The past few weeks have been an amazing run for many of the athletes we get to work with each of our Underground Strength Gym Locations (Middlesex / Manasquan / Scotch Plains).
It’s hard keeping up and finding the news from our athletes who live up in North NJ as I am down the shore and, some of our athletes are so humble, they NEVER say a word about their success.
There is NOTHING wrong with sharing your success with us. Remember, your success story inspires others to achieve and believe in their abilities as well.
I saw The GMC Wrestling Tournament was filled with 8 finalists who are active or recent members of The Underground Strength Gym.
Full GMC Story Here with Bryan McLaughlin winning his 3rd title + The OW Award.
Down the Shore, a GREAT Story on Mia Rankin HERE as she is “The Fastest Swimmer in The Shore Conference”.
Updates on our Success Stories have been going to our Success Page if you Allow us to share them.
Some of the common traits among our most successful athletes are:
– Great Sport Coaches who also Support The Underground.
MANY Coaches actually threaten the athletes NOT to train with us or outside of the school and in turn hinder the athlete’s success.
It is VERY likely we’ve e mailed your Coach, Parent Booster Club and Athletic Director offering our help and simply introducing ourselves. Response rate is about 1 in 30 or 40 coaches will reply to an e mail.
– Very supportive Parents!
I often tell parents I am learning what to do from supportive parents and even what NOT to do according to our parents who don’t fully support their child.
Does your child train year round or only in the off season?
Do you seek convenience over excellence or do you understand that convenience and excellence are never found on the same street?
Does your child eat healthy or do you allow excess junk food?
Do you read our e mails / print out our nutrition guidelines / follow through on our tips or are you “too busy”?
Do you allow your child’s sport coach to threaten you out of training with us or do you stand up for what is best for your child?
– Be Humble & Coachable
Our most successful athletes are humble and coachable.
When we challenge them, they accept it, own it and take action.
They don’t brag, loud mouth or act high and mighty.
The athlete who can’t handle feedback and gets emotional every time you challenge them and coach them to be better will hit a wall.
In high school, you CAN achieve above average success merely through natural talent. But, to get to the top level you need to put in the work, not just in the gym but ALL areas of life.
We don’t want to work with a GREAT athlete who doesn’t want to be Great in school, social circles and life in general. If you’re capable of doing better, we WILL let you know and we WILL Coach you to that level and beyond!
Ultimately, The KIDS Do the Work.
We do NOT take credit for your child’s success.
We do however, love seeing your child succeeding and want to share these inspirational stories.
Ultimately, we are facilitators of the overall process. There are MANY pieces to the puzzle of success.
We’re excited to share MORE Success Stories with you!
3 TIPS For NJ Athletes Who Want MORE Success In Sports AND Life
The past few years have been the most confusing times for parents seeking to help their kids achieve greater success in sports. There are literally millions upon millions of articles, videos and other content pieces on the internet delivering information on how to train for sports.
The main issue is that very few of these informational pieces are tested or proven to be effective and more importantly, safe. There is little to no filter to determine what gets shared on the internet or not. Before you know it, you are overwhelmed with information and get trapped in fads and gimmicks vs results.
To help your child achieve more success in sports, I’m going to share with you 3 critical tips that will not only help your child achieve greater success in sports, but also in life. Time is of the essence and if you waste time on ineffective, unsafe training methods, your child never gets this time back.
Tip # 1: Be Consistent All Year. Both Off Season AND In Season.
This seems so basic yet it is actually rarely put to use. The athletes who train year round, consistently are those who achieve more success and have less injuries that sideline them during the season.
Look at D1 sports. The athletes train ALL year. They don’t Stop Strength & Performance training in season or Only train the 3 months pre season.
Success Takes NO Vacations. You Must Decide as a Parent if you want your child to be GREAT or just to be part of the team. BIGGER Success requires Greater work ethic and dedication.
Throughout the years I have noticed a BIG decline in consistency for in season strength & conditioning with athletes.
Parents get caught up in over doing the skill work and what ends up happening is the athlete increases his risk for the following:
Overuse injuries. Too much repetition of movement without the required tendon / ligament and muscular strength to handle the repetitive forces increases injuries.
Psychological Burn Out. When an athlete gets no rest or break from skill work not only do they get physically run down and eventually injured, they also get mentally burnt out. The mental burn out leads to doubt, lack of confidence, lack of enthusiasm for training and lack of passion for the sport altogether.
Strength & performance training is best performed year round, having different programs for the off season and in season.
An in season program can be as short as 1 – 2 sessions a week and lasting less than 30 minutes at a clip. Once a week training = 100% more than ZERO training.
If you stop training in season, you can’t expect to improve, let alone maintain strength and power output in your sport. After 2 weeks of skipped performance training, the gains built up in the off season will begin to decline.
The most important time to continue strength & performance work is IN season because the athlete is already performing 6 days a week of skill and competition training. As an athlete and parent, this is a BIG opportunity to get ahead of your competition because the majority of athletes / coaches completely stop in season training and double up on skill work, which is the exact opposite of what successful athletes do.
Commitment to a year round performance program not only develops a more “bulletproof” body against injuries but it also teaches the athlete the commitment required to succeed in life. When the going gets tough and times are busy, you learn how to commit to your training program and you rise above those who quit during tough times or busy times. This is a Lifestyle choice.
An effective strength and performance program will build the mind just as much as it builds the body. A strong mind is the ticket to success in sports and life!
Tip # 2: Get Stronger. Parents and athletes have been tricked into thinking strength is a bad thing. You hear the fallacy of “strength will slow you down”, “strength will add bulk”, “strength training will hurt you”.
Strength Is NEVER A Weakness
If it was so easy to get strong and bulky you would see countless high school athletes 200 + lbs with lean muscle. But, this is simply NOT the case. Success takes Work both in the gym and at home from nutrition to sleep to overall lifestyle.
Injuries comes from being weak and inadequately prepared. Anything done incorrectly (Sports Skills, Strength Work, Speed Work, etc) will hurt you, slow you down and impede your performance.
When strength training is properly performed, the athlete becomes:
– Faster & More Explosive
– Less likely to get injured
– Develops greater speed and power
– Increases confidence and mental toughness
Why do we see 3 – 4 times as many athletic injuries among high school athletes than we did 10 years ago?
The big issue is because they have not developed the strength to tolerate the overuse of skill work.
When you’re body is weak, it will find a way to stop your training if you refuse to slow down. Injuries are mother nature’s way of sending the body messages that something is NOT right.
Through the past few years I have seen countless varsity athletes come to The Underground Strength Gym unable to perform 1 good bodyweight squat, 1 pull up and 10 push ups. We see weak muscles, tight muscles and poor movement patterns.
Things MUST change if you want to Succeed. Calisthenics and proper mechanics are a must if you want to excel in your chosen sports.
No amount of speed & agility work will fix these weak muscles. The development of speed comes from developing greater strength and learning how to move better.
Looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, if your child is among a group of athletes all with a high level of skill, he will hit a wall eventually if he does not get stronger.
To separate himself from the pack, he must develop greater strength which will carry over to better skill and technique in their sport.
Tip # 3. Live The Lifestyle, 365.
At The Underground Strength Gym we teach our athletes what we call “Live The Code 365.” The foundation is built upon honesty, integrity, commitment and work ethic.
This means that every day they are improving and striving for excellence in all areas of your life, every day. Every day, you must improve in at least one area of your life, be it academics, nutrition, sleep, your training, the people you hang out with and even the way you think, the books you read and the movies you watch.
At the end of each day, the athlete should be honest with himself and be able to truly know if he has improved in at least one area in life. Success in sports and life go hand in hand.
To achieve greater success you need to work smarter, not just harder. Achieving goals requires consistency and work ethic. A strong mind will teach you to overcome obstacles and to rebound from setbacks rather than being stuck in a rut.
The most powerful lesson learned through a safe and effective strength & performance program is the ability to overcome the challenges in training, all of which require a strong mind.
Don’t get caught up in the fads or the gimmicks. Don’t get overwhelmed and confused with the countless information pieces you see everywhere. It is the commitment and consistency to a safe and effective program that will help your child take his / her success in sports and life to the next level.
Zach Even – Esh is The Founder of The Underground Strength Gym in NJ with Locations in Manasquan, Scotch Plains & Middlesex.
Zach has consulted and trained athletes from the youth level to the Olympic level using his results proven Strength & Performance methods. To help your child achieve more success, take action Today & sign up for a FREE Trial.
What You Do Outside the Gym Matters Just As Much As What You Do IN The Gym
Coach Andy Wary
Many athletes and their parents alike think that getting to the gym is the end-all and only way they can get better.
When in reality, the gym is only a small fraction of your overall training. There are MANY opportunities for our athletes in Scotch Plains, Manasquan & Middlesex.
Here are 6 key tips that can and SHOULD be done outside of the gym to become a More Successful Athlete in Sports AND Life:
1. The first and foremost area that should be taken care of to increase an athlete’s performance is eating correctly and getting enough rest.
Follow our Nutrition guidelines from your welcome packet. We’re always amazed how many athletes eat processed foods or skip breakfast altogether.
Dedication takes NO vacation.
Proper nutrition pays dividends to size, strength, and performance. Rest is needed when the body is put under stress to recover and become stronger.
As my friend Joe DeSena says from Spartan Race, “Nothing good happens after 9 o’clock at night”.
If you’re spending endless hours on video games and your cell phone, you’re “grinding” has NOTHING to do with getting better. Get rid of technology in your room and get to bed by 10 PM.
Stress is not only from the gym, but also from practice and even life in general. The stress of technology hinders your overall performance. Discipline yourself to NOT be a slave to your phone.
2. Doing things correctly.
You may ask what things?…. Everything! From something simple as seeing the trash is full and taking it out, to doing homework to the best of your ability etc. Doing the simple things right will carry over to the rest of your life.
“How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything”
3. Doing the extras.
This can be doing extra credit at school for a better grade, bodyweight exercises at home, watching YouTube videos to practice technique… any extra work that will make you better!
When your body is run down and beaten up, will you go the will you make the decision to sit at home and play video game or perform a short workout at home to make your body feel better?
5. Choosing who you associate with.
Your friends will either elevate you or destroy you, choose wisely.
6. Learn and read every day.
Take every opportunity to make yourself better through learning and creating the right mental mind set.
Doing these 6 things throughout your week will bring about a dramatic amount of benefits to your overall life, not only athletics. After all, the gym is only a very small percentage of your week, why not make the best of the rest of your time?
3 Training Mistakes NJ Football Players MUST Avoid
By Coach Andrew Wary
The weight room and football players tend to go hand in hand, like two peas in a pod. Quite often football players can either be guided to or have the wrong ideas about training.
Football players are subject to 3 main training mistakes: bad bulking, performing only stationary exercises, and focusing on only heavy lifting.
Almost every football player, unless they are genetically gifted or overweight, will be told to gain weight at some point of their career. The most common steps after this are a ‘bulking’ diet and/or a hypertrophy lifting program.
If these two things are executed properly they can bring about fantastic results, but the majority of the time they are not. Unless someone with nutritional experience is involved, frequently football players will go on an eating spree to gain size, ignoring the quality of food, leading to poor performance and the gaining of fat or bad weight.
Hypertrophy programming is a must for the increase of size in any athlete, but when not implemented correctly it can lead to an all-show and no-go athlete. By this I mean, you may see a player that looks like Tarzan, but plays like Jane. This is not the only training mistake that must be avoided.
Training programs for football are for the most part contained to running and large compound and stationary lifting such as benching, cleaning or squatting.
This can leave a giant gap for stability and balance. After all, how often during a play is a football player not moving their feet and uninhibited by another player? Exercises where the athlete is moving with weight must be included in order to increase their athleticism.
These exercises can include anything from walking lunges to any kind of loaded carry. Not only do these exercises increase a football players overall stability and athleticism, but they are also great for packing on muscle and even conditioning. The final mistake is a not so obvious one to most people.
Focusing on only heavy lifting, is a huge downfall of a large percentage of football training programs.
Don’t get me wrong heavy lifting is necessary and great for football players, but when it is the sole area of focus it can be detrimental.
Heavy lifting works on absolute strength which is obviously needed in a collision sport such as football, but it does not create as much speed strength. Speed strength can be described as explosiveness or the ability to produce strength in a fast matter.
This is the kind of strength most important to almost all athletes. When speed strength is ignored in training programs, it is absolutely detrimental to the athlete. There are many ways to correctly increase speed strength including: plyometrics, dynamic effort movements, and contrast exercises.
When these type of modalities are included in a football player’s training program, they create obvious and very fast results. These results will be a more explosive and overall more athletic player.
No training program for any athlete will ever be perfect, but the mistakes spelled out above can and should be avoided. These mistakes can be easily overlooked by the untrained eye, but by implementing correct nutritional guidelines and well-rounded exercise selection/programming it is possible to make these blunders a thing of the past.
The Underground Strength Gym
Manasquan | Scotch Plains | Middlesex
Parents – Sign Up Your Child for a FREE Athlete Assessment HERE
We’re excited to announce our partnership with Full Count Baseball & Softball Academy in Middlesex, NJ.
With the hectic schedules of athletes & parents, we have worked hard to create an opportunity for parents to take advantage of a full Baseball performance program under 1 roof.
The best Baseball players are NOT just highly skilled, but they are a cut above in their physical and mental preparation.
If you look back 10 + years ago, you rarely heard about Baseball players needing shoulder or Tommy John surgery.
Back then, many Baseball players played multiple sports which we highly encourage.
Back then, kids weren’t learning Baseball skills at such an advanced level nor were they playing so frequently. When a Baseball player learns to throw and hit harder, his / her body MUST be physically prepared for the work or an injury will be waiting for you around the corner.
Our training will focus on players in grades 6 and up.
The Underground Strength Gym in our other locations has been working with middle school, high school and collegiate Baseball players since 2002 back when players would travel to my garage for specialized training.
With the numerous Baseball clubs at different times of the year, Baseball players are injuring themselves at rates greater than ever before.
And, with the repetitive nature of Baseball skills, many players are losing their athleticism which is slowing down your child’s overall sports performance.
To achieve your maximum potential requires the Baseball / Softball player to train the body and mind that supports and increases success on the field.
The goal of our Baseball Strength & Conditioning Program is to focus on the BIG picture:
– The baseball / softball coaches will teach the sport specific skills.
– We will build overall athleticism through a training program that BUILDS you into a better ball player. The training will NOT fatigue or take away from your Baseball skills.
– ALL training is age appropriate. We understand exactly what a middle school athlete needs at various ages as well as what each high school athlete needs at their various ages / stages of physical and mental development.
– Our training will develop greater joint & muscular strength to reduce chances of injury.
– The training will develop more speed & power that will transfer to hitting, throwing, running and agility on the field.
– The athlete will dramatically increase confidence both in sports AND in life.
– Nutrition Guidelines will be given to the parents and athletes to increase Baseball performance.
– Flexibility & Mobility will be address during each workout as well as with parents / baseball player education to create continuity from Baseball / Softball skills to lifestyle at home to training at The Underground.
– In a nut shell, training at The Underground Strength Gym combined with your Baseball Skills training, your child will get the advantage over the competition.
ALL athletes and parents are looking for an edge.
NOW is the time!
We’re excited to see you at Full Count Baseball & Softball Academy!
Kyle Snyder just became America’s Youngest Gold Medalist in Wrestling at age 20.
At age 19 he won The World Championships and The National Championships in Wrestling.
To put this in perspective, I’ve seen MANY parents hold their son back and switch around schools and we see 19 year olds who are NOT winning state or even conference titles.
The bottom line: You can NOT avoid the work and dedication, regardless of the “age advantage”.
In this 9 minute documentary video on Kyle there are MANY lessons you can and should pick up on.
The biggest tip on Kyle’s reason for success is when you hear the coaches talking about Kyle’s dedication being on Level 10 while others are on level 4 or 5.
And this description of his behavior:“He understands hard work, he understands responsibility, if he makes a mistake there’s no blame, he goes back and fixes the problem…..”
Watch the Video …..
What level are YOU on?
How hard are you pushing in training?
How often do you set goals, revisit goals, reassess your training to ensure you achieve your goals?
Are you a level 10 on Nutrition? Most are on level 2 or 3 if we want to be honest.
What about your lifestyle?
Opportunity is ALWAYS knocking for ALL of our athletes. This movie is NOT just about wrestling, it’s about being the BEST YOU that YOU can be. Watch it MANY times and you’ll keep learning more lessons. Of course, ultimately, you must take action with those lessons.
You’re either an action taker or an excuse maker. You can’t be both!