Training for the new year


2018 is quickly approaching which means new goals, new challenges and new opportunities. 

Before you set goals for the new year take a look back at 2017 and evaluate yourself. Did you reach the goals you set for 2017? Did you keep to your "resolutions" or did you fall victim to the same habits and behaviors from 2016? 

I've personally been reviewing my goals for last year and would put myself at about a 60/40 split. I finished most the races I wanted with times below my goals, I read some of the books I set out to finish, and I was able to increase my hours and responsibilities with Podium. However, there is plenty I didn't accomplish. When evaluating last year I found one common trend with my failures, I had no plan. I wrote down a bunch of ideas, set a loose strategy and went about my days knowing what I wanted to do with no idea how I was going to do it. This is where setting specific, process driven goals is key. 

Were you able to reach your goals in 2017? 

Did you maintain accountability with your resolutions? 

What can you do to improve your chances of success for the new year? 

As a fitness professional, I look forward to helping people who have decided to make a change and are ready to get to work. It is easy to overwhelm yourself in the new year, which is why it is important to work with someone who can help with accountability, realistic goal setting and creating an action plan. Learn from my mistakes and lets achieve our goals for 2018 together. 

One of my goals from last year was to find a place where I could train clients in a private atmosphere with more control over programming and packages. Podium has given me this opportunity which means it is time to celebrate. 

In celebration of the new year I am offering discounted training services alongside the standing free assessment 

Training Packages vary in size from 6 - 24 sessions

Bigger commitment = Bigger discount 

I require no contract but instead ask that you make a commitment. A commitment to yourself as well as a commitment to show up ready to work and get better during each session. Whether you're looking to loose a few pounds or are an established athlete aiming to improve weaknesses, we will create a program and strategy that fits your needs. 

This promotion will run through the end of February. However, I only have limited spots available so don't miss out. 

Contact me below and we'll set up your first free session. 

For more information about training, my background and qualifications check out our info page here.


Physiology Geek Friday

Welcome Back 

The holidays are here and its that special time of year when the roads are a mess and your health takes a back seat, or maybe it gets thrown in the trunk. Dr. Sprouse talked with Abby Ham of WBIR earlier this week about how to maintain fitness and health through the holidays. You can watch his interview HERE. 

Aside from maintaining local celebrity status on the news we've been busy working on new service packages and maintaining our own health here at Podium. 

What We're Doing

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I recently took Dr. Sprouse through a movement screen. Based on his results and goals I put together a strength training program. The offseason is the perfect time to work on strength while your miles, and the temperatures, are low. Keep an eye out for a more in-depth blog series covering the program. Well discuss his goals, the result of his screen, and the rational behind the exercises. 


Whats Coming up in the New Year

We're excited to launch new packaged services for the months of January and February. With the New Year comes new goals, resolutions, and new races. Start your year off on the right foot and prime yourself for success. We are offering two packages complete with a sizable discount. Each package includes a consultation with Dr. Sprouse, blood panels and an assortment of other services. Details about the different packages can be found HERE

What We're Testing

We have been experimenting with different uses of the previously mentioned Leomo. They've been a great group of people to work with during the trial period and the device provides a wealth of data, we're just trying to figure out what to do with it all. In the meantime we're testing it out with bike fits and training rides to build our confidence with the device. Aside from looking sleek, the Type-R looks like it'll be staying at Podium. 

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Whats New

Alongside the Performance Lab and Movement screens I have recently expanded into offering personal training services at Podium. I have a focussed approach to training and have experience working with athletes from recreational to age groupers to the collegiate level. We consider anyone who moves an athlete, just different levels. If you're interested in learning more about training at Podium, information can be found HERE

In addition to training I recently completed the Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. I am excited to work nutrition coaching into my training packages. Keep an eye out for upcoming promotions as the new year approaches. 

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Thanks for reading. If you want to keep up with more Podium news be sure you follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook. 

- Patrick 

Workout of the Week

Its been a couple weeks but we're back at it. 

Today we're going to evaluate a program I did earlier in the year. We'll take a look at what worked, what didn't, why its there and what my goal was. 

First, the workout. 

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I followed this for roughly six weeks. I did this program during May/June before I really started to focus in on training for running and obstacle course racing. 

Lets break down the different exercises and why I prescribed them. 

1A. Hang Clean 

I love cleans and they are an excellent way to develop explosive power. I put these first because to  perform a clean properly with maximum force you do not want to be excessively fatigued. They are also great for development of the upper back and posterior chain. I keep the reps low with cleans as they are a highly technical power based exercise. I use the hang position when there is lower body focused hinging later in the workout. 

1B. NG Plank 

Planks are great but no doubt boring. I work in planks with the Neuro Grips to get grip work alongside keeping me entertained. 

2A. Trap Bar Deadlift

The trap bar is a great way to improve strength and power without the use of a barbell. It also allows you to stay more upright and move more weight than conventional deadlifting. At this time I had also recently listened to a podcast where Ryan Flaherty, director of performance with Nike, discussed the force number and his use of the trap bar. You can check out the podcast here

3A. Split Squat 

We all have muscular imbalances, single leg work like split squats are a great way to work on these. I love split squats and bulgarian split split squats. Mike Boyle frequently prescribes these and I trust him when it comes to performance. 

3B. Single Leg Deadlift 

These are another one of my go to exercises for balance and posterior chain development. I like to stack these with Split squats after a compound bilateral exercise such as squats or in this case the trap bar deadlift. 

4A. and 4B. Glute Bridges and Abduction Walks

This is where we get into auxiliary exercises that focus on the notorious glutes.  Glute bridges are excellent for developing strength in hip extension. We live in a seated flexed world so just about anyone can afford more focused glute work. Abduction walks develop the smaller gluteus medius which aids in stability through the lower limbs. I put these last because they're accessory exercises that are performed at a lower intensity. This allows you to wind down after the big stimulating exercises performed earlier. I also do one set of these as part of my warm up. 

Overall this program did what I wanted it to. I built power with the cleans, went for a little more hypertrophy on the higher rep trap bar deadlift and improved balance with the split squats. The biggest downside to this block was the overall volume of leg work. As I started to build miles running I slowly moved away from high volume leg work so I could complete workouts with "fresher" legs.  In revisiting this workout I would likely change the trap bar to a conventional deadlift as well as work in more squatting through the cycle. 

Give this a shot if you're looking for a lower body focused day with a little extra power work built in. 

Not confident with the movements described above? Consider coming by Podium and setting up a movement screen or training session with yours truly. If you're not local feel free to send me an email and I'll be happy to send you more resources on programming, exercise technique and training. 

Happy Training 



Keep It Simple

For this weeks workout we're going to follow an old piece of sage wisdom, Keep It Simple Stupid. This method will save you time and prevent you from overcomplicating your training. 


Standard compound exercises within a sensible rep range. 

1A. Goblet Squats 3 x 8 - 12 

1B. Push Ups 3 x 10- 12 

1C. Kettlebell Deadlifts 3 x 8

2A. Pull Ups 3 x 6-8 

2B. OH Press 3 x 8 - 12 

2C. Planks 3 x 30s (5 Deep 5 count Inhalation and exhalation) 

This workout is to be performed in two giant sets. 1A, B and C all follow each other with 90s of rest in-between sets. Follow the same format for the second block of exercises. 

You can easily scale any of these movements up or down by using TRX straps as a regression or adding a barbell for progression.

For most of us strength training doesn't have to be all percentages with accommodating resistance and intervals. Simplicity and consistency will yield better long term results than an overly complicated program that you end up quitting after a few weeks. 

Happy Training 





Physiology Geek Friday

I know you all missed me last week. We've been busy! Podium had a weekend of testing and talks with the Tennessee Womens Cycling Project. Great group of women and a great panel of useful data and information from Dr. Sprouse, Lana Burl and Katie Dotson. 

On to this week's musings. 

What We're Testing Out


Movement analysis is critical to performance in all sports. This is even more magnified in endurance sports where the same repetitive motion occurs over the course of hours. The trained eye is great at spotting imbalances but technology has advanced in a way that allows analysis outside of a biomechanics lab. We have been communicating with two new technology services that dig deeper into moment analysis.


For cyclists we are testing out a technology created by the company Leomo. The Leomo Type-R consists of sensors placed on the body that can be worn out on the road for hours. The Type-R collects movement data and plots it in a variety of charts that allows the user to analyzize stroke consistency, position on the bike and creates a dead spot score. These scores are made available in real time on a slick bike computer that can also sync with other sensors like a power meter or heart rate strap. Each of the variables help the rider improve efficiency on the bike from a positional and performance standpoint.

For runners we are planning to test the DorsaVi module. The DorsaVi comes with different modules to assess running, overall athleticism and also an FMS associated module. The DorsaVI is worn on the low back and shins and collects data that the naked eye cannot see. 


Each of these technologies offer the user a deeper insight into their movement proficiency and efficiency. Two traits that are crucial to maximizing performance and optimizing injury prevention. 

What I'm Listening To 


Barbell Shrugged has been one of my favorite podcasts for the last few years. They have been able to grow from a small crossfit based podcast to a multi level platform that spans from gym management services to online programming. I always love when they have a familiar name on the show, which is every week, but this week especially caught my ear. Dr. Quinn Henoch has been one of my favorite voices in the outspoken world of rehab. He founded the Clinical Athlete and works closely with Juggernaut Training.  

Dr. Henoch comes from a background of olympic weightlifting and performance so he applies the principles of true strength alongside rehab protocols. His show with Barbell Shrugged discusses mobility work and how many of us waste time in unloaded positions. Check it out Here

What I'm Trying

I went to a swim class. I didn't make it far. I'll be going back to swim class. 

What We're Doing

This weekend Podium will be out at the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club Fall Fest. If you're close to Knoxville this festival will be full of demo bikes, food trucks, good times and of course plenty of beer from Yee-Haw Brewing. If you can't make it you can still enter to win a sweet new ride from Santa Cruz on their website. All proceeds go to the AMBC which keeps the trails in tip top shape around Knoxville.


Thanks For Reading 





Move Better this Offseason

Find Balance this Offseason with a Functional Movement Screen  


Unbalanced movement patterns turn into strength imbalances which can lead to overuse injuries. The FMS is a simple test that address these imbalances and movement patterns across the body. 

After you have been screened we put together a simple Home Exercise Program that you can follow on a daily basis. This program will become your daily movement routine. We help you create a daily practice of activation, strengthening and stretching to fix imbalances and get you moving better. 

Normally the FMS is $150.00 but we are offering a $30.00 discount through the month of November. 

Not confident working through the program on your own? Skip the discount and we will take you through an hour long personal training session. During this session we will cover your corrective exercises, activation exercises, stretches as well as more advanced progressions.  

For more information about personal training check out our training info page here. 


Physiology Geek Friday

Welcome back. 

This is our second installment of Physiology geek Friday. As always we have a lot going on at Podium. We have a strength training clinic coming up next week with myself and Katie Dotson, a great series of workshops with Lana Burl of LB Endurance and the Tennessee Womens Cycling Project is joining us for a weekend clinic of lectures and testing. Aside from all of these activities we've still found time to try out an exciting new testing protocol. 

What we're testing

Our Performance lab has been experimenting with a new testing protocol. Dr. Sprouse was first introduced to Sebastian Weber during his time as Head of Human Performance for the Cannondale Cycling team. More recently Sebastian has developed a new testing protocol that allows for deeper insight into your fitness across a variety of metrics. The program and testing protocol he has developed is called INSCYD. This protocol uses lactate values before, during and after measured bouts of exercise to determine the efficiency and power of different energy systems in the body. The data doesn't stop there. INSCYD has developed a set of algorithms that allows you to stratify your fitness level through factors beyond a VO2max. These new values offer athletes a better understanding of which energy systems are strong and which need work. The image below is a sample of how INSCYD helps you understand your fitness level. VO2max, FatMax, Body Fat, Anaerobic Threshold, Aerobic threshold and VLamax are charted to show you an overall depiction of your current fitness level. 


It has been both entertaining and enlightening testing this protocol on ourselves. As an added bonus it's always fun to make your boss burn through a 4 min 325 Watt effort. 

If all goes to plan we should be offering INSCYD testing as an option in our performance lab services sometime in the future. Check out their website to read more. 

What we're looking forward to


The offseason is upon us so its time to set goals and create a plan for next year. We're very excited to have Lana Burl hosting a classroom series at Podium discussing this very topic. Lana has experience working with athletes across all levels, as well as competing herself. There will be four opportunities for you to attend these classroom workshops. She is offering two separate courses which will cover offseason planning as well as Training Peaks secrets. This is a wonderful opportunity to set yourself up for success next year as well as learn the ins and outs of one of the most valuable training technologies available to athletes. More information on registration can be found here

What we're doing

Fall is finally here so it's time to get out and enjoy the weather. This weekend Dr. Sprouse is headed to South Carolina to ride in the Hincapie Gran Fondo. This is sure to be an excellent event with world class riders. While he is riding with pros and enjoying celebrity chef dinners, I'll be in Atlanta running through mud in my second Spartan race of the year. 

Thanks for Reading



Workout of The Week - Week Twenty-One

Welcome back. 

This week we're talking about another important yet often neglected aspect of training, active recovery. 


In recent years there has been a shift in training ideology to focus more on recovery. Different tools and techniques have been developed to help athletes recover more quickly in order to get back to performing at a high level. We could talk for days about tools like the normatec boots, e stem machines, compression garments etc. but what about a more cost effective way of boosting recovery? 

Active recovery is a low intensity low volume form of movement that is helpful towards improving your bodies ability to heal and recover from a race or workout. Active Recovery workouts can benefit you in a variety of ways. For starters they comfort those of us who struggle with the idea of taking a day off. Keeping your recovery day active allows you to feel as if you have still made progress in your training without having the mental struggle of taking a rest day. I find that taking a relaxing active recovery day also helps me clear my head and enjoy the outdoors without focusing on time splits or power output. 

Active recovery also helps get waste products and lymph moved out of the body by gently moving and not stressing your body's systems. Tight sore muscles often loosen up and begin to feel better after a light walk or an easy spin. Taking extra time for this sort of activity allows you to escape the stresses of intense training and enjoy a bike ride or hike with your family. 

These workouts can also be more structured to ensure that you hit target areas that may be giving you grief. For example, try mixing in a yoga class if you've been struggling with low back issues while putting in long miles on the bike. 

Perhaps your active recovery day could consist of one of these activities. 

Morning Hatha Yoga

Easy Hike or walk in the park 

Light 60 Min spin staying in zone 1/2 

20 minutes of contrast Hot/Cold Tubs or Contrast shower

Paddle Board to your favorite riverside brewery 

If you're lucky enough to have access to one, sitting in an infrared sauna is another great way to boost recovery and spend time setting your goals for the coming week of training. 

Overall the idea is to get out and move without doing anything too intense. Consider working active recovery days in as we progress into the offseason to keep your body fresh and your mind focused on goals for next season. 


Sidenote: If you're interested in trying out different recovery tools like the Marc Pro or NormaTec boots come check out our Recovery Room which comes complete with Netflix. 






Physiology Geek Friday

Today we're bringing you a new Friday blog segment aptly named Physiology Geek Friday. 

This segment will consist of technology, training tools, new testing protocols and other various items or strategies either myself or Kevin have been experimenting with. There is always exciting new technology and research in the world of sports thats easy to get caught up in. Thats why I like to use myself as a test subject for different programs or devices. That being said, I am no elite athlete and I'm still fairly new to the world of endurance but that allows me to approach these sort of things with an unbiased and open mindset. 

Lets get into todays topics. 


Mobility tool I'm using  



I've used several rollers ranging from the nice and squishy blue roller to a 6" PVC Pipe. I saw a segment with Mike Boyle using the roller and talking about how it stands out from other rollers. Rollga has a contoured design which allows for more focused self myofascial release. This is especially nice for people who abuse themselves rolling down their IT bands. It allows you to keep a nice angle on each side of the IT without aggravating it by rolling right over it. The contours also protect your spine by leaving a gap to avoid making contact with the spine itself when rolling your back. My other rollers have remained on the shelf since I received my Rollga and I expect they will remain there. You can check out their website here. 

Training tool I'm using

Neuro Grips  


Part of me wanted to use these because they look cool and part of me wanted to test out the idea of "neural priming." These weapon esque grips make a regular push up much more difficult as they challenge your stability on a whole new level. They're also are great for planks and L-sit Holds if you're bold. They look like an easy ticket to crushed fingers or a broken wrist but I have enjoyed using them intermittently in my workouts. I find that when I mix these in on a Push day I feel more stable in my shoulders. 




What I'm testing out

Altra Escalante

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I am still fairly new to running but I knew starting out that I wanted to progress to a 0 drop shoe and develop a smooth mid foot strike. I started with the classic supportive Brooks Adrenaline GTS to build my base fitness up and have slowly moved to less and less shoe. I've wanted to try Altras trail shoes but I have been enjoying my Inov-8 Roclite 305s so I opted for the Escalante road shoe. In my opinion they are by far the best looking Altras and are also one of the lightest. I have been loving these shoes. They have a lower stack height than most Altras and have an all mesh upper that feels like you're really not even wearing a shoe. I love the toe box and have noticed my feet feel much stronger over the last few months. I think I have found my brand as long as these shoes hold up. 


What I'm reading

Triathletes Training Bible 


Working at Podium has driven me to consider activities 5 years ago I would have been adamantly against. Athletes of all ages and competition levels come through the office and it has really peaked my interest in the questionably sane world of endurance sports. I've knocked off some races on foot and have started putting in more miles on the bike but there is one more step to fully dive into the endurance world, triathlon. What better way to start than reading Joe Friel's Triathletes Training Bible. So far this book has been a wealth of information on topics I'm familiar with such as training zones and testing to topics I'm less experienced in like balancing 12 hours of training in three different disciplines. While he doesn't suggest this book for the Novice triathlete I find myself enjoying the more in-depth discussion of training and physiology, because at the end of the day I am a physiology geek novice or not. 

Workout of the Week - Week Twenty

Welcome to Week 20.

One thing we can all agree on is that it is important to have variation in your training. In order to strike a balance and avoid injury and burnout you have to diversify your program. Today, we're going to discuss the often overlooked but necessary component of any comprehensive program, Strength.

Endurance athletes are notorious for letting strength workouts slip through the cracks. Six hours on the bike, three hours pounding the pavement and 2 hours in the pool leaves little time for weight training. However, strength workouts do not have to be 2 hours of pumping iron. With the right assessment and design it is possible to maintain a consistent strength routine with only a few 30 - 45 minute sessions a week. When you spend a significant amount of time stressing your body with long endurance workouts it is important to approach strength training with a focused and well designed plan. 

1. What is your goal? 

2. Where are your deficiencies? 

3. Is this helping me? 

This is where assessment comes in. It is important to know how you move, where your imbalances are and where you want to improve. Maybe you struggle with fatigue on the bike and would like to improve your positioning and strengthening with extra posterior chain work. Or, perhaps you're a runner who has fallen victim to the dreaded tight/weak hip dilemma. All in all, when you're pressed for time it benefits you and your well being to have a focused plan of action for strength training. 

Once you have your plan in place its time to get to work. Unfortunately, too many of us try and self coach ourselves through workouts and end up causing more harm than good. In order to get the most bang for your buck compound exercises like the squat are unquestionably the best. However, they also require a lot of moving pieces to work fluidly. This is where a good strength coach comes in. Not everyone can afford a strength coach full time but there are numerous options to ensure you are performing your workouts correctly. 

Most coaches are happy to work with your time constraints and create a plan to get you moving right even if you can't train 5 days a week. Video analysis, monthly/weekly check ups and Form Check Forums all offer great opportunities to get feedback on your motions. If you live in Knoxville we offer assessment and strength coaching at Podium Sports Medicine. We also have a unique opportunity coming up on October 26th. In connection with Katie Dotson Strength & Conditioning we are hosting a strength training clinic

This clinic will cover a variety of information to help you improve your technique. 

- Proper Breathing and Bracing 

- Squat Mechanics 

- Overhead Positioning 

- Common Mistakes 

This will be a hands on clinic with myself and Katie coaching everyone through the movements as well as providing feedback. 

You can register or check out more information here