Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It’s about time!

OK…..it's been 6 months since I've last added to my blog, but now is the time to get my act in gear and update some stuff.

Several athletes have finished their seasons with some great results. To name a few? Sherry Dowdy at Worlds Long Course in the Netherlands – great PR for her; Ryan Strohl competing at 70.3 World Championships in November, and also representing the DC Tri Club at Nationals in Las Vegas later this month; Amy McKee placing top 10 overall in major Triathlon competitions in 08, invited to represent DC Tri Club at Nationals; Rob Falk dropping 20 min on his OLY Times at the DC Triathlon; Mary Mooney learning how to swim, and then finish the season as one of the fastest 50+ women in the state of VA; Daryl Chesley – again one of the top Clydesdale Triathletes in VA in the 39 + Under; Ruth Olson, Vicky Jasparro, Deb Durocher setting some PR's in several road races; Jack Morrison consistently placing in the top 10 in road races at the ripe old age of 49; Bill Rysanek tearing up the trails, and encouraging Runner/Triathlete Ed Sabo to do the same; Wendy Taylor dropping over an hour in her marathon time at Toronto…….the list goes on and on!

Let's bring on the rest of the season!

Most of us will all be finished with our races by the middle of November. Once that happens we take a short break, but then we continue to embrace our fitness so that we may continue to build on tradition!

On to Business

Core training . I can't say enough about how much this will help benefit your training, your performance, and also your prevention of injuries.

What is core training? It is anything that helps to strengthen your body between the shoulders and the hip flexors.

Where can you get core training? Pilates, Yoga, and other sources available! I highly recommend one-on-one Pilates to help you to LEARN how to access your core, so that when you are doing core exercises you are actually accessing the appropriate muscle recruitment, etc.

Here are some webs and blogs that will help you out:




http://www.ptonthenet.com/clientcontent.aspx?m=69822 (my core program)



Even spending only 10 minutes a day will allow you to be stronger, faster, and more likely to stay injury free!

So let's get to work!

(from www.coreperformance.com) "The next challenge in our office workout series is the front pillar bridge. The front bridge challenges the stability of your hips, torso, and shoulders, making it an essential bodyweight movement in Core Performance training programs. Best of all, anyone can do it.

When performed in a group, holding the pillar bridge for time becomes as much of a mental test as a physical one, which is why it's a tremendous workout challenge for your office.

Plan an office challenge for the last Friday of the month and use this 3-week plan to improve your ability to hold the front pillar bridge for time. The Core Performance staff will be competing in this challenge and following this plan with you. So let us know how you're doing.

Step 1: Put your pillar to the test.
Time how long you can hold a front bridge, according to the coaching keys below. Or watch this video to see a demonstration. Your time determines your training level for this movement, which will in turn affect your training plan.


  • To start, lie on your stomach with your forearms on the floor under your chest. Prop your body up so just your forearms and toes are touching the floor. Your upper arm and forearm should form a right angle, with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Keeping your head in line with your spine and your belly button drawn in, hold this position. There should be a straight line from your ears to ankles.

How to time yourself
Start a stop watch or have a partner time you. Stop the clock if your back begins to arch, your hips sag (on either side), or your shoulder blades are winged and protruding from your shirt.

How did you do?
Less than 45 seconds: Training Level 1
45–90 seconds: Training Level 2
More than 90 seconds: Training Level 3

Step 2: Start training.
Improve the stability of your shoulders and core, as well as your rotary stability—that is, your ability to resist rotational forces through your torso—with our 3-week training plan. Simply add these three exercises, or movements, to your current training program as prescribed below. Combined, they'll help you boost your front bridge.

1. Pushup Plus
How to do it: Just like a classic pushup, but at the top of the move (when your arms are straightened) focus on pushing your shoulder blades away from each other (your upper back shoulder round). Next, squeeze your shoulder blades together, as if pinching a pencil between your scapula, before lowering your body to the floor. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions twice a week. Perform this move before an upper body pushing movement, such as the bench press.

Level 1: Perform the standard pushup plus.
Level 2: Do the movement wearing a 10-pound weighted vest.
Level 3: Complete the movement with a 20-pound weighted vest and perform up to 15 repetitions.

2. Quadruped - Opposite Hold
How to do it: Get on all fours, on the floor or on a Power Plate, and keep your belly button drawn in toward your spine. Lift your right arm and leg until they're parallel to the ground and hold them there for the prescribe time (below). Return to the starting position and switch sides.

Perform this movement during your movement prep routine. If you don't have access to a vibration platform, perform the move on the floor or with stability trainers placed beneath your knee and hand to decrease your stability, thus increasing the challenge to your core.

Complete 3 sets of 20-second holds on each side, two to three times a week.

Level 1: Set the power plate to 30 hertz, low setting.
Level 2: Set the power plate to 35 hertz, low setting.
Level 3: Set the power plate to 40 hertz, low setting.

3. Pillar Bridge Front
Perform the front bridge two to three times a week at anytime during your training session, or anytime during the day for that matter.

Level 1: Aim for two sets of 30-second holds. Too hard? Try the move with your knees on the floor.
Level 2: Do two sets of 30-second holds wearing a 10-pound weighted vest.
Level 3: Do two sets of 30- to 60-second holds wearing a 10- to 20-pound weighted vest.

Get your pillar bridge training plan for week 2 and week 3 here."


Until next post!