In the video below, Travis, 1 of the original Football players who began with us out of the garage is another example of what happens when you FOLLOW THROUGH!
Travis used to struggle on light trap bar deadlifts, I had to keep him lighter than 185 until we strengthened his back and legs. The other guys in the garage were HAMMERS, deadlifting 405 and 495 for sets of 3 – 6 reps.
Travis was off in the corner of the garage, staying the course, never giving up and always doing the work. He weighed around 150 or 160 when we began training him.
T Woods competing in first ever LIFT STRONG fundraiser! Circa 2007!
Travis stayed the course, he ate the way we recommended, he trained with us 3-4 x week AND at his high school. None of this “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired” and his parents never said “Is it too much?”
When you’re in high school or college and living the lifestyle, you CAN run through a brick wall 50 times a day! MOST kids do NOT live the lifestyle, they don’t follow through on nutrition and in turn, they struggle.
You get what you EARN!
Here’s a Video of Travis his Senior Year in high school, the photo above was before his Sophomore year, you can see the tremendous transformation AND his levels of Strength.
– Travis is Benching 275 for reps
– Bodyweight Around 225 lbs (Approx 65 lbs gained in 3 years)
– Tire Flip 600 + lb Tire
– Explosive Bodyweight Training Demonstrating Relative Body Strength & Speed
– Full Range Pull Ups for reps
– 60 lb Triceps Roll Backs
Strong is STRONG. No such thing as weak AND fast.
I understand the common fads and gimmicks nowadays are convincing kids and parents in avoiding the HARD work and thinking one gets explosive and fast by avoiding hard and heavy training, it’s a FAD. A Gimmick.
Hard Work on the basics is the way.
** NOTE ** Our Members should have printed out the welcome packet, 2 copies; 1 for parents and 1 for the athlete.
Follow through on the Nutrition Guidelines.
Live The Lifestyle and stop lying to yourself; It’s too much for me to train here and at the high school.
Our best athletes ALWAYS did both, train at The Underground AND on their own / at high school.
You can have Excuses or you can have Results but you can NOT have Both.
Destroy those excuses and BUILD yourself into a CHAMPION.
ATTN Supportive Parents of Hard Working Athletes
Many of our HS athletes and parents come to us and tell us about Mandatory high school weight room
I LOVE seeing our athletes doing BOTH, train at The Underground AND at their High School Weight Room.
I hear about the need for camaraderie but the bottom line is, NOT every kid in the weight room is attacking their training. If you want MORE for your child AND your child wants to go above and beyond “normal” then you need to do what your competition is NOT doing.
Questions for Parents to Consider with Their Son in the High School Weight Room…..
– Is The Coach running the weight room an expert in Sports Performance?
– How many kids are in that weight room at once? 20, 30, 40 or more? How much attention is your child getting?
– Is the workout tailor designed for your child, or is EVERYONE doing the SAME thing?
– How is the atmosphere and environment? Is everyone truly working to their MAX capacity?
Are ALL the athletes working together and striving for excellence?
– Is there a different workout for beginners / intermediates / experienced lifters?
– Is the speed training specific to your child’s sport? Why are Baseball players running long distance? Why do Football Players “Max Out” every 4 – 6 weeks when technique is NOT perfect?
– Are injuries / muscular imbalances / weak areas addressed properly?
The Bottom Line, Your Child Needs and Expert. And, your child DESERVES an expert because they do NOT get to go back in time and do this over again.
Regret can be painful so start doing it right from the get go!
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 Are The BIG 3 Mistakes Parents Make When Choosing
A Strength Coach For Their Child?
Lehigh Wrestlers Training In 100 Degree Plus Temps, Mid Summer With A 140 Mile Round Trip! THAT Is Commitment!
Through the many years of working with athletes and seeing the explosion of strength coaches around the country I have noticed some common themes that seem to confuse parents and ultimately hurt their child’s success.
As a parent myself, the phrase “time goes too fast” is severely underrated and the window of opportunity that athletes have to achieve success is small.
These common mistakes that parents make have happened (and continues to happen) at all levels of sports, from youth, to high school to the collegiate level.
Pay attention to these critical mistakes and avoid them to give your child the best opportunity to maximize his / her success.
1) What is The Coach’s Track Record for Success?
Before you commit to signing your child up for training with a Coach, or perhaps there is a Coach at the high school your child goes to, you want to find out what this Coach’s track record for success is.
Many Coaches get hired in schools or in facilities because not so much in part due to their knowledge, but often times out of convenience. As a former public school teacher I have seen some dangerous stuff happening inside high school weight rooms that were run by the sports coach or the math teacher.
Yes, it’s great to bring a teacher or coach in who works in the schools but what’s best for the kids is a safe program, one that has been proven to be effective with a Coach who has a track record of building stronger, faster and more powerful athletes.
As a Coach and Parent, I would ask myself why these kids weren’t getting the training they deserved? People told me I “cared too much”.
I had no clue there was such a thing as caring too much. I don’t see any other way to work with athletes.
Other times I noticed schools hiring a former college athlete to run the weight room, assuming that college sports experience is the same as being a highly qualified performance coach.
The mistake here is assuming that a high level athlete is also a high level coach.
Many high level athletes are NOT high level coaches. Being a competitive athlete and a successful coach requires different levels of experience and knowledge.
Some successful athletes who become coaches don’t understand how a less gifted athlete needs to work physically or mentally to get to that next level. They’ve never been in those shoes.
I have seen Olympic Gold medalists with absolutely NO knowledge of strength & conditioning as well as national champs who could not command attention and run a great practice.
Ask the Coach for his track record of success and then ask yourself the next question:
1) Does your Coach have a long term, proven track record for creating success working with athletes?
2) Are you choosing a Coach based on them being closer to home, conveniently located in the school and / or cheaper priced?
Not all, but many high school strength & conditioning coaches fill the position because a favor is being handed to them OR they work in the school district and it’s cheaper to pay them a little extra to open the doors to the weight room.
In experienced coaches have a tendency to place every single athlete on a cookie cutter program, never addressing individual weak areas, injuries, knowledge of building a solid foundation or remotely knowing anything about safety and technique.
There is a reason a Coach is cheap, just like there is a reason cars, clothing and certain restaurants are cheap.
Excellence is rarely conveniently found around the corner and cheaper.
Excellence takes work and your child deserves excellence.
A powerful strength & conditioning program will address your child’s individual level of overall fitness & physical preparedness, the program will address weak areas, imbalances, injuries and most of all, the program will address your child’s level of mental / emotional readiness.
When you see athletes training at The Underground Strength Gym you’ll notice that they are all on a different program, each program tailored to that athlete’s specific sport, his / her weak areas and emotional needs. Training an athletes goes FAR beyond getting faster, more explosive and stronger.
As a parent myself, I don’t look for the cheapest coaches and what is 5 minutes away, I look for the best for my kids.
I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before. It’s true. Results are the TRUTH and results are where we excel.
Personally, I hate building web sites and trying to hold referral contests and all the other behind the scenes stuff that goes into a business.
I am a COACH. I train athletes and my goal is to change their lives. I fall asleep thinking about how we can help athletes on an even greater level and wake up thinking about our Underground Strength Gym athletes.
With my web sites comes everyone and their Mom copying our web sites, stealing our logo and pretending to be great at what they do.
There are pretenders and there is the REAL Deal.
If you want the REAL deal then you train with us. Period. End of story.
If we weren’t so busy kicking ass and taking names, helping athletes get powerful results, we’d have more photos for you. Truth be told we’re too busy LIVING the code, in the gym, doing WORK.
Details on Manasquan Underground Strength Gym HERE
Speed training is a very misunderstood concept and while every athlete wants to get faster, more powerful and more explosive, there is a fatal flaw in the way athletes train for speed. Simply doing agility ladder drills or cone drills will not make you faster and more agile.
The truth is that in sports, whether it be baseball, football, lacrosse, basketball etc…no athlete knows which direction they are going to move on any given play.
Below are 3 Reasons Why You Are Not Getting Faster:
1. Carrying Too Much body fat
If you look at the fastest sprinters in the world and the fastest football players that run at the NFL combine, they are all ripped up and carry very little body fat on them. This is not by accident!
Let’s say we have two identical athletes and one weighs 180lbs and 8% body fat and the other one weighs 200 with 12% body fat. All things being equal, which one do you think will be faster? Clearly the 180lb athlete will be faster because he has a higher level of relative body strength. How many offensive linemen have you seen that run a blazing 40-yard dash? Zero
2. A Poor Foundation of Strength
Strength is the foundation upon which other physical attributes like speed, power and agility are built. Your foundation of strength is your horsepower, the stronger you are, the more potential you will have to run faster and be more explosive.
The fastest, most explosive and powerful athletes can handle their bodyweight very well. Before you start focusing on increasing speed, focus on building a solid foundation of strength.
3. Poor Running Mechanics
It’s no secret that poor running mechanics will slow you down. There is no better way to instantly get faster than learning proper running technique. Running is a skill and in order to run faster you have to learn and practice the proper way to run.
P.S We are holding our first ever Underground Speed Camp right here at the Underground Strength Gym. If you want to dramatically improve your explosive speed, power & overall athleticism this is exactly what you need. Check it out now. *Space is limited*