Track Team Strength Coach: Carving Your Role

April 12, 2021 Track and Field is a sport consisting of a collection of dozens of highly specialized disciplines. National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and Athletic Departments loop every discipline within Track and Field together and classify this collection of sports as Athletics. A closer look at what each discipline entails quickly reveals that each could be considered its own sport and should be treated as such. Athletics consists of disciplines ranging from sprints as short as 60m (indoors) to marathons and 20km race walks  (yes, race walks). It encompasses a multitude of unique throws, vertical jumps and horizontal jumps. Each

Weight Room Wisdom For Rowing Athletes

February 19, 2021 Here in Niagara, the local talent isn’t always highlighted on the field, court or mat. Instead, the young athletes of our community head to the docks and hit the water. Our region is home to some of the finest rowing in the country. Thousands of folks make their way to St. Catharines for the annual Canadian Henley Regatta every year to see the top crews compete from across the globe. Being local, our strength staff have the unique privilege of training and coaching some of the top rowers (young and old) coming out of Niagara; many go

4 Steps To A Sustainable System

December 29, 2020 As we all plan to ring in the new year once again, the ever popular "resolutioners" rear their ugly heads. Every single one of them itching to tell you their big plans come the start of the next 12 months. But, as is common with resolutions, most will fall to the wayside come February. Grand conquests crumble within days of embarkment and aspirations disappear like the wind. Why does this happen? We Fall To The Level Of Our Systems We're human. It's a gift and a curse. As humans, we tend to fall to our system of

The Myth of “Fat Burning Zones”

December 4, 2020 The year is 2020. The fitness industry has changed a lot over the past few years, with the boom of Instagram “fitness models” and “influencers” and fad diets like Keto and intermittent fasting. There is so much information out there, but also much misinformation. Although there have been multiple advances in the industry, there have been some long-holding fitness “myths” that have yet to be debunked. It’s about time to shed some light on these fallacies. The Problem It seems at every gym you go, folks just jump on a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical and push

Attitude, Effort & Outcomes: Building An Elite Culture

October 20, 2020 I was having a conversation the other day with an old friend (a fellow strength coach over the border) and we began chatting deeply about what dictates success. As the conversation continued, we dove into some of the nitty gritty details to try to put success and the path to achievement into perspective. As always, he left me thinking about the "whys" and "how's" of IPC, points I reflect on quite frequently. Asking "how" one becomes successful is directly correlated to "why" one is successful. When reflecting on IPC, "how" we are successful comes down to the

The Truth About Sand Training

July 15, 2020 Summer has finally arrived and this year, perhaps more so than any other, people are eager to get out of their homes and enjoy the great outdoors (so much so that some places have been forced to close their great outdoor attractions to the public). Crowds are flocking to national parks, hiking trails, and beaches. A specific type of crowd you may see flocking to the beach this time of year is made up of athletes and trainers- only instead of (or in addition to) partaking in the usual activities (tanning, swimming, etc.), they are working out

Build Your Own Wartime Rack: A Step By Step Guide

With many of us on home lock down, we're all finding creative ways to staying active. The die-hard iron benders are itching to get back to the bars to crush a little metal. For those fortunate enough to have a home gym setup, you're in a good spot. For those with the basics, we're here to provide a potential solution if you can scrape together some wood, screws and patience. Cole is one of our many dedicated IPC athletes. With the uncertainty of recent times, he decided to build a simple, wartime style rack to ensure he is able to

Wartime Problems Require Wartime Solutions

No doubt we're all feeling a little on edge these days. With a global crisis upon us, we're all doing our part to stay home so we can win the fight against a stubborn virus. The shadow of uncertainty has brought stress to the forefront of many, all of us eager to return to a shred of "normal" living. Unexpected times call for unexpected measures. We're all adapting in our own way and adjusting our lifestyles accordingly, our staff included. We've adjusted ourselves to help folks trying to stay in shape at home with very limited resources. For our athletes,

Intent Is Everything

April 1, 2020 Positive intentions may not directly guarantee success, but they do set us on the right path and ensure we are putting our best foot forward to accomplish the task at hand. The results of everything athletes do are largely governed by their intent. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines intent as “having the mind, attention, or will concentrated on something or some end or purpose.” Simply going through the motions breeds complacency, and complacency is the antithesis of success. HOW we do things is just as important as WHAT we are doing. Training Training is the foundation of what we

The Fall Of The Fatigue Chaser

October 2, 2019 People train for a variety of different reasons, including health, performance, or a combination. Many people become addicted to the feeling of being exhausted after a workout because it makes them feel accomplished. Although feeling accomplished after a workout is great, our efforts may be misguided. Let’s dive into why. A lot of people are what I like to call “fatigue chasers”. I have tons of respect for people who love to work hard, but many of them would be better suited taking a more focused approach. While it is admirable that athletes enjoy the feeling of

Top 5 Training Delusions For Parents of Young Athletes

August 26, 2019 At Iron Performance Center, we pride ourselves on our staff's ability to train and coach a wide variety of athletes and clients. It may surprise a few of you that many of our members are actually under the age of 18. Many parents trust us to prepare their young athlete for the demands of high school and national level sport performance, a task we do not take lightly. We train our young athletes to be unstoppable forces on the field, court, mat or water through optimized strength training and conditioning. Our young athletes become more dominant specimens

Recovery On A Budget

We all live very busy and stressful lives. More people are training than ever before with the popularization of fitness branches like CrossFit and group fitness programs. This is excellent but, because of this, it has now become even more imperative that we focus on recovery for optimal health and performance. There are a multitude of techniques and modalities available for recovery, but many are extremely expensive and, as a result, inaccessible. But fear not! My goal with this blog is to expose you to some cost-effective recovery methods, as well as enhance some techniques you are already using. As

Don’t Sweat It: Thermal Stress Therapy Made Simple

Thermal stress modalities have been around for hundreds of years, from the ancient Roman baths to Finnish sauna houses. There is evidence to show that ancient cultures all around the world practiced some form of heat stress therapy. Recently, scientific evidence has suggested heat stress therapy can provide a variety of physiological benefits in a range of populations, including athletes, the elderly, and those at risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity. What is Thermal Stress Therapy? Thermal stress therapy or heat stress therapy is a therapeutic method that utilizes heat or elevated temperature in a controlled environment to provoke physiological

Power Up: Why EVERYONE Should Train Explosive

It seems like we hear the word power a lot when describing athletes and movements in sport, but what does it means to be powerful? Power can get used interchangeably with the word strength, but they aren’t the same thing. Power and strength are related concepts, yet have different properties and real-life outcomes. Strength is simply how much force the body can produce for a given movement, regardless of time. A one-repetition maximum (1RM) is the heaviest weight a person can lift one repetition of for a certain exercise (squat, bench, deadlift). If a person’s 1RM for a back squat

Split ‘Em Up: Why You NEED To Train One-Sided

Most exercise programs worth their weight always encompass the big lifts. Everyone will squat, hinge, press and pull. There's a reason exercise professionals incorporate some variation of these movements and it's simple to understand why. You get the most bang for the buck in terms of gains. Whether you are an athlete training for sport or the average citizen looking to shed a few pounds, the big lifts never really leave your routine. That being said, there's more to designing a balanced workout program. To really take your training (and results) to the next level, we need to dissect HOW

Plant vs. Meat: Which Reigns Supreme?

Proteins are the building blocks of every cell in your body. They make up blood, bones, organs, muscles, and skin. They also play a part in the production of enzymes and hormones. But how do we acquire proteins? Our main source of protein to supply all these body cells and processes come from our diet. This makes it crucial that we eat the proper food to sustain our bodies and all the demands. A misconception of protein consumption is the belief that meat (animal-based protein) is the primary food source to get the recommended protein intake. This misconception has begun

First Responders: A Fitness Emergency

October 16, 2018 It goes without saying that we rely heavily on our local emergency personnel to ensure public safety and survival in unpredictable catastrophes. Whether you've fallen down some stairs or fallen victim to a house fire, you're reaching for the phone and dialing three digits in hopes for someone to come save you. You are calling the First Responders. First Responders are any emergency response personnel that are first on scene to an accident, catastrophe, crime or emergency. They include Firefighters, Police/Law Enforcement, Paramedics and even Military Personnel. They are the first to arrive and the last to

What No One Tells You About “Core”

Abs have become an important aesthetic icon for individuals who are “in-shape” or “shredded”. That being said, the application of the core muscles is more significant to the average Joe / Jane rather than just the looks. When I say "core", I don't just mean that washboard muscle below your chest. The core (trunk muscles) include your abdominal muscles, obliques and lower back (erector spinae). Besides being a popular body part to post on your Tinder profile, your trunk muscles carry two other important tasks: They help prevent the body from performing unnecessary movement (Local Stabilization). They help transfer the force

3 Simple Steps To Alleviate Back Pain

It goes without saying that low back pain is a common ailment among a great many people across the country and the globe. It was estimated that approximately 80% of people will experience some form of episodic back pain at least once in their lifetime, many of which will likely have repeat incidents. Back pain sufferers know that the shock, throb or ache that resonates across or away from their spine is no joke. It is typical that many back pain sufferers seek outside counsel for assistance. Many have a chiropractor, physiotherapist or osteopath to hopefully help alleviate symptoms. Unfortunately,

3 Reasons Why You NEED To Grunt In The Gym

If you've ever been to the gym, you've heard it before. Some jacked up dude under a loaded bar making noises only comparable to rough sex or indigestion. The instantly recognizable "grunter" seems to be a staple in any gym setting. Regardless of how you feel about it, grunting is a primal instinct. It's raw, unedited effort expression brought forth through strenuous activity. It's a natural act that needs to be embraced and TRAINED instead of frowned upon. Some of you may be less than impressed with the act of grunting. Perhaps it makes you feel uncomfortable or awkward, maybe

A Letter To The “Average Joe”

Dear Average Joe/Jane, I hope you find this letter well and that you are excited to finally embrace your true potential. You are about to discover your powers. It’s quite a rare discovery if I may be so bold to say and the potential magnitude of what you are about to reveal is unimaginable. With a little practice and some “pigheaded” stubbornness, you’ll learn to grow and control your gifts. I applaud you on finally getting out of your own way as I’m sure it was a tough (if not THE toughest) decision. We can sometimes

The Trainer Survival Guide: What They Don’t Teach You In School

The fitness industry is a massive unregulated (yet highly saturated) market. There are over 400,000 personal trainers alone in North America with over 40, 000 health clubs or gyms. With such a low barrier to entry, many young trainers are finding it difficult to make their mark, gain quality clientele and actually build a potential career. Many have a firm grasp of physiology, biomechanics and training principles but many ask the same question: How do I set myself apart to attract more people?

Strength OR Conditioning: A Coach’s Perspective

High intensity training has taken the world by storm and is now one of the most popular training styles across the globe. Makes sense as to why; shorter workout time, metabolism is ramped up longer afterwards and you feel like you just conquered the world. All good things. The issue here tends to be the misconception of prioritizing fitness or conditioning over a general strength program. If it sounds like I'm figuratively "shitting" on conditioning, you'd be mistaken. Intelligent conditioning programs are crucial for both athletic success and overall health/well-being. I'm a STRENGTH & CONDITIONING Coach. STRENGTH comes first. Why

Power of the Mind: Why Words Win

What a whirlwind month. Iron Athletics converted over to Iron Performance and started construction on our new training facility: The Iron Performance Center. Although this transition has held up training for a few weeks, it has given myself a chance to step back, reflect, build new systems and learn even more about the greatest profession in the world. Why? To better service the athletes and clients associated with Iron Performance. Throughout this break, I’ve read a shit ton of books and attended the highly respected NSCA Coaches Conference to collaborate with some of the greatest coaches in the field. First

The Road to Shoulder Recovery

The shoulder is one of the most diverse yet unstable joints in the human body. Although it has a range of 360 degrees doesn’t mean we should always take it there. Being a highly competitive wrestler, I hold myself to a higher standard of training and pain tolerance. I naturally feel the same way towards my family (AKA my teammates) in regards to the standard of expectation. Early October 2015, I was preparing for the Olympic Trials for Men’s Freestyle Wrestling in December. At a tournament, I found myself extended with my arm significantly higher than the rest of my