Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Prologue: In eighth grade, my basketball crew and I were weekly regulars at Strength, Fitness, and Speed under Mr. Wieth. We would go to work on our vertical leaps, speed, agility, quickness, and strength. During one of our training sessions, I noticed one of my teammates slacking. He was just there going through the motions, and even laid down on a bench in the middle of a workout to rest! Being the (physically larger) leader that I was, I walked up to him, sat on him, and told him he better get his butt in gear. Immediately after, Mr. Wieth (jokingly) said, “Chris, if you ever need a job, you know where to find me!” Just five years later, finishing my freshman year of college, I showed back up at Strength, Fitness, and Speed and took him up on that offer.

 

As a sophomore in high school, I experienced physical therapy firsthand. I spent several months in and out of physical therapy for different ailments – shoulder pain, multiple bouts of low back pain, and chronic neck and upper extremity pain. This experience left me with a desire to pursue a career in the PT field.

Because of these ailments, I eventually stopped participating in high school sports. Instead I focused on the physiology and coaching aspect of sports and performance, which soon became my passion. To this day, many of my high school friends still comment on “that huge book” I would carry around from class to class. That book was my first personal trainer’s certification book. I often studied this material when I likely should have been studying for my actual classes!

Since high school, I’ve worked constantly to increase my knowledge of the human body and sport performance. I have since graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, received a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist title, and am currently enrolled in Pitt’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Having this advanced knowledge has increased my abilities to improve our athletes’ success in many aspects at Strength, Fitness, and Speed.

A good example of how my education has helped a developing athlete comes from one of the hardest workers at the gym. He is currently a senior football player, though has now become enthralled with the sport of powerlifting. While I would mainly train him and his team for football, we always found ourselves talking about how to better set-up for the bench press, his current personal record lifts, or tips and cues for the deadlift. I was able to help coach him through his first powerlifting meet in Summer of 2018 where he broke the PA state teen record for the bench press. He is currently in-season for football, though will continue to compete in the off-season and push his limits of powerlifting, hopefully breaking more records along the way.

Another example involves a current Division II football lineman that I have worked with for many years. His first few sessions in high school, we realized we had a lot of work to do on footwork, quickness, and coordination. After many seasons of him working with the team at SFAS, he was able to land a starting lineman job at his high school, and soon begin to get offers from different colleges to play there.

While intensely training for his time in college, this athlete began to suffer from low back pain. He began to see a physical therapist, while continuing his training with us. The physical therapist had him performing rehabilitation exercises to strengthen and coordinate his core and proximal musculature.

Meanwhile, we continued his return-to-sport training and strengthening. With my education on his limitations and impairments, we spent time all the way up until he had to leave for camp working on getting back into playing shape. He is currently a freshman at a Division II school and is redshirting this year to continue his rehab, get a good jump on his education, and prepare for the rest of his football career.

While I could never take credit for any of the hard work that these athletes put in, I like to think some of my knowledge, coaching, and motivation has guided them toward the amazing success that they have had.

About the Author:

Chris Serrao
Sports Performance Coach
SPT, CSCS, Sport Performance
Coach Chris is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist that is currently enrolled in The University of Pittsburgh’s Number 1 ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy program. He received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Pitt in 2018. Throughout his life, Chris played basketball, volleyball, and football, though eventually found his niche in the weightroom, now competing in powerlifting competitions across the country. He boasts lifts of a 555 pound back squat, 355 pound bench press, and 615 pound deadlift and uses his strength and athletic background to better train athletes of all ages and skill levels.

This will be a chance for those not yet part of the SFAS family to check out the facility, observe some training, speak to our staff and to get an opportunity to sign up for 50% discounted functional assessments. All current and past SFAS family members are welcome to attend!

    • Meet Coach Ed and get a perspective on 40 plus years of trends and what is effective in training. What looks “cool” may not do much for the athlete at all.
    • Meet Dr. Jake Wietholder and get his take on corrective exercise
    • Meet the excellent staff and observe some training
    • There will be an opportunity to schedule a 50% discounted functional assessment for attending
    • Of course some snacks(healthy!) and….some not so much2016-07-27 18.34.40_IMG8474-45

 

This will be a chance for those not yet part of the SFAS family to check out the facility, observe some training, speak to our staff and to get an opportunity to sign up for 50% discounted functional assessments. All current and past SFAS family members are welcome to attend!

  • Meet Coach Ed and get a perspective on 40 plus years of trends and what is effective in training. What looks “cool” may not do much for the athlete at all.
  • Meet his excellent staff and observe some training
  • There will be an opportunity to schedule a 50% discounted assessment for attending
  • Of course some snacks(healthy!) and….some not so much2016-07-27 18.34.40

Going back about ten years I caught hell from a head football coach whose team we had been contracted to train for strength and speed 3 days per week. His assistant coaches had spread the word that these infidels(my coaches and I) didn’t have the team hitting each muscle group. Coach called me to his office and was insane and yelled, “They are only doing 4 exercises each workout! No curls, no skull crushers, no leg press, no side laterals, no strip set forced rep banded madness!! “How can one gain from just 4 exercises Ed?!! This is ridiculous I can’t believe we hired you guys!” I calmly said, “Coach back in 2003 I worked up to deadlifting 415×20, Squatting 495×5, Chinning 5 reps with 115 pounds on my waist and Benching 315×5 with 5 exercises on Monday, 3 on Wednesday and 3 on Friday. No chemical assistance Coach. I was 37 years old Coach and weighed about 190 pounds. ” “Oh”, he calmly said. Well maybe we will try this out………… Keep it Simple Stupid.

This will be a great experience for all involved. We hope to help our camp realize higher levels of fitness and improved body composition!

 

I had a feeling when Billy Stanley started back with us in Fall 2011 that this was going to be his year. As a matter of fact I joked with him and said he would break the school record in the spring with his first throw. I was off, but not by much, it was indeed his second throw.The rest as they say is history. I had Bill focus on ground based movements and periodized his training accordingly. I had very little interest in high rep ranges and focused on building a strong foundation from which he could express power. Lots of overhead pressing, squatting, deadlifting, olympic type lifts as well as lots of overhead slams, sledgehammer work and various plyometric movements to simulate javelin progression. We really focused on the transfer of power from hips to hands. I look forward to watching Bill Rise at Ohio State University. Read more at http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/high-school-other/piaa-track-championships-stanley-breaks-national-record-637726/


The Fifth Quarter?

Most sporting events are either won or lost before the fifth quarter. Unfortunately most young athletes today only plan on playing four quarters and never reap the benefits of playing through the fifth. I am not talking about overtime or extra innings. I am talking about refueling your body with the proper nutrition to play your sport at the highest-level possible day in and day out.
The most commonly asked question from our athletes is what they should be doing immediately after their workout. Everyone wants to be bigger, faster, and stronger but no one understands the commitment necessary to achieve these goals and reach their full potential as an athlete.
Throughout your workout your body is reacting and responding to the demands put forth by your coach. You are running, lifting, and jumping at a continued high level of intensity. Your body takes you through the workout but is left depleted and broken. In this scenario the fifth quarter could possibly be more important then all four previous quarters combined. Your body uses fuel just like the car that brought you to your workout. If you never refuel your car you will eventually break down and go nowhere. The same thing will happen to your body if it is not refueled after every workout or sporting event.
The human body’s main source of fuel is carbohydrates (Muscle glycogen). When these levels are full you can push your body further and maintain a higher level of intensity for a longer period of time. In order to keep these levels high it is very important to take advantage of the ninety-minute window after your workout when your body is eager to absorb carbohydrates and repair itself.
My recommendation to anyone who is trying to reach his or her full athletic potential is to play through the fifth quarter. Grape Juice, bananas, oatmeal, etc are all good healthy sources of carbohydrates. Protein shakes and bars provide your body with the nutrition necessary to repair your muscles and allow them to continue to grow. Your post workout meal should consist of both healthy carbohydrates and protein, which should be consumed immediately after your workout. After you add the fifth quarter to the four already won you are taking the most important steps in becoming the athlete you want to be.