The TigerDome is where the Breeds began so it feels right to launch The Breed Project from there. I have plenty of good friends among the Tigers ranks and still feel a big part of the club so it is all a great fit.
I will be working with Tom Skelton to help the Titans with their off, pre and in season weight training. With a semi-professional club it is all about creating a professional culture that encourages lads to spare their free time for extras. It is these sessions that will make the difference in a gruelling National 3 campaign. We want to help the boys develop their on-field performance as well as their general health which will carry over to the rest of their lives.
You can see my bio on the Tiger’s website here: http://www.sheffieldtigers.co.uk/seniors/join-the-tigers/index.html
Last week I attended a Tigers training session to introduce myself and give a short presentation to the players, coaches and parents. I wanted to give everyone a taste of what I was about and also give them some advice that they could implement immediately. The following 5 points were the ones I presented:
1- Eat Real Food
This is the point I stress to everyone wanting to improve their diet. So much of what we eat nowadays isn't what our grandparents would recognise as food. It's all highly processed and this has huge negative impacts on our health and performance. The solution is to go back to basics, avoid anything with an ingredients list that you haven't created yourself. Meals of local meat, fresh vegetables and tubers are tasty, filling and nutrient dense. Try it and I promise you'll notice a difference in your health and performance very quickly.
2- Take carbs out of breakfast
As I've stressed many times before this is the no.1 change you can make in improving body composition. Breakfasts of coffee and cream, bacon, eggs, chorizo. I don't know why anyone would eat soggy cereal and dry toast over that! For a taste of the science behind this check out Kiefer's excellent article on elitefts: http://articles.elitefts.com/nutrition/logic-does-not-apply-part-2-breakfast/
3- Get mobile
At national 3 it is fair to assume that many of the players will have jobs or be students. This of course means a lot of sitting down all day. Leaving the desk and rolling straight into an intense evening weights or training session is asking for trouble. If you're sat all day then you need to start incorporating mobility throughout the day and certainly before any training sessions. All the programs I have written for Tigers include detailed mobility circuits which should be performed as regularly as possible. Mobility can be a tough sell as people assume that it's preventative and you won't see any immediate benefits. This is far from the truth however. There is a lot of research to show the implications of poor desk posture on our mood. Being hunched over all day can lead to irritability and low mood. Breaking up your day with some band pull aparts, back mobility etc can help restore the 'winners posture' and put you in a better frame of mind. Hip mobility is the other key area, do some work on this through the day and before training and I promise you'll notice the difference!
4- Lift proper weights
When time is an issue people assume they can't do a proper weights session. The result is 10 minutes of bench, cable cross overs and 21s before training. These individuals then wonder why they need a shoulder reconstruction after their first contact session. As I always stress, compound movements have to be the foundation of any weights program. What's more if you are time poor then these take on even greater importance. They offer huge return on investment and mean you can get some tangible benefits from a couple of 30min workouts a week. All the programs I have written for Tigers focus on squats and weighted chins as the cornerstones of lower and upper body sessions. Get these done with some targeted assistance work and then you can do some curls!
Sleep is the foundation upon which every aspect of health and performance is built. Without quality sleep you will be negatively impacting every part of your life. 8 hours a night is the benchmark, don't kid yourself that you can get away with less, prioritise it. Improve sleep quality by making your bedroom pitch black and cool, do some relaxation work before bed (foam rolling is great for this) and avoid backlit devices such as phones, TVs and ipads in the hour or so preceding sleep.
I have already started working with some individuals from Tigers on their diets and will be back up there soon to run people through the weights programs. I have also had interest from the U16s who I have coached in the past so will hopefully be linking back up with them too. I'll keep everyone updated with developments via this blog and if there are any questions catch me via the contacts page