Jan 29, 2015
GT Summer Internship Running Diary
Jason Benguche, MS, CSCS, PES

This summer, we have a new crop of students taking part in our new comprehensive strength and conditioning summer internship program here at Georgia Tech. Here’s an inside, week-by-week breakdown of what we’ve been doing with our interns.

Many times, the word “internship” has a negative connotation. The visions of scrubbing floors, racks, benches, and washing towels are all too familiar for most. Although these things must be done for the program to function properly, there should be much more involved in the educational process of an intern. Interns are valuable contributors to our program just as they are across the country in many other schools. Here, individuals are given an opportunity to get experience coaching NCAA Division I athletes, create a network for further opportunities, and in many cases earn college credit.

To add to this experience, our staff at Georgia Tech has developed a comprehensive 11-week summer internship program. This program is not designed to be exhaustive in teaching every strength and conditioning principle or exercise, but is inclusive of all theory, principles, and techniques that are particular to the development of our student-athletes. Educational and practical sessions will take place twice per week and will include article handouts, PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, and practical experience in the weightroom.

Here is an outline of what we’ve been following over the 11-week period. Check back for updates on our progress.

Week 11–August 1- 5, 2011: GT Strength and Speed Clinic This weeks session involved discussion, practical application, and completion of :

  • Georgia Tech Strength and Conditioning Clinic
  • The Georgia Tech Strength and Speed Clinic

Our summer internship program concluded with our very first strength and speed clinic. Each of our interns was required to create a 20 minute presentation based on the design and implementation of a pre assigned 6 week training program. Here were the requirements for each presentation:

Requirements: • Power point slide handout formatted with note option • Comprehensive 6 week program • Monthly calendar and schedule • Needs assessment/ Philosophy/ Rationale • Testing/ Evaluation • Warm-Ups, Lift, Agility, Conditioning, etc… • Workout card and template

Featured Presentations: • Dan Snyder- 6wk In-Season Tennis Program • Malcolm Redd- 6wk In-Season Men’s Basketball Program • Stephen Reich- 6wk Off-Season Football Program • Nick White- 6wk Off- Season Track Program • Aaron Goyette- 6wk Off-Season Baseball Program

The group as a whole did a tremendous job. Over the 11week period their knowledge gained in our discussions and in our practical portions really stood out. For a few members of the group this was their first experience writing any sort of program. Of course mistakes were made and everyone realized that there is more than one way to skin a cat but I believe they all gained a great deal of confidence through completing and presenting their material.

Internship Development Program Summary

For the first go around I would have to say the intern development program was a great success. We left no stone un-turned however we will make modifications to our coverage of certain material. We feel that the success of this program was mainly attributed to the passion and high level of interest of the participating members. Everyone despite their career goals and interest made it possible to have a cohesive unit all focused on learning and developing together. They have set the standards high for interns involved in this program in the future.

Anyone interested in joining our internship program or learning more about Georgia Tech Strength and Conditioning please contact: Jason Benguche Assistant Director for Player Development Email: [email protected]

Week 10–July 25-29: Presentation Techniques and GTSC Exam This weeks sessions involved discussion, practical application, and completion of :

  • Presentation Techniques
  • Georgia Tech Strength and Conditioning Exam
  • Presentation Techniques

In every coaching profession an individual is constantly presenting information to athletes and other fellow professionals on a daily basis. Weather it be a large group or one on one drill instruction, the effectiveness of the information is all about how the material is presented. Here are some of the tips we discussed on how to effectively present information. Professionalism– What image is an individual trying to portray? This can come down to aesthetics (clean shaven, well dressed), a first impression goes a long way. Preparation– Make a list, always hit your bold points and don’t forget the theme of your presentation. Mean Business– Whenever presenting information individuals need to be engaged. This is typically done better with a quiet room. Either having athletes stand, sit, or take a knee. Communication– Take the time to speak clearly while making random eye contact to the entire group.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do- Breathe, take control, portray the right image, be composed, prepare. Don’t- Be un-prepared, use useless phrases or words (ummmm, ahhh, like, stuff) Teaching Drills

Be prepared with equipment/ setup Group up Explanation of not only how but why Use an athlete or another coach to demonstrate Break down skills Teach corrections for technical flaws Teach, observe, correct (major to minor flaws) Must be a part of a bigger process (cannot do it all in one day)

We followed up our discussion with a practical session on the weight room floor. Each intern was required to present a pre-selected group of exercises and movements. Each individual presented one power exercise, one strength exercise, and instructed the group in one warm up station. As a group we discussed each interns strengths and weaknesses during their presentation. For some this was an eye opening experience in how to correctly present information to a small group when it comes to practical material. GTSC Exam As a part of our evaluation process, our interns were required to complete a 100 question exam. The 90 minute test contained questions ranging from multiple choice to short answer. We feel this exam will help prepare some of these individuals for future certification and help ensure that they have a good understanding of the material we have covered throughout the entire 11 week program.

Week 8 and 9–July 11-22: The Next Step/ Sharpening the Saw

The past two weeks involved discussion and practical application of :

  • Cover Letter and Resume Development
  • Interviewing Techniques

Professional and Leadership Development

The previous seven weeks of our program has focused on the X’s and O’s of how to develop a strength and conditioning program. The remaining three weeks were spent on some topics regarding how an individual can develop themselves on both a personal and professional level. These sessions include some of the most critical issues which can greatly help a rising strength coach.

Cover Letter and Resume Development

A cover letter and resume are two documents that introduce an individual and can help separate them from others applying for a particular position. These two documents are often the first impression of an individual that a potential employer will have. The cover letter helps explain experiences in a story like format that works with the information provided in a resume. It allows the applicant to go in-depth about important skills and experiences that relate to the job requirements.

The resume is a document that briefly summarizes an individuals education, employment history, and experiences that are relevant to the qualifications for a position. There are many ways to go about developing both of these documents. The references section of a resume can have the biggest impact on an individuals potential employment. This section should contain people who can verify and elaborate on the individuals professional experience. Past employers, professors, and advisors are the best professional references to have. Sometimes its not about what you know but who you know.

A few factors remain which can be the difference of a resume staying put on an employers desk or ending in the waste paper basket. Each document must be proofread not only by the individual but by at least one other person. Two sets of eyes are always better than one and there is no computer out there that catches every detail. Documents that are organized, clear, and concise will have a much better chance of getting reviewed than scattered un-professional documents.

Interviewing Techniques

Most times the best way to learn something is to just go out and try it. We decided the best way to give our interns experience interviewing was to do a session of mock interviews. Along with Coach Neal Peduzzi and Zach Reed, we interviewed each of our 8 interns. We played roles as either a head strength coach, head sport coach, athletic trainer or potential administrator. We filled the interviews with meaningful questions which allowed individuals to speak about themselves and their thoughts on some things that would pertain to a real interview. I don’t think any of our questions were out of left field but some did throw the interns for a loop because they never had any experience verbalizing some of the things that they have either read or heard about. We finished the session with individual meetings to go over the pro’s and con’s of the interview session. Overall, we felt that the session was very productive for each intern. They were able to come away with some things to work on and also focus on the various strengths that they had.

Professional Development

Professional development is all about an individuals’ goals and aspirations. The concept refers to attaining various skills and knowledge for personal and career development. Just as in training, you get out what you put into professional development. There are endless options of different areas to develop in, here are some of the development areas for our interns based on their future interest and career goals.

Current Interests and Goals:

• Head Strength Coach (high school/ collegiate) • Assistant Strength Coach • Graduate Assistant • Sport Coach/ Educator • Business Owner • Administrator • Research/ Author

Development Areas:

• Anatomy and Physiology • Biomechanics • Nutrition • Exercise Physiology • Sports Medicine/ Injuries • Leadership • Coaching • Business

Organizations/ Memberships

• National Strength and Conditioning Association • CSCS • Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association o SCCC • United States Weightlifting o L1 Sports Performance Coach • National Academy of Sports Medicine o PES/CES • International Society of Sports Nutrition o CISSN/ SNS


Web • nsca-lift.org • cscca.org • sbcoachescollege.com • training-conditioning.com • strengthcoach.com • elitefts.com

Books/ Journals

• NSCA (research and strength journal) • Tudor Bompa- Periodization • Mike Boyle- Advances in Functional Training • Grey Cook- Movement • Mark Verstegen- Core Performance • Baechle and Earle- Essentials of Strength and Conditioning • NASM- Essentials of Sports Performance Training • Joe Kenn- The Coaches Strength Training Playbook • Nancy Clark- The Sports Nutrition Guidebook


• Clinics Conferences • Hammer Strength/ Perform Better • NSCA National Conference/ Coaches Conference • CSCCa National Conference • Site Visits • Videos/ Podcasts

The overall summary of professional development is about getting better. It is necessary to get out of a given comfort zone and explore some new eye opening material. Be sure to use quality sources due to the fact that you can find material from every corner of this great planet but use discretion when evaluating its worth. Leadership Development

We would like to thank Derrick Moore, our team chaplain, for taking the time to speak with our group about leadership development. Derrick serves as an advisor and counselor on behalf of the Athletic Department, and provides assistance in the areas of leadership, team building, relationship development, and personal fulfillment. “If you think you are leading and no one is following you, than you are just on a walk”. This quote sums up the broad discussion of Derricks presentation “The Making of a Professional Leader”. Here are some of the topics discussed in his presentation which will help us all positively influence athletes on our journey through this coaching field. Professional Leadership Characteristics: • Positive attitude- contagious enthusiasm. • Work ethic- “work will win when wishing won’t”. • High standards- never replace with low standards. • Time management- planning allows things to go off without a hitch. • Reliability- even in crisis situations. • Accountability- equals longevity, it goes a long way. • Capability- when you are behind, you can still get ahead. • Engaged- ability to dig in. • Composed- stay in a zone, to accomplish a task. • Flexibility- capable of having different options. • Passion- goes deep. • Results- come from consistency and going on a streak.


• Knowledge- learn and gain new info. • Success from others- athletes’ success is the bottom line. • Opportunity for employment • Personal satisfaction-

Goals– Count and maximize every opportunity (moment) for success.

We demand many of these things from our athletes on a daily basis. We all need to realize that in order to become leaders of successful athletes we need to require all of these things from ourselves. At the end of the day athletes will respect a leader that is a model of these characteristics not only for them in the weight room but in life.

Week 7–July 4- 7: Testing and Program Design

The sessions this week involved discussion and practical application of:

  • Strength and Performance Testing
  • Periodization and Program Design

Strength and Performance Testing- Zach Reed- Assistant Coach, Player Development

At Georgia Tech we assess a wide array of attributes when testing our athletes. Our tests include speed, agility, power, strength, body composition and conditioning. We use different tests to comprehensively assess an athlete; especially more than just limit strength.

The following is a list of our tests and how we measure them: 1. Linear speed: twenty yard dash, forty yard dash 2. Agility: pro agility (5-10-5), L drill 3. Vertical power: vertical jump measured using a vertec 4. Horizontal power: standing long jump 5. Total body power: power clean, backwards medicine ball throw 6. Upper body limit strength: bench press 7. Lower body limit strength: back squat 8. Flexibility/ Mobility: overhead squat with a wooden dowel 9. Body composition: skinfold, bod-pod 10. Conditioning: 300 yard shuttle

As you can see, our battery of tests is extensive in order to cover all areas of performance. We feel that this gives us a better understanding of where our athletes and teams are physically at certain points during the year and also allows us to evaluate our program as a whole.

Tests can also be used to address certain needs of an athlete. For example, if there is a weakness or need for corrective exercise with the lower body we will assign the athlete additional bi-lateral/ uni-lateral strength/ flexibility work. If conditioning is a problem, an athlete will do more work after the initial conditioning or another set time that fits within the training week.

Furthermore, when running a test it is important that test-retest validity occurs. Hopefully, this is not done by consistently doing it wrong, so we ensure that the parameters for each test are clearly defined and in accordance with pre-established guidelines.

In conclusion, assessment is part of analyzing strengths and weakness and most importantly as a culmination to a grueling training program. As a development coach testing is a fun time and most athletes enjoy seeing themselves improve. As long as the tests are run safely and along established parameters testing is a positive and useful part of our program.

Periodization and Program Design

One of the greatest quotes that relates to periodization comes from the great John Wooden, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. This quote sums up the definition of periodization by our standards, the gradual variation of specificity, intensity and volume planned over time. We try to continually modify and adjust our training to meet the specific demands of the given sport. Linear and Un-dulating periodization are the most common forms of planning for the athletic population. Linear: Progressive increase in exercise intensity while decreasing volume over time. Un-dulating (non-linear): Contains multiple variations in intensity and volume within each week over the course of a training program. An individual will have success with either type of training style compared to a non-periodized program. With these different types of planning we are able to have variation in our training stimulus, plan for rest and recovery, and prevent overtraining.

Training Variables:

1RM- One repetition maximum – Clean, Back Squat, Bench Press (lb/kg) Volume- Sets x Reps – Ex: Squat 4 x 8 (32 reps) Intensity- % of 1RM – Ex: Squat 1 RM=500lbs o 75%= 375lbs

Training Cycles

Macrocycle- The big picture of the annual plan (52wks) Mesocycle- Blocks within the year (3-4 months, 12-16 weeks) Microcycle- Shortest blocks of time (1-3 weeks)

Training Phases/ Goals (Linear)

Prepatory Period (Off-Season) Hypertrophy- Increase lean body mass/ work capacity Basic strength- Increase strength in primary muscles Max Strength/ Power- Development of explosive movements Competition (In-Season) Maintenance of strength and power previously developed Prevent high levels of de-conditioning Sport becomes priority Transition (Post-Season) Complete time off, typically post season Recovery both physically and mentally Re-hab injuries Limit duration to reduce de-conditioning

Program Design

The design of strength and conditioning program is the first step in helping develop a successful team. It all comes back to having a plan and sticking to it in order to help get athletes prepared to compete. There will be bumps along the way and the program will have to be flexible, but a program always comes back to its foundation. Here are some of the broad points and concepts of how we develop our programs at Georgia Tech: Annual/ Monthly/ Weekly Plan – Training period goals (highly specific to sport) – Potential time constraints

Weightroom: 3-4 day/wk split – Components (off-season) o Warm up o Core/ Pre-hab o Power o Strength • Upper Body Push/ Pull • Lower Body Push/ Pull o Auxillary/ Supplemental o Post Work – Options o 3 Day Total Body (M/W/F) o 4 Day Upper/ Lower (M/T/TH/F)

Example: 1 Day Total Body (weightroom) • Hang clean • Back squat • Dumbbell bench press • Rdl • Pull up • Auxillary shoulder/ tricep • Neck

After major structural exercises, movements can be paired to increase work capacity and help time efficiency of training.

Field/ Court: 2-4 day split Components (off-season) o Warm-Up (dynamic/ brief static stretching) o Speed – Technique/ Acceleration o Agility- Multi-directional o Conditioning- Energy system development Options o 2 Day: Speed, Agility, and Conditioning (complete) (T/TH) o 4 Day: Speed /Agility/Conditioning (1/ session) (M/T/TH/F) o Example: 1 Day Speed, Agility and Conditioning (complete) • Warm-Up (dynamic/ brief static stretching) • Speed – Mechanics/ Harness Runs • Agility- Cone Drills • Conditioning- 110yd Sprints

In-Season Training Reduced volume and intensity in the weightroom due to stress from competition and practice – Maintain strength and performance qualities – Typically 1-2 days/ week – 30-45 minutes due to time constraints – Possible need for individual injury modifications – Potential need for recovery techniques within session

Testing/ Peak – Goals/ What is important? Numbers don’t tell the whole story – Time for reflection and program evaluation – Appropriate time of year, what fits best within your schedule? o Mid phase/ Late phase

Periodization and program design are two broad categories in which we tried to outline the major concepts for our interns so that they could apply this knowledge to the development of their final project and beyond. There is no way possible that we could have covered every topic under the sun when it comes to these topics, however the topics listed can help organize the training structure for athletes and develop a successful team that will be prepared for any task put in front of them.

Week 6–June 27- July 1st, 2011: Nutrition and Recovery The sessions this week involved discussion and practical application of: Sports Nutrition Recovery Techniques

Sports Nutrition

We would like to thank Leah Thomas, MS, RD/LD, CSSD for taking the time to speak with our group about sports nutrition. As the Director of sports nutrition at Georgia Tech Leah is responsible for consultations, body composition assessments, and meal planning with our training table throughout the school year. With her help we are able to increase our athletes performance through improving body composition and meeting body weight goals.

Athletes are also given the opportunity to learn habits that will help them to live a healthier lifestyle after college athletics. We were fortunate to have her share with us the following principles for optimal performance through nutrition.

Energy Intake: Balance

Knowing you energy needs is the first step to meeting them. • Excess calories creates weight gain • Falling short decreases development of new muscle and decreases energy stores

Meeting needs is best done by frequent eating (5-6x/ day) • Large, less frequent meals promotes body fat storage • Small, more frequent meals promotes a higher metabolic rate • Hydration

Dehydration of >2% can impair performance

.5 fluid oz / lb of bodyweight spread throughout day is sufficient for athletes

Athletes should monitor bodyweight before and after training/practice. • For every lb of weight lost, an additional 16-20oz of fluid should be consumed before days end • Varied and Balanced Diet

All three macronutrients should be included at meals and snacks • Plate should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, complex carbs, and lean meats & dairy • Nutrient Timing: Pre and Post Exercise Fueling

Pre-Fueling • Carbohydrates and moderate protein • Spares muscle glycogen, decreases muscle damage

Post-Fueling • Must occur within 60 minutes post exercise • Carbohydrates (1-1.2g/kg bw) and Protein (15-20g) • Maximizes muscle recovery/ synthesis, restoration of energy stores • Supplements: What, When, & WARNINGS

Any performance enhancing dietary supplement an athlete chooses to take: • Should not contain NCAA banned substance • Should be NSF certified for purity • Should be taken at their own risk

Recovery Techniques- Steve Tamborra- Assistant Coach , Player Development

Throughout the course of training for athletic performance so much focus is put on the actual variables of activity (strength and conditioning) while aspects such as recovery are an afterthought. An athletes ability to adapt and develop is highly dependant on their ability to recover from strenuous workouts and be productive on a day to day basis. Recovery aspects of training are multi-dimensional in nature and are an integral part of our training plan here at Georgia Tech. Whether it be a post workout stretch or an athlete coming in on an off day to foam roll, recovery is a daily activity. Here are a few pro-active strategies for short/ long term planning of recovery. Sleep: This factor can be of the greatest benefit to a student athlete. During deep stages of sleep the body stops all but the most essential functions so that repair and growth can be maximized. Sleep deprivation can reduce cardiovascular performance, the ability to process information and increase reaction time. In order to have an optimal nights sleep a student athlete should have a regular sleep schedule consisting of 7-9hrs in a quiet comfortable environment away from all distractions. Myofascial Release: Consists of various modalities to massage and lengthen tissue to promote healing. This type of training releases the tightness of the fascia covering our muscular system and breaks down adhesions which relieves pressure on our joints. With our athletes we use the following modalities: Foam Rolling- Low/ Upper Back, Lats, Hamstring, Abd/ Adductors, IT Band, Glute, Quad/ Hip Flexor, Gastroc, Soleus Tiger Tail- Quad, Hamstring, IT Band, Gastroc/Soleus Tennis/ Lacrosse/ Golf Ball (trigger point)- Pec, Rhomboids, TFL, Arches

Flexibility: We use several different methods to enhance the range of motion around various joints in the body. Regardless of the method, our ability to lengthen tissue and have muscles functioning at optimal lengths will promote recovery through increased delivery of oxygen, removal of waste products and reduction of muscle soreness. Here are some examples of various flexibility routines for major muscle groups: Band Stretching

– Static (15-30s each muscle group) or AIS (5s per contraction) – Hamstring, Adductors, IT Band, Glute, Quad/ Hip Flexor Partner Manual Series- PNF (contract relax technique) – Hamstring, Adductors, IT Band, Glute, Quad/ Hip Flexor Upper Body Rack Stretch- Static (15-30s each muscle group) – Bent arm pec, Lat stretch, Cross-body Rear Delt, Overhead Tricep, Bicep/ Shoulder, Internal/External Rotators Hydrotherapy: With the help from our sports medicine staff we have the availability of both hot and cold tubs. Hot tubs are typically 95-105° F and can be used as a method solely before activity/ competition or done in conjunction with a cold bath. Hot water dilates blood vessels and promotes blood flow, which assists with the healing process. Cold baths are typically 50-60° F and are used post workout or done as a contrast treatment with a hot tub (1-2min cold, 1-2min hot x 3). Cold water constricts blood vessels which flushes wastes products (lactic acid) out of affected tissues, decreases metabolic activity and reduces swelling and tissue breakdown.

Week 5-June 20-24: On the Field The sessions this week involved discussion and practical application of : • Dynamic Warm-Ups • Speed and Agility • Plyometrics and Conditioning

Movement and Conditioning Philosophy

Movement training and the development of sport skills are two of the most crucial aspects of improving sports performance. Big numbers on power clean, squat and bench press are great goals for athletes however the foundation of sport occurs with clean, efficient movement repeated over and over again.

Our goals are to improve “playing speed” through training linear speed and multi directional agility. Work capacity and improvements in conditioning levels are attained through developing the specific energy system(s) required of our athletes in their given sport.

Dynamic Warm-Ups

Dynamic flexibility is the starting point for all movement and conditioning sessions that take place. Priority is put on these specific movements which help us prepare our athletes for the various activities to follow. These movements are picked from two different categories: Movement and Flexibility.

Movement drills are done in longer distances (15-30yds) and typically require a higher tempo to help increase core temperature during the warm up. Flexibility drills help improve range of motion around major joints and require elements of balance and proprioception. We also conduct brief static stretching of major muscle groups following a thorough dynamic warm up. Brief static stretching further increases range of motion around a joint and allows our athletes additional time to focus on how their body is feeling that day.

Exercise Examples: Movement- Backwards run Dynamic Flexibility- Quad Pull w/ Reach Training for Speed and Agility

Improving “playing speed” in a linear fashion involves developing straight ahead speed (SAS). This relationship between stride rate and stride length can be learned and improved through: improving muscular balance, core strength, force development through strength training and technical proficiency. Although athletes in many sports never reach maximum SAS, athletes who are able to accelerate and close on competitors in the shortest amount of time have a distinct advantage in competition.

Speed training for our athletes occurs in three main categories: Mechanics, Acceleration and Max Speed. A majority of our time is spent training mechanics and acceleration due to the fact that these critical areas will have the greatest influence on improving our athletes performance.

Exercise Examples: Mechanics- Arm Action, High Knees, A-skip (Intern members performing speed mechanics) Acceleration- Wall Drills, Harness Pulls (Intern members partnering for harness pulls)

Partner-resisted harness pulls.

Another factor in improving playing speed is developing an athletes ability to change direction quickly. When an athlete is able to do this they are more likely to be one step ahead of the competition, and can have a great advantage in sport. For this reason emphasis is placed on improving an athletes agility two or three days per week in the off season. Agility is greatly improved through many similar factors as SAS in addition to improving reaction time, and footwork/ technique.

Exercise Examples: Footwork- Ladder Drills: Two in two out, Lateral high knees (Intern Chris Caso demonstrating a footwork drill) Multi- Direction- Cone drills: Pro agility, Box drill

Plyometrics–Zach Reed- Assistant Coach, Player Development

Training for speed and power have the greatest correlation to sports performance. In conjunction with Olympic Lifting, Plyometrics is one method of training that we use to develop powerful athletes. Plyometrics utilizes the stretch shortening cycle (SSC), which is characterized by a rapid eccentric muscle contraction followed by a rapid concentric muscle contraction.

Emphasis is placed on fast explosive movement while minimizing time under tension and utilizing proper jumping and landing mechanics. The progression of our plyometric drills are as follows: Jumps in place, multiple response and box drills. A majority of plyometric drills are done with the lower body, however upper body plyos are also a small part of our yearly program. Here is a progression for teaching plyometrics: 1. Begin (and quite often) end in an athletic stance 2. Teach the jump (yes, the actual jump) in accordance with arm swing, counter-movement and triple extension 3. Teach the landing and the “stick” or return from an elevated height 4. Teach the landing, stick and the reload for another jump (amortization phase)

Prescribing plyometrics in your training program has carryover to any sport that involves explosive running and jumping, but it can also effectively be used to teach balance and coordination. Therefore, it can be used across all sports (when incorporated appropriately).

Exercise Examples: Lower Body-Standing long jumps, Box jumps (Intern Aaron Goyette performing a box jump) Upper Body-Explosive push-ups, Medicine ball punch


Conditioning is an essential part of a sport team’s overall development and we feel it is what can be a major factor to win us ball games in the long run. As a coaching staff we are the “push that makes athletes move” and must hammer home the necessity for being in conditioning shape in preparation for competition. However, not just any type of conditioning will be sufficient. Running players into the ground is not the path to success, nor is improper energy system prescription.

Teams are trained appropriately for their sport in accordance with their energy system requirements: Phosphogen System, Glycolytic System and the Oxidative System. Corresponding work to rest ratios are prescribed to obtain optimal conditioning levels and promote recovery when needed.

Conditioning can be a double edged sword because quite often individuals feel that more is better and “leave no doubt” that an athlete is in shape. However, just like any part of our program, conditioning must be designed and implemented in accordance with the overall weekly, monthly, and yearly plan (pre-season, in-season, off-season) and must still be periodized and planned within that season. This will ensure a whole team that is prepared to meet the demands of their sport.

Week 4–June 13-17, 2011: Training for Strength The sessions this week involved discussion and practical application of lower-body strength training and upper-body strength training.

Training for Strength

Strength training in the weightroom is the cornerstone for the development of our athletes at Georgia Tech. Our three major overall goals are to prepare our athletes for their individual sport requirements, increase muscular performance capabilities, and reduce the risk of injury in practice and competition.

We conduct highly organized training sessions and require that members of our internship program are instructed on all major lifts. We educate them on our philosophy in regards to what we feel is important and will develop our athletes in the most effective and safe manner. In the following sessions, our internship group will have a thorough understanding of how important proper technique, progression, and prescription are in developing athletes.

Training the Lower Body

The lower body is the source of all power developed in every sport. Training the lower body allows our athletes to develop strong ligaments and tendons for increased joint stability and improve performance through increases in force development. Our main structural lift for lower body training is the back squat.

We also prescribe the front squat many months throughout the year, a variation of the deadlift, and place a high emphasis on unilateral training with lunges, step ups, and split squats. Another area of primary emphasis for the lower body is the posterior chain (hamstrings, low back). We address this area with glute ham raises, RDLs, hyper extensions, and stability ball hamst0ring work. Here is an example of training the lower body:

Intern Stephen Reich performing a split squat

Training the Upper Body – By Zach Reed, Assistant Coach Player Development

All too often the upper body is seen as the primary part of a program’s training. We all love to see big bench presses, but training for overall power and as well as the lower body should take precedence. That is the next problem. We all assume that it is easy to teach the upper body lifts because either:

A) if the athletes have done any lifting in high school, it was upper body and B) athletes, for the most part, enjoy training the upper body more. Nevertheless, part of the intern program is learning how to effectively incorporate upper-body training in the overall program.

We teach all the main lifts from upper body pushes to upper body pulls. Categorizing lifts along the lines of these two headings will make for a more comprehensive training program. However, it must be noted that one of the most effective upper body pushing exercises is without a doubt the bench. Along with its variations (floor press, close grip, dumbbells, incline) it is a staple of our upper body pushing plan. Here is a sample of the progression for the bench press: 1. The setup (feet, points of contact, hand placement) 2. The liftoff 3. Spotting 4. The bar’s descent 5. Transition from eccentric to concentric 6. The lockout

All points seem fairly simple and they can be, but the difference in a naturally good lifter making gains (there are obviously many at this level) and stalling can be a minor technical adjustment. Furthermore, the relatively average player (who can still be very athletic) is looking for any strength gain possible to better position themselves to be successful.

Coach Zach Reed going over the key points of the bench press.

With that being said, it is highly important that emphasis be placed on the upper body pulling motions. We are very fortunate to have racks that have pull up bars that allow a pronated, supinated, and neutral grip. We also use ropes to enhance the athlete’s grip. Pulling from a horizontal position is also a part of our upper body training program; specifically the bent over row, one-arm dumbbell row and the inverted row. Pulling motions should be given equal training to all pushing motions.

Coach Zach Reed instructing the inverted row.

Week 3–June 6-10, 2011: Training for Power By Zach Reed- Assistant Coach Player Development The sessions this week involved discussion and practical application of: • Olympic Lifting • Clean • Jerk • Snatch • Training for Power

Training for power is a vital part of our player development program and can be achieved through medicine balls, plyometrics and Olympic lifting (weightlifting). For our needs we strongly believe in the inclusion of Olympic lifting into our training program for a wide array of reasons. Any ground based sport that utilizes running and jumping can be enhanced by the incorporation of Olympic lifting. Therefore, as part of our internship education program we take two sessions to teach the clean as well as the snatch and the push jerk.

There are two main reasons for using Olympic lifting in our program. First, we are on a three day lifting split and the inclusion of the clean, snatch and jerk (as well as any variations) allows us to get the most “bang for the buck” when it comes to power training. This allows us to manage our time so we can also train for strength and hypertrophy in one training session.

Second, the validity of Olympic lifting in regards to power production is extensive; especially during the second pull. Even though we pull from the floor we also snatch and clean from the hang position. The versatility of Olympic lifting is a big part of its inclusion in our program.

Since Olympic lifting is an integral part of the training program at Tech it is highly important that all the training staff have the ability to perform the lifts themselves. So, the practical portion of the internship program allowed hands on teaching and performing of the Olympic lifts. We followed this basic teaching order for the power clean: 1. The setup (feet, hands, body position) 2. The RDL 3. The hang power shrug 4. The high pull and receiving the bar 5. The hang glean 6. The clean deadlift 7. The clean pull 8. The full power clean

Coach Zach Reed demonstrating the proper descent into the hang position

May 30-June 3, 2011–Week 2: Prep Work/Warm-Ups The sessions this week involved discussion and practical application of: Weightroom Warm Ups • Pre-Hab for Major Joints- Shoulder, Hip, Ankle • Training the Neck • Training the Core

Weight Room Warm-Ups

Warm-ups in our weightroom are crucial in preparing our athletes for the workout to follow. Our football team trains in the weightroom three days per week and completes a total body lift. The warm-up prior to each lift is also total body in nature and serves to complete four training goals: Set the tempo for the session, increase core temperature, promote lengthening of tissue, and activate major muscle groups.

Warm-ups are completed in a three-station format and are typically three to five minutes in length. These stations fall into four major categories: Prehab (Activation), Mobility/Flexibility (Lengthening), Core (Activation/Core temp.), and Footwork (Tempo). Station priority is set up based on the major structural lifts for the day. Ex: Major Lower Body Day (Squat). Stations include: Ladder drills, Hurdle mobility, and Hip Prehab.

Prehab Principles

Prehab routines were developed through experts in physical therapy and sports medicine to address possible limitations involved in sport. Programs are developed based on three principles for maintenance of healthy joints: Activation, Flexibility/Mobility, and Strength. Exercises are typically included as a warm up station or integrated within the workout session.

The Shoulder: The most mobile joint in the body is highly susceptible to injury especially in overhead and contact sports. Our programs are designed to train the scapular stabilizers and rotator cuff muscles in all planes.

Exercise Example: Band Prehab- Row + External Rotation

The Hip: Focusing on the relationship of the hip and core and how it is involved in the transfer of forces throughout the body. Hip flexors, extensors, ab/adductors, and internal/external rotators are the focus of our hip prehab program.

Exercise Example: Mini Band Side Lying Bent Knee Abduction

The Ankle: Ankle sprains are extremely high in occurrence and costly in time lost from sport. It is the last link in the kinetic chain and influences movement at the knee and the hip. Programs are all based on maintaining efficient movement in all planes.

Exercise Examples: BOB 4 way ankle- plantar flexion

Training the Neck

We train the neck to reduce the rate and potential risk of concussions. When an athlete has a strong neck, the head is more likely to be stabilized, not allowing the brain to shake inside the skull during collisions. Year round, our athletes train the neck one or two times per week.

Exercise Example: Manual Neck- Flexion

Training the Core

Core training has a very high priority in our program. Programs are designed to improve performance by reducing risk of injury through improved body control and balance, greater efficiency of movement, and increased power output. Design of programs include exercises that are progressive (simple to hard, slow to fast) and systematic (stabilization/strength/power) in nature. Training modalities include bodyweight training, plate loaded, physio ball, and med ball.

Exercise Example: Static: Pillar Series- Lateral

Week 1- May 23-27: Getting Started


This week marked the beginning of the Georgia Tech Strength and Conditioning Internship Program. This year’s group consists of three undergraduate students, two graduates, and two volunteer assistants. The group has varying levels of experience, which has allowed us to create a program that will fit the needs of all individuals. Week one was spent on some of the more administrative issues that go along with how we run our program. We familiarized the group with our philosophy, rules and regulations, and safety issues regarding training. The schedule of the internship program was discussed in detail, in addition to our plans for a Strength and Speed Clinic.

For this clinic, each individual will present a comprehensive six-week program for a randomly selected sport. Lastly, the description and format of our GTSC exam was gone over thoroughly. This exam will help prepare some of these individuals for future certification and help ensure that they have a good understanding of the material we have covered throughout the entire 11-week program.

The session concluded with next week’s article handouts and all of the interns filling out an aspirations and goals sheet. This will help our staff determine what direction each individual would like to head in their career, along with some of their passions and other interests.

Jason Benguche, MS, CSCS, PES, is Assistant Director of Player Development for Football at Georgia Tech. 

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