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Do you have a fitness or conditioning question for Graig White? Send it to If your question is used in an article, you will receive a free Team Conditioning Systems t-shirt.

Question: Hi Graig, I went on the internet this morning hoping to find out some information on lifting weights and how much weight is safe. I have a son who is 10th grade this year. He played football for the 2nd time this year. They are required at our school to take a weight conditioning class every day if they play a sport. That is fine, however, I worry so much about the amount of weight the coach expects my son to lift. He weighs about 120. Yesterday he came home and said that he was lifting 225 very easily. That was a 45lb bar, with 2 45lb weights on either side. He said that the coach walked over and told him that he needed to add a 35lb weight to each side. The coach is very demanding of these kids and expected him to do it. My son attempted but could not. I don't understand why it would be safe to add so much more at once, why not a 5lb or 10 to each side to ease you way up. I am not so sure that the coach is looking out for the best interest of these boys health. I have had back problems in my life time and that is something I don't want my son who is only 17 to have this early in life, much less blowing out a knee, etc... Could you please tell me what would be safe for a child my sons size to lift with out hurting himself physically. Thank you, Debbie, a VERY concerned mom.
(Debbie from Lexington, GA
Debbie, I can understand your concern and I if the situation is as you say I too would be concerned. Does the coach who is supervising the weight training certified by anyone? If so who? I am in complete agreement that the weight increments should be a little smaller. A 70lb jump is a little severe in my mind and I don't recommend it. Talk with the coach and voice your concerns and find out how you guys can co-exhist peacefully. If that doesn't work then I would talk with a school administrator to get my point across. I would be very interested in knowing how this turns out, would you please keep me posted?
Question: Hi I'm 16-yearold high school hockey player. I really want to have a body like NHLer's. What exercise should I do for that? I've been using a bullworker. Is that effective and by the way, I want to be a strength and conditioning coach in the future.What should I major in at the university? Thank you very much for your help!
(Hidetoshi from Osaka, Japan
Hidetoshi, thanks for writing. You are the first question that I have had from Japan. Check out a book called "Complete Conditioning for Hockey" by Human Kinetics it is a great book and will help you a great deal. As far as becoming a stength coach check with the National Strength and Conditioning Association they should be able to help.
Question: I am currently a freshman at Michigan State University and have been considering major in Excercise Science in order to pursue a career as a Strength and Conditioning coach. I am wondering what kind of wages are out there for someone interested in this career, and what kind of jobs are available. I have always been a dedicated trainer myself, and I would like to share knowledge with others, but I am unsure of the benefits of a career in such a field..thanks!
(Ryan from East Lansing
Your question is one I hear quite often and to you I say this, the benefits of being in this business are huge. You get to work with athletes that are looked upon as role models. Think about it, an athlete that is being worshipped is training with you! And then don't let that athlete win an award like and MVP or something, because you know that you were a big part of it. Look at Gil Reyes, he has a client list of one, but his one is Andre Agassi. I have one of my favorite athletes at your school right now her Name is Tina Vandermiren. She is in the athletic department. Look her up and she will be able to talk to more about getting started. And tell her I said hello.
Question: Hi, I was wondering what you think about the one set to failure routine, and I always wanted to know but no one does know what the pec deck / or fly machine max weight record is? Thank you so much.
(Cody from Canada
Cody thanks for writing. I'm not a big fan of that training method, there are too many variables that can have a negative effect on training. Please understand, this is just my own personal opinion. I've worked with coaches who swear by this protocol and have had great success, give it a shot and find out if it works for you or not. When you ask about the pec deck "record" what exactly are you asking? Are you talking about reps or weight? If you are talking weight I don't think there is anyone out there that keeps track of those kinds of things, but contact the National Strength and Conditioning Association of the National Academy of Sports Medicine they should be able to help you.
Question: I am a forty-five year old psychiatric nurse who avidly weight trains. As a younger man I competed in several natural bodybuilding contests and always did well. It has always been difficult for me to train legs as my knees have always given me problems, especially during the winter months. Recently, I had developed a weakness in my left knee, which I thought was progressing well. Then one day I was attempting to aquat with 300lbs and again hurt the knee. The doctor insists that there is no structural damage. However, I can no longer squat with heavy weight and have difficulty squatting at all due to the disparity in strength between the two legs. I want to increase the size of my thighs, but the incline leg press has never been effective for me in doing so. What exercises do you recommend to achieve my objectives? Thank you in advance!!!! Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated.
(Lester from Bronx, New York
The answer to your problem is to do one-legged extensions. It will help clear up the muscle disparity that exist between your quads. Give that a try for a while and see what happens.
Question: I am 18 years old, and I have been a dancer all my life. However I haven't kept up much dancing in the last two years. Instead I have join different gyms to stay in shape. With dance so serious in my life I was used to doing up too, if not more 600 crunchs, in different positions. I took a couple months off from working out. I started college last September (2003) so it was hard to find time to work out. Now I've been back at the gym for just about a month, but I've noticed that doing that same work out routine for my abs is not working for me anymore. I don't know what's happening. I love to work on my abs, but I feel lost right now. Can your abs get tired of the same old routine? If so, what can I do to help myself? Should I take a break from ab excersises all together?
(Shanna from Toronto, Ontario)
Shanna, thanks for writing. Yes take and break and let your body rest. Six hundred crunches are way too many and I wouldn't suggest that many to anyone. Write again in a month and let's see what is happening.
Question: Looking for examples of resistance training programmes for the sport of gymnastics, main components of fitness being strength and flexibility.
(Stacy from Stirling)
Stacy, figure out what body parts you are looking to work and then decide what movements you want to do. There are no specific exercises you want to focus, create a body that is fit on all levels and you can't go wrong.
Question: Is heavy lifting, with the goal of gaining mass, a bad idea during wrestling season? Will this have adverse affects on agility? What type of training regimen would you recommend for a high shcool teen?
(Don from Mickleton, N.J.
Don thanks for writing, the answer to your question is yes and no. It's a bad idea if you are working to stay in the weight class you are now in. If you are working to get the next class then it doesn't have to be. If you continue to work on your agility as you train it will only enhance it. As far as recommending a protocol I don't do this over the net, you are more than welcome to come to Camden and let's see what you can do and take it from there.
Question: What do you think is the single most important psychological aspect to training athletes? I know that you have a psychology background, and getting athletes to believe in themselves is important if you want them to achieve their goals.
(Dave from Mechanicsburg,
I think that the single most important psychological aspect of training athletes is to get them to trust you as a coach. Today's athlete is a little more aware as to how things should be and aren't in a hurry to listen to someone they don't trust. Work to get the athlete to know that you will always have their best interest at heart. In the words of the immortal Muhammed Ali, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Those are words to live by.
Question: My son (who is 8 years old) plays baseball and is just starting to show interest in weight training. Other people have told us that weight training will help with many aspects of baseball--(the obvious being strength and also speed enhancement). Is this correct and is there special weight training equipment for kids?
(Audra from West Palm Beach)
Audra all of those things are true, but the one thing that you didn't mention about what people were telling you is that weight training before puberty is not going to help. The body of an 8 year old is not set up to weight train. So give him a few more years before doing anything like that.
Question: My friend has been told to just do cardio fitness to loose the fat as this is more difficult to get rid of around the muscle if she was to do weight machines too. I have been told to do a combination of cardio and light weights as the muscle turns into fat. Who is correct? Please can you advise me. (Jessica from London)
Jessica, muscle will never turn into fat or vice versa, they are too different tissues. I'm a believer in cardio work and moderate weight lifting. Doing this will go a long way in helping you reach your goals.
Question: Dear Graig, I am a principal of a Catholic elementary school in Chicago. One of our teacher coaches assigned the "box drill" to certain members of our 7th & 8th grade boys' basketball team in lieu of a school detention. The parents of one student complained that the drill was "unorthodox" and should be considered "corporal punishment." I don't believe that the teacher coach had corporal punishment in mind and want to settle this issue fairly and honestly. Are you familiar with the "box drill"? Is it a strengthening exercise that can be used with kids? I have spent a lot of time trying to find an answer on the internet but to no avail. HELP! Thank you. (Jo Ann from Blue Island, Illinois)
I am familiar with the box drill, and I agree that I don't believe that the coach/teacher had corporal punishment on his mind, but I am not a real big fan of it. I agree with the parent, the drill is a little unorthodox and I don't suggest it being used on 7th and 8th grade boys. I just beleive that there are too many things that can go wrong. It is thought to be a good way to enhance strength by some people but not by me. I hope this answers your question.
Question: Hey I read alot of the Q's and A's on your sight and really picked up alot, but I was wondering if you could give me some tips on ab excercises. Everytime I try to do situps/crunches, or leg raises, my back hurts so bad i cant continue. I am 20 years old 6'2 215 lbs, I lift weights 4 days a week and have no back problems with any other excerises, even back routines are fine. Can you tell me if this is normal, or are there alternative excercises? I'd really appreciate any help you could give me. (Joe from Philadelphia, PA)
More often than not the back pain you are having is due to a muscle imbalance. Your abs are stronger than your back. What you want to do is to start concentrating on the "Core" your abs hips and back. Working on those muscles as a group will go a long way in helping you get better go to click on "FYI" you will see all types of publications by Human Kinectics. The reason I am telling you this is because there is a really good book By Greg Brittneham called "Stronger Abs and Back" This will help you.
Question: Almost a month ago I was at the GYM doing my normal monday night chest routine. However, I got there a few mintues late and my lifting partner was already 1 or 2 sets ahead of me on the Flat bench press. So, I jumped in and didn't warm up properly. I started with 135 for 12, 185 for 10 then went right up to 225. (I USUALLY ALLWAYS GOTO 205) for about 6 ~ 8 before going up to 225 for 5 or 6 reps. At 225 on my 5th rep I felt some pain in my chest/shoulder area. But, I decided to continue lifting and proceed to increase the weight up to 250 for 2 reps. At this weight I still felt "something" in my chest / arm pit area. I then went back down to 225 fearing I didn't warm up properly... at this weight I felt a "POP" in my chest and arm pit.. After that I couldn't lift my own arm over my head. This was a month ago.

Since that time I had my "DOCTOR" tell me nothing was wrong.... but I couldn't lift 10 pounds if I tried. I have sinec went to a specialist who requested 2 MRI's and I am now in physical therapy to help with a slightly torn pec. To quote my MRI report " There is a abnormal t2 hyperintensity in the anteriior or superficial protion of the pectoralis major mescle extending to the myotendinous junction. These findings could reflect a intrasubstance tear or muscle strain."

I just started rehab 3 weeks after the inital injury. They had me doing some stretching and strengthing exercises. I was trying to do the seated machine bench press and struggled with 30lbs because of a tightness and pain in that area. Is there anything I should be doing or taking to help speed along the healing process. I am currently taking 9 advil aday. 3 in the morning, afternoon and night. Therapy is applying ultrasound to the affected areas. And I am using ICE and Heat at home. A friend told me to try GLUTAMINE and suppliment high amounts of Vitamin C.

Do you have any other ideas that will help speed up my recovery period? (Brian from Luzerne, PA)

Brian, thanks for writing. Let me say one thing, wasn't it rushing into your training session that got you into this situation? Take it slow and easy, listen to your health care practioner and let your body heal at it's own pace. You'll be glad you did.
Question: I have two questions for you. Firstly, how do you feel about kids (age 12 and up) doing iso-kinetic training? Do you think it has any effect on thier growth plates? (Jonell from Santa Clarita, California)
I am a believer that most training systems if done properly will result in some type of positive benefit. Understand that the statements I am about to make are my own opinion and should be taken as so. With that said, training for strength and cardiovascular enhancement at the same time is kind of like an oxymoron. Without knowing what sport you are preparing for I won't talk in absolutes, but most sports really don't have a "cardio" component in its truest sense of the word. By that I mean that most sports are intermittent bouts of explosive movements followed by period of inactivity. So unless the sport is a marathon or something else of that nature you would be better suited to train along those same patterns. As far as the growth plates being effected, like I stated earlier, if the guildelines for the protocol are followed their should be no adverse reaction to the growth plates.
Question: I am the varsity baseball coach at Paoli High School in Paoli, IN. I am looking for an 8 week program that my pitchers can use to get their arms into shape for the upcominfg season. Any ideas? (Douglas from Paoli, IN)
The mistake some coaches make, when dealing with pitchers is to think that a strong arm makes for a better pitcher. That much is true, but thinking of a pitcher in terms of the whole body will not only make his arm stronger but his mind. The first thing to examine is how strong are the legs of your pitchers? The great Nolan Ryan showed the world that it's all about the legs. Once you create the foundation then everything else falls into place. After the legs, check out their shoulders. Better yet, the rotator cuff you want to make sure that this group of muscles is given the proper attention. Check out our website click on "Tips" and you will find an article or two about getting fit for baseball.
Question: My daughter, Nicole, plays Lacrosse for Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, NJ (you know, home of Great Adventure!). The team, in only their second year, went from an expected losing record to 12-0 in their conference and 16-0 overall, only losing the last two games of the year - one in their conference championship and the other in the early rounds of the NJ state tournament, which was won by Moorestown. Anyway, this year, their third (and my daughter's second) year of lacrosse promises another extraordinary leap for the girls of Jackson; this holds true, I believe, for my daughter, too, who will probably start for the team this year as a sophomore. What's my problem, then, you say? It's conditioning, of course: my daughter is looking at ways in which she can not only STAY in shape during the long winter but ways in which she might IMPROVE her strength and stamina in preparation for the coming Lacrosse season. She is very motivated but needs her fat! (Dan from Jackson, NJ)
Nicole sounds like the type of athletes most coaches dream of and I wish her continued success. When you wrote you didn't give to much of an idea as to what the situation is, will she be training in a weightroom? What type of stuff is she doing now? what are her goals? Answers to these questions are needed so that I am not telling you stuff you already know or may be doing. I want to make sure that Nicole is training smart, anyone can work hard, but it's the athletes that work smart that get ahead. Check out our website, it will be a start and once you get me the answers to the questions I've asked we will work together to create a situation that will enhance Nicole's ability to compete.
Question: What do you recommend for time duration (minimum/maximum) between sets? (John from Caledonia)
Depending on the desired effect, the rest period can vary anywhere from 30 seconds to up to 3 minutes. Power lifters tend to need more rest since they are working with greater loads. Athletes tend not to need as much rest since the desired effect is to "teach" their bodies how to rest in short periods of time. Case in point, football players generally have up to 60 seconds in between plays. It is our goal to have our players ready to go again at full speed with that rest interval. Another factor is the fitness level of the athlete. If an athlete is not very fit, then they will need more time to rest before attempting their next set. As the fitness level improves the rest interval will come down and intensity will go up.
Question: Is there a weight machine or weight bench made for children? What do you think of a 10 year old wanting a weight bench? (Margaret from Sidney, NY)
Margaret, thanks for writing. There is a line of equipment made for children, the name of it escapes me right now, but you could contact some of the major distributors and they should be able to help you. As far as my thoughts on a 10 year wanting a weight bench, my main concern is what is the motivation. I've been in the business for quite some time and have not run across too many kids that age who are that into lifting. If this is something that the child feels strongly about I say get someone who knows how to instruct lifters that age and show as much support as you can and see where this goes. I'm truly interested in this situation. Please keep in touch and let me know how this turns out.
Question: I was wondering, what work outs do you recommend to make my upper body look bigger. Kind of like Goldberg's or one of them football player guys. The problem is I'm only 17. Do you think it's too early for me to be like doing weights at this age? Give me some tips, cuz I'm in desperate need to get bigger fast. (Phalen from Carson, California)
Depending your body structure, looking like "Goldberg" might not be in your future. Lifting at 17 may not be a bad thing as long as your health care practioner is ok with it. Get with someone who will be able to help keep an eye out for you while you are lifting so that if you have to make a change in your program the right ones will be made. Also check out our website click on "tips" and you will find all types of tips on getting big.
Question: I have a question. I'm trying to gain weight for this tryout for a football team. But I'm too skinny and light to pass the age-limit. I've been taking this creatine fuel drink that I bought. Will I be ever to gain 25 lbs. in a month? (Joe from Delano)
To answer your question in a word, no. Gaining 25 pounds in one month is a little too much to ask. Talk with the coaches and see if there is another tryout date. If so, get ready for that one. If not, I suggest you go to the tryout and just do the best you can. Good luck and keep me posted.
Question: My question is in regards to coming back from an injury. I recently suffered a grade 2 tear in my left pectoral muscle. I of course bruised very heavily and still have some swelling. I did visit the doctor to make sure that it was not a complete tear. I am eager to get back in the gym, but would obviously not do anything heavy with involving my chest. I am wondering what type of exercises you recommend and how long before I can start doing any type of exercise with my chest muscles. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer. (Chris from Akron)
Answer: Chris I'm sorry to hear about your injury. The only thing I will suggest is that you listen to your health care practitioner. I wouldn't do anything that is not recommend by him/her. Just kick back and enjoy the time off, catch up with friends or read some good books, but as far as doing any lifting I would find something else to do until it healed.
Question: I am a freshman at my high school and just finished my first football season. I played mostly defensive back and a little receiver. I would like to increase my acceleration and reaction time when the ball is in the air. We are just getting started on a normal workout routine which is 3 days a week doing three sets of ten at flat bench, pull downs, squat, and military press. Our coaches haven't started us on any leg workouts yet other than squat. I not taking any supplements either. Should I take any supplements? If so which ones? And what workouts do you recommend for acceleration and quickness on top of what I am doing? Thanks for any advice you can give. (Matt from Dana Point)
Answer: I've found that with high school athletes they don't really need to spend great amounts of time in the weightroom. When dealing with guys around your age we work to create strength first by using your own body weight. I would like to see you do walking lunges without any weight to start. Using a basketball court lunge out to half court, when you get to half court lunge back backward. Don't worry about falling, because you will, but the more you do this the better off you will be. Once you come back to the baseline lunge forward to the opposite baseline, when you get there come back backwards again do this 2 times to start and you will find that your hips will be on fire. Once you get that feeling you will be on the road to becoming faster than you've ever imagined.
Question: Hi, I am a 13 year old boy and I want to get ripped. I was wandering if creatine is safe for me to take??? (Ryan from Pittsburgh, PA)
Answer: Ryan, I would check with my health care practitioner before getting on creatine. Long terms studies have yet to be completed so as far as it being safe to take is not up to me. I will say this, my athletes that take it follow the instructions carefully and we have yet to have anyone have any type of negative reaction. Understand this, I'm not saying that it's safe for you, I'm just passing along what our experience has been with it. Good luck and stay in touch.
What type of things can I do to improve my tennis game in the area of strength and conditioning? (Chaim from Philadelphia, PA)
Answer: Chaim, thanks for writing. The answer to your question lies in the areas that you are weak in. I really don't like to put general information out. Tell me what you feel your weakness is, and we will work together to correct them. For example, I have a player who felt her first step could be better. We spent some time working on it and now she has gotten to so many more drop shots that the drop shot is not as neffective against her as it once was. I have another player who wanted to work on their conditioning, so he jogged alot. We changed the way he trained. Tennis is a balastic sport with lots of explosive moves. Once we started doing a speed package, he found that his "conditioning" got better because he was playing shorter points. He was playing shorter points because he was getting to balls quicker which allowed him to be in better position to hit better shots, ergo, shorter points.
I just wanted to know an effective way to work out my lower abs. My upper abdominal are fine, I got like a four pack up there, but my lower once don't seem to be taking any shape. (Charles from Carson)
Answer: Charles thanks for writing, but I hate to be the one to tell you, there is no such thing as a "Lower Ab" The Abdominal muscle is all one unit, the muscle group that people tend to confuse the lower ab for is actually the Hip Flexor. The only thing I can tell you is to keep a close eye on your fat intake and the rest of your "6 Pack" should show up soon.
How do I build arm strength to be able to throw the ball with more speed? (Richie from Watsonville)
Answer: The answer to your question is not about arm strength. Baseball players use more than just their arms to throw a ball. What you want to concentrate on is training the rotator cuff, a group of muscles in the shoulder, that when injured can keep you off the field for a long time. You also want to work on your hip and leg strength since both of those muscle groups are heavily involved in the throwing motion. Check out our website click on "Tips" and look for our baseball/softball workout.
I am about 6 feet tall and I can dunk a basketball, but not as easily as I would like. Basically I can only dunk when I have a long fast break. I guess what I am asking is how can I improve my vertical in a short amount of time now that the basketball season is getting started. I appreciate your help. (Jason from Egg Harbor Twp, NJ)
Answer: The answer to your question doesn't really lie in your vertical, it's about how fast you are. Since you need a lot of room to create the speed needed to get you in the air, it would be in your best interest to work on your hip strength. Check out our website click on "Tips" and you will see techniques we use to create strength in the hip area.
I am currently working as an exercise consultant/night manager at a 24 hr fitness center. I fully enjoy my job, but I have goals of one day becoming a strength and conditioning coach at a major university, professional organization, etc... I have a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Tennessee. I plan on becoming certified by both the ACSM and the NSCA by May of 2001. I also plan on moving to the Nashville,TN area by the end of May. I'm looking for some help on getting some information on doing an internship/volunteer work with one of the area teams (Tennessee Titans, Nashville Kats, Nashville Predators, Nashville Sounds, etc). Also, any information which would help in fulfilling my career dreams would be appreciated. (William from Knoxville, TN)
Answer: William, thanks for writing. You are well on your way. The one thing I want you to know is don't let set backs get you down. This business is very competitive. Think about it, there are only 31 jobs in the NFL and the people there already have no intentions of leaving. I would like to see you go back and work to get on the staff of the college you attended or even the high school you went to if that's possible. Getting certified is always a great move. I feel your enthusiasm through my screen and truly believe that you will make it. Stay on top of information and don't be afraid to put in long hours. Contact other coaches in the business, most would be glad to share their knowledge with you don't be afraid to ask!
Do you have any techniques for using the physioball for pregnant women? I would love some guidance on this one! Thanks! (Penny from Durango, CO)
Answer: Penny thanks for writing. Check out our website click on "Tips" scroll down to an article called "Having a Ball". You will see some uses for the physioball. I must warn you first to contact your health care professional to make sure that exercise will not harm you or the baby. Good Luck with the pregnancy and stay in touch.
I am an assistant football coach at a high school and I am looking for a good strength and conditioning program for the players. The head coach is sold on BFS, but I think that it has the kids doing too many excercises which takes to much time and I feel is killing the turn out. Can you help me out? (Coach Hager from Des Moines, IA)
Answer: Thanks for writing. I don't know how long you have worked as an assistant with your head coach, but be very careful about talking to him about changing the strength program. Is the conditioning segment your responsibility? If not you would want to either find out how you could coordinate it or work closer to it. The program we use for or high school athletes varies from athlete to athlete. We work on turning weaknesses into strengths, by that I mean a one size fits all program will probably not be in the best interest of your program. How many players do you have on the squad? How often do you guys lift? How long are the sessions? Depending on how many days and how many athletes, we could tailor something that will work for you and your team. In the mean time check out our website click on "Tips" and you see articles about different aspects of training. Look around and get back to me with the information I requested and we will work together to create a protocol for you.
Where can I find a good powerlifting belt (sz. xxl) for $40 or under??? (Bob from C.M.C.H)
Answer: Valeo makes a great belt. You can go online and find them or you can go into any sporting goods store and find a good one. To be honest, I'm not too into the "heavy" leather belts, I find them to be to restrictive. Good Luck and stay in touch.
I am looking for a strength program for me to work in conjunction with my two weight sessions/week. I am looking specifically for exercises that strengthen my core and my tendon attachments on my arm, ankle and knee. (Martyn from Norwich, England)
Answer: Martyn, thanks for writing. To answer your question check out our website click on "tips" then click on "Hard Core Stability" it's an article dealing with training the core. As for strengthening the tendons in your arms, ankles and knees, there is a training modality called "Super-Slo" training. There are some people who swear by this method of training, I'm not one of them. I would suggest you do an internet search to get information on that topic. Good Luck and stay in touch.
Question: I am a senior Q-B for my high school football team. I lift every other day, regularly but I don't seem to be getting any bigger. I know that it takes time to build muscle, but I have been lifting for 3 months. What can I do. I have another question. Does taking any type of protein substance help gain muscle. (Josh from Lusk, WY)
Answer: Josh, thanks for writing. Protein is the building block of muscle. You want to make sure that you get it from a good source. Tuna is a great source of protein as is steak and eggs, not together though. You would be better off talking to your health care practitioner to find out what would be good for you and take it from there. Supplements can be a good source but I suggest saving your money. You didn't give me an idea as to how intense your lifting protocol. Lifting every other day is fine but if you are not lifting with any type of intensity, then to be honest it won't matter how often you lift. The results will always be slow in coming.
Question: I'm a 6'6" shooting guard/small forward. I'm trying to increase my vertical leap. I would like for you to let me know some techniques that will help me in this area. I've noticed that those guys in New York and New Jers' can jump like kangaroos. What groins' on here? Help me out! (Lisa from San Diego, CA)
Answer: Check out click on "Tips" and you will find workouts that will help you get to where you want to be. If you don't find what you are looking for contact me again and we will work on creating a situation that is right for you.
Question: I have being weight training for the pass 12 months and I have made good gains in all areas but the bench press. When I started I could bench a mere 130lbs but now I can get 200lbs...The problem is if I miss a week (I travel with my job from time to time), I find I am very weak again on the bench. I would like some training tips. I usually do chest once a week as follows... flat bench 10x8x6x4x2x4x6x8...Incline 4x6...Flies 3x10 and pullovers 3x20. (Ian from Ireland)
Answer: Ian thanks for writing. Let me pose a question to you, when you are doing your bench press you are doing a total of 48 reps, when you do the other chest moves you aren't doing as many, why is that? To tell you the truth you are doing way too many reps on the bench. Cut back to 3 to 4 sets and see what happens. Once you start doing smaller sets you will be able to move more weight. Classic case of less is more. Relax and know that it's ok not to do 48 reps on the bench and still get to where you want to be.
Question: I am 17 years old and I wrestle. My question is what are some exercises that can build my speed, and help me with my wind? (Jamaul from Como, N.C.)
Answer: Do you have any hills around where you live? The reason I ask is that sprinting up those hills are a great way to build hip strength and work on your wind. As a wrestler you know that the more explosive you are in the hip area the better you will be. It sounds really simple but sometimes we tend to overlook the obivious. Try it out and let me know how you are doing with it.
Question: What is the best traning and conditioning workouts for a hockey player?? What weight traning workouts should a hockey player do on his on and off season?? (Nick from Cherry Hill, NJ)
Answer: There is no "best" way to train for hockey. Every hockey player has a different objective when it comes to their training. Slower players want to become faster, faster players want to become faster still. Weak players want to be stronger, and so on. When it comes to conditioning concentrate on areas that will help you compete. The areas I suggest are your abs, lower back and hips or your core. This group of muscles pretty much power the whole athlete. Once you get this area straight you will find that your performance will pick up as well. You want to concentrate on moves that will promote greater power. Hockey is a ballistic sport, lots of explosive movements. So doing lots of cardio will not be in your best interest. You want to train the way you play, short bursts of work followed by a rest period that would mimic the amount of rest you would get in a game. I don't know what level you are playing on but these tips are universal, work on them and see what happens.
Question: Approx. 6 weeks ago, I had my right knee scooped to repair a torn medial meniscus. I have always used weights and ran to stay in shape. I am 27 years old, 6'4" and go between 225-230. I have and do take a fair amount of different supplements. However, I have never been able to obtain the over all strength and muscle mass I would like. I know there are a lot of things to take into consideration reading steroids. But, under a doctor's care, would the right drugs give me a quick, major improvement? Or would I need to take the drugs for some time to show results? Also what if any drug(s) would you recommend to improve over all strength and muscle mass. I am just starting my rehab and I'm thinking about using steroids when I return to the gym to help make up for lost time and to give me that extra push. (Ron from Glendale, California)
Answer: To answer your question under the right doctor's care, steroids will give you the quick improvement that you desire. Now let me ask you some questions, first of all are you an athlete? If so what sport(s) do you play? Would you feel like you a winner if you took steroids and won? If you are not an athlete what in the world would you want to take steroids for? Ron I can't say this loud enough or often enough... I DO NOT BELIEVE IN TAKING SHORTCUTS OF ANY TYPE TO WIN. Ron when you start rehab go natural, stay away from drugs and see how hard you can push yourself with out the help of drugs. Trust me on this one you will be a better person for it.
Question: Hi, I am 17 years old and I play fastpitch softball both for my high school team and 18&U ASA team. I am a senior and looking to play Division I softball in college next year. I would like to start with a running/weight lifting program that would help me with my strength and endurance, and increase my running speed. I also have a current sub-scapular injury to my pitching shoulder and would like to know if there are any specific things, including treatments and exercises, that I can do to fix that. Thank you for any information you can give me. (Lisa from San Diego, California)
Answer: I'm going to tell you a secret, that will serve two purposes. The thing I want you to know is that if you send this same request to the softball coaches of the schools you are interested in not only will you get the way they train, you will also get them to want to find out who you are. If you aren't on their minds, after the request there is a chance you would be. By writing to get the way they train, when you go to camp you will be on the same level regarding fitness as the rest of the team. As far as your shoulder ask your doctor as to what they would recommend, I don't have enough information about your case to feel comfortable about telling you things to do.
Question: What is the best way to cut your abs, or how can you cut your abs in a short period of time I need to have a better looking abs. Also what is the best way to build your legs and be stronger. I need to get more strength in them for track so I can be faster in the 100 m dash. I thought of taking creatine but I did not know if I should. (Kyle from Olathe, Kansas)
Answer: Kyle, you ask a perplexing question. To be honest I am more concerned with ab strength more so than "cut". Strong abs are at the core of a lot of great athletic performances. Check out click on "Tips" look for an article called "Having a Ball". It gives an insight as to how we train our abs. Also look for an article called "Building legs right for you", it will give you more insight to our leg program. As far as taking creatine, I would ask you to speak with your health care practitioner first before you do that. You would want to make sure that you have no hidden health problems before you ingest a product like that. Good luck and stay in touch.
Question: What is a good weightlifting program for a baseball player? Being a pitcher, my main objectives are to gain velocity and being able to keep loose, especially in the shoulder and elbow areas. (Daniel from Asheville, North Carolina)
Answer: Does your school have a strength coach? If so check with them for details. I don't know what you are doing now so to recommend stuff might be foolish. Dan, concentrate on those areas and you will be ok. Oh and for your shoulder you want to do internal/external rotation.
Question: I have two boys, ages 14 and 17, who play Club and High School Soccer. It seems as if not many american soccer coaches, at least their coaches, know much about conditioning. They seem to think that you simply run x amount of laps around a field and perhaps some suicide runs and you should be in condition. My experience in watching my son's teams, is that they are not obviously in good condition, either at the start and end of their seasons. Would you have a Planned Off-Season Strength, Endurance and Speed Training Program(s) for Soccer Players? How about programs during the soccer season? (Jose from Orlando, Florida)
Answer: Jose, thanks for writing. We are currently putting together information on soccer conditioning. There is an article on my website click on "Tips" and you will find some information on soccer conditioning. Check the site periodically so that when the info is made available you will get to see it. Thanks for writing and stay in touch.
Question: My daughter is a pitcher in college and this weekend she pitched in a tournament. Her arm started hurting in the 3rd inning. The pain is in the front around the pectoral muscle. The trainer felt like she strained the muscle. It was swollen, but that has went away. What type of exercises should she do to stretch this muscle, and should she not pitch for a while? (Sheila from Knoxville, Tennessee)
Answer: Sheila, thanks for writing. The only thing I can suggest is that when stretching, your daughter should place her hands behind her head locking her fingers. Then have someone pull her elbows back nice and easy. This will give the pec area a great stretch. I'm concerned about the swelling in the area. She should see a doctor to make sure that there is no major damage. As far as her pitching again any time soon, that should be left up to her health care practitioner. Good luck and stay in touch.
Question: I have just taken on a position with a local high school as fitness coordinator. I do have extensive fitness background, but I am struggling with the logistics of placing 30 athletes on training programs. I noticed you have worked with numerous teams at various levels, what systems did you utilize to get the most out of all the athletes? The two prominent programs are soccer and hockey. Both programs have 30 athletes each. I am trying to figure out how effectively put them all on a conditioning program to supplement their practices. (Garnet from Edmonton Alberta, Canada)
Answer: The best way to tackle a group this size is to make it smaller. By that I mean, have everybody pair up. Then schedule the groups at 5 min intervals. So what happens is that pair 1 comes in at 3:00 then pair 2 starts at 3:05 and so on until everyone is in and lifting. This system requires that a circuit type workout be employed.
Question: I'm a freshman running back, I need help in developing my explosive power, blocking, body lean, keeping my legs moving, and running through defenders. Can you please tell me any drills, weight lifting exercises, anything that will help me in these area's. I also have a hurt shoulder right now, my left shoulder has tendonitis and a partially torn rotator cuff. My bench was 200, my squat is about 300, my clean is 140, my 40 yard dash is 4.89, weight 145 lbs, my vertical jump is 31 inches, and my deadlift is 215 lbs. (Jordan from Columbus, GA)
Answer: I would tell you that you must create a great strength base in the "Core" muscle group. By that I mean in your abs, lower back and hips. Check out our website at and click on "Tips" and you will find articles on all types of topics that will help you. If you don't find what you need, get back to me and we will work together to create a situation that will work for you.
Question: I'm currently playing basketball and football in high school. I'm looking to enhance my speed and endurance so I can finish strong in the fourth quarter. I'm also looking for a way to had some muscle to my body. I'm 15, I was just wondering if there are some good specific exercises for me to do. (Bob from Blackwood, NJ)
Answer: What I would suggest is that you work on creating a good strength base in your hip area. What we do is a lot of squats and walking lunges. We keep our sets and reps in the moderate range. When we do our lunges we do them from all different angles. By that, I mean we lunge forward, backward and laterally. I've found that doing lunges this way works well in creating the type of hip strength that will create an athlete who is faster than the athlete who doesn't do them.
Question: I just had a question, I've been training on a 2 day complete body workout. One day I work my whole upper body (arms, back, chest, shoulders) and the next day I work my abs and legs. I train like this because I get to train more through a week instead of the usual 3 day rotation. I figured I allow the muscle to rest the proper 48 hours between work outs. Do you think this is improper or is there a problem with it? What other way could or should I train, and how many exercises for each body part? Thanks.   (John from Cherry Hill, NJ)
Answer: The way you are training is ok. I don't know how many exercises you are currently doing for each body part, but the way you split the body is ok. Remember on the days you aren't lifting you would be best suited to be involved in some type of running. I would prefer to see you do sprints. Jogging on the court will only get you taken out of the game. Sprinting creates the type of athlete that can and more often than not dominate games.
Question: I play a lot of basketball (4 times a week) but still can't seem to drop any weight. I am 6'1" and weigh 220 lbs. I would like to drop 10-20 lbs. I want to lift some weights which I've heard will help burn the fat but I am worried about messing up my shot. Can you suggest a workout that I can do to tone without destroying my shot? Thanks.   (Jay from Mapleton, UT)
Answer: Don't worry about lifting messing up your shot. If you are weight training, what I suggest is that you just practice your shot. It doesn't have to be on the same day, but you want to monitor your shot in reference to your new found strength. Generally what happens is that once you start lifting you get greater range. So what happens is that you go to the spots where you were making shots from before and you find that everything is long. If you practice your shot while you are lifting everything should be fine.
Question: I was once a high school athlete and have recently been offered a supply of anabolic steroids from a friend. I really want to improve my strength but I don't lift weights, should I take the steroids anyway?   (John from Moorestown)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. To answer your question, unless you are under a doctor's care it is never a good idea to take steroids. If you don't have proper supervision you are asking for a world of trouble. To be honest the person who offered them to you is no friend.

Click here for a report on anabolic steroids from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Question: I have recently joined my indoor track team. When I run I get pains in my lower legs and when I stop running and walk it hurts the most. This also happened while I was playing soccer. I was told that I have shin splints. Is it shin splints? Is there something I can do to get rid of them? I was told to tape my muscle when I am running and put ice on it when I am not. I was also told to get new track shoes. Is there some you recommend? Will this all work? What else can I do ? They really hurt.   (Crystal from Fitchburg)
Answer: Thanks for writing. Without knowing all the particulars it sounds like you are getting some good advice. How long have you been running in the shoes you are running in? If they look worn out then maybe you should look into getting another pair. As far as your shin splints go I would check with a doctor or your school's trainer and then take it from there. Once again thanks for writing and keep in touch.
Question: I will be playing the outfield for our church team. I would like to precondition my arm to increase my throwing distance. I am in great shape otherwise but have trouble getting the ball as far as I would like it. A program to solve this problem would be appreciated. Thanks. PS. my throwing mechanics seem fine. I believe I lack power.   (DeWayne from Palm Bay, FL)
Answer: The answer to your question probably lies in your rotator cuff. There is a great book out, it's called Fit to Pitch, check it out. It's informative and it has all the information I think you will need to help you through. Once again thanks for writing and keep in touch.
Question: We are working on a science paper work about soccer. Our question is how does the muscles work, specially in the legs?   (Michael from Herzelia, Israel)
Answer: Thanks for writing. The answer to your question will be found in your school's library. Go and talk with someone that works there and they should be able to help you a lot better than I can.
Question: Hello, I play division 2 football and I was looking for a good workout for the offseason to switch up from what I have been doing now.   (Rodney from Seekonk, MA)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. Before I can give you a protocol you are going to have to give me an idea as to what you guys are doing now? Write me and tell me what school you attend, what position and some other general information and we will work together to create a protocol that will help take your performance to the next level.
Question: I am a coach for 12 year old team in our recreation division. I would like to know what I can do in warm-ups to help strengthen our girls arms, legs and abs. The girls seem to be reaching the age now where strength is important with the stunts and tumbling that they need to do. I would appreciate any feedback you can give.   (Lisa from Medford)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. There are quite a few things that can be done in your situation. It would be a lot easier for me to show you than tell you. Can we set up a time were you, me and your squad get together and we can do these things together? I have fun working with cheerleaders and would love the chance to work with your squad. Contact me and let me when we can get this done!
Question: I play high school football. My problem is I can't gain any weight. I have tried using the weightgainer shakes and I'm not really a fan of creatine, I eat like a pig, but maybe I'm eating the wrong types of food before and after a workout, can you help me out? Thanks.   (Ryan from Chicago, IL)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. Before I can answer your question I don't know how you are eating. Can you give me a better idea of how you are eating? Once we have this information we can put together a protocol that will better suited for you. Thanks again for writing and keep in touch.
Question: I am a strength coach primarily for the football program at my High School. I have just recently began working with female athletes who are playing softball. I need some information on appropriate workouts for these young ladies. Primarily for pitchers and infielders. Many of these ladies have and will be competing for the state championship year to year. They are currently two year state champs for 2A softball but, have never worked out before. Any information would help me greatly.   (Michael from Georgetown, SC)
Answer: It's always great to talk with other coaches in the business. At the stage your athletes are, the best thing I can suggest is that you gear your protocol to an overall strength building program. The thing we focus on in high school is to make sure that any muscle imbalance is lessened. On our Website we have a protocol for softball athletes ["Softball In-Season Training Protocol"]. It's a bit advanced, but it can be modified to fit any athlete. Check it out and let me know what you think. Good luck and keep it in touch.
Question: I play softball for my school and for a summer league. I recently sustained a shoulder injury. I also run and play b-ball and volleyball for my school. I have had my arm in a sling for about a month now after ignoring it since this summer softball season and into about half of my volleyball season this year ( against my ma's wishes ). I have a MRI being done on 11/10/99. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what I could do to restrengthen my throwing arm. I am right handed and it is my right shoulder that I injured. Thank you so much for your help   (Katie from Birdsboro, PA)
Answer: Before I offer any type of opinion let me know what your doctor said. I think you should find out exactly what's going on with your shoulder before you do anything else. Keep me posted.
Question: I am the head softball coach for Crosby-Ironton. My pitchers are not involved in a winter sport and they would like to start some sort of weight training program to build their strength and endurance. Is there anything that you could send me that might help?   (Larry from Crosby, MN)
Answer: Thanks for writing. I'm in the process of putting together a training protocol for softball athletes. It will be for college aged athletes. You didn't mention how old the players on your team are, contact me and we will work this thing out.
Question: I want to increase my vertical for basketball. I am 5'10" and I can almost dunk, I just need about 2-3 inches added to my vertical to be dunking easily. So what exercises and what is the best equipment to use in doing this?   (Will from Richmond, VA)
Answer: Thanks for writing. Need a little more information. Are you still in school? If so does your school have a conditioning coach? Get back to me and we will take it from there.
Question: I'm currently majoring in Exercise Science. My dream job is to be a Strength and Conditioning coach for a major university or a pro sports team (just like you). If you could give me any advise on a minor I would be very thankful. My goal is to get my BS in Exercise Science, then go to graduate school to coach football. Is it possible to be a graduate assistant AND an assistant strength and conditioning coach?   (Matt from Akron, OH)
Answer: The minor I would suggest is psychology. That is what my degree is in. I find that it helps in situations where I know what I want my athletes to do, but with my psych degree I can get them to do it. There are tons of opportunities out there you just have to know where to look. How far are you from Cincinnati? Talk with the people at Hammer Strength. Get out there and beat the bushes. Let other coaches know that you exist and good things will happen. Matt, the greatest piece of advice I can give you is to keep everything in perspective. There are only so many of the types of jobs you want out there, sometimes you will have to make your own opportunity. Who knows maybe we can hook up and do somethings. Keep me posted and I'll keep my ears open and if I find anything you may be interested in I'll let you know.
Question: How much body fat should a 21-year-old athlete have that participates in sports?   (Maria from East Longmeadow, MA)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. If you will check out this site you'll find an article I wrote pertaining to your question. If you don't find what you are looking for there please feel free to contact me again and we will put something together just for you. Stay in touch and let me know how things are going.
Question: Could you please give me a pre-season strength and conditioning program for a girls softball team ages 13-15? Thank you very much for your time.   (Paul from Riverside, CA)
Answer: Thanks for writing. If you would go to you'll find a protocol for softball athletes ["Softball In-Season Training Protocol"]. Let me know if this helps, if it doesn't contact me and we will work to put something together for you.
Question: A lot of the kids on my football team are starting to use Creatine and I wanted to know if it is harmful or not and what are the side effects of it?   (Jason from Marlton)
Answer: Thanks for writing. To answer your question I don't know of any long term studies done on the effect that creatine has on the human body. The only thing I can suggest is the you log on to the National Strength and Conditioning Association's webpage, go to the FAQ section, you will find more information there.

Jason I have two questions for you, first how old are you and secondly what makes you think that you want to find out about creatine?

Question: I am 14 years old and I go to Cherokee High School. I play football and I wrestle. I really want to increase my strength. I was wondering what the best exercises for my arms, chest, legs and neck are, and how often should I work out?   (Dave from Marlton)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. To answer your question would take a lot of time and space. I would suggest that you check out my website There you'll find lots of information on the questions that you have. If you don't find the answer you are looking for please contact me and we will work to get you the information that you need.
Question: Your opinion on Atkins diet? zone diet? low carb diet? no carb diet? no fat diet? I do aerobic training 6 days a week. I do light weights 7 days a week. I do sit-ups, crunches, six days a week. Yet, I am getting heavier. I am also getting stronger, but my excess weight is all in the stomach. I really think I need more diet tips than work out tips. Hope you can help. I try to stay away from carbs, but I go right back to them.   (Jeff from Mount Laurel)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. The thing I think you are going to need more than diet information is rest. From the look of things you are overtraining and that's never a good thing. Take some time to relax and recharge your battery and you will see that your body will respond positively to the rest. Stay in touch!
Question: I am a first year college student, and I have just started a workout program. My main focus is on my upper body, specifically my UPPER CHEST. Can you give me some tips on an absolutely awesome exercise that would work this area?   (Mark from Ft. Collins)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. When it comes to working your chest the rule of thumb is to work it from all angles. That would consist of the flat bench press, the incline bench press and the pec deck. I don't know how long you have been lifting but starting out with these moves, you won't go wrong. Stay in touch and let me know if this helps.
Question: I am a 15 year old sophomore from West Deptford. I am playing football for my school and recently got moved from wide receiver to tight end. However, I am not that big of a kid, especially for a tight end. I was wondering what do you think is the quickest, safest, and most effective way to put on weight. I have heard lots of different ideas from different people but I want to hear from someone that knows what they are talking about. Thanks for your information in advance and I appreciate your advice.   (Tommy from West Deptford)
Answer: Tommy, thanks for taking the time to write. When you get a chance check out my website and see if there is any information that can help you. If not contact me again and we will work to find information that will help get you to where you want to be. By the way how are you guys doing this year? Keep me posted.
Question: What are the fastest ways you can increase your speed and flexibility?   (Gary from Glassboro)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. To answer your question the quickest way I know to do both of the things you ask is through a technique called "PNF" Stretching. It's kind of hard to explain, the best thing I can tell you is to ask your trainer about it or go to your library. Or you can give me a call and I will take you through a session. I use it with all my athletes, high school to the pro's and they swear by it. So feel free to call me at Rutgers 856-225-6197.
Question: I hear many athletes use drugs like "Creatine", what does this drug do? Is it a steroid? Are there any side effects?   (John from New York)
Answer: John, thanks for writing. The answers you are looking for can be found at this address This way the answers you get will be more comprehensive. I hope that you find the information you are looking for.
Question: I'm going to play college basketball next year and I have a lot of things that I need to improve on before I play. My main concern is my quickness, if you have any drills or workouts I could use I would greatly appreciate it. I know short distance and powerful explosions are the key to quickness, but I don't know how much or how many to do. The last thing I really need to improve on is my dribbling, if there are any drills or programs you could send I would appreciate it. Thank You for your help.   (Todd from West Unity, OH)
Answer: Todd thanks for writing. In answer to your question, check out my site There is information that will help you get to where you want to be. If not then feel free to contact me and we will take it from there.
Question: I am sophomore and I would like to try out for the basketball team at Florida Atlantic University. I was wondering if you could send me a conditioning program to follow so I could be in shape for the try out on October 16. And if possible some drills to follow as well, like dribbling, shooting, and defense. I would surely appreciate it if you could help me.   (Walter from Miramar, FL)
Answer: Thanks for writing. When you have an opportunity check out my site, the information you are looking for should be there. If you do not find what you are looking for contact me again and we will do what is needed to get you to be where you want to be.
Question: I am the head basketball coach at Shawnee Mission West HS. I am interested in some info. on the stability balls, medicine balls, and weight lifting for basketball players. I just ordered 9 stability balls for our players to use in our 8-week preseason conditioning. We already have medicine balls and a good weight room. Do you have any written workouts, or videos, or any pertinent info. that could help our athletes.   (Coach Campbell from Shawnee Mission, KS)
Answer: Thanks for taking the time to write. To answer your question check out my website, there should be some information on there that will help. If not then write back and we will do what is needed to get you to where you want to be.
Question: I am a pitching coach for a couple of local girls fastpitch softball teams (high school team and an 18-Under traveling team). I have one pitcher on the 18-Under team who has decent speed but no endurance in her pitching. Her legs, which are used extensively in pitching, and her upper body are not developed. I was wondering if you could recommend some exercises to help build her endurance. I currently employ a static jump, lunges and one drill I call sitting on the fence with the thighs parallel to the ground, but I am certain there are better ones I do not know about. I would like some general strength building exercises for fastpitch softball players (girls) and pitchers in particular. I realize this may be a rather lengthy reply and I thank you in advance for your assistance.   (Mike from Phoenix, AZ)
Answer: Mike how are things going? Have you had a chance to check out I think the answers to your questions can be found there. If not please contact me again and we will work to find the answer you are looking for.
Question: I have heard many different ways on how your index or middle finger of your shooting hand should be on the ball. I am wondering where your index or middle finger should be in relation to the ball and the basket?   (R.J. from Cincinnati, OH)
Answer: This question is a very interesting one, the reason is that I don't think about it. I've talked to some really good shooters they say find to spread your fingers behind the ball not real wide, find a comfortable position and just let it rip. The thing about being a good shooter is technique but more often than not it's how you think. If you don't have any confidence in your shot, it won't matter where your hand is in relation to the ball or basket. So just work on your technique and just keep shooting. Good Luck and check out my site
Question: Hi. My coach wants me to get in shape for the soccer season. I was mainly asked to strengthen my shot and the goal kicks, for I am a defender that tends to take the free kicks and join up with the offense about ten times per game. However, I am not able to join a gym to use expensive equipment. What is the best drill I could do? Or should I try to join the gym?   (Emiliano from Cd. Mante, Tam., Mexico)
Answer: Two things I would like to see you do. The first thing is to check out my web site, There is a soccer workout there ["Conditioning Your Soccer Team"]. The second thing is going to sound kind of crazy, but bear with me. Do you have access to a pool? If so get in it and play a game of soccer. You will be using the muscles that you will be working on to get in shape. The resistance of the water will help your muscle strength so, when you take a shot, the muscles that are firing when you take the shot in the pool will be the same muscles on land. Kicking in the pool is a great way to strengthen muscles while not compromising technique. Emiliano stay in touch and let me know how things go!
Question: I am 43 and am overweight. I am losing the weight by even thin. Because of this I have fairly large breasts. How can I tone them?   (Noel from Houston, TX)
Answer: To answer your question, the only thing I can tell you is to work on the chest muscles. What you want to do is tighten the muscles that lie under the breast. That way they will have more support internally. The movements you want to concentrate on are the Flat Bench Press, the Incline Bench Press, and the Pec Deck or the "Flye". If you are a member of a gym someone will be able to talk you through these moves. I hope that your weight management program continues to be positive. Stay in touch and let me know how you are doing.
Question: I am a field hockey player starting my freshman year at Gateway Regional High School. Because we don't have enough players for a freshman team, we automatically start on the JV team. Gateway also has put into act a cut policy. I start working out with the team in late August, but I would like to start working out on my own earlier. I have the weight room at my disposal on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I also have the Red Bank Battlefield to run in. What would you recommend that I do to get into tip top shape for hockey season and get ready to battle for a place on the team. My best friend plays hockey with me and is interested to find this out too. Thank you.   (Cailin from National Park)
Answer: First thing is that when it comes to your cardio training I would like to see you do intervals. That is a workout that consists of a combination of jogging and sprinting. That way the "Slow twitch" and "Fast twitch" muscle fibers will be exerted on. As far as weight training goes, concentrate on your legs, hips, lower back and abs. These groups are the ones that will propel your game to the next level. I have a protocol that I can send you, better yet how would you like to come into my training facility and spend the day? Contact me and let me know, I think I can show you better than I can tell you.
Question: I was looking at your web site, and I noticed the girl "Stacy" that you train with. I was wondering if you or she could tell me what her diet consists of. She looks great, and I would love to know what she eats! Thanks a lot!   (Rachel from Moorestown)
Answer: Rachel, I can't take any credit for what Stacy has done. I don't even train with her, I'm not tough enough. I passed your question along to Stacy and here's her response...

The most important thing to remember is that I do not "look like that" unless I am getting ready to compete. 8-10 weeks out from a show, I usually consume the following: 1/2-1 gallon of water per day, 50-55 grams of carbohydrates, 200+ grams of protein, and 30 grams of fat. Also, I omit the following from my diet: any type of sugar (even fruit), no dairy, flour based products, rice or any other starchy carbs. It is important to understand that although this looks healthy, you're really taking important nutrients from your diet. However, you can achieve an "athletic look" by making better choices with your food and increasing your physical activity. Remember have fun and everything in moderation!

Good Luck!

Question: My son Dane (16 year old sophomore), who is a pitcher for the Cherokee varsity baseball team seems to have topped out with his velocity on his fast ball. Last year he was clocked at 85+ in June and 86+ in August and peaked out at 87-88 in December. He was throwing hard at the start of the season, but seems to have leveled out. Occasionally he has soreness in the front part of his arm opposite the elbow, but this goes away with a couple days rest from pitching. Is there a problem and can you help get his velocity up past 90 ? Thanks for you help.   (Michael from Marlton)
Answer: Michael, thanks for writing but I want to ask you to do me one big favor first. I need you to find out how old the radar is that is clocking Dane. Also find out when the last time it has been calibrated. The problem may not be Dane but it might be the equipment being used. Let's first rule out any mechanical problems and then take it from there. Stay in touch.
Question: I just had an ACL reconstruction done on my right knee. I noticed I lost quite a bit of my quad muscle. When I'm able to return to sports it will be in the middle of football season and I'm still hoping to play. Do you have any suggestions on how I can build my quad back up quick?   (Tom from Forreston)
Answer: I need a little more information, how long ago was the surgery? Are still participating in rehab? How did you injury it? Stuff like that. I don't want to tell you something that may not be conducive to getting you back in the game. Tell me what's going on and we will work to help you.
Question: Hi, my name is Kristina and I play softball for Louisiana Tech. I was wondering if you know some kind of diet that I can use?   (Kristina from Lafayette, LA)
Answer: How's the season going? I am writing to ask for more information about you and how you are eating already. When you get a chance give me an idea as to how many times a day you are eating? The types of food you are eating, anything in your medical history I should know about?

I hope that things are going well, drop me a note when you get a chance.

Question: Please explain what is meant if one is asked to follow the Push/Pull weight lifting program.   (Joel from Dresher, PA)
Answer: The Push-Pull protocol separates the upper body's pushing muscles from the pulling muscles. The pushing muscles are the chest and triceps, the pulling muscles would be back and biceps. When you train your legs and abs is totally up to you. You may have noticed that the deltoid group was not mentioned. Well, deltoids don't fit into push-pull neatly. The shoulders are involved in both movements. Most people like to work shoulders right after chest, but all in all it's strictly a personal choice. This protocol is most popular with people who want to work each muscle group to the fullest, and it is a protocol that I think highly of.
Question: As a soccer official, what is the best way to prepare myself for games? Do I want to take up running long distances to increase my running stamina or would wind sprints work better? I have tried the mile plus a night routine to find shin splints become a problem. Using the wind sprints eliminates the shin splints. Wind sprints to me are running the length of the soccer field, walk back the same length and continue that process until I have completed 10 runs and 10 walks. Shin splint problem is gone with this process. Is this of any value?   (Jim from West Berlin)
Answer: You are doing one heck of a job with your preparation for the season. The way you are training is efficient and will help you be in position to those crucial calls.

Since refs have a greater opportunity to rest in between work intervals (sprints during a match) your training protocol is sound. Keep doing what you are doing, remember to work on your flexibility and I truly believe you will have a truly productive season!

Question: I've been volunteered to get a 14-15 yr old girls travel softball team to understand the benefits of pre game eating habits as well as the game day diet . These girls are *premier athletes and so is their competition , some will choose to play ball in college. At tournaments they play 2-3 days with 3-4 games in each and we got to keep their stamina up , at these tournaments its usual junk type food -fries, burgers, candy etc. and of course they all have their own likes and dislikes when it comes to what they should be eating. We usually do well in the beginning but sometimes run out of gas before the tournaments end I'd appreciate any information you have on the subject or direction as to where I may look. Thank You!   (Nancy from Levittown, PA)
Answer: Nancy, I tried to send you an answer to your question, but the email address used in your message doesn't seem to be working. Could you email me again with your address?
Question: I play for Shawnee High School in Shawnee, Oklahoma. I started last year as a transfer student from a private school in the same town. I was an okay basketball player. I would like your program for running and one for dribbling. At 6'4", I could use some better techniques. Thank you.   (Josh from Shawnee, OK)
Answer: Since I don't know what you are doing now, the one thing I would suggest you is to practice on the plane you will be playing on. What I mean is, one of the things I see that drives me crazy is kids doing dribbling drills while running around the court. Since basketball isn't played around the court, the best drill to do would be to dribble up and down the court. You may want to dribble while running at different speeds to simulate different game conditions. As far as running to get fit, we have our greatest success when we do it without the ball. I find that basketball players tend to focus more on the ball (as well they should). So by removing the ball, you will concentrate more on the conditioning drills and not so much on other things.

Josh, thanks for the question and I will get a protocol out to you.

Question: I coach a local Under-13 girls travel soccer team that plays a pretty competitive schedule. My girls are old enough now to benefit from some type of conditioning program to help them get ready for the upcoming fall season. I would appreciate any suggestions you can provide in order for the players to improve their stamina and overall conditioning. Thanks for the help.   (Mike from Hammonton)
Answer: I think the best way to condition your soccer team would be to do interval training. Soccer athletes have to have the strength of a sprinter and the stamina of a distance runner. With that in mind the best way to handle your athletes would be to get them to train on the plane that they play on. By that I mean don't ask them to do this on a track, your players will not be running in circles. So don't ask them to train in circles. The drill I recommend is called "Ladders". Set up a series of cones you want them to be a uniformed distance apart, like 10 yards. Have your team sprint to the farthest cone and jog back when they get to the closest cone. Make sure that everybody is giving you their best effort. You could time it and each time you do it, have the team work to come in under the time before that. I do this with most of my athletes and have great success. Coach, I hope this helps, I also want you to know that I am willing to come and help in any way I can. I can be reached through this site or call me at Rutgers University at (856) 225-6197. Take care and good luck.
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