4 Steps to Fitness Success in 2016
4 Steps to Fitness Success in 2016 By: Dr. Matthew Cifelli – Parabolic Performance and Rehab It’s the start of another exciting year where everyone wants to wake up and press the reset button. Goals from the previous year may not have been achieved or were unattainable due to life just getting in the way. Some figures suggest that 40% of the American population set New Year’s fitness goals, but only 8% actually achieve success. Most people actually abandon any progress they’ve made well before Easter. So the question becomes, how do you increase your chances for long-term success? Below are 4 simple ways to ensure greatness in 2016. Mental and Physical Preparation The idea of change can be a very daunting thought for the new fitness goer. Where do you begin? Do you start a running routine? Do you join a gym and hire a personal trainer? Should you join the local hot yoga studio with your neighbors? While all of these questions are valid, you will first need to mentally wrap your mind around the idea that change is okay. Embrace that this decision is for all the right reasons and success will follow. Physical preparedness needs to be established by your doctor. Take the time to schedule a physical examination and make sure that all systems of your body are in working order. You need to be given the okay to engage in higher-level activity if you’re new to fitness. Failure to take this critical step can jeopardize your success and more importantly, your health and safety. Plan It Out Figuring out how to execute your commitment is one of the most crucial steps, so you can begin by answering three basic questions: When will you exercise? What type of exercise should you choose? How much time will you spend exercising? If you are new to exercise, I suggest that you pick a time of day that allows you to routinely engage in that activity two to three times per week. The times you pick should be convenient and shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes. As you begin to adapt to the new activity, your time spent exercising can increase exponentially. Don’t be so worried about what your friends are doing because it may not be right for you. Be sure to pick an activity that you enjoy doing to ensure consistency. Some suggestions for beginners are walking, swimming, or checking out some group fitness classes at your local community center. As confidence increases, you may find activities like weightlifting or trail running to be an exciting challenge. Strength in Numbers Believe it or not, you don’t have to do this alone. My guess is that you probably know someone that has set out to achieve greatness in 2016 just like you. Why not begin your fitness journey together? Finding an exercise partner will help increase your chances for success and you’ll have more fun. This person will act as your support system and you can help hold each other accountable. Having a companion can be just the motivation you need to get your sweat on during the cold winter mornings, when staying in your warm bed can be a bit more tempting. Be a Realist; Not a Dreamer More often than not, people make the mistake of settings goals that are too lofty or unrealistic. It’s commendable to want to shed some holiday weight or run a marathon, but you must first consider the steps needed to achieve your goals as well as the barriers that may get in your way. Start by drafting feasible monthly milestones, which allow you to safely develop exercise literacy. From there, you can build upon that foundation as your fitness levels improve. This will ensure you mitigate your chances for failure and almost make certain your exercise program creates a better you. After all, 2016 shouldn’t be about short-term success and reliving old habits, but rather, long term success and a platform to achieve greatness for years to come.
PARABOLIC PERFORMANCE & REHAB CLIENT, RUTGERS LINEBACKER STEVEN LONGA WILL MAKE AN APPEARANCE AT THE 2016 SENIOR BOWL
Media Contact: Ami Dow Ami@GoParabolic.com Rutgers University Linebacker Steven Longa will be attending the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, January 25th – 27th, 2016. Longa, a junior, who chose to forgo his final year of eligibility to enter the 2016 NFL Draft is not eligible to participate in practices or the actual Senior Bowl itself, however he’ll work out at a local high school and will be able to meet and interview with interested NFL personnel and scouts. Longa will be joined in Mobile by his mentor, former NFL linebacker, Bart Scott as well as Parabolic Performance & Rehab NFL Draft Prep Program Director Brian Martin. Longa had a stand out career at Rutgers from start to finish, making an immediate impact as a Freshman All-America in 2013. This season he was a Third-Team All-Big Ten selection and named Rutgers Defensive MVP. Longa finished this year second in the Big Ten with 117 tackles, his third straight season in triple digits, bringing his career total to 324 stops. According to Martin, the extra exposure can only help Longa as he tries to enhance his draft stock. “Once scouts get a chance to meet with Steven in person, they’ll immediately be impressed. He accomplished so much on the field in three years of college football but the intangibles really come to the surface when you have a chance to speak with him one on one,” Martin added. “His focus, intensity and football IQ remind me of a young Ray Lewis and having Bart Scott as a mentor is all any future NFL linebacker could ask for.” Parabolic Performance & Rehab, a leading sports performance training and physical therapy practice located in New Jersey, has established itself as the premiere NFL Draft Prep training provider in the northeast. Parabolic is currently preparing 24 players for the upcoming NFL Draft including 8 players from Rutgers, the State Univerity of New Jersey. “Our cutting-edge approach to athlete training, therapy and nutrition has already helped a number of NFL players make the pros and we’re looking forward to even more success stories in 2016,” said Martin who has over twenty years in the NFL Pre Draft training business, working with over 200 NFL players. When asked why he chose Parabolic to prepare him for the Draft Longa said, “It’s not a one-size fits all program, everything here is individualized from meal plans and workout structure, to Pro Day & NFL Combines schedule. Parabolic has me prepared to mentally and physically peak when it’s time to perform.” Longa will have a chance to perform for Scouts at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this February and then again at the Rutgers Pro Day on March 9th, 2016.
Path to the NFL Draft: Rutgers linebacker Steve Longa provides inside look at process
For Immediate Release: Media Contact: Ami Dow Ami@GoParabolic.com Rutgers junior linebacker Steve Longa declared for the NFL Draft on Dec. 22 in an exclusive interview with NJ Advance Media. The Saddle Brook native will keep readers informed of his journey through a first-person diary (as told to Dan Duggan) that will run periodically on NJ.com until the draft in late April. For his first entry, Longa describes the reaction to his decision to leave Rutgers early and he provides an update on his draft training at Parabolic Performance & Rehab in Farmingdale. The reaction was a little bit of everything. You get, ‘Man, I’m happy for you, you made a good decision.’ And then you get, ‘What are you doing? Why are you declaring so early?’ It’s never everything you think it would be. People are going to have their opinion, but at the end of the day, you have to live with your decision. It’s your life. It’s not anybody else’s life. They’re going to tell you what to do, but at the end of the day, you have to live your life so I’m trying to live my life and I’m trying to care of my side of business. Once I make it, all those people that said, ‘What are you doing?’ are going to be the same people that are going to come and say, ‘Congratulations! I knew you were going to make it.’ But it’s not anything I look at. I just have to do what I have to do. It’s my life. Nobody is going to live my life for me, so I’m going to do whatever I think is right for me and I’m going to do it and not look back. Training is going pretty well. I’m getting my body right. All the aches and pains I had throughout the season, I’m taking care of them right now. I’m trying to lay the foundation. They’ve got a good medical staff right here. (Dr. Matt Cifelli) has been working on my body — all the tightness I have in my ankles, hips, hamstrings. He’s taking care of it every day and I feel better each and every day. I’ve used a cryogenic chamber. It brings your body temperature down to -270. You only stay in for two minutes. It’s like a cold tub, but they say it’s more efficient. I do some dry needling, acupuncture and all that little stuff. I see the results and that’s all that matters. The training is different. It’s not like training for a game. It’s a different type of training. You’re training to test. You’re training to run a good 40, training to test well in the shuttle, 3-cone and all of that. It’s definitely different. It takes a little bit to get adjusted to it because your body is programmed a certain type of way and when you come in here and start doing this you have to re-program your body, so it’s not easy. But I know I’m going to get used to it. We’re working with (former Buccaneers and Cowboys linebacker) Al Singleton on our hips — shuffling, trying to get on a straight line when we’re running down in a Cover-2, flip your hips like a DB does, but still playing low and aggressive like a linebacker. We work with baseballs, softballs and footballs during the drills. It’s for your vision and being alert. It comes out fast. It’s not like a football. They throw one or two at a time, but you have to react to it. You can’t really think about it, you just have to react. You have all these balls coming, it’s like reading one key and then you have to feel everything else. So you read something, but you have to feel everything else — the guard pulling and that stuff. So you have a few of those balls coming at you and you have to react and catch them. I’m focused on everything in training. I’m not there yet. I’m not the perfect, ideal football player. I know that. I have to work every day and keep learning. I’m just trying to take coaching as much as I can. I’m like a sponge right now just trying to soak it in. I chose Parabolic was because of the medical staff they have here. I worked with them a couple of times before the season ended and they really took care of my body. From there, I realized this is what I need because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to come out of the season 100 percent. So I needed a staff that could take care of my body and have me in tip-top shape to go and perform the best I can. Second of all, they have a great staff right here that helps you get the numbers that you need. You’ve got (NFL program director) Brian (Martin), you’ve got (NFL combine coordinator) Justin (Moore), you’ve got a big nutrition staff with ‘Big Swole’ (Angelo Todaro) — so they’ve got a great staff. And it’s in New Jersey, it’s close to Rutgers and I’m trying to take two classes so there were a lot of little things that I had to consider. Quentin Gause, Keith Lumpkin, Paul James, Sam Bergen and Savon Huggins are also training at Parabolic. We have a bond and we like to compete so it’s nice to have them around. But we also have other guys from other schools that are just as competitive as us so we push each other every day. We go at it 100 percent every day and we coach each other because we’re trying to get the best to come out of every single one of us. We have a great group of guys and it’s awesome working with them.
Junior Linebacker Steven Longa Leaving Rutgers for NFL
For Immediate Release: Media Contact: Ami Dow Ami@goparabolic.com After Rutgers‘ season ended on Nov. 28, redshirt junior linebacker Steve Longa was faced with a decision. Coming off his third straight 100-plus tackle season, Longa was contemplating leaving for the NFL or returning to Rutgers for his senior year. Longa gathered information from as many resources as possible and then took a step back. After taking three weeks to weigh his options, Longa has decided that he’s ready for the NFL. “I feel like it’s time,” Longa said in an exclusive interview with NJ Advance Media. “I’m prepared. I had a very good season and I looked back after the season and I saw what I’ve accomplished throughout my career at Rutgers and I asked myself the question: Am I ready for the NFL? Is this the right time? I had to answer that question myself, not anybody else. And I felt like I was ready so that’s why I made the decision to leave.” The 6-foot-1, 225-pound former Saddle Brook High star is one of the most prolific tacklers in Rutgers history. Playing middle and weak side linebacker, Longa led the Scarlet Knights in tackles in each of his three seasons, and his 342 career tackles ranks eighth in school history. “I had 100-plus tackles for the three years that I played,” said Longa, who started 37-of-38 career games. “I was able to become a leader in that defense, I learned the system and then I played at a very high level every Saturday. I asked myself the question if I’m ready to go to the next level. Am I ready to play with those grown men in the NFL? And I feel very confident that I’m ready.” Longa, 21, has received feedback about his draft projection, but he declined to share that information. “It doesn’t really matter what round I go in. It really doesn’t,” Longa said. “First, second or undrafted free agent, that doesn’t matter because at the end of the day you have to strap your helmet up and go play football. And I know I can play football. You see all the time that people get drafted first, second, third round, but then a year or two years later you don’t hear about them anymore. Why? Are they just happy that they made it or were they not as good as people thought they were? But I know I can play football.” Longa, who hasn’t signed with an agent yet, will train for the draft at Parabolic Performance & Rehab in Farmingdale. Renowned trainer Brian Martin will lead Longa’s draft preparation with positional instruction from former NFL linebackers Al Singleton and Bart Scott. “I think Steven has tremendous upside. I think he has an incredible motor, he’s an obvious tackling machine,” said Martin, who has trained more than 200 NFL players over the past 23 years. “We’re going to help him with his hand fighting and hand techniques as a pass rusher in addition to being a tackling machine. I believe this kid has the ability to be a Bart Scott-type player.” A labor studies and employment relations major, Longa said he is two semesters shy of earning his degree. While he will put school on hold to prepare for the draft this spring, he plans to return to earn his degree. “Getting a degree means a lot to me so I’m going to keep taking classes — if it’s one or two per semester — until I get my degree,” Longa said. A three-star prospect in Rutgers’ acclaimed 2012 recruiting class, Longa played his entire career for former head coach Kyle Flood, who was fired on Nov. 29. Longa spoke with new coach Chris Ash about his decision last week. “I had a great time at Rutgers,” Longa said. “I wouldn’t change my experience for anything. I wouldn’t want to go to any other place. Rutgers was the perfect fit for me.” Growing up in Cameroon, Longa didn’t dream of being in this position. He moved to the United States in 2007 and didn’t play football until his freshman year of high school. “It never was a dream when I was growing up,” Longa said of playing in the NFL. “But God put me on this earth for a reason and whatever reason that is, I don’t question it. If it’s doing good or touching people’s hearts or helping people through football, I’m willing to do that. I am also very grateful for the opportunity football has given me — going to college, getting an education for free. A lot of people don’t have that opportunity … Is this a dream come true? Right now, it is a dream come true. If you play college football, your dream is to make it to the NFL. Until I make it, which I know I am, then I’m going to answer that question.”
2016 NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS INCLUDE FOUR RUTGERS STANDOUTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MEDIA CONTACT: Ami Dow Ami@GoParabolic.com Parabolic Performance & Rehab, a leading sports performance training and physical therapy practice, has quickly established itself as the premiere NFL Pre Draft training provider in New Jersey. Among the notable prospects training with Parabolic for the 2016 NFL Draft are four local Rutgers Football products, Quentin Gause, Keith Lumpkin, Kaiwan Lewis and Sam Bergen. Gause, a linebacker and team captain was named all Big-Ten by the league media (honorable mention) after finishing second on the team in tackles with 96 and leading the team with 12 tackles for loss. Gause, who also received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, will be playing in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on January 23rd in Carson, California. Lumpkin, who started all 12 games at left tackle this year, received the Bender Trophy which is given to the teams best offensive lineman and was named all Big-Ten by the league coaches and media (honorable mention). Lumpkin has accepted an invitation to the 91st East-West Shrine Game, which takes place on January 23rd in St. Petersburg, Florida. Lewis, a transfer from South Carolina, started all 12 games at middle linebacker for the Scarlet Knights finishing third on the team with 69 tackles and second on the team with two interceptions. Bergen, who started every game at fullback this season, was the recipient of the 2015 Iron Knight Award which is presented to the player who has demonstrated an exceptionally high level of mental and physical toughness throughout his career. In 2013, Parabolic announced its partnership with B Martin Sports to form their NFL Pre Draft training program. The two companies came together to offer the very best science based sports performance training and physical therapy program in the country. “Our cutting-edge approach to athlete training, therapy and nutrition has already helped a number of NFL players make the pros and this year we’re looking forward to even more success stories in 2016,” said Brian Martin, Parabolic NFL Program Director. Martin has over twenty plus years in the NFL Pre Draft training business working with over 200 NFL players. Parabolic continued to invest in it’s staff, currently comprised of Doctorate-level physical therapists and nationally recognized sports performance coaches, by adding renowned Sports Performance coach Jon Torine whose career has spanned seventeen years in the National Football League. He spent fourteen years with the Indianapolis Colts as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach where he was part of the 2006 Super Bowl XLI championship team and three years as the assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Buffalo Bills. Jon is an instructor and performance advisor for Functional Movement Systems and has spent the last few years as the Performance Director for Pro/Elite Sports at EXOS working primarily in the delivery of the NFLPA Trust program, a service to former NFL players. There have been facility upgrades as well; ensuring Parabolic clients have all of the necessary resources to be at their best when the time comes to perform. The 2016 NFL Pre Draft training will take place at Parabolic’s new 32,000 square foot climate controlled facility in Monmouth County. If you’re interested in learning more about Parabolic’s NFL Pre Draft programming or would like to schedule an interview with one of our staff or NFL Draft prospects, please call Ami Dow at 973-744-2770.
Why You Must Reach
For a long time there has been an unwritten rule in strength training that in order to maintain shoulder health, one or two pulls should be performed for every push. What if this is incorrect? What if trying to create balance between pushing and pulling — or even biasing more pulling then pushing — is actually feeding further into a pattern that sets us up for overuse injuries and movement dysfunction? What if what we really need to do is REACH more? On the eve of our second NFL combine training season at Parabolic Performance and Rehab, I have been tasked with designing a training template that will be used as a base from which we will build individualized programs for our NFL hopefuls. For the past three months, I have met with and discussed programming implications with other members of our performance staff in an effort to account for as many variables as possible in preparing our combine training athletes. The goal is to optimize the health and performance of each individual, so he can produce optimally during the most important job interview he will ever have. One question that comes up time and time again is this: How we do maximize our athletes’ 225-pound bench press tests in a very short period of time while making sure they remain healthy throughout the process? These athletes are going to bench press three times per week — sometimes at extremely high volumes — in order to develop the muscular endurance, work capacity, maximal strength, tissue durability, and technique to perform a “max reps” set that requires them to push into rep ranges they probably have never experienced. We are going to “push the physiology hard” as Pat Davidson of Peak Performance would say, and demand that these athletes adapt to the stress so that, when it’s time to perform at the combine or at an individual pro day, they emerge from beneath the tonnage we’ve piled on them with monstrous results. This type of frequency and volume can only be achieved with intelligent planning and an understanding of what’s required to keep these athletes healthy as we straddle the limits of their capacity. In the past, I may have programmed numerous pulling exercises to offset the bench press. However, through my exposure to the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI), and numerous conversations with Parabolic performance coach Cody Plofker, I also have come to appreciate the need to promote reach to maximize shoulder health. Read more from Justin here:Shoulder Movements you aren’t doing , Weightlifting for Athletes These athletes don’t need more pulling; they are already doing a ton of pulling every day. They live in a state of extension. This means they have a pelvis that is anteriorly tilted, a flat or extended thorax that puts their shoulder blades in a poor position to move on the ribcage, overactive lats, spinal erectors, traps, and accessory breathing musculature. These athletes pull with every breath and every step they take. These athletes need to reach. They need to find thoracic flexion and posterior pelvic tilt. They need to create a zone of apposition so that their diaphragm can be used for ventilation instead of posture, like it should. Maybe most importantly of all, in the short time we have them — these athletes need to be exposed to upper body movements that offset the bench press by promoting protraction and upward rotation of the scapula. The craziest part is that each and every person reading this article has far more in common with these elite athletes then they think: EVERYONE needs to reach.
The Top 4 Shoulder Stability Exercises You Aren’t Doing… Yet.
We need reflexive stability and proper joint positioning to express true savagery. Incorporate these four exercises into your training or movement prep to develop stable, fully integrated shoulders capable of moving big weight. What You Need To Know Reflexive stability of the shoulder and mobility of the scapula are vital to maintaining long-term shoulder health and optimizing athletic performance. Like any other joint, the shoulder requires a delicate balance of mobility and stability in order to function properly. Development and maintenance of these qualities is essential to ensuring that an athlete is able to express and improve physiological qualities like strength and power over a long-term training program without sustaining injury. Let’s be honest though, there is nothing sexy or fun about training shoulder stability. No one, regardless of sport or goal, wants to spend all their time in the gym developing scapular mobility and reflexive stability of the shoulder. We train to develop power. We train to increase force production. We train to build muscle mass. We train to dominate in whatever athletic endeavor we choose. Don’t get it twisted though; if the goal is to optimize athletic performance, mobility and stability of the shoulder girdle are essential. Athletes who cannot express full range of motion of the scapula and glenohumeral joints, and who cannot reflexively fire deep stabilizers to maintain joint centration and allow prime movers to perform work, are setting themselves up for injury. Nothing will derail a program and halt progress like chronic pain or injury. Here are four exercises that we use to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of our shoulder stability and mobility training so we can keep our athletes healthy and devote more time to what really matters: unleashing the beast within them.
“Advancing the Science of Coaching… What You Say Matters.”
By: Cody Plofker It really is true what they say: it doesn’t matter how much you know if you cannot communicate and get it across to your athletes and clients. The best coaches in the world always know exactly what to say to their athletes at the right time to achieve certain results. There are plenty of very knowledgeable people who do not have the ability to communicate their ideas into effective coaching cues, and there are just as many less knowledgeable coaches who are producing champions because they know exactly what to say to get their ideas across. Coaches should obviously always aim to increase their knowledge, but they must always strive to find ways to make their knowledge base to transfer over to help their athletes. Learning how to best cue your athletes and clients is one of the most important things that can be done if you want to instantly be a better coach. There are two main types of verbal cues that we as coaches can use to get the results we seek. They are internal cues and external cues. Internal cues are coaching cues that reference a specific part of the body. An example would be to tell your athlete to squeeze their glutes during a tall kneeling exercise or at the top of a deadlift. If you are in most gyms, you will hear an abundance of internal cues being given to athletes and clients. These cues are always well meaning, but they often fail to achieve the desired effect as the athlete struggles to grasp what the coach is asking of them. Several other examples of internal cues are chest up, brace your core, shoulder blades back, and knees out. In contrast, external cues are cues that do not reference any parts of the body and instead focus on how ones body influences their outside environment. An example of an external cue in place of an internal cue would be to say, “show me the logo on your shirt” instead of “chest up.” Another common example would be to “spread the floor” during a squat instead of “knees out.” One external cue that I have stolen from Parabolic coach Mike Baker and seen great success with is “ bring your belt buckle to your nose” to elicit some posterior tilt of the pelvis instead of saying something along the lines of “tuck your tailbone under you.” There has been a great deal of research in the past several years that has highlighted the value of using external cues instead of internal cues in may situations. External cues compared to internal cues have been found to result in: Increased: -Accuracy of motor tasks – Efficiency in motor tasks – Learning in motor tasks -Jump height and joint torque during jumping tasks – Agility -Running speed – Swimming speed – Cardiorespiratory endurance – Muscular endurance in both dynamic and isometric tasks – Whole body coordination patterns -Decreased: – Oxygen consumption -Heart rate In over 80 studies, external cues have been found to be superior in almost all cases (Wulf, 2013). The null findings (no effect) might be due to the methods and samples of the studies, but no studies have found performance advantages of internal cues. In contrast, internal cues have only been found to increase EMG activity and result in increased co-contraction of agonist and antagonist muscles. I know what you’re thinking right now, as was I when I first read the research. If internal cues increase EMG activity and co-contraction then shouldn’t they result in increased force production and power? Not so fast. Increased muscle activity actually interferes with whole body coordination patterns, which in turn decreases whole body force production. According to Wulf (2013), “The production of maximum forces requires an optimal activation of agonist and antagonist muscles, as well as optimal muscle fiber recruitment. Unnecessary co-contractions, imperfect timing, and/or direction of forces would result in less than maximal force output.” We need antagonists to shut off and allow the prime movers to work in a fluid fashion to create great levels of force. When we have too much muscle activation, we limit degrees of freedom and become constrained and less fluid limits how much force we can produce. Practical Applications Now you’re probably swearing off internal cues forever and asking why anyone would ever use them again. They certainly have their time and place, but that place is very limited to a few scenarios. Hypertrophy work where you want to get somebody to feel a muscle working, like a bicep curl is a great time to use an internal focus to create more bicep muscle activation. Using corrective exercises to activate a certain muscle such as the glutes during a clamshell is also an appropriate time to use internal cues, although you may find external cues to be effective in those cases as well. When should you use external cues? Pretty much the other 98 percent of the time! If the task your athlete is performing happens to fall into the above “benefits of external cueing” categories, find an appropriate external cue to suit the goal and watch performance skyrocket. Below is a list of external cues to get you started: Internal Cue External Cue Tuck your pelvis underneath you Belt buckle to nose Chest up Show me the logo on your shirt Hips back Tap the wall behind you or close the door with your butt Rotate your hips (on med ball throws) Throw the ball THROUGH the wall Those are just a few examples. Do you have any favorite external cues of your own? References Wulf, Gabriele. “Attentional Focus and Motor Learning: A Review of 15 Years.” International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology 6.1 (2013): 77-104