Search Your Soul and Ask Yourself ... Is My Program Making Me a Better Athlete?

"Well, that's an easy choice for us, Arcadian! Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender! Go spread the word. Let every Greek assembled know the truth of this. Let each among them search his own soul. And while you're at it, search your own."
                                                                                         - King Leonidas, 300

Searching My Soul ...

That is exactly what I was doing at 2AM last night.

I was questioning myself.

I was questioning my program.

I was questioning everything about Advanced Training.


I stupidly broke one of my own rules and read non-fiction right before bed. Unfortunately for me, that non-fiction was an article written by the legendary sports training expert Dr. Michael Yessis.

Yessis developed the Glute Ham Machine

In his article, Yessis poses the simple question, "Is your team strength training developing better athletes?"

After reading the question, I immediately jumped to my feet, pounded my chest, and confidently yelled "Hell Yeah!"

With my wife and my dog now wide awake, I decide to read on .... Big Mistake ...

This is not really my wife, my dog, or my bed ...

Yessis continues ... "I'm sure for the majority of coaches, the answer to the above question is "yes". (Or "Hell Yeah" in my case). This is the answer I receive most often, but close examination of specific programs appears to indicate otherwise. Most strength training programs do not focus on developing better athletes; they focus on handling more weight in specific strength exercises ...

Uh oh ... a main feature of Advanced Training is me helpings guys handle more weight in the gym 

Yessis continues to continue ... "For example, it is not uncommon to find many strength training rooms that have posters on the walls indicating how much weight each athlete is lifting in all the different exercises.

Uh oh ... I do that too ...

In fact, the image below is posted on our website for 118 of my Twitter Followers to see.

And with that, the soul search begins and my ability to sleep ends ...

Am I a fraud?

Am I claiming to enhance performance on the field, only to do the same garbage every other trainer in the world is doing?

The engineer in me decides to do what any engineer would do ...

Break the issue down to its simplest elements and tackle each of them one at a time ...

What Makes Someone An Athlete?

In my mind, there are 3 distinct features which make someone an athlete.

1. The ability to control their own body (unobstructed by the actions of others)

2. The ability to control their own body (after someone touches you)

3. The ability to react to the actions of your competitor.

If you are not proficient in all 3 of these, than you are not really an athlete.

For example, we all know people who are only proficient at #1 (really fast or really strong) and never really good at sports. These are the same people who could never read a pulling guard, hit a curveball, or make a jump shot as they are being fouled.

Is Advanced Training Enhancing All These 3 Features?

If the answer to the above question is "Yes", than I am making the guys I train better athletes.

If the answer is "No", I am a fraud.

Let's find out...

1. The ability to control their own body (unobstructed by the actions of others)

What do you need to work on to be able to control your own body?
  • Mobility  
  • Flexibility
  • Stabilization
  • Strength
  • Acceleration
  • Deceleration 

At Advanced Training, we address the first 4 items in every strength training session.

The last 2 are addressed at every agility / speed session. (It is not how fast you can run. It is how fast you can start and how fast you can stop.)

2. The ability to control their own body (after someone touches you)

In most REAL sports there is contact.

  • A football player gets hit as he runs across the field.
  • A hockey player gets checked as he skates across the ice.
  • A basketball player gets fouled as he drives the lane.

If your program does not address how athletes can respond to these hits, than the guys you train are missing out.

Does Advanced Training address this?


We utilize Chaos Training and Resistance Bands to simulate obstructions to the athlete during routine movements. They obstructions help close the gap between what happens in the gym and on the field.

The three movements below demonstrate just that.

The Ripper Chin-Up:

Anyone can do a chin-up... But can they do it with someone trying to rip them off the rack?

The Band Overhead Squat and Press:

As if squatting wasn't bad enough ... now try to do it with a band pulling you backwards.

The Chaos Overhead Lunge:

Do you think your traditional lunge is going to prepare you for getting hit in the hole like this will?

Think again ...

3. The ability to react to the actions of your competitor.

If you cannot react to the actions of your competitor, you cannot win.

  • A catcher needs to react to a guy stealing 2nd base
  • A defensive lineman needs to react to an offensive lineman's movement
  • A goalie needs to react to a puck screaming towards him
While many programs do not address this feature, Advanced Training absolutely does.
  • We perform sprints on motion (hand motion of a coach, get-off of another athlete, etc.)
  • We perform plyo's on abnormal cadences (odd numbers, girl's names)
  • We perform light Olympic Lifts on sound (claps, "Go", "Hit")
If you only perform sprints on a coach's whistle, good luck getting off the ball on game day.


The soul searching is done and I can now rest.

Advanced Training does develop better athletes!

If you are simply looking to get huge or lift huge weights or run the fastest 40 in the world, Advanced Training is not for you. (Although neither is Planet Fitness)

Will we make you bigger, stronger, and faster?

Absolutely ...

But never at the expense of becoming a better athlete.

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