Your Football Coach Is Ruining Your Career

If you go to any football camp in the country, there is a 95% chance that you will see something like this before practice.

Despite all of the scientific evidence telling us that it is not beneficial to perform static stretching before sports activities, coaches just can't seem to help themselves.

At best, the coach believes he is helping you because he is giving you time to "stretch" your muscles.

(I put "stretch" in quotes becomes most athletes just lay there and do nothing.)

Does he really look like he is getting ready for battle?

At worst, he does it because it gives him a break before practice.

With the static stretch, you can just have a few seniors stand up front and lead everyone through the motions.

A Personal Q&A:

So what is so bad about the static stretch before practice?

It actually makes you worse at what you are about to do.


It reduces your ability to generate force. As a result, you will be slower and weaker when you are competing in your sport.

Do you think I am crazy?

Since I know you probably do, I have included a few quotes from an article written for the NSCA, titled Influence of Pre-Exercise Stretching on Force Production.

(If you are not a big time thinker, skip past the quote to my summary below).

"... prolonged stretching may inhibit myotatic reflex activity, allowing the muscle-tendon unit to lengthen with
minimal resistance from the muscle and connective tissues. Hence, an inability to generate forces after stretching results from a lack of neural activation and greater muscle compliance, which implies muscle stiffness may be diminished following pre-exercise stretching."

"It has also been found that sprint performance was much slower following passive static stretching . Interestingly, Young and Elliot attributed this to an ineffective eccentric phase during the stretchshortening cycle because of a loss in elastic energy."

(Summary: If you want to play horribly, perform static stretching before your game or practice.)

But won't I get hurt?

You probably have a better chance of getting hurt rounding your lower back like the athletes in the image below.

Luckily, the head coach of the football program I am at is a progressive thinker.
He utilizes a dynamic stretch before lifting, practice, and games.

Smart man.....

As a football coach, I must admit that it makes me happy to look across the field during pregame and see this.
I know we have an advantage before the game even started.

Advanced Training Members "Graduating"

Its a sad day for Advanced Training, as 5 of its members are "graduating" from the program.

While they are always welcome to come back and train, this was just the last summer that they would officially be doing it as college athletes.

I would like to share with you some short stories about each of these athletes, as well as highlight their progress over the years.

One point I would like to make is that weight training is a marathon, not a sprint.

Some of these athletes had testing sessions with me where they did not hit their goal weights.

Since they are not competitive powerlifters or weightlifters, its not really the end of the world if they only bench 320 instead of 325. (Just don't tell them that.)

The main thing is that they learned the techniques that would enable them to progressively put on weight (without injury) throughout their careers.

Sean Mulligan:
I knew Sean was a warrior the first week he joined Advanced Training, as he shattered several records previously set with our MTS Bands.

Although he is relatively quiet, you can tell that he never wants to lose at anything.
Anytime he heard I made a weight on something this summer, he would immediately beat it.

His competitive nature enabled him to be the Challenge Winner in 2010 and finish 3rd in this year's Toughman.

If you want to know how much Sean progressed over the years, simply look at his two pictures below.

S. Mulligan in 2009

S.Mulligan at 2011 Toughman

Unfortunately for Sean, he blew out his knee, not once, but twice, during his college career.

(To show you how much Sean's peers respect him, about 15 members of Advanced Training said a prayer in the middle of a public park to ask for his speedy recovery.)

While most athletes would quit after the second surgery, it only seemed to make him more determined.

He walked around with a healthy chip on his shoulder, and I think its what made him progress at the pace he did.

Below are a summary of Sean's gains since 2008.

  • Bench Press: 245 to 310 (65lbs)
  • Squat: 325 to 400 (75lbs) - includes two knee surgeries
  • Pull-Ups: 4 to 25 (21 reps)
  • Power Points: 0.612 to 1.032
  • Weight: 190lbs to 203lbs

Abrom Shepard:
Abrom was the first referral I ever got from another member of Advanced Training. Up until Abrom, I had only trained guys I had actually coached in high school.

I think I can speak for the entire group when I say that we are all lucky that Abrom is the nicest person on earth.

If he ever got mad, I am pretty sure if would take about 5 of our biggest guys to take him down. I feel bad for any Offensive Tackle that has to line up against him for 80 snaps on a Saturday.

Abrom came to our group with raw strength, but pretty rotten form.
I remember his entire body would come off the bench during bench press.

I also remember when he could not hang snatch more than 65lbs without making me want to vomit.

As can be seen from this video, he has come along way. (This video is also great because it also shows how much smaller Sean Mulligan and Gerald Amerosi were a few years ago.)

The thing that impressed me most about Abrom was the effort he had to make to actually get to our training sessions.

Not only did he live on the other side of Staten Island, he also did not have a car.

As a result, he would have to take two buses to get there. (At the same time, we had guys who lived two blocks away who couldn't get there at all.)

A.Shepard in 2009

A.Shepard in 2011

Abrom trained with us in 2008 and 2009, but decided to stay at school to train with his team in 2010.

In 2011, his school gave me one of the best compliments I ever got.

They told him to go back to Staten Island and train with me before his senior year, because they felt he got better results.

Needless to say, Abrom got a car, made sure he got to all of his lifting sessions, and trained like a beast.

Below are a summary of Abrom's gains since 2008.
  • Bench Press: 335 to 370 (35lbs)
  • Squat: 305 to 380 (75lbs) - 
  • Pull-Ups: 3 to 14 (11 reps)
  • Power Points: 0.680 to 1.008
  • Weight: 247lbs to 272lbs

Steve Roman:
Steve Roman was one of the best football players I have ever coached.
His extreme intelligence and instinct, combined with excellent athletic ability, made him a dominant high school football player.

He was also what I like to call "A Gamer".

"A Gamer" is someone who steps up on game day and makes plays above and beyond their potential based on the level of competition. The better the competition, the better "A Gamer" will play.

S.Roman 2011 Strongman Training

Steve was also "A Gamer" in the weight room.

I remember in his first year, he had some horrible training sessions.
He would bench and squat less than he did when he first started training.

He actually made me doubt that my training was any good.

Then he came in on testing day and put 40lbs on his bench and about 80lbs on his squat.

For reasons unknown to me, Steve did not train with us for the last few years.
I am not sure of the reasons why, but I would be a liar if I told you that it didn't bother me.

Because he was so smart, I had to believe he knew better than to think training alone was a good idea.
Having said that, I had to assume that if he wasn't training with us, it was because he did not believe in the program.

For more reasons unknown to me, Steve decided to come back and train with us this winter and again this summer.

I am really glad he did, because his competitive nature pushed other members of the program.

In addition, he was recovering from a shoulder injury, and I hold myself to be a specialist when it comes to training people with injuries.

Despite training with one arm for about half the summer, he still made huge gains (going up almost a full power point).

I am not sure why he left.

I have no idea what made him come back.

I am just glad he did.

Below are a summary of Steve's gains since 2007.
  • Bench Press: 220 to 290 (70lbs)
  • Squat: 295 to 415 (120lbs) - 
  • Pull-Ups: 12 to 31 (19 reps)
  • Power Points: 0.632 to 1.025
  • Weight: 247lbs to 272lbs

Gerald Amerosi:
Gerald Amerosi should be an inspiration to any athlete who is looking to completely transform himself.

He came into the program one of the weakest people I have trained.
(His rookie year Power Points (0.564) rank him 105 out of 109 total.)

He came out of the program with a Power Point Rating of 1.025, placing him 13th on the all time list.

Enough said....

Yeah, I know I said "Enough said", but Gerald deserves more of a write-up than that.

First off, he was one of the few guys I trained that was a baseball player.
When the majority of people you train with are meathead football players, this isn't easy.

Second, he had to work his training schedule around his summer baseball league, which the majority of other baseball players I have trained struggled to do.

As can be expected, he never missed a lift and he trained like an animal.

G.Amerosi 2011 Toughman

Gerald was definitely a program guy.

He never missed a summer or a winter session, he never questioned why we used certain movements, and he never hesitated to motivate those training around him.

His numbers below are a product of his hard work and his dedication to making himself better.

Gerald's massive gains since 2008:

  • Bench Press: 165 to 285 (120lbs)
  • Squat: 300 to 385 (85lbs) - 
  • Pull-Ups: 10 to 32 (22 reps)
  • Power Points: 0.564 to 1.014
  • Weight: 247lbs to 272lbs

Sal Altieri:
This is the first and only year Sal trained with us.
Because of that, I always thought he was a slug.

Then when he finally came to train with us this summer, I realized he was the exact opposite.

S.Altieri 2011 Toughman

Not only did he train like an animal, he also worked a summer job performing manual labor all day.

Having a similar upbringing, I know how hard it is to train after carrying around heavy objects in 100 degrees for up to 12 hours.

Unlike Amerosi, Sal did question everything we did.

At first, I thought he didn't trust me.
After a few weeks, I realized he actually wanted to learn what we were doing so he could be better.

(Considering he is studying engineering in college, I should have known that was why he was asking so many questions.)

My only regret with Sal is that I did not get to train him for a longer period of time.

He put up some massive numbers in a very short period of time, and I am sure we would have made him a complete and total animal if we had him for a little longer.


To those of you "graduating" from the program, you will be missed.

You definitely were a giant part of what this program has become and what it stands for.

I expect to see all of you at next year's Toughman to keep these young guys in check.

Summer 2011: Huge Gains in Testing Results

At Advanced Training, a large number of our members are college athletes who come home for the summer looking to take themselves to the next level for their upcoming season.

For many of them, this means "Jacking Up" their numbers in the weight room.

Unfortunately, this is not the easiest task during such a short period (often filled with summer vacations, shore houses, barbecues, reunions with high school friends, etc.)

In addition, I have to spend the first few weeks simply improving technique, muscular imbalances, and mobility. 

To top it off, their strength training often has to compete with unrealistic and / or destructive conditioning tests that impede progress in the weight room.

Fortunately for them, we have have enough experience in this game to make it all work.

In this article, I will not go into all the details about we make such big gains in such a short time.

Rather, I will only present the high level results.

Power Points: (10 People Over a 1.000)
Prior to this year, the highest number of people we ever had in a lifting group with over a 1.000 Power Point Rating was 4.

This year we had 10,  only 1 of which actually had over a 1.000 prior to the summer training session.

That means 9 people achieved over a 1.000 Power Point for the first time this summer.

This is a huge accomplishment, considering only 19 people out of 109 have ever gotten above a 1.000 in the history of Advanced Training.

Power Points Over 1.000:

  • M.Morano: 1.135
  • M.Murphy: 1.036
  • S.Mulligan: 1.032
  • E.Heedles: 1.032
  • S. Roman: 1.025
  • G.Amerosi: 1.014
  • D.Reyes: 1.013
  • A.Shepard: 1.008
  • C.Perry: 1.007
  • D.Heedles: 1.000

To see all the details behind the power points, including everyone's bench press, deadlift, pull-up and broad jump numbers click HERE.

Click HERE to see the Top 20 All Time Power Point Leaders.

Largest Gains From the 2011 Summer:

Bench Press Top 3:
  • Kuyan: 45lbs (310 to 355)
  • Morano:  35lbs (355 to 390)
  • Perry: 20lbs (300 to 320)

Deadlift Top 3:
  • P.Amerosi: 45lbs (335 to 380)
  • Blanco:  40lbs  (335 to 375)
  • E.Heedles: 40lbs (350 to 390)

Pull-Ups Top 3:
  • Morano: 8 (20 to 28)
  • S.Mulligan:  7 (18 to 25)
  • G.Amerosi: 7 (25 to 32)

Broad Jump:
  • Shepard: 14" (105" to 119")
  • G.Amerosi: 5.5"  (100 to 105.5")
  • Altieri: 5" (99.5" to 104.5")

Power Points:
  • Kuyan: 0.125 (.863 to .986)
  • Perry:   0.111 (.896 to 1.007)
  • D.Heedles: 0.109 (.891 to 1.000)
Closing Thoughts:
If you follow the right program, its possible to make significant gains over a very short period of time.

If you are not making gains like the ones you saw above, you are not doing everything you should be doing to take your game to the next level.

Toughman 2011 (Part III)

18 men entered ....

Only 13 could finish ...

Only 1 could win ...

I must admit, the events were designed to make people tap out.

I wanted the Toughman to live up to its name.

I was actually shocked that we only lost 5 people.

(I guess some of these guys are tougher than I thought.)

Some people who came by to watch the competition said:

  • "It seems like every year you come up with a new twist to make the torture alittle worse."
  • "I can't believe that guys with 6-packs are crumbling to the ground."
  • "I have never seen so many college athletes on their knees."
  • "I felt like less of a man watching this, because I know I could not have finished."

To make matters worse, as one person quit, it would shorten the break time for the following person.

At one point, we had so many people tap out, that one athlete (Andrew Armato) had to go from one event straight into another event.

The Results:
In order to keep this post as short as possible, I am going to list the top 5 people from each event.
All the results will be provided at a link at the bottom of the post.

A full description of each event can be found HERE

50 Yard Reverse Sliders:
At first, this appeared to be the easiest of the four events.
Most athletes started out at rocket speed, but quickly hit a wall at about the 25 yard mark.

In fact, almost every athlete hit 25 yards at about 15 seconds.

Unfortunately, it was the last 25 yards that separated the men from the boys.

If you have never done this, I suggest you try.

At first, you start to breathe heavy.
Then your arms start to get tired.
Then your abs start to give in.

The next thing you know, you have know idea where you are or how much further you have to go.

You push for what seems like an eternity only to find out that you only went 5 more yards.

Only a handful of athletes were able to maintain their pace.
It took over a minute for 8 of the athletes to complete the event.

Top 5: 

  1. S.Mulligan: 35.38 (s)
  2. T. Clohessy: 35.84 (s)
  3. G.Amerosi: 36.15 (s)
  4. C.Perry: 36.41 (s)
  5. A.Armato: 42.80 (s)

225 Sled Race:
To me, this event was the equalizer.

It requires both pulling power and dragging power, in addition to hand dexterity when it comes to changing positions on the chains and unbuckling one of the chains from the sled.

Does unbuckling a chain have anything to do with being strong?

Absolutely not.

But it does show if you can remain calm and focused when you are fatigued and under pressure.

Top 5: 

  1. T. Clohessy: 34.84 (s)
  2. A.Kuyan: 41.19 (s)
  3. D.Heedles: 42.56 (s)
  4. C.Perry: 43.22 (s)
  5. S.Altieri: 50.81 (s)

Sandbags of Death:
This event combines both speed and strength.

While some big guys complain that the smaller guys always win the event, the smaller guys still need to be pretty strong to carry 260lbs of sand 225 yards.

Top 5: 

  1. T. Clohessy: 47.81 (s)
  2. C. Perry: 50.38 (s)
  3. A. Armato: 51.25 (s)
  4. D. Olsen: 51.38 (s)
  5. E. Heedles: 53.54 (s)
100 Yard Prowler Shuttle:
Once again,  The Predator came through...

It disqualified one athlete (because it took him over 3 minutes to complete) and forced four others to tap out.

It took 6 other athletes over 2 minutes to finish.

This is another event where there is a clear and definite wall.

About 85% of our athletes get to:
  •  25 yards at about 8 seconds
  •  50 yards at about 30 seconds
  •  75 yards at about 45 seconds 
It is at the 75 yard mark that most people begin to crumble.

In fact, it took over 50% of the athletes longer to push the prowler the last 25 yards then it did to push it the first 75.

I will make note that two guys completely killed this event.

One was Sean Mulligan, who finished in 74.7 seconds. (This is 41.3 seconds better than his 1:56 second time last year).

The other was Abrom Shepard, who finished in 73.5 seconds. I have never seen someone look more determined to finish something. He actually looked possessed as he crossed the finish line.

Top 5: 

  1. A. Shepard: 73.5 (s)
  2. S. Mulligan: 74.7 (s)
  3. C. Perry: 84.6 (s)
  4. P. Amerosi: 86.1 (s)
  5. R. Mulligan: 87.1 (s)

Overall Winner:
For the third straight time, Teddy Clohessy was the overall winner of the Toughman Competition.

He is truly an elite athlete and an ultimate competitor.
There are times when I do not even believe he is a human being.

Top 5:
  • T. Clohessy: 3:28 (minutes)
  • C. Perry: 3:35 (minutes)
  • S. Mulligan: 3:37 (minutes)
  • D. Heedles: 3:58 (minutes)
  • E. Heedles: 4: 37 (minutes)
Honorable Mention:
  • Chris Perry - Chris finished in the top 5 in all 4 events. (Even Clohessy did not do that)
  • Sean Mulligan - Sean wasted a good ten seconds trying to unbuckle the chain from the sled during the sled race. He only lost by 9 seconds. Do the math.
  • Andrew Armato: Andrew had to go from the Prowler to the 225lb sled race with under 4 minutes of rest. He was in the running to be in the top 5 before that happened.
Purple Heart:
  • Darren Reyes - 3 of the 5 people ahead of him tapped out before his last two events. With little to no time to recover, he had to perform the 225lb sled race. I actually told him to tap out, as I was in fear that he was going to drop dead. He refused my offer. He could hardly stand in the middle of the event. Once again, I told him to tap out. Once again he refused. After a marathon 2 minutes and 24 seconds, he finished the event. I have no idea how he did it, but he did. I am not sure of many other people that would do that (including me)

All the Stats:

As promised, HERE is a link to view all of the times for each event.

    Toughman 2011 (PartII)

    As promised, here is a video with some clips from the Toughman 2011.

    The only unfortunate thing about the video is that it does not do a good job of depicting how grueling this competition really was.

    While the video makes these events look easy, each of these athletes were incapacitated after each event.

    In Part III, I will go into all the gory details and provide the much anticipated results.