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


Posted: November 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

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.


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 January.

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.

Muscle weight gain

Posted: October 21, 2020 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. 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. Waistline did not budge.

There is no one approach

Posted: October 14, 2020 in Uncategorized

“The trick is in knowing that what training mode works for the gifted athletes of the world like the Lebron James and the Lamar Jacksons(which is just about anything) will not necessarily work for the less gifted, more average athlete. More science, thought and experience required. The answers are not solely found on the internet, in research or in books, but experience. Thousands of hours of it.”

-Ed Wietholder

President, Strength, Fitness And Speed, Inc.

Get your mind right first

Posted: October 12, 2020 in Uncategorized
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All starts with the first step(pic)

I felt awful this morning as I did my warm up for a running day. Joints hurt, low back hurt, no pop in the step. A funny thing happened though as I got 5 minutes into the run. My thoughts settled into a rhythm with the crunch of leaves under my feet. My breathing got into a steady rhythm and the aches and pains drained away. Any journey as they say starts with the first step. If I put that run off this morning I never would have gotten it in or found out. Get your mind right first to give your physical self a shot.

The weights never lie and the steepness of the hill remains unchanged. They will be constant and you can count on them to stay true. The hill isn’t steeper and weights are not heavier on a given day. Your mind and neural drive control these things. Be true to yourself and allow your body to be at it’s best by staying positive and believing. This cannot be faked. The least stressed aspect in training is the mind and it is exponentially more important than diet, rep scheme and loading protocols, and the latest training craze. Fitness crazes and training methodologies are transient and temporary, but the power of the mind is timeless.

Warm ups and Goals

Posted: October 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

A lot of athletes spend too much time working in rep zones not in accordance with their goals. An old school 12/10/8/6/4/2 without knowledge of what you want to accomplish is a waste. Say you are in a strength phase of your lifting. Let’s say you use the 12 and fail at it. Fail with the last rep of 10. Fail with the last rep of 8. Fail with the last rep of 6. You get to your set of 4 and it feels like it weighs 50 more pounds than usual. Do you think your strength will improve using this system? Absolutely not. Try flipping it around and working from the bottom up 2/4/6/8/10/12. AFTER A SMART WARM UP. Also the heavy sets will have a carry over to the higher rep sets making them feel “lighter” You also trained the zone you were interested in and not the wrong fiber types.

Let’s say you want to get stronger in the Squat and you want to get 300×5. A smart warm up looks like 45×12, 135X8, 185×5, 225X3 275X1-2, 300×5. Don’t waste your gas on 5 rep sets with 225 and 275. 275 is a “neural primer” that makes the bar not feel like a truck on your shoulders when 300 arrives. That is the only purpose. Doubt inhibits contraction and you eliminate the “holy shit this is heavy” when you un rack the 300.

Your body will adapt specifically to the demands you place on it. Train smart.

Pictured(Team PA(Sroka) going at it last Winter)

What is it exactly that we work on with our Softball athletes?

We have lots of experience in this area as we have trained teams from Nitro, Team PA, Outlaws, Predators, Renegades, Riot and multiple high school teams.

Things we work on:

1)Action: Dynamic warm Up, Stretch

Benefit: Proprioception development, Increased Core Temperature for better training performance

2)Action: Mechanical adjustments, sprint techniques evolving to very specific basepath and positional speed.

Benefit: Beating out infield hits, stretching singles into doubles, better reaction and getting to infield hits and fly balls. Better mechanics means more EFFICIENT movement.

3) Action: Overloading the athletic movements with resistance and assistance.

Benefit: Contrast training provides better neuromuscular recruitment and power in movements. Example: pre training athletes exhibit much less muscle recruitment than trained athletes. Contrast training and complexing a plyo and a resisted movement enhances recruitment leading to much improved getting out of the box and exploding to a space.

4)Action: Progressing movements from closed(predictable) to open(random).

Benefit: Better transference to the field. There is very little ready –set- go in sports and softball. Movement must be reactive, not on your own cue.

5) Power development in the body, including lower core education and activation and development of explosive rotational core power using med balls and plyometric drills

Benefit: All movement originates in the low core. The low core is your anchor. A stronger educated lower abdomen provides an anchor from which an athlete can turn powerfully on a pitch or launch a fast pitch. All movement originates in the lower abdomen. Rotational core power provides greater velocity off of the bat, a stronger throwing arm and a more efficient consistent swing.

6)Leg strength and stability and ground contact work

Benefit: Reduced chances of cruciate ligament knee injuries

7)Upper Body strength and power transfer

Benefit: Increased bat speed and better power transfer from legs to hands