- "Want to learn? Check these websites..."
- "Covering all the angles in 'Sport-specific' athlete preparation."
- "The 2001 Speed-Agility program"
- "The hope for 2002"



This site has been around for a couple of years, but just recently underwent a major improvement. Ryan Lee, MS, CSCS, has added more programs and more tips on improving athletic ability. Subscribers will have the opportunity to interact with experienced strength coaches such as Mike Gough, CSCS, (former Interim Strength Coach of the Toronto Raptors) from www.optperformance.com. Ryan promises at least 3 new cutting-edge training articles EVERY WEEK and much more in addition to the articles that were already there and articles that aren't posted on www.cbathletics.com.


Men's Health
Want to lose your gut? Subscribe to this newsletter from Men's Health. It provides USEFUL suggestions on how to lose body fat and improve your health. These are not "run of the mill" suggestions, but are rather tips based on research to help overweight men lose body fat, gain muscle, and improve their health. This is a great resource given the current incidence of obesity (see Issue 70).


Deep Squatter
This site contains excellent articles for athletes and strength trainers seeking information to help increase maximum strength. These articles are written by guys that bench over 500lbs and squat close to 1000 pounds. The authors write not only from experience, but also use sound science to back up their programs.


Swis Symposium 2001
Plan to be in the Toronto area on the weekend of November 16-18th, 2001. Dr. Ken Kinakin, a chiropractor in Mississauga, has assembled an all-star cast of speakers for his 3rd annual conference. The above link will take you right to the schedule of events. Recommended speakers include Drs. Sale and MacDougall for scientific facts on strength and hypertrophy training, as well as coaches Charlie Francis, Charles Staley, and Istvan Balyi for practical applications of sport science. There will also be some controversial nutritional presentations, and finally there will be three very entertaining "strongman" speakers to round out the conference, Bill Kazmaier, Dorian Yates, and Bill Pearl.



The timing could not have been better. During the summer of 2001, the CB ATHLETIC CONSULTING "Groin-specific speed & agility" program was refined over many training sessions, and now there is academic research to support the necessity of "groin-specific/sport-specific" training. In the September 2001 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers Carolyn Emery and William Meehuwisse from the University of Calgary investigated the risk factors for groin injury in NHL players.

The study found that players participating in less than 18 sport-specific training sessions during the off-season had a 3-fold greater risk of groin injury than players that performed at least that number of training sessions. More specifically, players that reported less than 12 sport-specific training sessions in August were more likely to have an injury in September's training camp. Amazingly, 13.5% of players interviewed (115) reported performing NO sport-specific training at all! In addition, Emery and Meehuwisse reported players with previous injury and veteran players were at greater risk of injury.

Not surprisingly, neither peak isometric adductor torque ("static groin strength") or flexibility were a predictor of injury. One would not expect a measure of isometric strength to reflect injury risk because isometric refers to force production without a change in the length of the muscle. Since the adductor ("groin") muscles are constantly shortening and lengthening in sport, the measure is not representative of actual performance.

Groin injuries have been found to be much greater during training camp when compared with the regular season but injuries were not found to occur earlier or later in a game or practice session. Of note, it was determined that for every 1 year increase in NHL experience, the athlete performed 1.3 fewer sessions of sport-specific training. Therefore, the decrease in training by veterans seems to correlate with an increased risk of injury for the veteran player. Time for the older guys to decrease the gold and increase the hard work in the off-season.

The authors concluded, "Low levels of off-season sport specific training and previous injury are clearly risks for groin injury at an elite level of hockey." In contrast, the chance of injury decreased with increasing levels of sport-specific training. In the research paper, "sport-specific" training was defined as "any training session (>30min) in the off-season including hockey, power skating, in-line skating, off-ice skating machine, or slide board".

However, it is suffice to say that sport-specific is a term that can be misused. The definition of "sport-specific" training should be expanded to include agility training in athlete preparation for most conventional sports. For the purposes of this training article, any lateral speed and agility training exercise will be considered as sport-specific despite the fact that this training is not done on a hardwood court, ice surface, or tennis court. There is NO doubt that the results of this study has a broad application to the preparation of all sports that combine explosiveness and lateral movement as groin injury is possible under these circumstances.

Therefore, performing 18 sessions of sport-specific training (or at least 12 sessions in the 4 weeks prior to training camp) will help prevent groin injuries in the pre-season. It is not unacceptable to apply this conclusion to all other sports that include lateral movement and explosiveness. Therefore, a proper off-season conditioning program should begin with 1-2 sport-specific training session per week and progress to at least 3 sessions per week in the final 4 weeks before training camp. The bottom line is to get out and get training specifically for your sport!

Emery, C., and W. Meehuwisse. Risk factors for groin injuries in hockey. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 33: 1423-1433, 2001.



Here are some training ideas from the 2001 version of the CB ATHLETIC CONSULTING "Groin-specific speed & agility" program. If you have questions about the drills, email cb@cbathletics.com or check out more comprehensive articles on www.sportspecific.com. All training should be performed on a dry field or baseball diamond. Even though these drills are completed on grass and dirt, many players that use these drills agree that they help on-ice performance. The outline of the program is as follows and must be kept in this precise order to prevent fatigue from interfering with "explosiveness":

* Warm-up (Form work & dynamic stretching)
* Plyometrics
* Ladder drills (Quickness/Acceleration)
* Groin Agility drills
* Groin Conditioning drills


Athletes should go through this circuit a minimum of 3 times. These exercises comprise dynamic flexibility drills, meaning they move the limbs through a full range of motion and it also provides a progressive warm-up. Athletes should start out lightly in circuit 1 and increase the intensity of each movement with each successive circuit.

* High-knee (10 yards)
* High-heels/Butt-kicks (10 yards)
* Skipping (10 yards)
* Side-shuffle (10 yards each way) 
* Side-step & pull (10 yards each way) 
* Diagonal lunge walk (10 yards)
* Hurdle-walk Rotate-In (10 yards)
* Hurdle-walk Rotate-Out (10 yards)


Stretching and flexibility is a very controversial issue. Check out this previous newsletter (Issue 60) for more information and guidelines for static stretching should you choose to incorporate it.


Plyometric training helps develop strength and power and hopefully balance and agility, all at the same time. There really isn't any other training technique that addresses so many levels of athletic performance. Please note: Plyometric training should only be performed by an athlete that has been evaluated and cleared for "jump training" by a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

For the 3 groin specific plyometric drills listed below, perform 1-5 sets of 4-8 repetitions. Individuals with no plyometric experience should perform fewer repetitions and sets and rest for longer intervals. Advanced athletes may be able to rest as little as 15 seconds between sets. Some plyometrics that target the groin area include:

* Wide-stance long jump
* Split-squat (lunge) jump
* Alternate-leg diagonal bounding


The speed ladder is an excellent training tool for helping an athlete increase foot speed, quickness, and agility. If you don't want to buy a speed ladder, you can simply draw out the squares on a baseball diamond. To purchase the ladders and find more information on speed ladder drills, check out the Ryan and Mike's websites. You can be creative and create many drills to improve your speed, agility, and balance. Remember to stay on your toes throughout the drills, keep your knees bent, and pop up every time you land. Here's just one of many possible drills:

* Lateral 2-touch (fwd & bkwd)

Start in the "athlete" ("ready") position on the left side of the first square of the ladder. Step your right foot into the first square and land on the ball of your foot. Now step your left foot in and land on the ball of your foot. Then immediately step your right foot outside to the right side of the first square and land on the ball of your foot. Now step your left foot out and land on the ball of your foot. Next, diagonally step forward and left with the left foot into the second square of the ladder and then bring the right foot in. Continue to move along the speed ladder in this fashion. The drill should last about 5 seconds with an emphasis on moving as fast and as correctly as possible.


Agility is a measure of acceleration, deceleration, and change of direction. These are demands placed on almost all athletes, regardless of the surface they play on. These agility drills can be done on any playing surface as well (ice, grass, court). Agility drills should last about 5 seconds with an emphasis on moving as fast and as correctly as possible. Choose 2-5 variations and do 1-5 sets of each, depending on your training experience and fitness level. Rest as necessary between sets.

* Small box runs (shuffle; forward; backward; crossovers)
* Star runs (from kneeling position; from push-up position)
* Lateral shuffles or crossovers (5-yd each way)
* Shuffle or (5-yd) and then turn into a 10-yd sprint
* Box runs (Set up a 3m x 3m box)

Start at the back left corner and sprint forward to the top left corner. Touch the ground and then shuffle to the right, touching the ground and then backpedal to the back right corner. Touch the ground and shuffle left to the starting position.

Star runs (Set up a 3m x 3m box)

Start in middle of the box and sprint to each corner in a specific order using a pre-set movement pattern. Return to the center position after you touch each corner. Try to incorporate lateral movements such as shuffling and crossovers as much as possible. For variety, you can perform a very quick and simple sport-specific drill at each corner (i.e. vertical jump, shot, throw, etc.). You can also add another dimension of difficulty by having the athlete start from the kneeling or push-up position.


Metabolic conditioning (intervals) should always remain at the end of a training session that incorporates "explosiveness". If you fatigue the athlete with conditioning, you can't expect the athlete to perform explosively and you may even compromise safety. Like all other aspects of the program, in order to develop "groin-specific" adaptations, you must incorporate lateral movement into the conditioning drills. This means short, high-intensity intervals that include lateral shuffling, crossovers, and sprints into and out of lateral movement. Intervals can range from 10 to 60 seconds (or more). Rest intervals will vary, but one option is to rest an equal amount of time to the work interval.

* 5-10-5 yard shuttle using lateral movement for a set period of time
* 5 yard shuffle for a set period of time



The goal of CB ATHLETIC CONSULTING for 2002 is to create a series of weekly training session for elite athletes in the Hamilton/Burlington/Toronto area. It would begin with the speed-agility program (outlined above) and would culminate in conditioning at the end. Not only would conditioning include sprint and shuffle intervals, but it would also include sled pulling and wheelbarrow pushing to enhance "work capacity". There would also be light exercise for restoration and recovery.

Each evening of training will cover all bases of athletic development. As well, each participant will also be provided with additional strength training programs and fitness testing evaluations to compliment their sport-specific training. Each player's strengths, weaknesses, sport, and position will be addressed on an individual basis.

Athletes will be looked after on all fronts with multiple instructors present and adequate fluids made available. After training a scientifically formulated post-workout drink will be provided, a crucial element often neglected when athletes choose to train on their own. This training program is not limited to hockey players, males, or University-aged athletes, but rather any and all athletes with the motivation and dedication to commit themselves to becoming an elite athlete in their sport are welcome. The sky is the limit on participation.

Any and all feedback on the goal for 2002 is welcomed.



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