Volume 7 . Issue 73 . February 2011
5 Ask Aimee/Greg
Aimee & Greg Everett


Answers to your questions.

7 Get Up, Stand Up: Five Spiritual Principles of Squatting
Matt Foreman

The basics of squatting

11 Mass Made Simple: An Excerpt By Dan John
Dan John

A sample from Dan John’s newest book.

16 Mental Game Coaching: An Interview With Bill Cole (Part 2)
Yael Grauer

Bill Cole answers more questions about the importance of psychological preparation for athletic performance

20 Sleep: An Undervalued Ergogenic Aid
Dallas Hartwig

The value of sleep and how it affects performance

25 Cooking with Scotty
Scotty Hagnas

Recipes for health, performance and longevity from certified culinary stud Scotty Hagnas

powerlifting. For more information.php . plus several training videos. 2000 World University Championship Team USA competitor. He is certified as a CrossFit level 2 trainer and Circular Strength Training (clubbell) instructor. and a strength and conditioning coach for almost as long. check out her website. 2004 US Olympic Trials competitor. California. Contributors Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics. Yael Grauer is a freelance writer. MS. The Performance Menu On the Cover Warren Anderson Editor in Chief Greg Everett Managing Editor Yael Grauer Design Greg Everett Subscription Subscribe online instantly at www. He remains a full-time online religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri and contributing writer to Men’s Health. news updates. Dan came to Utah to throw the discus for Utah State University and recently returned “home” after 35 years away. Her work has appeared in a variety of trade journals and consumer magazines and she writes regularly for various websites including MMA HQ. publisher of The Performance Menu and author of Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches. Cooking is one of his favorite pastimes. Foreman has coached multiple regional. a high school national powerlifting champion. Inc and its respective www.cathletics. Dan John has been teaching and coaching for well over thirty years. He sleeps nine hours a night. and weightlifting.cathletics. He was also First Team All-Region high school football player. He currently lives in Burlingame. He has been riding BMX flatland for 26 years and counting and has filmed/produced/edited several series of BMX Back Issues Backissues are available at www. He is the former Strength Coach and Head Track and Field Coach at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper. CATALYST ATHLETICS NEWSLETTER Sign up for the Catalyst Athletics newsletter and receive weekly training tips. Foreman is a four-time National Championship bronze medalist. and now travels nationwide to present their Foundations of Nutrition and Trainer’s workshops. He was the owner/founder of CrossFit 603 until founding Whole9 with Melissa Urban. AZ. and Arizona and Washington state record-holder. Dallas All content copyright Catalyst Athletics. and was an assistant coach on 5A Arizona state runner-up football and track teams. upcoming event info. and national champions in track & field. state.cathletics. placing second in amateur in the World Championships in 1990. Matt Foreman is the football and track & field coach at Mountain View High School in Phoenix. and a Scottish Highland Games competitor. A competitive weightliter for twenty years. sale notifications and more from Greg Everett. has been a licensed physical therapist for ten years. Inc. Utah. three-time American Open bronze medalist. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution is prohibited by law. He formerly competed in bicycle trials. two-time American Open silver medalist. two-time National Collegiate Champion. Yael trains in Brazilian jiu jitsu and teaches writing workshops both locally (in MN and WI) and virtually.Info is published monthly in digital format by Catalyst Athletics. Scott Hagnas is owner of CrossFit Portland. Originally from South San Francisco. and makes no apologies for it. lettered in high school wrestling and track.

Dallas’s article contains some great information. but don’t expect to resolve years of sleep deprivation in a few days. including a piece on sleep by Dallas Hartwig of Whole 9. and dial in a routine. I have no doubt that my inability to sleep well is the greatest limiter in my own training and performance (and health—but that’s less interesting to me than snatching big weights). You may not feel good sleep more initially—you may be one of those people who tells me. —Greg Everett . This gets remarkably frustrating when combined with the knowledge that there is an infinite list of tasks awaiting. reduced duration and/or quality of sleep leaves me functioning at far below maximal capacity. I’ve had days in which I literally sat in my office clicking between a half-dozen websites over and over again without actually reading much of anything while numerous programs ran idly in the background with open files waiting for some kind of action that never came. The point is. When we allow ourselves to sleep more. “I slept too much. in the vast majority of cases. this is in direct response to our reader survey—40% of you listed sleep as a primary struggle for yourselves. and there have certainly been times in my life when I’ve pumped out pretty ridiculous volumes of work in unimaginably brief periods. This month we have another collection of great articles and recipes. and many of his recommendations are ones that I’ve personally found helpful over the years.” But give it some time. It will be well worth the effort. take this article to heart and rather than dismissing its recommendations as impossible or impractical. I fall prey to this trap myself occasionally. many of us have developed the mindset that we can get away with less sleep and accomplish more in a given day. the body resets and we suddenly feel all the exhaustion its been packing away. But give it some time—sleep debt can in fact be repaid. try to squeeze in an early afternoon nap as regularly as possible (even if it’s 10 minutes of simply closing your eyes in a quiet room). this is an issue very important to me as well. As someone who has dealt with incredibly poor sleep for over ten years. Extend your available sleep hours.ROM THE EDITO FROM THE EDITOR Welcome back to another issue of the PM. However. do whatever you can to try to implement them for a period of time and evaluate the results. As Dallas points out. I’m no sleep scientist. but I’m convinced that the body adapts to limited sleep in order to survive and we become accustomed to a suboptimal baseline that feels “normal”. Aside from being a great article on an incredibly important topic.

just about anything works. It’s usually a good idea to start any cycle/program well within the lifter’s present abilities so there’s space to gain momentum. For example. First. That early stage of training is really the time to be more intuitive and make decisions on how the lifter is feeling day to day rather than attempting to devise some clever plan and stick to it. Greg Says: The basic difference for anyone will be that 5 sets of 3 reps will allow heavier weights to be used with the same volume—5-10% or so—although that doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be heavier. or for the total sets. especially in the classic lifts. It also depends largely on what other training is accompanying the squatting. Greg Says: Tough question to answer for a number of reasons. If your focus during a given cycle or time in the cycle is heavy classic lifts. Depending on how the athlete is conditioned. I want to clarify that I love the CF community in general and the majority of the people Get your questions answered directly by Greg Everett or Aimee Anaya. you won’t be able to squat the athlete as heavy. If you mean getting them as close to a maximal effort for each set. the total reps would be the same in either scheme. and they’re changing so dramatically and frequently. Max numbers for new lifters are not important. or maybe heavy pulling. With a novice lifter. 315#. total vol. Examples: 1) Back Squat 3 sets X 5reps @ 100# (total set vol. when conducting strength training and the sets and rep scheme is either 5 sets of 3 reps or 3 sets of 5 reps. and ridiculous claims of the Glassman cult? Thank you for your time. Obviously I have an idea of what I want the athlete to be doing in terms of effort level. sets and reps. or 2) Back Squat 5 sets X 3 reps @ 105# (total set vol. it might be smart to start him at 75-80% and take 2-4 weeks to build up to and then move past that level. or more likely. Send your questions to Greg and Aimee at ask@cathletics.? ASK GREG & AIMEE use when new lifters come to Catalyst has no weight prescriptions. the only difference is the set volume. I’ve got a question. and especially with young lifters. then that’s more likely. possible and effective. What’s the difference. just exercises. staying with somewhat lighter weights is a good idea. the program I THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 5 . Conditions: the lifter is new (linear progression/novice) and performing sets across. 1575#) I could be totally off here. but also not necessarily true. if any. etc. and I definitely have to change the volume for some people to minimize or prevent joint pain. they would be of little use if you had them anyway. Aimee. Understanding that novice lifters will more than likely not have a true random workouts. For example. Regarding getting the lifter close to his/her 1RM each session. but still creating reps/vol. total vol. With a new lifter who is still a bit dodgy with his or her movement. 1500#). especially if this can be applied to o-lifting programming. but I’d think you’d want to get them as close as possible each session to their 1rm for that day. Mike Asks: Greg. not really. but there’s really no way of predicting what weights will be necessary. In that case. higher reps often work better. while they’re adapting to the training. if a lifter could grind out 5x3 with 85% on day one of the program. 500#. so more reps can be used to get enough work in to actually get a training effect. Tony Asks: Is there going to be an alternative to Crossfit? Perhaps a confederation of gyms that employ similar methods but reject the unscientific basis. and even those are flexible. you may be doing 5 sets of 3 with anywhere from 75-90% of 1RM (and more is totally possible with certain training). with as much volume. either way I’d still appreciate your thoughts or observations. you may be doing 5 sets of 3 with a weight that would otherwise be more appropriate for 5x5. So my thought is to put them in a 5 sets of 3 reps scheme with the intent of creating less intensity per set and a little more volume for the session.

I obviously have significant objections to many of the current philosophies. support and/or endorse those things. The CrossFit concept will eventually be ubiquitous like Pilates or yoga with complete decentralization. James Fitzgerald is doing about as close to what you’re describing that I know of with his coaching certification and affiliation and associate coach system. which undeniably helps support my business. coaches and trainers who share similar philosophies and methods. SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK@CATHLETICS. Add to that the fact that small. I think there already exist informal networks of gyms. And if the confederation is loose enough to prevent those kinds of objections. The problem as I see it is that there is so much variation among such gyms that it would be difficult if not impossible to establish criteria or standards that would be of any utility. independent gyms are just that: independent. adhere to any kind of plan. experience and ability. Fortunately I’m better now at not allowing them to interfere with my day to day operations and mood. etc that originated outside of their own business. and at that point it will be possible for someone else to step in and reorganize those individuals who are most serious about training into a more refined. I don’t see it being very useful. It would be great to have something more organized for the sake of individuals finding coaches and gyms of which they could expect certain levels of professionalism. A good indicator of the program’s quality is the following question and answer from the certification page: Q: I’ve been coaching a long time. actions and attitudes of the organization’s leadership and those affiliates and individuals who subscribe. it has put me in touch with a lot of great people.within it.COM THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 6 . focused and professional system than exists now. and it’s driving exposure to weightlifting. Few if any would want to be obligated to follow any kind of rules. can I bypass one of the levels? A: No. That being said.

then squatting has to be part of your basic belief system. bodybuilder. It will be a baptism by fire. I wrote a PM article about squatting once. It’s time to read the scriptures. They’ve been fun to write and I definitely still have a lot to say about all of these areas. in a nutshell. Everybody who reads this magazine (as far as I know) is some kind of strength athlete. Squats will never fail you. If you’re an Olympic lifter. rehab. And that’s why we’re going to go back to the basics this month and take another look at SQUATTING.Get Up. but it mostly focused on the technique differences between high-bar and low-bar squats. You have to believe in squatting the same way a Christian missionary believes in the Ten Commandments. etc. etc. This month. When everything else has failed you. general barbell trainer. We’re going to take a look at five basic principles of squatting that will steer you in the right direction. mental re-commitment or whatever else needs to be done to put you back on the road to strength righteousness. You must be washed clean through surgery. you still have squatting. speak in tongues. but I think it’s time to break things up and make this month’s article specifically dedicated to a training topic.Stand Up: Five Spiritual Principles of Squatting Matt Foreman When I look back at the Performance Menu articles I’ve been writing in recent months. The most important muscles of your body will shrink and you will eventually become weak. shotputter. I’ve wanted to revisit this topic for a long time because. If you do them. you have to rely on squatting to get you through the tough times of your quest for strength. team building. mental strength. many moons ago. Just like the missionary relies on his biblical principles to guide him through life’s struggles. and most of you probably use the Olympic lifts as some component of your training life. or be slain in the spirit at any moment. if you follow them. I notice that several of them have dealt with topics such as coaching philosophy. you might want to read another magazine. If you want things to be easy. powerlifter. or lack of motivation. you will get results. You’ll be like a formerly dedicated religious zealot who has lost his way and drifted into a sea of drugs and hookers. disability. But the pain is just something you’ll have to accept. strongman competitor.. Feel free to shout hallelujah. we’re going to analyze squats as they apply to athletes who focus specifically on the Olympic lifts. squatting is absolutely one of the most important tools in the training of any type of strength athlete. Your body will be strong. you will end up with nothing. Open your hymnals. brothers and sisters. If you can’t squat because of injury. because hard squatting isn’t exactly designed for your comfort. THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 7 .

I could stand up with a 180 kilo clean easier than he could. but there is much more benefit than simply what happens in the muscles of the legs. and it is impossible to achieve maximum results in these lifts if squats are not being used in training because the benefits in overall body strength are impossible to replicate with any other assistance lift. But the squats have to be used correctly if there is going to be any carryover to the competition lifts. Olympic style back squat with a one- THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 8 . This means that the technique and positions of the squat have to stay as close as possible to the technique and positions of the snatch and clean. Several outsiders have mistakenly believed that the Bulgarians only use front squats in their training. but also the muscles of the upper body that hold the barbell on the shoulders in the receiving position of the clean. But letting incorrect upper body positions become a regular part of your front squat technique will limit the benefits of the lift. If you are an Olympic lifter. Regardless. it’s important to understand the place of the squat in the training of an Olympic lifter. When I was doing my best lifting. Olympic lifters use the front squat as an essential training tool. But in competition. The Third Principle: Stop Squats are a misunderstood ally. elbows dropping.) Heavy front squatting develops the stabilizing strength of these muscles. Both of the full competitive movements obviously involve a squat phase. the muscles of the chest.The First Principle: Squatting is the most important assistance exercise in Olympic lifting. Their philosophy becomes. etc. obliques. The rewards of the squat exceed those of any other barbell exercise. and also increase the chance for injury. Squatting proficiency cannot be undervalued for athletes who want to improve in the snatch and clean and jerk. forums. A stop squat is a high-bar. There will be no upper body strength development if the front squats are performed in the sloppy manner we have all seen at some point (shoulders rounding forward. However.” This type of thinking has good intentions because it shows respect to the squat as being hugely important. But the idea still lingers on message boards. When an athlete performs a clean or a front squat. correctly practicing the snatch is the best way to do it. there are some voices in the weightlifting community who believe that front squats are more important than back squats. Squatting will make you stronger. In fact. The postural muscles of the abdomen. arms. fingers popping off the bar. As I said. the torso starts to lean forward. etc. Some people view the squat as a lower body lift. you have to always understand that the squat’s purpose is to make you stronger for the Olympic lifts. One of the reasons why front squats are so beneficial is the upper body strength gains that accompany the movement. spinal erectors. When I started training for the Calpian weightlifting club in the early 90s. but it is still an assistance exercise. Squatting is one of the best core exercises in existence. and even the middle/upper back will be strengthened every time a squat is performed. no back squats. Squatting will make you a better jerker. If you want to become a better snatcher. coach John Thrush explained to me that front squats are a “position lift. The squat is the finest assistance exercise available.) A small amount of this technical sloppiness might occur when an athlete is pushing for a new one-rep max in the front squat. This is why it is imperative that the lifter performs the front squat with exactly the same upper body position as the clean. Olympic lifters often get so focused on bigger squat numbers that they will start squatting incorrectly to get them. Front squats are as much an upper body strength movement as they are a lower body strength movement. The depth starts to get shallow. the chest expanded. “Squatting will make you a better snatcher. Everyone agrees to this. plain and simple. Stop squats are not difficult to explain. knee wraps come out. Who was using the squats most effectively in training? The Second Principle: Front Squats are a “position lift. even though the arms and shoulders are basically immobile throughout the lift. Much of this philosophy comes from the perception of the Bulgarian program. but it is still an assistance exercise.” Because of the basic movement of the clean and jerk. one of my close competitors had a one-rep max in the squat that was twenty kilos heavier than mine. That’s understandable. etc. the shoulders wide. front squats are one of the primary weapons of the Olympic lifter. shoulders. But there is a caveat here. and that strength will give you a better chance to snatch more weight. etc.” This means that they are used not just to strengthen the muscles of the legs. this is not the case. but none of them will translate into the movements of the snatch or clean. That’s right. and upper back are used to maintain the proper form of the movement (keeping the elbows high. Sometimes I think American Olympic lifters get carried away with squat enthusiasm and they start to believe that heavier squatting will fix anything. Squatting will make you a better cleaner. All of these things start to happen because the lifter is obsessed with getting bigger squat weights.

I’ve probably seen at least fifty different types of set/rep programs. the lift resembles a heavy clean where the athlete gets “planted” in the bottom of the clean and has to pause or double-bounce before standing up. One of our top American coaches has a volume phase for his lifters where the athletes are doing sets of ten reps in squats. but that is not the primary purpose. Friday and Sunday will always be off days. which increases the stabilizer strength of the athlete’s torso. It might be one of the residual benefits of stop squats that the athlete has more reserve strength for standing up from a paused clean. and other assistance exercises. and one stop squat workout. The proof is in the pudding. All of these lifters have done the best lifts of their careers while using stop squats. I’m an old-school lifter. And second. it would be wise to do it at a time when it won’t negatively affect the athlete’s snatching and clean and jerking. I used my top stop squat triple as the barometer of how strong I was. Stop squats are a valuable exercise for two reasons. one back squat workout. and Tuesday will always be a relatively light workout. How often should an Olympic lifter train the squats? How many sets and reps should be performed in a typical workout? How often should new one-rep maxes be attempted? In other words. Planning those squat max-out People sometimes misunderstand the purpose of stop squats. pulls. When I was doing the best lifting of my life. Incorporate stop squats into your lifting program and you will get stronger. My personal preference is as follows: How many times per week should the athlete squat? Three. variety is always going to have some benefits. In other words. but that’s just the method I prefer. and Saturday. This means that the athlete performs three or four warm-up sets before picking the “target weight” for that workout and doing three sets of three with it. push presses. but there are several different ways to train the squat effectively. how in the hell should you implement the squats into your training program to improve your lifts? I’ve said this many times in the past. and also with every serious lifter I have ever coached. One front squat workout. How often should Olympic lifters attempt new onerep maxes? Not often. the pause at the bottom of the squat forces the athlete to maintain total muscle contraction with a heavy weight on the shoulders. I was reading a discussion on the internet recently where a group of lifters were explaining how the main purpose of the stop squat was to prepare an athlete to recover from a botched clean. The Fourth Principle: Sets and Reps: the possibilities are endless. so I have always liked the old 3x3 method. What kind of sets and reps should be used? Sets of three reps (triples) are always reliable for an Olympic lifter. Now. Let me make it clear that stop squats are not intended to improve the athlete’s performance of an incorrect clean. the lack of rebound momentum prior to standing up from the squat forces the muscles of the lower body to push harder to complete the lift. I don’t think there are many weightlifting coaches or athletes who use stop squats as a regular part of their training. And I don’t understand this. I don’t think any Olympic lifting coaches would stay with this many reps throughout the entire competition year.second pause at the bottom. Nobody has the one magical answer. Because of the pause at the bottom of the stop squat. because the rewards are tremendous. THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 9 . But don’t take my word for it. the heaviest weight I could do a set of three with in training told me how ready I was for a big clean and jerk. I have never used sets higher than five reps when training competitive lifters. First. So let it be written. Thursday. And when the athlete does attempt a new 1RM. Throughout my years as a lifter. Some people refer to these as “pause squats” but “stop squat” is the name I use. There are other accomplished coaches who use sets of 8-10 reps with their lifters. I have used stop squats throughout every phase of my serious weightlifting career. The best days to do them are Monday. and many of them have had outstanding results. which increases the potential power output of the entire body. but using high-rep sets during a “volume phase” can lead to positive results for some athletes.

Making your squats sloppier and higher for the sake of a few more kilos will not make you a better Olympic lifter. He who has ears to hear. let him see. the bar was sitting high up at the base of my neck. I sat down to 100% full depth. Adding new kilos to your squat max while maintaining perfect technique in the squats will translate into stronger competition lifts. He who has eyes to see. I did this squat at the beginning of a workout when I was totally fresh. I wore light knee wraps. I changed coaches and my training program became completely different. I wore nothing on my knees. My best snatch was 120 kilos and best clean and jerk was 150. I don’t think you’ll have much to worry about though. because regardless of exactly which squatting approach you decide to use in your training. my best squat was 500 pounds at around 215 bodyweight. and there was a lot of forward lean with the torso. True or false? An athlete can improve their leg strength without moving up their one-rep squat max. It’s true. The athletes (and the coaches) have to be perfectionists about squat form. positively make you a better Olympic lifter if you decide to make them part of your training life. my best snatch was 135 kilos and my best clean and jerk was 167. Amen.5. let him hear. Now you have five principles about squatting that will absolutely. When I was twenty. After one year. If you implement all of these ideas into your training and your total doesn’t go up. everybody needs to follow some of the same basic rules. Shortly after this 500 pound squat.5 kilos (479 pounds) at 218 bodyweight. my depth was around parallel. please contact Greg Everett for a refund on your Performance Menu subscription. and my torso basically stayed straight up and down. was 21 pounds lower than the 500 pound squat I had done a year earlier. brothers and sisters. the bar was sitting low on my shoulders.sessions around the same time when the athlete is attempting heavy attempts in the SN or C&J can get dicey. At this time. This squat max THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 10 . Let me give you a personal example to illustrate this. The point here is that the athlete’s leg strength and overall power output can increase simply by squatting in a stricter. more technically disciplined manner. I maxed out in the squat and did 217. I did this squat at the end of a hard workout. it’s true. The Fifth Principle: Bigger squats = better snatches.

Blitz and Bomb your pecs.” is doubtless an important part of the training for many athletes. an appropriate way to title a hypertrophy phase for an athlete is “Armor building. or a sport coach who hasn’t had to deal with an athlete arguing that “Mr. perfection of technique. The issue? Bodybuilding.” Hypertrophy and fat loss are qualities that can have impact in sports. Hypertrophy. but the second one is really more fun for the coach.” Second answer: “Let’s just keep doing snatches for another hour and we will ask you tomorrow as a pop quiz?” Both answers are excellent.” In American football. shake your hand to the sky in rage and wrath. The fear that the reaper of death is dressed in a black Speedo with a doo rag. larger arms can (it is argued by my athletes) protect THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 11 . we have two standard answers to “what muscle does it build?” when the athlete is snatching. Greater Galaxy does this so I should. which can be purchased here. Bodybuilding is interested in two qualities: hypertrophy and fat loss. Blast. But. or come to grips with all of this stuff. the role of hypertrophy training changes as the athlete moves through life and is a key to the longevity of the active or retired competitor. the 800-pound gorilla in the room. if you want to be a strength coach. Mass Made Simple: A Six-Week Journey Into Bulking. It is important to take a moment to note that excellent lighting. have a group of young athletes do any serious movement that involves peak concentration. In fact. too!” In the past fifty years. First: “You know when you leap up in the end zone and snag the ball between two defenders and win the state championship? Yes? Well. intelligent use of tanning or coloring.Mass Made Simple: An Excerpt by Dan John Dan John What follows is a sample from Dan John’s newest book. screaming “It’s all you. Honestly. well maintained equipment and developed skills and one of these fine young people will ask: “What muscle does it build?” Shake your head. The key is discerning “how much” and “how often” in the training mix. Something nefarious has been happening in strength coaching for a long time and it comes under many guises and disguises. Muscle Spinning. just the “look. Bro” and demanding supersets of skull crushers and standing outside the hallway of every weight room remains the nightmare image of most strength coaches. In contact sports. The Role of Hypertrophy remains the boogeyman in the field of strength and conditioning. AND no fear of the publishers of magazines in altering the final photos in the darkrooms or computer screen can do wonders for a subject’s body. we seem to have an elephant in the room. It would be hard to find a strength coach. If you are not up on your delightful English idioms. hypertrophy can provide two qualities worthy of discussion: 1. a bigger forearm is a weapon. Pardon me. cleaning or swinging. it is that muscle. The composition of the body won’t change. Armor. Pumping Iron. Pumping the guns. you had better come to grips with this issue. For the record. we can call its other name. this is another name for an obvious problem no one wants to address. Moreover. Body Culture. The artistic elements of symmetry and stage performance that are the keys to superior placing in a bodybuilding contest are beyond the scope of this work. bodybuilding has gone from an underground activity to a period where it literally defined the barbell sports to its odd role today as the starting point for most people’s understanding of how to train with weights. A good tan in the right lighting can completely change the perception of one’s body in seconds. or simply “gaining muscle mass. Perhaps.

discussion on “weight loss. especially those enjoying the growths spurts of adolescence. Tanning or skin coloring is not the same as mastering an opponent’s offensive schemes. Sadly. of course.” In the fourth quarter. the single concern is fat loss. “all carbs are bad. “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is absolutely true when it comes to determining competitive performance. over a ten-year period. Fat loss continues to mystify everyone who can’t understand these four words: Eat Less. And that is the key. shifts from pure hypertrophy work to final preparations for a contest. It is a balancing act that not everyone has the skills to accomplish. those men and women who are at least beyond 35 years of age. that is an oversimplification. plays like Jane. Any other athlete in any other sport MUST juggle multiple qualities. pecs. Certainly. these body parts tend to be “all show and no go!” Although there has been an ongoing. Years ago. Of course. combat sports and weightlifting have weight categories for competition. Having said this. not the one who looks the best. For the master athlete.” However.’” True fat loss can improve test results varying from jumping and sprinting marks to flexibility standards. and 90s. Many of them are empty nesters and have enough financial resources to train and travel extensively. athletes like to look good. pullups and general exercises seems to lead to some muscle gain. Once a bodybuilder. and wear as much glitter as you want. What is the proper role and impact of hypertrophy and fat loss on performance? The answer actually comes from studying master athletes. ideally blessed with natural symmetry and muscle insertions that gift one towards the sport. to work the show muscles of biceps. there can be an honest commitment not to “get fat in the first place. but I’ve never seen one get smaller.” Given the advice back in the 1970s that. The master athlete reminds of us of the critical need for hypertrophy for athletes far away from the posing dais. athletes will always stay a few extra minutes. simply doing pushups. usually after 55 years of age. no matter how difficult the training. there is a role for hypertrophy and it follows a very clear path. Without a doubt.” it’s hard to argue that much of the weight loss industry is filled with quick fix gimmicks. but there are dozens of methods of rapid weight loss that vary from practical to deadly. The reason that bodybuilders can go on extremely difficult fat loss regimes is because they only deal with two qualities. There is a wonderful term called “peacocking. If there was a single magic wand to wave to “instantly” improve performance in most sports. and abs. we also have that wonderful phrase: “Looks like Tarzan. It brings us back to the wonderful quote by Art DeVany that seemed to upset some people. On the extreme end. Answering the question: “What’s the best way to lose fat?” DeVany answered: “Don’t get fat in the first place. True. the athlete needs a long-term perspective when dealing with fat loss. it seems that the muscles just vanish overnight. in conversations with master hammer thrower George Matthews. Shave off your body hair. “Don’t get fat” literally means to swim against a lot of cultural norms over a long period of time for our modern athlete. heavier team does add up on the field.the ball better. Add the lack of honest “play” and we have the recipe for obesity. So. sports are a cruel mistress: they reward the one who does the task the best. but sports rewards those who do a task the best. So. sell high. but along the same lines as “Buy low. Harvard nutritionist Jean Mayer said years ago: “To attribute obesity to ‘overeating’ is as meaningful as to account for alcoholism by ascribing it to ‘overdrinking.” Love it or hate it. Certainly. And let’s add one further issue: losing fat may have little effect on performance. maybe (or maybe not) a leaner athlete will be healthier.” it is a wonder obesity is “only” in one-quarter of our population as we write this sentence. 80s. And this has been the problem for decades. School lunches added to lack of required physical education plus the proliferation of every sugary substance imaginable at every practice and athletic event for the kid involved in club activities make it very difficult for even a well-informed child to stay lean. Move More. to overstate the case. a good strength and conditioning coach also needs some built-in programs to deal with an athlete who has let his or her overall condition slide. dye the hair on you head. 2. Confidence. As the saying goes: “I’ve seen athletes slow down in a game.” fat loss is the quality to impress upon athletes. but often continue to compete at a high level well into their 70s. is maintaining the dietary rigor to force fat loss while training the other qualities needed in performance. practically any training THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 12 . assuming an understanding of efficient techniques in the sport of choice probably needs to move back to the basic rules of hypertrophy training: getting as much reps under load in as little time as possible. he noted the issue of massive muscle loss that seems to infect master athletes. Early in the training career. and basic size is a tool late in a game. it would make fat disappear. The challenge. perhaps two century. Addressing body composition needs to be done with some compassion and probably an eye to not leading the athlete into areas of eating disorders. For young athletes.” There is nothing harder for a young coach to get used to and that’s the error of judging the athlete by how the athlete looks physically. the accumulation of banging against a larger.

it would be wise to transition for a few years with basic bodybuilding in the truest sense of the word: repairing the sport related injuries and adjusting and adapting the body from all the overwork of the specific training. was often credited with purposely not gathering athletes that simply looked good. For most athletes. beside their built-in boredom (at least for the strength or power athlete). the late great football coach who led the San Francisco 49ers to several Super Bowls. Machine training might also be a perfect option here as there is a very low level of technical training and large groups can be herded through in relatively short amounts of time. After the initial “hill” of hypertrophy. is the elephant in the room in sport training: it is an obvious issue that no one wants to talk about very much. After retirement. his game skills evaporated. If a 23-year old football player or basketball player is still working on basic skills. usually in the late teenage years. to avoid athletes with any tendencies towards narcissism. but the importance of other qualities must take over. the importance of this quality quickly drops down for the next few years of elite performance. it is also the reason that probably any training program can support wins and losses in team sports. his skills diminished until he was out of the league in a year. at the very latest. but bodybuilding sits in the weight room and has to be discussed. as he was now too large to make efficient movements on the field. you can’t go wrong with practically any kind of program from basic boot camp training to exposure to traditional lifting sports (Olympic. An important warning: this discussion is about the Role of Hypertrophy. comes back down (but not to zero!) and then continues in “importance” literally until death. Especially in the area of armor building. Without a doubt. For a coach dealing in athletes from the basic levels of training. Hypertrophy then follows the same path as the athlete in the early training curve. Literally. The elite athlete who is still worried about modeling for photo shoots probably only has a season or two left in the game.program will work wonders in terms of bodybuilding. the athlete will literally grow along with it. so don’t read or understand this in a vacuum. By breaking apart the sets just a little bit. Anyone coming into weight training seems to enjoy this early growth spurt and any exposure seems to work. As he got larger and larger. I will wait. approximately four to six years into training. it meets the immediate needs of nearly every member of the program. recruiting or perhaps dozens of other qualities. He famously looked for players with a winning competitive mindset and seemed. 22 years. We tend to let accumulated fatigue.” ended his playing career. As one moves into the last decades of life. the hypertrophy needs will rise along with the level of sport until the athlete completes their career. The shape of the Role of Hypertrophy resembles a reverse. Its role is not nearly as important as technique. Just a few years ago. fallen down S curve. The elite athlete in the prime of their career needs to focus nearly blindly on the goal and avoid too much work on looking good in the part. Hypertrophy will climb the same gentle slope that basic technical training and all the other qualities of either a specific sport or simple exposure to sports. you can add more weight to the bar and actually cut rest periods between what we traditionally called “sets. Bill Walsh.” THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 13 . but it would be fun to name the athletes who have attained elite status by making enormous gains after 23. it is safe to assume the athlete will never be ready. The problem with standard hypertrophy programs. the game will have passed them by.” There is no truer indicator of actual age than the amount of lean body mass. to limit the load. as one ages. As the skill levels grow. Hypertrophy. although laudable for the “look. a certain honest assessment needs to be made: if the athlete isn’t ready for professional or elite performance by. An undermuscled and overfat body is not only unappealing but also unhealthy. There may be exceptions in individual sports. Keeping lean body mass as long as one can is the fountain of youth. which is good in the case of high rep squats. tactics. It certainly doesn’t disappear. game preparation. Power or Kettlebell lifting). Hypertrophy’s role has a few years of little importance. time spent in the gym might improve the quality of life geometrically. one begins the “fight for life. there probably will be a rise in the role. a professional football player in a speed position became obsessed with bodybuilding. Towards the end of a career. injury prevention. That’s why basic bodybuilding can be so useful for a high school football program. according to some observers. Many parents will spend a lot of money on paraprofessional coaching programs that promise improvements in agility. is their inability to jack up intensity. After being the cover on a bodybuilding magazine. It starts up a gradual curve. bodybuilding. There seems to be about an four to six year period where pure hypertrophy work with simple exposure to explosive training might be all the athlete needs to succeed. especially in sports that have a long career such as the throwing sports. His bodyweight increases. acceleration and other qualities that probably would improve just as quickly by doing a few circuits on the rusting Universal Gym at the local YMCA.

” the big issue is. 2-3-5 You can use the first Cluster as a warm up of sorts and what is funny is that the program begins to take on the one of the earliest recognized programs in lifting. It is better to leave a little in the tank. big calves. Certainly. This second variation can reflect those numbers except we focus on the five-rep max (a number in many people’s experience that rewards bodybuilding training more than higher reps). done that. As I noted in other settings. it goes fast even with a serious load. as I often think. try to find a weight that forces you to give it all (obvious note: get a good spotter on the Bench and Squat) on that second set of five. especially for a drug-free athlete. the triple is done quite quickly and. It is so simple of an adjustment. big hamstrings.” then add a whole new variation that no one has ever seen before. With this first option. What is amazing about this program is that you often find that you put the bar down or in the rack and almost immediately do the double because that set of ten was hard but “anybody” can do two. but this has been an issue for many of us for years. I also like to finish this workout with a Farmer Walk. I would suggest only timing the whole duration of this variation and see how fast all 25 reps are finished. workouts. big spinal erectors. First. I strongly recommend it. too. You are not held back by that heavy last set of five that often forces one to take a lighter first four sets. So. What is actually more exciting is a very interesting variation on the five by five workout. you nail ten more reps with surprising little rest. the lifter only has to deal with two big sets of five. you know that. This is not a fancy workout. but the load really impacts the athletes. I have found that doing three clusters (2-3-5-10-2-3-5-10-2-3-5-10) seems to be enough for any athlete. writings and workshops about “five sets of five. If you can do some kind of Hurdle Walkover or hip mobility work during a training session that has a squat and deadlift or clean variation. but with this rep scheme of 2-3-5-2-3-5-2-3. it is a quick recovery to get that double in after the heavy set of five. Honestly. you can handle far more load than the traditional five sets of five. what do “you” mean by 5 x 5? Since writing an article about five sets of five. “might as well do the five. the Squat (all its variations) and the Deadlift. the Military Press. you’ll get Trapped by these guns. since you have nothing better to do. Bench Press and Power Clean (or Power Curl.” (Triceps. I have been training my athletes with the second variation (40 total reps. if you have more plates on the bar and the workout finishes faster. I realize that someone is going to a comment something like “I thought 5 x 5 was obvious. If you want to build “Armor. but keep it within reason.” Well.’ the Bench Press. stick with one weight throughout the workout. Let’s review the second option. The reps simply drop out the last set of ten. like the Wave. Try this variation in a simple workout after any kind of intelligent workout. Here are the two innovations: first. Of course. It adds up to 100 reps. big traps and big delts. the DeLorme Workout. once again. Oddly.” Fear the athlete with big glutes. Small reminder: this is not a powerlifting workout! It is intended for the use of our audience interested in a nice mix of power and bulk.” not just simply a little more muscle for the beach season. isn’t that hypertrophy training? The second option is really opening my athletes’ eyes. the ten sets of ten. some of the options. or as Strength Coach Casey Sutera chants about these muscles: “If you Tri to get Bi. Oddly. than to go to the edge with this magic 100-rep barrier. Trapezius and a Most Muscular shot!) The exercises that seem to build Armor the best are: THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 14 .” it logically follows that more load (because you are NOT doing ten sets of ten and roasting yourself in the process) in less time would lead to greater muscle mass. so we have 2-3-5. focus on two things. with only five sets being that rep reducing tough set of ten. First Cluster: 2-3-5 Now. There are two very innovative changes that seem to really work well in the ‘big lifts. Biceps. Third Cluster: 2-3-5 Challenge Cluster Add more weight. many will dismiss it and note that “I’ve been there. I have shared an interesting way to do the German Volume Training. Again. three plate changes) with the Front Squat. The same odd rest issue shows up: for whatever reason. and I am sure the science guys know the biology behind this. of course. that triple often happens out of breath. between those hellacious tens. Biceps and Pecs might make for good photos. Rather than letting reps 60-100 dictate the load. We use the same weight each “set” and rep and strive to do a total of five of these clusters. So.For example. we play with this rep scheme: 2-3-5-10. you don’t have to do 100 reps. This athlete is built to win. good for you. Now. have value. If hypertrophy honestly is “time under load” or “time under tension. Yes. ADD weight! Second Cluster: 2-3-5 Add more weight. always emphasize the muscles that “people only see when you are walking away. a curl grip clean using the legs) mixed with some Hurdle Walkovers and some Farmer Bar Walks. I am even more confused about the dozens of variations of what I used to consider the simplest workout for bulk and power. And.

It is an exercise best worked in ladders: 1 Clean and 1 Front Squat 2 Cleans and 2 Front Squats 3 Cleans and 3 Front Squats Doing this up to five is an excellent way to understand the intensity needed for hypertrophy. enjoy finding your Rhomboids. Traps. the Zercher Squat is an appropriate barbell lift. A “better” choice might be the Double Kettlebell Clean and Front Squat. The next day. A fun “test” is to do this up to ten reps (55 Front Squats without putting the weights down?). On the Armor building. Obliques. but that might be a once in a lifetime training test. Then you can ask what muscle this builds! THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 15 .With a Barbell: Zercher Squats Suitcase Deadlifts Snatch Grip Deadlifts Bench Press Curls (Try doing them with a Thick Bar!) The Kettlebell can surprise you. Thighs and Abs.

They have lost their desire and passion to work hard and be committed. They have communication issues with key people. there are often other factors at play. but not in competition. and lose their way. 3. How do you assure success for all of your clients? Is it possible for someone to not hold themselves back mentally but still not succeed for other reasons? THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 16 . Someone in their life is pressuring them to perform. thanks to him. 2. in the zone. a sport psychology coach for the Stanford University Baseball and the Israeli Davis Cup Tennis Team and was the mental game consultant for the Irish National Cricket Team. Learn new and better mental approaches. Improve their sports performances under pressure. 4. 5. 9. Their sport is no longer fun and exciting. 3. No matter how good one’s mindset. but can’t get there on command. We began discussing the importance of psychological preparation for athletic performance with Bill Cole last issue. 7. He has served as a sports psychology consultant for various elite level athletes. 4. Improve their self-confidence in their sport.” she said. “I am a much calmer and more consistent lifter. including 2006 Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time world curling champion Russ Howard and the Performance Menu’s own Aimee Anaya. discover where they want to go and help them devise a plan to achieve excellence. and steps athletes can take to push through their own mental obstacles and limitations. Read on… How do you know if you need to work with a mental game coach or not? People call me because they are experiencing frustration in their sport performance in one of more of these ways: 1. They are in transition in life or their sport. My overall approach is to help people in these ways: 1. Discover new levels of awareness about themselves as an athlete. Help them transfer the many mental lessons from sport to the rest of their life. Counsel them in the “big-picture view” of their sports career. They play well in practice. 6. Cole has also worked as an NCAA Division I head coach. 6. 8. This month we discussed mental training for various sports. They don’t know how to win anymore.Mental Game Coaching: Interview with Bill Cole (Part2) Yael Grauer International Mental Game Coaching Association founder Bill Cole has been coaching and consulting in sports psychology for 30 years. My approach is to assess where they are. what got them there. again. 2. They are in a slump. 5. They turn in a great performance.

Make better decisions. Control your muscle relaxation better. Improve your concentration. 50. 35. 6. Better learning strategies. 60. More control over your thoughts. 29. Better life-balance skills. and other fairly obvious causes. 18. And sometimes these reasons are partly mental. Better energy levels. 47. You also want to notice the subjective measures of your progress with your mental game. More positive self-talk and mental images. and a very interesting one. 48. THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 17 . presentations and interviews Sales. 38. 25. Fewer stress symptoms. 65. 31. More patience with yourself and others. 9. writing. Reduce and eliminate self-defeating anger. art and drama Stressful life situations As you master your mental game there will be easily measured. Even though the main focus is to help you improve your mental game as an athlete. Fewer worry and nerves. Here are 66 subjective mental game goals you can strive toward. To make sure my clients succeed I enlarge the reasons they come to see me. It’s an opportunity to grow as an athlete and as a person. People who know you volunteer that they see you improving. Examples would be not playing smart tactically or strategically. 52. etc. none specifically mental. 2. 61. 62. Overcome the fear of success. Stay calmer and more poised under pressure. 59. Keep your mental game together more regularly. Recover mentally from mistakes more readily. Transfer mental lessons from sport to the rest of your life. Understand yourself more as an athlete. 44. These are less obvious. Improve your mental toughness. Reduce and eliminate choking. Improve your positive mindset. 46. 13. 55. 24. and when it counts. 21. not preparing properly. 45. 63. 22. Understand yourself more as a person. 4. Improve anticipation skills. 15. Keep slumps away and minimize them when they appear. Improve communication skills. Improve your will to win. 58. Reduce and eliminate self-sabotage. Reduce and eliminate procrastination. 27. Play better against stronger opponents. Reduce and eliminate perfectionism. Reduce and eliminate fears and doubts. 39. 7. 33. 28. Not embarrass yourself in a competition. you will also discover ways to more consistently learn. and just as important. It’s an enlightening growth process. Overcome the fear of failure. 36. 12. objective signposts that confirm your improvement in your sport. Here’s what I tell them: Mental game coaching is an educational learning experience. Playing to win” more than “playing not to lose”. times. Play better against weaker opponents. 16. They come because their sport performance is falling short. 57. 17. More confidence. 49. Handle opponent’s mind games better. I do that to strengthen their motivation to change and to improve the quality of their lives beyond sport. Enter the zone more often. Improve your stress control. Improve mental readiness skills. Better sportsmanship. 26. 19. 51. You will learn more about yourself as an athlete. 23. Close out leads better. change and perform in these other pursuits: • • • • • Academic studies and exams Speeches. Enjoy competition more. 53. People you don’t know volunteer that they see you improving. Play as well in an event as you do in practice. 64. 8. 42. 10. but they are just as real. inadequate sleep and rest. Better mental stamina. Better ball judgment. Improve emotional intelligence. Improve motivation. 30. Progress accelerates. 1. but that perhaps their performance issues in sport have larger ramifications.Sometimes athletes don’t succeed in their events for a number of different reasons. These might be records. 56. 5. networking and influencing situations Music. Skills become more automatic. 34. Reduce and eliminate mental blocks. win-loss outcomes. Improve self-coaching skills. Handle pressure better. 20. 11. 32. 41. Control your breathing better. 14. Skills take less effort. 54. Handle setbacks better. 3. Enjoy your sport more. More happiness and satisfaction. 40. Analyze situations better and solve problems faster. 37. Better media relations. 43. and as a person. More control over your shots. Reduce and eliminate a self-critical attitude. Feel comfortable enough to try new things. I tell them that we will work on that.

but have a toolkit of hundreds of techniques. 7. 19. 9. 3. 20. prepare or change mental. 16. 21. Managing The Inner Critic Concentration Recovery from mistakes Mental Toughness Mental Readiness Procedures Championship Thinking Maintaining Perspective Breath Control Affirmations The Paradox of Letting Go While Maintaining Control Relaxed Concentration Closing Out Leads Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Paralysis By Analysis Trusting Skills Managing Expectations Emotional Intelligence Life Balance The Imposter Syndrome The Zone / Flow State Fear Of Failure “Playing To Win” Versus “Playing Not To Lose” “Hating To Lose” Versus “Wanting To Win” I help my clients with these 16 critical performance issues: 1. actors. plan for goals. positive thinking involves being aware of thoughts and speech THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 18 .In essence. Mental Practice Mental practice is drilling or rehearsing your mind for an upcoming performance or shaping your mind to enhance a particular mental or personal quality. visualization. 5. 16. 10. 18. 12. 13. 14. habit control. emotional and physical states. mental game coaching is a valuable. 14. one that will benefit you far beyond your sport experiences. 23. Positive Thinking Perhaps the most common mind tool of all. audio tapes. 8. 12. specialized educational experience. rehearse contingency plans. mind practitioner or a hypnotherapist. 22. 13. 2. 6. How do you modify mental training for different sports? I’m assuming getting prepared for an individual sport like weightlifting is different than a team sport like football and different yet from. fear reduction and performance enhancement. business and life itself. 3. 9. 6. Anxiety Choking Focus Goal-Setting and Achievement Perfectionism Procrastination Mental Preparation Mental Practice Self-Discipline Getting In The Zone Slumps and Confidence Hecklers And Psych-Outs Performing Under Pressure The Fear Of Success The Fear Of Failure The Imposter Syndrome I utilize these five major mind-coaching tools. musicians and executives I coach in my work. I want to help you maximize your sport experience. this mind-body skill may be utilized for a wide variety of mental training purposes. 5. 6. Cognitive Restructuring A more sophisticated mind tool. public speakers. and also to the salespeople. 8. 2. relax. Uses include relaxation. 7. 4. Almost all of the methods and approaches I use are applicable across all sports. wrestling or other sports where you will compete with one person individually. 15. 4. I want you to succeed and to help you grow as an athlete and as a person. 11. Self-Hypnosis and Hypnosis Once learned from a book. Visualization This involves using the “movies of your mind” to mentally practice. 17. 4. 5. energize. Awareness Learning Development Change Habit Formation Performance and making it as positive as possible. The major common threads across these venues are: 1. 3. say. this involves changing thoughts and patterns of thinking so attitudes and mind sets are re-formed into desirable and intentional mental structures. 15. The insights you learn and the skills you build will carry over to many important varied applications for school. It’s a lifetime investment in yourself as a person. 2. 11. 10. 28 specific techniques and approaches I use in almost every session with clients include: 1.

THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 19 . and they lose their way. 28. and give them ways to re-create that greatness. say high school to college. go through a tough transition. 25. The difference? The high level people are more determined to succeed. 26. But then I often get calls from these same athletes when they hit a wall. and they doubt themselves. That is always a shock to them. but with a new intentionality and focus. Emotional Management Intrinsic Motivation Influencing Skills Extrinsic Motivation Personal Narrative and Vision You’ve coached some Hollywood stars in tennis. They feel they can’t be stopped. levels and gender. That’s where I remind them of their greatness. desire and hard work and along the way they picked up mental toughness and personal success system. Kind of like they are on some sort of mental momentum. They did it on pure mojo. the mental issues cut across all sports. But it’s true. What are the differences that you’ve noticed? Or are the same patterns just amplified at different levels? The amazing thing about mental game coaching across skill levels is when my lower level athletes discover that the world champions I have coached have the exact same mental issues they are facing. and I’m assuming some athletes who are not at that level yet. So overall. that they still have it.24. and persevere in removing these mental and emotional obstacles. They forget how to be great. and some very high-level athletes. Another unusual fact—many high-level athletes got where they are WITHOUT much mental training at all. have more mental toughness. or college to pro. 27.

Ah.” nutrition is the linchpin. I tend to skew my world towards a health bias. but it’s a little more subtle with sleep… which is why not enough of us are hitting snooze at 5AM instead of dragging our poor. Defined Sleep is divided into two broad groups. and PM is filled with excellent perspectives on Paleo and performance-oriented nutrition recommendations. Phase 1 is light sleep.makes you get less done in any given hour. I’ll try not to drift too far away from PM’s performance bias. sleep seems to be the red-headed stepchild: clumsily acknowledged. I think it’s high time that we help sleep come in from the cold. NREM sleep has 4 phases.) It’s easy to see the direct connection between the snatch balance and getting more weight overhead. More on cortisol later. I think that sleep has been generally undervalued as a potentially potent ergogenic aid. gogetting executive takes pride in sleeping less than his or her competitors. but also directly impacts your performance through a few different mechanisms. A healthy body simply performs well.” (This is especially true when cortisol levels are abnormally elevated in the evening. not to mention that it can seriously improve your quality of life. and in the considerable time I’ve spent in various gyms over the years. So spending more hours getting stuff done . the hard-charging. There are also dozens of solid perspectives on training in PM.) I have not. almost irrelevant nuisance when there’s “so much to do. Let’s explore how sleep affects not only our health. That being said. To the detriment of our health and performance. In that order. I’ve long wondered why that is. And adequate quantity and quality of sleep confers not only significant health benefits. In terms of “bang for your buck.) In the realm of athletics. we address multiple facets of a client’s life. we often don’t give sleep proper priority. including nutrition. memory retrieval. I suppose sleep can seem like a benign. In many Western societies. I think there Sleep. With our consulting practice. (“Committed” and “neurotic” sometimes look a lot the same. abused bodies through yet another sexy metcon. that may be true. though research suggests that being chronically sleep deprived significantly impedes psychomotor function. that knowledge often isn’t enough to compel us to take action to improve our sleep habits (or lack thereof). but since my best volleyball years are behind me and I’ll never be an elite weightlifter (I’m not bitter at all). skewing one’s time perception and increasing anxiety and wakefulness. REM and nonREM (or NREM). and… work productivity. and most of us would admit that we probably need more. however. purportedly “getting more done” in any given day. I’ve known CrossFitters to hit the gym at 5 AM for the first of their two training sessions after only five hours of sleep.Sleep: An Undervalued Ergogenic Aid Dallas Hartwig We all know we need sleep. generally overlooked. Sleep as a priority In our Whole9 consulting practice. I’ve noticed that performance-oriented athletes (and even aesthetic-driven gym rats) are very committed to their training. where you’re easily awakened and your musculature relaxes. (From a raw productivity the expense of sleep . observed the same degree of commitment to sleep. sleep. sleep has a profound effect on athletic performance – and lack of sleep can often undermine the potential benefits of that athletic training to which we are all so devoted. and there is no shortage of other resources explaining how to improve your physical fitness. However. but also our physical fitness. Unfortunately. and training. are very few instances where a health bias will conflict with a performance-driven perspective. the irony. yet permanently part of the family. “Sleep twitches” (myoclonic jerks) THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 20 . However.

Let’s focus on the cause. with levels gradually dropping as the day goes on. metabolism and the immune system Enter systemic inflammation. Finally. An in-depth discussion of sleep’s influence on specific hormonal processes is beyond the scope of this article. There’s more. significant variability in this pattern. What does that mean. including testosterone. In phase 4. Most adults spend about 20% of their total sleep time in this cycle – it’s the period where most dreaming occurs. for example. However. the body recovers more effectively with additional rest.” which makes good sense. whereas the excessive somnolence that is associated with disease processes is primarily a symptom of that immune-sleep interaction. Obviously. legumes. Immune status can directly impact “sleep drive. we judiciously take our fish oil. In states of elevated immune activation (illness or injury). this shortened cycle still translates to “sleep debt” – the cumulative effect of not getting enough total sleep. Most testosterone is released into the bloodstream at night. PGE2 is part of the “inflammatory cascade” and is one of the clinical manifestations of systemic inflammation. Testosterone secretion occurs primarily while sleeping. Phase 4 is also known as delta or slow wave sleep (SWS). we fail to reap the full benefits… simply because we aren’t sleeping enough. There is a complex interaction between sleep and the immune system. Sleep. cranky. This is perhaps the body’s way of implementing some damage control for the lack of total sleep time. there). dairy. your body experiences a significant increase in systemic levels of the immune mediator interkeukin-6 (IL-6) and inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF). insulin and stress hormones such as cortisol. (Thus. in terms of your health? TNF induces insulin resistance and the secretion of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. Yet excessive sleep is associated with obesity and metabolic derangement.are a result of the spontaneous stimulation of motor areas of the brain. characterized by periods of slow (delta) waves and faster waves. (After all. and coincides with REM sleep cycles. people.) We work so hard to remove inflammatory factors from our diet (the standard “grains. one rough week doesn’t kill you outright. and the inflammatory eicosanoid. autoimmune disease. C-reactive protein (CRP). there is REM sleep. Comparing sleep loss to “debt” implies that one can catch up on lost sleep by “paying it off” – by sleeping in on weekends. Elevated CRP is widely recognized as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. and diabetes. After just one week of that same “modest” sleep restriction. But despite stringent adherence to a healthy. but you get the point. impaired glucose Sleep and Hormones Inflammation is only one mechanism that plays into recovery from training (and life). you’re under-slept. primarily by shortening our phase 2 (slow wave) sleep. the deepest level of sleep. Elevated levels of IL-6 are associated with systemic inflammation. There is. the largest pulsatile secretions of GH – most THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 21 . anti-inflammatory diet. with somewhat slower brain waves. For those of us who are under-slept (usually of our own doing). some of the adaptive processes that occur after training are in response to microscopic structural injury. Testosterone is of obvious value to athletes (both male and female) for its anabolic effects. respectively. sure… but trust me. the brain waves are almost exclusively delta waves. all so we can better manage systemic inflammation. in general. Similarly. and plays a significant role in recovering effectively from injury or hard training.) So. and unsmart. but chronically having your system awash in these inflammatory chemicals is not awesome (that’s an understatement. which cause the release of the acute phase inflammatory marker. The absence or shortening of SWS impairs how “refreshed” you feel in the morning. Both are driven by complex hormonal systems. Reduction of systemic inflammation is known to be a major step in managing risk of many lifestyle diseases and conditions. and achieving several REM cycles per night is critical for the development of long-term memories. prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2). catching up on the weekend is not a viable plan for optimal psychomotor performance. newer research suggests that the loss of cognitive performance seen in working folks getting an average of 6 hours of sleep per night is still not fully restored even after two consecutive nights of 10 hours of sleep. I believe a chronic sleep deficit is primarily a cause of negative physiological consequences. minimize our nut and seed intake. growth hormone (GH). and sometimes nightshades” shtick). Folks generally are difficult to rouse from phase 3 and 4. Not fun. metabolism and diabetes. and probably spending at least part of your day feeling tired. Phase 3 is the first phase of deep sleep. though there are a few key points worth making. and eat wildcaught and pasture-raised meats. And an interesting aside: chronic exposure to elevated levels of TNF can contribute to difficulty in gaining or maintaining muscle mass. our bodies attempt to compensate by putting us into REM sleep earlier. You spend about half your sleep time in phase 2. and some types of cancer. of course. distracted. The problem is. stroke. Though the intricacies of sleep-related immune function are still being uncovered. that’s the least of your concerns. and can feel groggy and disoriented if woken.

poor nutrition. but how can you be if you’re chronically sleep deprived? All that being said. So while you think you’re doing just fine on 6 hours of sleep a night. the deterioration in quantifiable psychomotor performance correlates highly with selfrated perceptions of fatigue and daytime sleepiness. (Meaning. you definitively are not. highintensity conditioning both have huge neurological components. the solution might not prove as easy as “just sleep more. (The common suggestion to nap after training isn’t because your body is tired – it’s designed to boost growth hormone secretion. critical for recovery from training. reductions in slow wave sleep (common with chronic sleep loss) cause significant decreases in insulin sensitivity. you’re well aware that you’re not performing at your best. but not so good when you should be winding down. a hormone that facilitates restful sleep. particularly cravings for carbohydrates. If cortisol is abnormally elevated in the evening. So how about this. THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 22 . with acute sleep deprivation for only 1-2 nights. It’s been found that. with results ranging from faster sprint times and better scores on agility tests to higher serving accuracy to increased free throw percentages. (Translation: disrupt these recovery processes at your own peril. From a hunger regulation and weight management perspective. We’re not talking about mindless chest-and-bis here (and even a pithed frog could do wall-ball). However. The irony is that although you’re desperate to restorative sleep more now. the psychomotor performance deterioration is similar. and generally decline as the day progresses. and as such. performing the snatch or C&J requires tremendous CNS activation. but the perception of those deficits is significantly reduced. is associated with obesity. your technique and your intensity. lack of sleep affects your performance in another more subtle way. here are Whole9’s guidelines to help you fall asleep faster. a huge neurological component. What do these measures have in common? Among other things. If you’ve got some of this stuff going on. when compared to a milder. Elevated cortisol is a good thing in the morning. chronic sleep deficit (defined by researchers as 6 hours per night). Weightlifting and functional. especially in the hours after dinner when elevated cortisol has you “tired but wired”. the negative effects of running a chronic sleep deficit does not inherently prove the opposite . Being sleep deprived means that you’re more likely to make poor choices about which foods you eat and how much of them you consume.) However. generalists and competitive athletes would all perform better if they slept more. which means you’ll better recover from exercise. after a night or two of virtually no sleep. but not thrive. chronic stress. Overtraining (or underrecovery. and tend to increase cortisol levels. Sleep and Performance As if inflammation. And I know plenty of people who survive on less sleep than that . Recommendations: Sold yet? If you’re ready to start taking sleep seriously. and improvements in the brain’s ability to coordinate sport-specific demands with muscular activation leads to improved performance.that getting more sleep has an ergogenic effect. The daily ebb and flow of cortisol should peak in the early morning. if you prefer that concept). sleep loss causes decreased levels of leptin (a hormone that tells your brain that you’re not hungry) and increased levels of ghrelin (a hormone which stimulates hunger and appetite). hormonal imbalances and metabolic dysfunction weren’t bad enough. due to dietary and lifestyle factors. In summary. Depressed leptin and increased ghrelin contribute to an uptick in appetite. Think this doesn’t correlate with your performance in the gym? You may think you’re on point with your workouts. this can be a destructive situation for one’s metabolic state.of your total day’s worth – occurs primarily the first hour or two of sleep (this is more true for men than women). weightlifters. and excessive caffeine intake can all contribute to elevated levels of cortisol. Like a football player’s agility drills.) So improving the duration and quality of sleep will help you take advantage of your nocturnal hormonal response. you might have a hell of a time actually going to sleep. you might need to re-examine your lifestyle.) Both testosterone and growth hormone are potent promoters of protein synthesis. GH secretion tends to be correlated with REM sleep cycles. Later in the night. then? There have been a series of studies demonstrating that elite collegiatelevel athletes that get “extra” sleep perform better on a battery of sport-specific performance measures.survive. Combined with the direct effects of sleep loss on insulin sensitivity. In addition. it will disrupt normal sleep patterns and delay slow wave sleep. stay asleep longer and stop shooting yourself in the foot by pushing sleep to the bottom of your priority list.” If. getting adequate sleep on a regular basis could have helped to prevent such a scenario from occurring in the first place. Cortisol prevents serotonin from converting into melatonin. you have some elements of cortisol dysfunction or overt adrenal fatigue.

If you’re peaking for a competition.) Training in the late afternoon or evening can be a problem for some people. Dim your lights after dark. since it worsens aspects of adrenal fatigue that may already be present due to your daily schedule. although it expedites most peoples’ initial trip to Dreamland. which is critical for restful sleep. Alcohol. Potentially higher performance in training that compromises your recovery (due to reduction in sleep quality/quantity) is a net loss. If you use caffeine as an ergogenic aid when you train in the afternoon or evening. Assuming adequate sleep the night before. decreasing SWS (the really good stuff). general apathy and/or disinterest in training are THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 23 . Your regular training is not “competition”. stop browsing the web (even if you’re learning good stuff about healthy living .Sleep in a cool. It also suppresses GH secretion at a “dosedependent rate” (i. Optionally. do so with caution. so even if you’re napping in church. often undetectable on a day-in. and use that time to sleep in or prepare some delicious food for the next couple days. so you might consider avoiding caffeine altogether. and training in the morning seems to make good sense to us. we generally like training in the morning. It’s training. take the two weeks prior to your event to sleep a LOT. albeit at a much lower intensity. Your body likes rhythm. The natural “ramping up” for the day corresponds with (healthy) morning elevations in cortisol. since high-intensity exercise releases neurotransmitters that are stimulatory. too. Caffeine can have subtle influences on the quality of your sleep. choose a chunk of protein as your pre-bed snack.S. the additional intake of significant quantities of carbs and fat shortly before sleep might not confer the big picture benefit desired. causes fragmentation of late sleep. Play with caffeine timing if you want. Get more sleep in the winter. Turn down the thermostat. like poor nutrition. dark. avoid exposure to electronic screens and blue light after dark – the intensity of light and duration matter. Try to make your sleep/wake times regular. computer or video games within an hour (minimum) of bedtime. No caffeine after noon. If you’re generally unexcited about training on any given day.there’s that irony again) and get to bed. quiet room. spend a few minutes winding down. Sleep disturbances. but don’t trust your defensive “I can slam an espresso right before bed and be totally fine” justification. take that day off. No TV. and make it harder for some people to fall asleep. and I like it. Even better. you don’t get to train (and I know you want to train). This is straight out of the Lights Out playbook. the case could probably be made that increased performance in (infrequent) competition outweighs the sleep disruption of occasional late-day caffeine intake. you’re already a little bit screwed. reading an actual book or published article about nutrition or training or whatever won’t stress you out or wind you up. Turn off the TV. and worry less about it in the long summer days. Take naps. I’m not suggesting you drink in the morning. get those hours in any way you can. too. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) disturb melatonin production from serotonin.) If you do shift work. but before bed is especially detrimental to your sleep. Your tolerance of sleep cycle disruption is that much smaller. If you’re having trouble sleeping. day-out basis. Remember that total sleep cycles count. If you don’t get 6 hours of sleep. The studies that demonstrate increased athletic performance prescribed additional sleep. If you have an afternoon/evening competition. however. Unplug everything electrical in your bedroom. Cover all your windows and block out as much light as possible from other sources. and put your mobile in a non-transmitting (“airplane”) mode. If you’re on a mass gain program and are eating at every opportunity. (P. Even walking or easy swimming can help with sleep quality that night. can have insidious and creeping effects on your well-being. make sure you’re doing at least some activity during the day. as elevated blood glucose dramatically impairs the secretion of growth hormone in early sleep. (No work. Free fatty acids (FFAs) in the bloodstream have a similar effect. Even if you’re desperate to ingest more total calories. In our experience. Avoid sugar and starchy veggies within a 1-2 hours of bedtime.e. drinking less is better).

you ought to take a good. You’d be better served by reversing that trend than exercising your personal discipline and training even if you don’t feel like it. though your own perception of those deficits is likely inaccurate. immune. hard look at your lifestyle over the past few months. and endocrine systems to recover. Getting adequate sleep improves health via a number of direct and indirect mechanisms. your dream might become a reality. Tonight.common symptoms of chronic sleep loss. If you’re perpetually holding a gun to your own head to get to the gym. THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 24 . and will either undermine training progress or create an adrenal fatigue scenario… or both. If you’re generally under-slept. If you sleep long enough. Both chronic and acute sleep reductions lead to measurable decreases in psychomotor function. I hope you dream of PRs. it’ll eventually catch up to you. and has been shown to directly improve athletic performance. and consider taking a few (sleep-rich) weeks completely off to allow your neurological. Bottom line: depriving yourself of adequate sleep on a regular basis has insidious consequences to your health and your performance.

such as organic grassfed butter. Allow the water to evaporate until it becomes a thick sauce. It also marks a slight shift in the recipes. Add the seasonings and either butter or coconut oil. broth.. Process into a puree. Nutritional info: 3 servings at 26g carb. I think many would agree that certain non-Paleo foods are beneficial to health. This can open doors for those with egg sensitivities. Boil for 20 minutes as an alternative. and salt to your pressure cooker. Soy Glazed Sweet Potatoes Time: 10 minutes • 1 large sweet potato. then de-pressurize and return to the stove over medium. as I will occasionally be using some ingredients that may be outside of what would be pure “Paleo”. Paleo done wrong could be detrimental to health . and it’s also a way to avoid omega-6 fat common in most mayo. Serve topped with organic grassfed butter or coconut oil. why not? If you must do it the hard way. then de-pressurize and pour everything into a food processor.COOKING WITH SCOTTY SCOTT HAGNAS This month features a few simple odds and ends. Add all of the ingredients to a pressure cooker. Don’t worry. Drain some water. 9g fat (with coconut oil) THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 25 . 7g fat (with 2 Tbsp butter) Parsnip And Celery Root Puree Time: 15 minutes • 2 large parsnips • 1 large celery root • 1/2 cup beef broth • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 1 tsp Italian seasoning • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or organic grass-fed butter Peel and cube the parsnips and celery root. about 2 minutes. Cook at pressure for about 7 minutes. We’ll also look at an eggless mayo this month. If you don’t have a pressure cooker. Nutritional info: 3 servings at 22g carb. then thicken as above. On the other hand. concoctions containing copious fruit and nuts.g. peeled • 1/3 cup water • 2 Tbsp wheat-free Tamari soy sauce • 1/8 tsp ginger • sea salt • 1-2 Tbsp either organic grassfed butter or coconut oil Chop the sweet potato into cubes.e. Cook for 5 minutes once at pressure. boil the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes. I will always offer a substitution option for the purists. Add the veggies.

Nutritional info: 5 servings at 16g carb. and the fact it doesn’t contain eggs (which I seem to no longer tolerate). cover and cook for around 10 minutes. Toss well. Add the turmeric and stir for 1 minute. or even Russet potato. You can also boil the yam for 12-15 minutes. then add the chicken and cauliflower. Serve when the broth begins to thicken. 6g fat Turmeric Chicken & Cauliflower Time: 20 minutes • 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Use the tuber of your choice. I like it better for it’s better fatty acid profile. Uncover and reduce the liquid. but you can also use an olive/coconut oil mayo. Mix well. Time: 2 minutes • 1/2 cup coconut milk • 1 tsp cumin • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper Combine all in a mason jar. cubed • 1/2 tsp turmeric • 1 head cauliflower. or bacon grease • 1 lb. eggless version of mayo. Use a pressure cooker to cook at pressure quickly.Eggless “Mayo” Here is a very simple. chicken breast or thighs. 37g port. cut into small florets • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes • 1/2 cup chicken broth • sea salt to taste Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. lard. Drain and allow to cool. Add the remaining ingredients. Serve cold. Nutritional info: 4 servings at 1g carb. sweet potato. Time: 15 minutes • 1 large yam. Nutritional info: 3 servings at 5g carb. peeled • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion • 1/2 cup chopped celery • 1/4 cup “eggless coconut” mayonnaise • 1 Tbsp relish • 1/2 Tbsp mustard • sea salt • fresh ground black pepper Peel and dice your tuber of choice into 1/2 inch squares. about 4 minutes. 10g fat Potato Salad A basic recipe for classic potato salad. ease of preparation. ~1g fat (using yams) THE PERFORMANCE MENU ISSUE 73 February 2011 26 . I used the eggless mayo in this recipe.

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