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. 

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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. https://www.inscyd.com 

What we're looking forward to

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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

Patrick 

 

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. 

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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. 

Patrick 

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  

Rollga

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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  

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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 

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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

 

 

0 to 1,098

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This week we're talking to a cyclist who decided to ride over one thousand miles to support the Pat Summit foundation and their fight against Dementia and Alzheimers. Josh Crisp decided to saddle up and pedal 1,098 miles from Knoxville to Key West to raise money for the foundation. Before taking on this Journey Josh was an active individual who competed in Spartan races but had never spent significant time on the bike. We asked him to share some of his training as he prepares for his thousand mile ride in late October. 


As you know, I’m not an elite athlete by any stretch of the imagination…not even sure I’m considered an athlete.  I’m a husband, dad to 3 small kids, and small business entrepreneur that is passionate about trying to stay active and healthy.  For me it’s more about a journey of growth and wellness.  As I have began to get older, I have found it helps me to stay in shape by setting goals, working towards them, and continually trying to push myself beyond my comfort zone.  For me, this is where personal physical, emotional, and spiritual growth occurs.

My most recent goal, Pedal for Pat, has definitely pushed me beyond my comfort zone.  For someone not owning a bike until this year, preparing for a 1098 mile bike ride over a twelve day period is daunting and completely out of the “comfort zone.”

I have used a variety of different workouts to not only help me prepare for the physical and mental challenges of Pedal for Pat, but also custom tailored to help me find the balance with my life in general.

Here is an average week of workouts in my life and the reason(s) I have behind them.

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Time on the Bike

I try to spend 6 days of the week on a bike for some length of time.  I have now worked myself up to an average of 300+ miles a week on the bike.  While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s a lot for me with my schedule.  While I have grown to love the sport, due to schedule conflicts and to avoid monotony I mix up how I get these miles.  

Stationary Training Rides. 

I love my Tacx smart trainer.  When it’s raining outside, or simply too late or too early and I need to log time on the bike, being able to virtually ride with people from around the world and unique places and courses through Zwift adds some variety that I need to keep me interested.  I also use stationary bike rides before and after routine gym workouts to warm up and cool down.  I actually use this time for dual purpose.  I don’t watch much TV, but I’m guilty of catching up on some world news events and Sports Center in my warm up and cool downs.  For me, this is a mental escape at a variety of levels while also getting some physical action.

Intermediate Rides. 

For me, an intermediate ride is a 20 to 50 mile bike ride.  I love these rides and do these several days during the week weather permitting.  Due to my travel schedule, I have found myself on many occasions planning my trips ahead, finding great routes, and exploring new places when visiting other towns.  This has been rewarding at a variety of levels and keeps me active while on the road.  I think all my road warrior friends can agree that its easy to live on fast food and spend all your time in meetings, bars, and working when traveling for career.  Planning ahead for rides in the early morning or late evening seems to also keep me focused and energized on my trips.  I will also tend to throw in the trainer just in case circumstances aren’t conducive for riding outside.  Strava has been one of my favorite easy to use planning tools for routing the bike trips in unfamiliar territory.

Long Rides.

I try to get in 1 or 2 60+ mile rides a week.  These typically come on the weekend for me and are planned around social and spiritual activities which I think are important to not replace in order to “create the balance.”  Again, the goal for me is not really to become an elite athlete as much as to train for a phenomenal event and continue on my journey of wellness.  I like to also plan these to do with other people.  Getting others to join,  I find that I not only enjoy the ride, the social interaction, but we gain mental strength and encouragement from encouraging and pushing one another.  As a new cyclist, almost everyone I ride with has more experience and are stronger, so this is a great learning environment.

Intervals/short rides. 

One of my most painful but rewarding training rides are the shorter rides.  These rides I focus on sprints or what you might refer to as intervals.  One of my routes is the scenic Sequoyah Hills Park Boulevard.  Not only is the scenery beautiful, it is a relatively safe place to ride and offers a variety of hills and flats.  I like to focus on 90 second sprints intermittent between flat sprints and hill sprints.  I have improved my muscle endurance incrementally in the short time of interval training rides.  I’ve enjoyed using my Wahoo Bike computer linked with some other sensors such as the heart rate sensor.  It’s fun to see the results when you start seeing those improvements on a consistent course.

Gym time

Although most of my gym time has been replaced by time on the road on a bike, I still like to “mix it up” and get some strength, core, and cardio workouts in several days a week.  This helps me stay balanced, but also breaks some of the monotony.  I have been able to switch some of my workouts to focus more on the core muscle groups needed to perform best on a road bike, but the change of scenery and some high intensity workouts with friends is almost therapeutic for me.

Active Recovery

The absolute most favorite time I have is the active recovery days.  Again, this is typically one day a week, sometimes on a Sunday afternoon while the kids sleep.  It may look like a slow swim and stretch in the pool, followed by some stretching in sauna or hot tub.  I mix this time up, turn on some tunes on my earbuds when not in the pool, and simply recover physically and mentally from the week and think about goals for the upcoming week.  Again, this is typically a Sunday activity for me and something I look forward to each week.

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So, while non-scientific, and certainly open to improvement, this is how I have been training most recently and really enjoyed it, most of the time:). 

Register for Pedal for Pat

 

 

 



Workout of the Week - Week Eighteen

This week we're going back to our roots with a cycling workout. 

Race season is mostly over and its time to start preparation for next year. Unless you're one of the special few who like gravel and cyclocross. 

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What are your goals for this offseason? 

- Improve your climbing? 

- Push your threshold? 

- Develop thicker tan lines?

 

Its important to define your goal and set a specific plan no matter what you want to achieve. Its easy to get off track in the offseason. Shorter days and cooler temperatures make it easy to phone in a session on the trainer at home. Its important to remain focused because this is when you can strengthen your weakness and build a stronger base for next year. 

Many of our previous cycling workouts are based on power. Training with power is undoubtedly the best way to train however not every one is privy to power meters. Applications such as Strava or Whoop give you an estimated power but not until after you've completed your ride. This week we're going to base your workout on time, feel, and speed.

The plan is to perform 30 second accelerations. Don't go all out in the first second, build through the 30 seconds working up to a flat out effort.  

20 min warm up 

30 s acceleration 

3 min recovery 

Repeat 5 times - Record/Remember Final Acceleration Peak speed 

10 min easy spin 

30 s acceleration 

1 min recovery 

Repeat 3 times 

10-20 min cool down

Your goal is to achieve the same acceleration in the second set of three with less rest as the last acceleration from your first set. Say you hit 30 on your final acceleration of the first set. You goal is to accelerate to the same speed on your second set of accelerations. 

This workout is developing your ability to match acclerations/attacks after you've previously pushed past threshold on numerous occasions i.e. punchy climbs and attacks. You'll be switching from aerobic to anaerobic when you start your accelerations. The three minutes will allow your body to transition back into a steady aerobic state before hitting your next kick. This is best suited for the trainer but can be done out on the road. 

Enjoy 

Pat 

 

 

 

 

Workout of the Week - Week Seventeen

This week we're taking a step outside the norm and planning a workout around one of the fastest growing trends in sports, obstacle course racing. Whether you've done one or not theres no doubt you've seen or looked into a Spartan Race, Tough Mudder or any of the other numerous options. OCR offers a fun and challenging atmosphere for athletes of all levels. Elite athletes can push themselves in the longer distance races while a novice can stick to the shorter distances and still enjoy the challenge. 

I recently completed my first OCR in Asheville, North Carolina tackling the Spartan Beast. The beast consisted of 8 Miles, 25ish obstacles and 2.000ft of elevation change.  I did not place highly but was able to keep up with many veteran spartans. I attribute much of this to my training and personal approach to fitness. I established a strong aerobic base with trail and road running with grip focused strength work 3 - 4 days a week. The Asheville course was notably full of climbs so I planned for this by running up hills, truly state of the art training. 

I found myself wanting to run more than I was able to during the "race." This is where the OCR world is facing a problem. Events are growing but the obstacles and trails can only accommodate so many athletes at once. The sport is destined for more growing pains from law suits around obstacle safety and the over crowding of events. That being said, I had a great time and signed up for two more races this year to go ahead and complete the "Trifecta." 

In order to improve for the next two races I've taken what I learned in my first race and tweaked my training. I've combined this with what I've picked up from athletes such as Hunter McIntyre and Joe DI about OCR training to create a new plan moving forward. I'll share some of that plan with you today. 

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I picked up a few cool tools and made a few others to help with my training. 

1. Metolious Rock Rings - Awesome for pull ups and working grip strength 

2. DIY Bucket Carry - Fill a bucket with rocks 

3. Giant Tire - Easy to find and cheap 

4. DIY Sandbag - Medium Canvas duffel bag with 10lb bags of sand to adjust weight 

I incorporated other weighted carries with a trap bar or kettlebell as well as a lot of time on gymnastic rings for hangs and pull-ups. 

You could easily spend too much money building an elaborate rig in your back yard but I found having a few extra things in my garage gym helped me a ton on the course. 

I incorporated dead hangs and pull ups on the rock rings 2 - 3 times a week. 

4 finger holes - 6-8 Pull Ups 

3 finger holes - 6-8 Pull Ups 

3/4 off set - 3 each (Bonus if you switch holes without touching the ground) 

Finish up with 4 finger dead hang and 3 finger dead hang to failure. 

I also worked a weighted carry into my workouts 2 times a week. Either a suitcase carry or farmers carry. 2 x The length of my driveway. 

One day a week I put everything together for Spartan Saturdays.

An example of a saturday workout. 


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General Warm Up and Movement prep

1 Mile Warm Up 

Tire Flips - 100 feet (down and back across my backyard) 

Farmers Carry - 100 feet 

Bucket Carry - 150 feet (Around the lawn into the garage)

Rock Ring or Ring Pull Ups - 10 

20 Burpees 

400m Run or 1 Hill 

As an extra incentive I awarded myself 10 burpees anytime I set down the weights in a carry or hesitated too long on a flip or pull.

Set a timer for 60-90 minutes and get through as many rounds as possible.


Alongside incorporating more carries and hangs I focused a lot on trail running. Sometimes trail runs with a twist. 

Tuesday - 3-4 mile trail run with 500 - 600 feet elevation (Sharps Ridge)

Thursday - 6 mile road run - Mid Tempo 

Sunday - 8 + mile trail run (Ijams south loop or Haw Ridge perimeter loop) 

Spice it up - If you're running a trail add in some bodyweight movements anytime you come upon a wooden structure. For me this meant 10 burpees anytime I crossed a bridge, picnic table, platform, or other wooden structure. 


I roughly followed this plan and felt great on race day. I struggled on a few obstacles but that is to be expected. Overall my biggest advice is to have fun with your training and make yourself do burpees, lots and lots of burpees. 

Pat 

Workout of the Week - Week Sixteen

Sixteen has always been my favorite number. Whether it is because of Peyton Manning or not I can't say but for this week I am going to give you one of my favorite workouts/workout structures. 

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When it comes to strength training I program for myself 95% of the time.  I have always been a big fan of what I call contrast giant sets. I use this structure for a couple of reasons. First, its a time efficient structure that allows you to get a lot done in less time because you don't have to rest as much between sets. Second, it allows you to maintain a balance between movement planes. I have found that keeping this balance allows my clients and myself to keep our joints happy. 

I structure each giant set with the first exercise being the main focus. The second movement is done in the same plane but opposite direction, horizontal push followed by a horizontal pull. I typically stick to using a bodyweight exercise for the contrast movement. Finally, the third set is either a core exercise or some form of corrective. 

An example of this would be Bench Press (Horizontal Push) Ring Row (Horizontal Pull)Side Planks (Core). The focus of this giant set would be the pressing movement. On the next upper body day I would do a Barbell Row (Horizontal Pull) Push Up (Horizontal Press) Paloff Press/Chops(Core). 

I enjoy mixing in barbell or dumbbell loaded exercises and contrasting them with a bodyweight exercise. This helps keep your focus on the main lift of the day but also allows you to get extra volume in at a lower intensity during the contrast exercise. Most recreational athletes and lifters over work one plane, most notoriously the bench press. Training in this manner allows you to mitigate the development of an imbalance across planes and aids in the efficiency of your workouts. 

Another example of an upper body set with this structure. 

Barbell Strict Overhead press 4 x 8 

Ring Pull Ups 4 x 6 - 8 

Bird Dogs 4 x 10 ea. 

For a lower body workout 

Front Squat 4 x 6 

SL DL 4 x 8 

Reverse Plank 4 x 5 breaths 

OR 

RDL 4 x 8 

Split Squat w/Valgus Knee Band 4 x 8 ea

T-Spine Mobility 

Upper Body Warm Up - If full body workout 

This structure allows you to move from exercise to exercise with little to no rest. It also gives you more time to recover during the core/corrective set for the next main lift. Some trainers would call these tri-sets or supersets but I end up adding extra work in whether it be warm ups, mobility, or corrective so they typically become giant. The main concept is to work on what you need and spend less time checking your phone or wandering around the gym. 

I like applying this structure to a full body workout as well. A total body day would start with the lower body giant set followed by upper and finishing with some auxiliary lifts. You can also maximize your efficiency by doing upper body warm ups with lighter weights or bands during the lower body giant set. This way you'll be ready to start with working sets when you've finished your lower body work. 

Give this structure a shot for your next mesocycle (3/4 weeks) and see how you like it. I find that most endurance athletes are pressed for time between hours on the bike, the road, or in the pool so maximizing time and efficiency with strength workouts helps aid in program compliance. 

Happy Training,

Pat 

 

 

 

Workout of the Week - Week Fifteen

For week fifteen we have a workout from Crossfit Knoxville Coach and owner Johnny Davis.  Johnny is a Crossfit Level 1 coach, Barbell and mobility coach as well as a USA Weightlifting certified instructor. For this workout Johnny moves away from the barbell and focuses on the simplest of training tools, the kettlebell.  Take care to start light with this workout as the key to progress is focusing on perfecting your form and keeping yourself focused on each step. The video below offers you step by step instruction on performing the Get-up correctly.

Enjoy 


My favorite workout is 10 minutes of Deliberate Turkish get-ups. I use the word Deliberate strongly because without it, the response is not the same. Weight is irrelevant and can be pushed over time but if it’s increased too rapidly the move from stabilizers to prime movers will happen and negate many of the benefits. I highly suggest watching Jeff Martone’s video on the “tactical Turkish get-up” as a reference point.

The Workout: Lay in the floor, set a clock and alternate hands until 10 minutes is complete. Go as slow as you can but as fast as necessary for balance, pausing in every position along the way for an internal and external survey. Am I engaged? Am I pushing the KB/DB/Object as close to the ceiling as possible? Am I forcing my body to move the way it’s designed, therefor releasing restrictions and turning on muscles/patterns that aren’t normally firing? Am I thinking about work or pushing the ground away and the KB to the ceiling?

Think about keeping the ground and the KB as far apart as possible the entire time, and be very mindful of the entire process. When the thought process changes from doing a get up to taking the object to the ceiling, the mind engages the body differently and things fire differently and more accurately. The stability required because of the uni-lateral forces on both upper and lower body are very beneficial. The large range of motion required (if light weights are used and deliberate slow motion is used) will fix many mobility issues as well.

Think Yoga with weight. It can be very beneficial in more ways than physical for sure and very mind clearing. It’s not good to think about your boss when you have a metal object over your head!


Workout of the Week - Week Fourteen

Week 14 - In defense of Crossfit 

Week fourteen is upon us and the crossfit games have just finished. I know many of you have seen the dark side of crossfit but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This years games even included a "cyclocross" as well as a run - swim - run event. The world of crossfit is slowly beginning to encompass a wider variety of specialized courses with crossfit endurance training as well as a host of other specialties. In order to obtain peak overall fitness you have to try things that push you outside of your comfort zone and make you change your routine. 

One easy and usually free option to try a "wod" is to venture to your local crossfit box and try a fundamentals course. Most boxes will offer these classes for free and they're an easy way to get a great workout and try something new. 

If you're not quite ready to check out a local gym we have two simple workouts you can try at your current gym, track, or at home. All you'll need is a kettlebell, a pull up bar and a little will power. 

Rule of thumb for crossfit workouts, if its a female's name you might be in trouble. Don't be fooled by the simplicity, if you perform these workouts at near maximal capacity you will understand. 

Helen

3 Rounds for time

400m Run 

21 KB Swings 

12 Pull ups 

Sound too short? Option 2. 

Eva

5 Rounds for time

800m Run 

30 KB Swings 

30 Pull ups 

Both of these are standard crossfit workouts, I did not create them so don't hate the messenger if you give them a shot. Crossfit.com is full of free workouts that are updated daily. 


For the endurance side of things we will explore a workout popularized by the creator of Crossfit Endurance Brian Mackenzie. You can find his outline for a twelve week program floating around online but for today well stick to his prescription for a triathlete. 

Swim 

5 x 200m w/2 min recoveries - Record and match split times the following week

Bike 

5 x 2 Miles with 3 mins spin in-between 

Run 

6 x 400 m with 90s rest

Mackenzie's program prescribes each of these with a sub 10 minute wod (Helen) and deadlifts for the focused strength segment. All of this is programmed for a solid single day of training. 

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns don't hesitate to contact me at Patrick.Morris@podiumsportsmed.com

Hate Crossfit?

Come back next week for a new workout. 

Thanks for reading, 

Pat 

 

 

Workout of the Week - Week Thirteen

To keep with the superstition of week thirteen we're going to cover one of the unluckiest joints in the body, the shoulder. Shoulder issues are plentiful and diverse covering a range equal to that of the joint itself. No matter what sport or activity you choose, the shoulder is bound to play a pivotal role in your ability to perform. 

There are numerous ways of strengthening the shoulder that dive deeper than adding more overhead presses into your routine. There is a lot going on to keep you're shoulder moving correctly, you can experience this by performing an arm circle and feeling what moves. Is your scapulohumeral rhythm a smooth 160 bpm? Do you feel your ribs flair? Is your lumbar spine over extending? Are your trapezius muscles over compensating for weak rhomboids?  Are your teres minor and subscapularis friends or enemies? Hopefully they're friends but you never know with rotator cuffs these days. 

I know many of you, including myself, have spent hours working rotator cuff exercises only to fall victim to the same tweaks and twinges. Continue to do these exercises but start to think about shoulder function (or dysfunction) as needing more than just a few pull aparts at the beginning of a workout. Lets also think about volume and load when it comes to these exercises. 

Two notes on volume and load. Don't perform these exercises heavy and don't perform to failure. If we're working an inherently weak muscle group before exercise why take it to failure? The burn is your enemy in the warm up, we don't want to weaken a muscle that is already struggling. We also don't want to overload it, this will result in the larger muscles taking over as prime movers. Stick to lower reps and lighter loads with a more controlled tempo focusing on your position and stability and not weight! Also keep in mind your plans for activity on or the day after you do a lot of shoulder work. If you plan to do 2 miles of open water swimming, don't hit 60 minutes of a shoulder workout that morning or even the day before. If your shoulder is already angry don't push its buttons, give it space. 

On to the workout. Yes, I made a joke about bands and pull aparts and now I'm telling you to do them. Some of these workouts serve as a great warm up and some are better suited as independent auxiliary exercises during your workouts. The trick with any of these is to focus on smooth controlled motions while focusing on the shoulder complex and not what your hands are doing. 

1. Band Internal + External Rotations 2 x 8 Reps 

2. Band Pull Aparts 2 x 12 Reps 

3. Quadruped Protractions + Retractions 2 x 8 Reps Each - Focus on you breathing and core bracing while in the Quadruped Position 

4. Wall Slides/ Floor Slides - 2 x 12 Reps - Focus on good even pressure into the wall or floor 

5. Y,T,Is 2 x 8 Ea 

6. Wall Clocks  2 x 6 Ea - Focus on keeping a good plus position, this means keeping yourself pushed away from the wall with scapular protraction.

Bonus - Tri-Pod Push-Pull

- This can be scaled down by starting in a quadruped position with both knees on the ground 

As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me at Patrick.Morris@podiumsportsmed.com 

Thanks for Reading, 

Pat 

 

Workout of the Week - Week Twelve

Welcome back. I decided to take a week off to give you ample time to put down strava and do an untracked unplanned workout. I was also at the beach. 

Now, back to the fun stuff. This week our workout comes form professional Cyclist Clay Murfit. Clay is an accomplished cyclist as well as co owner of The Crit Life. The Crit Life is a new team with a new concept, focus on crit races and win crit races. His workout focuses on developing your ability to accelerate and match or create your own attack. He also uses a mixture of seated and standing positions as well as different cadences to get you ready for anything your next race may throw at you. 

Enjoy 


20/40s

This workout is all about quality and executing the workout with patience. (don't go too hard too soon)

I typically do this workout at a set of 5 minutes, with 5 minutes recovery in between each set.  Do 3-4 sets.

This workout is all about recovery and its important not to go out too hard in the first or second set.  These are not 100%, but more about 85-90%.

Hard but not full gas.  This is also like being in a race and accelerating after an attack, but over and over again.  The first few wont be hard, but trust me, by the 3rd or 4th set you will be feeling it. That's why quality is important, picking a power number like 500 watts is hard, but not hard enough that you can't do it for 4 sets.

Don't be a hero and go out and do 650 watts and then drop off and finish at 300. Try and be consistent and do efforts the same.

I like mixing it up and doing the first set seated at a high (110) cadence, second set seated in a bigger gear (80) cadence, third set COMPLETELY out of the saddle, and the last set a combination of high cadence, low cadence and in and out of the saddle.

Give this workout a week or so to feel the benefits. It's the go to for me at least once a week to get the legs race ready.

Warm up 20 mins

5 mins - 20/40 - 110 seated cadence (450-500w)

5 mins recovery - under 100w

5 mins - 20/40 - 80 cadence seated

5 mins recovery

5 mins 20/40 out of saddle

10 mins recovery

15 mins tempo (270-290w)

20 mins recovery home

This will be around 1.5hrs

Good Luck


 

 

Workout of the Week - Week Eleven

Welcome back to the workout of the week. We're nearly a dozen weeks in and have discussed everything from hotel workouts to meditation. This week we're taking another turn and discussing technology and training. 


Many of our workouts require the use of technology. At times a simple stop watch is all you need while other workouts require advanced tools such as power meters or heart rate monitors. Technology is great but when does it become too much? If I forget my watch and can't log miles into Strava or Training Peaks I feel like my workout doesn't count. I feel let down if I don't complete my set miles or hours each week and find myself relying more on my watch for pacing and less on feel. When does the law of diminishing returns come into affect with technology and training? A new book Unplugged is being released this week and discusses this very topic. Authors Brian Mackenzie, Dr. Andy Galpin, and Phil White set out to illuminate the value of training with and without the newest GPS, Heart Rate, Cadence, Power, midi-chlorian monitor. 

I'm not saying throw your power meters away, but if you feel so inclined send me an email and let me know what trash can you'll be using. Theres no doubt that to remain competitive these tools are necessary. I am an avid user of technology and would never be able to progress without measuring and monitoring progress or accounting for volume and intensity. What I am saying is that maybe every now and again we should step away from tracking everything and just move.  


For this week, go do a workout unplanned and un-tracked. Set out for a ride with a friend or spouse and don't check your watts, just enjoy riding your bike. Go for a run but stop and enjoy the outdoors and don't stress about keeping a 6:20 Pace. Ignore your devices and just enjoy your sport. This may be hard to do but at the end of the day we run, bike, swim, lift, or just move because its an enjoyable activity. Be a kid, play a little bit and make your workouts feel less like work. 

Pat 

 

 

 

Workout of the Week - Week Ten

This week’s WOW is a bit of a departure, but it’s an important one.  Too often, especially as summer heats up, we tend to push the envelope with our training.  It’s fun to be active and enjoy the long, sunny days.  I don’t discourage that!  But we also need a reminder that rest, recovery, and de-stressing should be a part of every routine.  The benefits are not purely psychological either.  Implementation of these tools will lead to better performance and the ability to tolerate higher training loads.  What athlete wouldn’t want that!?!

Meditation

The mind is a powerful tool for all of us, regardless of our athletic or professional pursuits.  We tend to be meticulous in training our bodies, but we often neglect our minds, to the detriment of our performance.  Professional athletes know better than to let this happen!

Taylor Phinney is a former world champion and multi-time US national champion in the Time Trial as a cyclist.  (And as of this posting, he's wearing the polka-dot jersey in the Tour de France!)  He now races as a top-level, World Tour professional for the Cannondale-Drapac team.  Taylor has a captivating story, from his parents who were both Olympic cyclists, to a nearly career ending injury in Chattanooga a couple years ago.  Through the ups and downs, he’s learned to use meditation to train his mind, which then allows his body to function to its full capacity.

"I think I was drawn to it because I was feeling like there is a certain level of personal growth that is necessary for me at all times. I have a deep hunger to be changing, growing, and evolving. When I broke my leg, I experienced a huge amount of change, but it reinvigorated me to learn, to grow, and to better myself." - Taylor

Taylor was recently interviewed by Allen Lim for Headspace, the meditation tool used by Taylor and many top performers.  Read that article HERE.

 

Morning Movement to Prepare for Your Day

Do you find yourself jumping out of bed after hitting snooze three times?  Quickly scanning your phone as you stumble to the bathroom…only to be derailed by a list of emails that are all begging for your immediate attention?  Maybe you rush through coffee, breakfast, and a shower so that you can get to work early enough to warrant escaping for a 4pm run.  This is no way to start the day!  Not only does your mind suffer (see meditation info above), but your body never gets to reset and ready itself for an active day.

A daily movement routine, done as you start your day, can be a perfect complement to a mindfulness session.  In fact, for some, it can coincide with such meditation.  Here is an example of what such a routine might look like.  For more info on the topic, read THIS blog post.

Workout of The Week - Week Nine

Nine weeks later and we're still at it. 

As usual, we have one endurance and one strength workout to share with you. I've kept myself out of it this week to let a couple of great local athletes take you through their workouts. 


This week's endurance segment comes from local Triathlete and endurance enthusiast Lana Burl. Lana works with several endurance athletes, she is a USAT level 1 coach, USAC Level 3 coach and has a Masters Degree in Nutrition. You can contact her at lburl@burlyprojects.com.

The workout I love to hate is the very simple 8 x 800 with 400 recoveries;

It's a favorite just one week prior to any big race, suitable to "sharpen" for everything from a 10K to an Ironman.

Warm up with 1600 to 3200 before the intervals which are performed at maximum effort.

This run can be performed at a track, but a greenway like Melton Hill or Third Creek(For those in Knoxville) provides delightful distraction. The biggest benefit is the mental toughness, as well as the development of a long kick heading to any finish line. I love it because it works, and I hate it because it's eight 800s!

Bonus : Check out Lana's blog for another workout the "No Thank You." 


Our strength workout for this week is all about the bass, aka the Glutes.

I know you're tired of hearing me talk so I'll let Podium Team Member Katie Dotson take you through this one.  Katie is a Certified Strength & Conditioning specialist, Precision Nutrition Level one Coach, Triathlete, and all around awesome coach and person. 

My favorite workout opener and/or closer is all about the glutes! Glutes help hold your pelvis and lower back steady, aid in hip extension and flexion (needed to stand up, sit down, climb stairs as well as run and bike), and facilitate hip rotation (think stability - navigating trails or avoiding your kids Legos all over the floor). Translation - Glutes make you more awesome!

When glutes are strong and firing, we can propel ourselves forward better, keep our hips/legs/knees/torso aligned, and power each and every pedal or run stroke! This translates to faster, more enduring, more stable, more powerful athlete. *Sign me up!* When our glutes are weak or not activated, it can lead to Achilles issues, shinsplints, runners knees, IT band issues, increase likelihood of tripping or turning an ankle and much more. Let's put that asset to good use!

Opener (to prep the glutes to go to work):

Glute Bridge, with Moderate band resistance just above the knees, 2x8reps focusing on form

Seated Glute Abduction, Moderate band resistance, 1-2 sets 8-12 reps at 3 angles (leaned forward, sitting upright, leaning back)

Workout Closer:

Glute Bridge from bench, weighted or with a band just above knees, 2x8-12 reps

Mod to heavy load Seated Hip Abduction, heavy band resistance, 1 set, same # of reps at each of the 3 angles, likely 12+ reps


Thanks for checking out week Nine. 

How are we doing? Are workouts clear and easy to understand? Do we need to be more descriptive? Are the PDF files opening properly? I am still new at blogging so please let me know if there is anything you think would help us improve this page. Patrick.Morris@podiumsportsmed.com

- Pat

Workout of The Week - Week Eight

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Eight Weeks in and we have another awesome workout from Expert Coach and Professional Competitor Matthew Busche.  Matthew is a life long lover of endurance sports who has competed in three grand tours and has won The US National Road Championship Twice. Matthew runs Busche Endurance and is a Professional Carmichael Training Systems Coach. Check out his website for more info. Buscheendurance.com


Tempo or Steady State with Accelerations:

These intervals are great to simulate the demands of a race and help the body learn to continue to work while buffering lactic acid. You have to work into them by building your tempo and/or steady state base prior to adding accelerations.

To complete one you start each piece with a 10-15sec acceleration, which is more or less an attack, then settle into your rhythm until it is time to attack again.

A typical effort might be 12-15 minutes long with an acceleration to start, one every 3rd or 4th minute, and one to finish.

Take around half the interval length as recovery time and repeat.


This week we're getting into a more advanced strength routine with compound lifts. I have included longer videos from trusted names in the strength and conditioning industry such as Mark Rippetoe. Compound movements like the squat and deadlift are widely accepted as the most efficient method to improve your athletic performance. That being said, they also require more time and effort to perfect the form and maximize your return. If you do not feel confident with these motions I encourage you to find a good coach or trainer. There is no substitute for live feedback from a coach when learning new movements. If you're working on your own, progress slowly and don't worry about weight. If you feel anything go wrong in the lift, stop, deload, and start back at square one. 

Hope you enjoy the workout. 

- Pat 

 

 

Workout of The Week - Week Seven

Welcome to week Seven. This week we've got cycling on the brain coming off the finish of the Giro and the start of The Tour De Suisse.  In the spirit of cycling season we have a no frills max effort workout from Podium Racing Team member Chris Morelock. Chris keeps this workout simple by using small 5 watt intensity bumps every 5 minutes. Let us know how far you make it by tagging us on Strava, Instagram, or Facebook with your final wattage. 


20' warmup

Beginning in low/mid z2 add 5 watts every 5 minutes.

Go until exhaustion.

Long cooldown

Starts so easy, but oh so tough to really get the most out of it. (usually done right before a recovery block)


For this weeks strength program we will focus on the underworked upper body of cyclists. Long rides can lead to a tight low back and sore shoulders or traps. While some of this can be a fit problem, general fatigue from hours in the saddle can be prevented or reduced with a few targeted strength exercises. Adding extra work by focusing on the low back as well as shoulders and mid/low trap can help increase your comfort on long rides. If your diligent with your strength program but still get a tight neck or back, consider getting a professional bike fit.  

The link below takes you to the program. Each exercise links to a video demonstration of the exercise. The sets a and reps are only a suggestion, always self modify and add sets or reps as needed. If you have any questions as always feel free to contact me at Patrick.Morris@podiumsportsmed.com 

Workout of The Week - Week Six

Leg Breakers

This week we're bringing you a workout from Professional Cyclist Stephen Bassett. Stephen rides for Team Silber  and is a Knoxville Native.  


One of my favorite workouts to prep for a race is a tempo block followed by surges. This is a great way to simulate the efforts required in a road race, when you are already dealing with fatigue when the racing starts to get serious. I started working with Nate Wilson at Catalyst Coaching in the fall of 2015, and he had me doing these intervals pretty quickly once I picked up training after the offseason. Here's an example of some of the numbers I aim for when I do this workout:

15 minutes at 330 watts

5 x 30 seconds at 500 watts, 30 seconds easy (5 minutes total)

The key here is to make these accelerations, not full sprints. This is a mistake I made when I first started doing these. This is a workout to prepare you to make it to the finish line of your goal races. You want enough training stress to stimulate improvement, but not to smash yourself. Save that for the race! I might do a couple sets of these during a long ride, or sometimes that is just one of a several different sets of intervals. A pro tip for these kinds of very structured workouts: you can write yourself a "cheat sheet" on a small piece of paper and use clear packing tape to attach it to the stem where it's easily visible. Or, I usually try to save a screenshot of the interval instructions on my phone, in case I need to refer to it quickly.

I sometimes call these kinds of workouts "leg breakers", if you do them right you might not feel too bad during the efforts, but you will definitely feel them walking around afterwards!


Workout of The Week - Week Five

This week we're focusing on two common training battles we all fight, time and travel.

As summer approaches scheduling time to train around travel becomes increasingly difficult. Vacation, business, and races all make it difficult to maintain a consistent training schedule. Hotel gyms are typically limited to an elliptical or a strange multipurpose machine that takes as much time to figure out as it does to get through one exercise. For our strength segment I've put together a workout that utilizes the tools Dr. Sprouse discussed in his Travel Gym Article. It's unlikely that you'll be able to make strides in your training on the road but what you can focus on is mitigating any loss and keeping up your routine.  It doesn't take much to get a great workout , the key is knowing your focus and preparing a little before you go. 

If you can spare the space try packing this travel gym in a bag next time you're on the road. 

- Running Shoes 

- TRX Straps  

- Furniture Sliders 

- Versa Loops 

 Travel is an even better time to focus on mobility. Long trips by plane or car leave the body stuck in a position it wasn't built for, this is where some simple hotel or rest stop mobility work can really make a difference your comfort traveling and at your upcoming event. 

- Thoracic Peanut 

- Foam Roller 

If you have a trigger point foam roller you can easily pack all of the above listed tools into the hollow center of the foam roller to keep everything organized. 


Our Endurance Workout comes from Podium team member Michael Wyrosdick. Mike Brings us a quick interval workout for when your short on time but hopefully not on
motivation.  

When I'm crunched for time (which is always) I love a quick interval workout on the bike.

Warm up 4 minutes high cadence low resistence Interval:

30 seconds all out 1.5 minute rest Interval

45 seconds all out 2.0 minute rest Interval

60 seconds all out 2.0 minute rest Interval

45 seconds 1.5 minute rest interval

30 Seconds all out 1.5 minute rest

10 seconds All out 50 seconds slightly lower pace

2.5 minute Cool Down high cadence low resistence

Stretch

Doesn't sound like much because it's only 20 minutes but it'll kick your butt. The other is "The Gorby": 10 min. warm up then (5 x 5minutes @ 110% FTP)(with 4 minutes rest between).


Hope you've enjoyed this weeks installment. As always I'm happy to take all questions, comments, and programs below. 

- Pat 

Name *
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Workout of The Week - Week Four

This week we're bringing you the Fourth installment of WOW. We're working on a new title page that will store each week individually making it easier to find past workouts. For now you'll have to bear with us as this section grows. 


Week four's endurance segment is a pre race running routine from Knoxville Endurance owner and coach Bobby Holcombe. Bobby has developed many great runners locally in Knoxville as well as through his online coaching program. Knoxville Endurance also offers training for swimmers, cyclists and triathletes. 


"One of my bread and butter workouts I like to do before a race."

Usually Tuesday the week of a race I like to have athletes do 2 miles warm up at true easy zone pace, come back and do about 4x75-100 meters striders to loosen the legs up. Then proceed with the workout which is 4x200 IR (interval rest) 200 meters jog, 1x1-mile around 95% effort close to max effort mile pace IR 3:00 - 4:00 then 4x200 IR 200 pace goal mile pace. 2 mile cool down.

Physical - Reason for the workout is to do a shorter aerobic capacity (AC) workout without taxing the body. 200's to work on efficiency, stretch the legs out but NOT over striding. Full recovery to allow aerobic and heart rate to return back to normal ranges. The mile, this is to get a short AC effect but not too long long of a distance. Mile seems to be perfect distance for an athlete doing 30 or more miles a week. Any less I will do more like 800 or 1000 meters. 4x200 IR 200 to cool down the legs but continue to work on turnover but in control.

Mental -- The mile seems to really help athletes gain confidence the week of the race. Usually I give this workout when an athlete is about to do a 5k-15k range race. Fast mile on Tuesday helps athletes fine tune goal 5k -15k race pace not the weekend. After the workout coach will talk about what pace will feel right for the weekend when they see how they felt on a short AC run on Tuesday.

So to sum up

- 2 up 4x200 IR 200 pace (mile race pace)

- 1x1mile IR 3:00 pace ( close to max around 95% effort)

- 4x200 IR 200 pace (mile race pace)

- 2 down


Continuing our focus on running this week, this strength workout will address a common problem area for runners, the hips. Often times weak or immobile hips can create an unbalanced gate that hurts your efficiency and can create problems in the knees, ankles, or feet. The hips have a large range of motion so it is important to strengthen and mobilize this area. Often we focus too much on one aspect of either mobility or strength/stability and we lack a balanced approach. This week's workout provides you with four simple exercises you can add into your daily routine to help strengthen and stabilize your hips.

Hip External Rotation 

- Clam Shells 2 x 10 Each Leg 

Hip Flexion 

- Supine Band March 2 x 20 total 

Hip Extension 

- Single Leg Glute Bridge 2 x 10 Each Leg 

- Bent Knee Hip Extension 2 x 10 Each Leg

Alongside our strength segment I'd like to share a short and effective "Hip Flow" I picked up from Max Shank. Max promotes the practice of a 5 Minute Flow, essentially a daily routine of moving a little, checking in with your body, and loosening up before you start the day. I think this is a great concept to work into your morning ritual. 

Thanks again for checking out our workout of the week. As always feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns, or workouts you would like to submit. 

Pat