Training is having an organized specific plan to achieve a very specific result.

Working from the endpoint backwards 12-16 weeks is a great place to start.

Any team that I have ever trained has always been asked the question: When does your season begin and what do you want to accomplish?

Working Out is going to the gym and saying today I feel like hitting chest and not having a clue as to what weight or scheme or goals you have going on. Working out is going to 3 different coaches for 3 different things(or even better 3 for the same thing) and having no scheme as to how these things should operate together. Cluster bomb results especially for advanced athletes.

Training is an organized approach to things. You can’t do a high rep high endurance crossfit session 3 times per week while trying to improve your 40 time or vertical leap for your season or a camp. Yes you can make progress but specific gains that involve explosion are being compromised.

High nervous system component work like acquiring a skill or refining a movement should take priority in your sequence of training in any given day. If this work is to be fit into a day here is an example. Working on pitching or throwing a javelin technique first, plyometric and CNS work next, strength to follow and any base conditioning or GPP work last.

Plyometric work at the end of any training day makes no sense. If explosion is your goal then on and off box hops for high reps and high volume makes absolutely no sense. Depth jumps off of a box with 100 % effort for bouts of 3-5 makes plenty of sense done fresh early in training. You can’t improve power when NS fatigue or high lactic acid levels already exist.

Train. Be smart. Organize.

Muscle weight gain

Posted: April 21, 2021 in Uncategorized
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Many athletes complain to me and tell me that they can’t gain weight. They say they eat a lot but it is usually once per day. I get asked about protein shakes which at 30 grams or so top out around 120 calories. Not the exclusive answer. The answer is a mixture of carbs, fats and proteins in increased quantities. Most underweight athletes are way deficient in total calories.

This is a description of how I ate back in the day trying to gain muscle with a very quick metabolism. It is not perfectly healthy but during extreme attempts to gain weight it is very hard to eat clean all day and consume enough calories when you are young. Breakfast was multiple eggs, oatmeal, wheat toast and Orange Juice. Lunch consisted of 2 turkey and ham sandwiches with lettuce and cheese, 1 peanut butter sandwich, and one half of a large bag of potato chips. Washed this down with a quart of lemonade. This is exactly how I ate my lunch in the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. 3-4 similar meals like this during the day with an emphasis on cleaner proteins like fish and chicken and lean beef mixed with rice pasta and vegetables. A snack of Sunseri’s pizza in the evening. No shakes, supplements or magic potion. Add in a superior weight training plan with an emphasis on Deadlifts, Squatting and Pressing. Gained about 15 pounds. Adding a protein shake alone for weight gain is like dropping 1 drop of red dye in the ocean and expecting it to turn red. Waistline did not budge.

Gaining Perspective

Posted: February 23, 2021 in Uncategorized
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Coming up on 5 years now I was at the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute and sat down opposite a kind happy man in the waiting room. He was around 65 years old and the first thing I noticed about him was his personality. Warm, caring, charismatic, god fearing and kind. All of this In 5 minutes. He had struck up a conversation with my wife and I and discovered I was an NBA fan and our conversation turned to the Cavaliers. And Money. And Peace of mind. And fortune. This was the most content man I had ever met in my life. He also had one eye closed and later upon further conversation I learned it was sewed shut. He then matter of factly told me he had his eye removed last week. He was so happy to have it out due to his diabetes and was so blessed to have one good eye. He went off to his exam room and my wife and I to ours. As I passed him in his exam room he yelled out “All right Ed Go Cavs!” with a thumbs up! Suddenly I realized my headache and sore knee weren’t really problems and most of the problems I had were not real ones, only imaginary. Knew this man for 20 minutes and really stuck with me. Amen!

Keep it Real

Posted: February 18, 2021 in Uncategorized
Auburn athlete Maura Huwalt 100 pounds ago. Looks even better now! Real Strength.

Let’s face it. Lifters and athletes are hung up on moving more and more weight often at the expense of form.

Any team be it high school or college that has worked with me has heard me use the term “real” strength. If you’ve gained 25 pounds in the Squat or Bench Press and your form looks identical to what it was 25 pounds prior then this is “real strength”. If your Squat has lost a foot or two of depth or you suddenly wrapped your knees then the extra 25 pounds is “false” strength.

If your new 25 pound heavier Bench has smashed your sternum since you rebounded so hard to use momentum in your lift then this is false strength. An even better one is when your spotter or spotters take over about 25 pounds of the lift and they say “didn’t help it was all you, all you”. Or maybe you decided you needed some elbow wraps to absorb some of your lift instead of you. False.

This leads to repeated plateaus and staleness. You’ll be stuck in a rut for a very long time if you are an intermediate or advanced lifter and keep fooling yourself with “false” strength.

The Deadlift?? Don’t get me started. Orthopedic Surgeons and Chiropractors are busy enough. Let’s say you Deadlifted 400 with a nice flat back. You then get 425 with a lift that turns your back into an inverted U, makes it halfway up your thighs followed by a hip thrust and wiggle to get into an almost finished position on the lift. You guessed it….”false strength”.

Look harder at your programming and EFFORT and not shortcuts. Your effort, and by effort I mean true focus and real effort, trumps any programming or supplement. When 100% effort takes over then programming becomes important. White hot focus and do or die approach to finishing lifts makes programming important. If pure effort is not there, program design is irrelevant.

Dream Compass

Posted: February 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

Quite honestly how do you know where you are going if you do not know where you are starting?

This is the most important part of our training process and an origin is actually imperative in achieving anything quite honestly. Where are you starting?

Qualitative and quantitative measurements are taken by our highly qualified staff which includes coaches with Doctorates and Masters level degrees in Exercise and Physical Therapy.

We also use video to ferret out details such as improper shin angles, foot contacts and many other items as they relate to athletic and functional movement.

If you are a Football LB how would you like to get to a space .5 sec quicker consistently by altering first step strategy?

If you are a softball player or baseball player how would you like to save .3 to .5 seconds getting out of the box?

You can only figure these items out and whether they are deficient based on motor limitations or muscular in nature via some close scrutiny and observation.

THE MIND

Posted: January 14, 2021 in Uncategorized

Training involves the body, the mind and the heart. Overriding the latest and the greatest science, techniques and supplements is your mental approach.

Built into your training should be sets and drills that need you to move to the point of madness or joy or pain before you perform your work.

If someone paid you a million dollars to do 2 more would you be able to? If you let go of that chin bar are you falling into a bottomless pit if you do not do 2 more?

This is the only way to get your nervous system to perform optimally. Get EMOTION and WILL involved.

Otherwise you are at a fraction of what you ought to be.

“Everyone is familiar with the phenomenon of feeling more or less alive on different days. Everyone knows on any given day that there are energies slumbering in him which the incitements of that day do not call forth, but which he might display if these were greater. Most of us feel as if a sort of cloud weighed upon us, keeping us below our highest notch of clearness in discernment, sureness in reasoning, or firmness in deciding. Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits; he possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.”

― William James

Thankful

Posted: November 25, 2020 in Uncategorized
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THANKFUL

Just want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

My thankful list is endless starting with my AMAZING family.

Here at SFAS despite this crazy environment we had the best year we ever had thanks to our amazing clients who are dedicated to their dreams.

I am thankful for OPPORTUNITY as this great Country was not built on living in fear and settling for what you get but on risk, perseverance and leaving your comfort zone. I am thankful for the shot at success and thankful for my ancestors taking the RISK that comes with crossing an ocean with no money in their pockets with only the promise of OPPORTUNITY in a strange land.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Honor

Posted: November 12, 2020 in Uncategorized

We don’t take it lightly. Training sessions are our personal game days as coaches.

We get to live vicariously through our athletes.

Take Football for example. Last year as I sat in the stands at Heinz Field watching TJ win the WPIAL championship I looked up and saw that 22 of the 24 starting positions were filled by our clients. No less than 25 players from that team trained with us.

2 of their guys that we worked with ended up in the NFL.

I’ve been watching Peters Township Football steadily rise over the last 4 years. No less than 25 players from PT that are clients of ours will hit the field in the Championship Game this year.

Rewind back to Bethel Park Championship team in 2008. 10 of their 12 offensive starters were our clients.

We focus on details and unique training modalities that does not include ladder dancing, jumping in and out of squares, etc. DETAILS. PIECES OF MOVEMENT.

I look back with humility and honor.

Overheard

Posted: November 5, 2020 in Uncategorized
(Pictured) Beth Yauch now of Cleveland State University

This was overheard from one of our long time clients’ parents. It epitomizes some values of what an ideal customer looks like for us in their approach to things and the value that they hope to gain from a Coach.

Beth Yauch is a tennis player who was trying to get ready to play D1 tennis at Cleveland state university. Although she was with Ed for just over two years, since she’s been going to Strength Fitness and Speed everything improved for her on and off the tennis court.
Her coaches were amazed at her footwork and agility and strength that improved pretty rapidly for her. We chose to have Beth work with Ed not only because of all the wonderful things we had heard about him through all of the communities, but especially through the Baldwin community. His positive outlook and praise made her want to work harder than she ever worked before. He was there for her every step of the way. He showed that he believed in her and gave her no room for doubt!
To put it all in a few sentences, he was exactly what she needed to get to the level she wanted before leaving for her freshmen year at CSU.
One of the biggest things I learned as a parent of an athlete, is that your child can not play and compete at a higher level unless their body is ready for it. If not, injuries will occur. Ed gave Beth that and so much more.
SFAS is her home now when she will come back to Pittsburgh for her breaks and go right to SFAS. Ed is her forever Coach, mentor and friend that I am sure will last a lifetime.
We couldn’t be happier or more grateful for all of the hard work that they both put in!!!
Thank you Ed! For everything!

(Image)Cory Tucker working with then PT standout Lineman Rob Corrado now at Clarion

We are running these in a small group environment on Wednesday evenings in WINTER.

They will be very different than the raw materials sessions for our linemen that SFAS staff does in the weight room and on the turf for lineman speed and movement.

These sessions will be run by Cory Tucker. Cory Tucker was a standout lineman at Slippery Rock University after playing football at South Park High School. He is a student of the game and was a two-time All-American and 2015 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year finalist. Cory spent time in NFL training camps with two different teams. He also spent many years being trained by Ed Wietholder, founder and Director of Strength, Fitness And Speed, Inc.