generic workout program sent to him from this college to get my opinion.
After carefully reviewing the aforementioned program, I told him in no uncertain terms that his goal would not be possible with this particular program. He asked why. I told him this program will help get him in shape to run a mile and maybe gain some minimal strength. I also told him that this training program severely lacked any GPP training, non-weighted and weighted.
The look on his face at this time was precious. I proceeded to explain to him why GPP was necessary and important in any sports performance training program. The physical and mental benefits that are gained by performing GPP are innumerable. I recall one of our football athletes telling us last summer at the end of two-a-days that they were easy. I asked him why he thought they were easy. He looked me square in the eye and told me that because of all the training and conditioning he did over the summer, that when two-a-days started, he was in the best shape of his life. He also told me he was appreciative of the fact that I had pushed him to do the GPP. He felt by performing the GPP, it had added an extra dimension to his training.
This past weekend served as another example why GPP training is important to your overall success in the competitive arena. I was at the International Powerlifting Federation's (IPF) Women's World Powerlifting Championships, which were held in Chicago, IL. It was great to see the world's best female powerlifters on one stage, battling it out to call themselves, "World Champion." My wife, Dr. Monique Hartle, was one of them. The reason I bring this up in a discussion about GPP is that the pace of the lifting and the relatively short rest period between the competitive lifts would normally decrease the ultimate performance of many strength athletes. I witnessed this happening to many of the athletes, especially those who traveled many time zones to get to Chicago.
I was especially proud of my wife as she continued to get better as the competition went on, not worse. She appeared relaxed and never exhibited any signs of fatigue or exhaustion. The main reason for this is the GPP we have her doing in conjunction with her workouts. Granted, the GPP we have her doing is different in nature than that of a soccer, hockey or football player. Nonetheless, it helps her to recover from the intense powerlifting workouts and raises her base level of physical and mental conditioning.
As I have stated before, the ONLY limiting factor to you improving your athletic prowess and skills is located between your ears and above your neck. When you are performing what may seem like endless rounds of non-weighted GPP, such as jumping jacks, burpees, and mountain climbers, or never-ending laps with the wheelbarrow and want to stop, remember this: hard work and perseverance always, always pays off. I know this personally and have witnessed this occurring countless times with our athletes.
Next week I will talk about the Athletic Performance Center and start to give you, the reader, some ideas of what we are accomplishing with the athletes that come to us. Until then, Keep On Pushing!
The Athletic Performance Center (APC) is offering sport-specific performance training, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, and 1-on-1 personal training. Michael Robertson, MS, CSCS, a Ball State University graduate, is the Director of this new division. This is the place to go in the Midwest for the aforementioned services. More to come on this in the future!!
Look for an upcoming book about the Renegade approach to Strongman/Strongwoman training by Dr. Michael Hartle! I look forward to hearing your comments. Remember to Live the Code and always train hard and be relentless. That is the only way to train! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (To read previous articles of Sledgehammer GPP by Dr. Hartle, click here.)
Dr. Mike Hartle, D.C., D.A.C.B.N., C.C.S.P., C.C.N., C.S.C.S.