What I learned at the latest Missouri Conference on Strength and Conditioning

The goal of attending a conference is to walk away with one thing that you can apply, here's what I learned that will me become a better personal trainer.

Simple Solutions Fitness is dedicated to gaining the best knowledge and coaching to be able to continually improve the results of clients. The goal when attending any conference for professional development is to learn actionable thing that will benefit clients and to apply it immediately. Skip down if you directly want that insight.

Every year the national strength and conditioning association hosts a regional, national and statewide clinic in order to spread more information from experts on how they're successfully using strength and conditioning to benefits their athletes and clients. Knowledge in the field doubles every 6 months so it is very important to continually invest in this.

The experts this year spoke about topics on athlete monitoring, exercise programming, leadership and motivation, becoming more involved with the NSCA, developing a performance nutrition program, long term athletic development and autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise.

Who Spoke at The Clinic

There were several great speakers this year including: (name the people and their accomplishments)

  • Erich Anthony, MEd, CSCS. Erich is a senior Director of Athletic Performance at The University of Missouri for the Missouri Football Program.
  • Jay DeMayo, CSCS. Jay is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Men's Basketball, Swimming and Diving and Men's Tennis at The University of Richmond.
  • Ron McKeefery, CSCS, RSCC*D. Twice named the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year, he is now Vice President of Performance and Education for PLAE. Coach McKeefery has worked with a long list of college and professional teams including the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Berlin Thunder (NFL Europe), Eastern Michigan University, University of Tennessee, and the University of South Florida.
  • Scott Caulfield, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D. ‎Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Scott is responsible for the day-to-day supervision and training of all athletes, interns, and coaches at the NSCA.  Prior to joining the NSCA HQ staff he served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Dartmouth College for football, men’s and women’s swimming, and rugby.
  • Chad Kerksick, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D. Chad is extremely accomplished in his own regards. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Lindenwood University. He describes his experience as "designing, conducting and interpreting findings from exercise and nutrition interventions to determine their impact on health, performance, weight loss and other physiological adaptations. Teaching courses and giving lectures and presentations on topics outlined in specialties." Bryan Mann noted that he was recently acknowledged for being the Nutrition Researcher of the year.
  • Garrett Buschjost, CSCS. The head trainer/supervisor for the MU Human Performance Institute, implementing the direction, development and design of the program. Garrett is a former interning coach of mine from my time at the University of Missouri playing football.
  • Bryan Mann, PhD, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D. Coach Mann is Assistant Teaching Professor of Physical Therapy and Research Director for the Human Performance Institute. He is an old coach of mine and I highly respect him. He is most notably known for his work in Velocity Based training and with the autoprotocol regulatory exercise also termed The APRE.

To keep this shorter, in a separate entry, I will write up my notes from every single presentation from the day which lasted from 7:45-4:20 so there are plenty.

How This Will Change Training

There are two things that I'm taking from this years clinic to immediately apply.

Let Clients Choose Their Exercise Variations

Jay DeMayo spoke on this. There are exercises that I myself do not enjoy performing. Jay found that he is able to get better buy-in and better results for his athletes when he lets them pick and choose some of the exercises they will be doing. They still have to perform the movement and same number of reps but, he gives the flexibility to change some things within the design of the program.

Now if an athlete was supposed to perform a bench press but, they wanted to use dumbbells instead of barbells, as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Professional, I know this makes a huge difference. It takes a lot of flexibility to allow that. He said that he would rather choose his battles and get on athletes for skipping breakfast than for picking their favorite pressing exercises.

I can fully understand that, things that I hate performing include:

  • Planks
  • Side Planks
  • Anything for 15+ reps

Because I want to be able to go outside and play now. I will occasionally put up with these things but, by no means do I enjoy it either.

Monitoring Should be Seamless and Transparent

Erich Anthony, MEd, CSCS spoke on this one. He told the story of how Missouri Football uses information and analytics to be able to get feedback on programs and how athletes are performing. Players will often come in, as soon as the information is available to see who ran the fastest on each rep. It settles a lot of arguments with data and provides some bragging rights.

When you're being poked, prodded and weighed, quite frankly it can feel like you're a lab rat. You might ask yourself, what does this have to do with my goals from when I first signed up?  All of that information is typically used to supply feedback on how you are doing. It is also used to provide insight into the decision making process when putting together a program and seeing if it is working.

There are several practical ways that you can include monitoring in a program including questionnaires, tracking body weight, and hydration. Seamless capture of information is important because Erich mentioned that, if not done right, players would have to show up 30 minutes early for a 6 am workout. Good luck telling a 19 year old to wait in line for 30 minutes before starting for the day.

I can do a better job communicating this. I've always told clients the reasons why we were collecting as much information as we could but, adding in the step of making sure things are as seamless as possible and reminding people that they can come in to talk about their progress is really important.

Wrap Up

I feel like these two insights alone could lead me to change several things in business. Applying them in the simplest way possible is the first step, they can always be built on later. If these things sounds like something you would like to have in your program, give me a shout and I can help you with them.

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