Yesterday I was watching the Yankees game with my family.
My son loves Baseball and gets into it big time.
While watching the game, or any sport for that matter, I am always looking at how the athletes move, why
one team is better than the next, the mindset, the physiques, the speed, etc.
I watched Aaron Judge make a jumping catch in the outfield and in slow motion you see his forearm
smashing against the wall.
Although the wall was padded, on an untrained athlete, it would have likely caused a broken arm or an injury.
STRENGTH IS NEVER A WEAKNESS.
When that happened all I thought about was how so many Baseball parents get duped by the buzz words of “baseball core work”.
Did Judge sprint, jump and then smash against the wall because of core work or is he Strong, Fast, Explosive because of Training for Performance with Basics?
Sure, he is a Genetic Freak, but is THAT an excuse?
Do all the “core work” you want, REAL “core work” comes from stabilizing your trunk through movement, both loaded and unloaded.
Another Yankee player dropped the ball from his glove, then in a second realized the mistake, he jumped right, grabbed the ball with bare hands and threw to first with lightning speed and accuracy, all from a “Bad Position”.
Did he have this reactive speed and strength from an imperfect position because of “Baseball Specific Core Work”.
Regardless of the sport, the athlete must have great skill.
The sport itself is the ONLY “sports specific training”.
The ability to jump, sprint, transition from position to position comes from being “STRONG”.
When you’re strong, your muscles greater force.
The way we train at The Underground, the athletes develop greater coordination, greater reactive speed,
greater strength from good positions AND imperfect positions……
Why do we train with odd objects and sand filled medicine balls?
Why do we perform exercises on 1 leg?
Because it strengthens the body for the common times ALL athletes find themselves in awkward positions.
When your body is strong all around, you perform with speed and precision compared to the untrained athlete.
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
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.