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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Roll Out!

July 21st, 2015

Every workout starts with 5-10 minutes of foam and lacrosse ball rolling. But why do we roll and what benefits does it have for athletes? Foam rolling acts as a form of myofascial release. Myofascial release refers to a form of soft tissue therapy which aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood circulation and initiate the stretch reflex in the muscle. Foam rollers help to release tight muscles and knots that can build up in muscle tissue from training. As you roll, fibrous tissue is broken down, increasing circulation and blood flow to the area to help diminish muscular soreness from exercise. Foam rolling has also been found to increase mobility, by releasing tight musculature and fascia. At Premier Strength, we roll before every workout, as it helps prepare the body for training by increasing blood flow and preparing the muscle for exercise. Foam rolling should also be included in your cooldown routine as well, to help the body recover and help limit the development of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are rolling:

  • Avoid rolling up and down quickly. Take your time on several spots of the muscle belly, slowly working your way through the whole muscle.
  • Stay disciplined. Benefits don’t come from foam rolling once and a while. Commit to a program of foam rolling in which becomes a part of your pre-workout or pre-game routine.
  • It is more beneficial to roll for 5-10 minutes daily, opposed to longer periods of time less frequently. When you spend an extended amount of time on the roller in one session (above 15 minutes) you can damage muscle fibers, possibly leading to muscular contusions.
  • Move around the roller. Don’t confine yourself to rolling in only one direction. Make sure to work the muscle belly in multiple directions for the best benefits.

Foam rolling should be an essential part of your training routine. Get your body rolling with a foam roller!

ZMA: Boosting Testosterone the Natural Way!

July 9th, 2015

ZMA is a dietary supplement that contains a blend of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6, all crucial minerals in daily bodily functions. For athletes, ZMA has been found to help replenish vital nutrients drained from the body by training. Research has found that ZMA supplementation before bed, can help with more restful sleep, aiding in faster recovery. Magnesium and zinc deficiencies have been found to have an adverse effect on muscle growth, and training stress has been found to lead to mineral and vitamin loss. Adding ZMA into your nutrition program can help aid in your sleep recovery and has also been found to have a positive influence on testosterone production in the body. ZMA acts as a natural free testosterone booster in the body, making it a safe supplement for high level, elite athletes. Although, you are better off not drinking alcohol in the first place, if you absolutely must drink, ZMA supplementation is crucial. Alcohol depletes your body’s stores of Vitamin B as well as destroys your liver enzymes. ZMA can help recover some of the nutrients lost to help save your next week of training. While ZMA can’t erase the harmful effects of drinking, it can help your body recover.

Talk to Barry to see if ZMA is right for you!

Injury prevention tips with Athletic Therapist Matt Yaworski

July 7th, 2015

What are the most common off-season training injuries?

Hip flexor, lower back, and groin pain, which all stem from the same source of muscle imbalance.

What are the causes of these injuries?

Muscle imbalance causes a pelvic dysfunction of the ilium on the sacrum, which means low back or muscle pain. Muscle imbalance can be caused by not rolling out or stretching during the season. If you do not manage your muscles after they work hard, they will become tight, and ultimately imbalanced.

Are these injuries preventable?

While there are always injuries that could not be foreseen, 90% of these injuries are preventable through proper stretching, mobility work, and soft tissue massage through rolling and trigger release. There are still athletes that may become injured even when doing all the right things, and those people may just need more hands on work. Training 5 days a week is a strain on your body, and it must be done properly, as your body is being pushed to a point of breakdown.

What can athletes do to negate these injuries?

Pre-activity preparation is the most proactive thing that can be done in injury prevention. In the hockey season you can use the movements and routines we do all summer like foam rolling, specific mobility preparation, movement preparation and dynamic preparation to decrease your chance of injury throughout the year.

In the summer, these pre-activity movements are just as important as lifting heavy weights in the gym. Weight training breaks your muscles down, causing an increased chance of injury.

The Benefits of Drinking Green

July 3rd, 2015

CytoGreens for Athletes

Its no secret that vegetables are good for you. But in our busy lives, it is often hard for us to get the recommended number of servings to reap the benefits that leafy greens can bring. Well now there is a supplement that can help ensure you are getting the nutrients you need on those hectic days when a salad isn’t an option. Cytogreens is a “premium green superfood” that blends well in shakes and comes in a delicious “acai green tea flavour.” Cytogreens has been found to increase “muscle perfusion and micro-capilarization.” In other words, it helps the body remove lactic acid, a byproduct of strenuous exercise (aka Tuesday’s Lactate rides!) This removal helps to subside soreness, and improve endurance as well as recovery. Cytogreens also provide immune support that can help in muscle repair, recovery and regeneration.

No longer do you have to cringe at the thought of morning veggie greens shots. The new and improved flavour mixes great with Vanilla All Whey (a shake favourite of Barry)

Are you getting the green potential? Talk to Barry about adding Cytogreens into your shaker bottle.


Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat.

July 3rd, 2015

Athletes are always looking for something that is going to give them the competitive edge. But what if the most important performance enhancer could be found in your bedroom? The study of sleep and its importance in athletic performance has become of paramount importance to National and NHL teams alike. Teams have begun to realize that perhaps the key to maximizing athletic performance starts the night before the game.

Stanford University’s Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine has been at the forefront of research in the area of sleep and athletic performance. Through their studies with numerous collegiate teams, it has become evident that extended sleep results in significant improvements in “critical game day skills” such as reaction time, shooting accuracy, speed and resistance to fatigue. On the flip side, sleep deficiencies can negatively impact sport performance. A study looking at 55 NFL players found that players who reported higher levels of sleep deficiency, were at a lower likelihood of remaining with the team that drafted them. Lack of sleep has also been found to increase the risk of injury in teenage student athletes.

So what benefits does sleep provide to the elite athlete?

  • Sleep is crucial in the ability to perform cognitive tasks both on and off the field. Sleep plays a huge role in the cognitive abilities such as memory, learning and reaction time. Even one night of disrupted sleep can impact reaction time scores the following training session.
  • Sleep promotes muscle recovery. As athletes, we put our bodies through hell trying to become stronger and faster. While we sleep, muscle recovery is allowed to occur through cell regeneration and protein synthesis.
  • Sleep is a mood moderator. When you are well rested, you have a better ability to handle stress and anxiety, which can have an impact on perceived fatigue.

So how can you make sure you are getting the maximum benefits out of your sleep?

  • Keep a sleep schedule. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Creating  a set sleep routine, helps to modulate your sleep/wake cycle helping you to fall asleep easier and wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Power down your electronics at least an hour before bed. Televisions, cell phones and computers emit blue light, which has a similar effect on the brain as daylight. This tricks the mind into thinking that it is still daytime, ultimately shutting down melatonin secretion, the hormone responsible for inducing sleepiness.
  • Keep the room cool. A reduction in body temperature is a keep part of the sleep initiation and maintenance process. Try to keep the room temperature in your bedroom between 15 and 20 degrees celsius to help the body find its optimal sleep temperature.
  • Sleep should come within 15-20 mins of getting into bed. If you are struggling falling asleep for more than 30 mins, get up and stretch or read, trying to take your mind off things that are inhibiting your mind from falling asleep.

Sleep is essential for all bodily functioning and is paramount for optimizing athletic performance. Athletes should get at least 8 hours of sleep, with greater benefits coming from as much as 10 hours. Are you prioritizing your sleep routine? Remember, a lack of sleep, makes you weak! 

Spotlight Athlete of the Week: Meet Jason Chimera

June 26th, 2015

This weeks spotlight athlete is Washington Capital Jason Chimera, the longest training athlete at Premier Strength. Having trained with Barry for the better part of 15 years, Jason epitomizes what it means to be a Premier Strength athlete. Viciously dedicated, Jason has rarely missed a workout in the past 15 years. His competitiveness and energy continues to fuel the morning workouts as players younger than him try to match his monstrous strength and wicked speed. Chimera holds multiple records at the gym including a 325 bench press and a seemingly untouchable 2.65 20m sprint.

Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1997 NHL entry draft, Chimera has carved out a successful NHL career, playing for three NHL teams (Edmonton, Columbus and Washington) and playing in 869 regular season NHL games. Jason still remains one of the league’s fastest skaters despite his solid 6’3 frame. A fierce competitor, Chimera shows no sign of slowing down, as he continues to be a key player for the Washington Capitals, registering 7 points in 14 playoff games this season, including the game winning goal in game 2 against the New York Islanders. Jason has represented Canada three times in International competition, winning the IIHF World Championships in 2007. Chimera is a true pro and a great role model for younger players. His work ethic and competitiveness has made him a NHL stalwart and Premier Strength is proud to have been a part of his career for the last 15 years.



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