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Yummy Apple Cobbler That's Also Good For You?--->, FF Insider#87
April 01, 2010
Welcome Back,

Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

Inside this Issue:

To bring you the very best information, this newsletter focuses on helping you choose a trainer/strength coach to get you prepared in the off-season (or for some readers--to get your beach body in prime shape!), along with great healthy recipes--one for satisfying your sweet tooth without expanding your wasteline and the other for those athletes wishing to gain weight during this offseason. Enjoy!

1. 10 Signs You Need a New Trainer/Strength Coach

2. Vision Training for Improved Performance

3. Yummy, Healthy Apple Cobbler

4. High Protein Pancakes

5. NSCA PA Strength and Conditioning Clinic, April 10, 2010

6. The Finish First Sports Performance 'Total Performance Training for Youth Ice Hockey Clinic', April 24, 2010

7. Motivational Quotes

8. Miscellaneous News

10 Signs You Need A New Trainer

By John M Berardi,PhD, CSCS, (March 31st, 2010, Precision Nutrition)

Typically, I work out in my own home gym.

Sometimes, however, I venture out and grab a workout at this really great warehouse-type gym in town.

Either way, I love my gym options.

Yet because of where I train, and when, I sometimes forget what it’s like for exercisers who aren’t, well, me.

Recently, though, I was reminded of just how bad it can be out there. And that reminder came courtesy of a terrible personal trainer.

Trainers: Some Good, Some Bad

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’ve met tons of great trainers over the years. In fact, many of them are actually PN readers and customers.

However, I’ve also met some that aren’t qualified to shovel the sidewalk in front of the gym, let alone charge $50-$100 an hour to “help” people get in shape.

And unfortunately, as in many areas of life, the bad seem to outnumber the good. And it’s the people who need help who ultimately pay the price.

So, in today’s update, I’d like to share with you my top 10 strategies for telling the difference between a great trainer and one that shouldn’t even be washing your gym towels. Note: the bad nutritionists aren’t safe either. Most of these same differences apply to them too.

10 Characteristics of Bad Trainers and Nutritionists

#1: They Don’t Do Any Assessments

The best trainers perform thorough and complete assessments when working with a new client, before doing anything else. On the training front, that means doing movement screening and even basic performance tests. And on the nutrition front, that means looking at the client’s current intake and assessing a host of lifestyle variables, including: schedule, primary complaints/discomforts, current level of social support, willingness to change, and more.

But is that how most trainers and nutritionists do things? Heck no.

Most trainers perform no assessments whatsoever! And if any are performed at all, they’re usually done in the “free consultation” that comes with your gym membership in order to embarrass a client into purchasing personal training.

That’s a huge mistake. Good assessments are the only way to gain real knowledge of a client and make the critical coaching decisions — without which you have about a snowball’s chance in hell at seeing real results.

If you’re not put through a thorough battery of assessments in your first session, RUN.

#2: They Can’t Demonstrate Previous Successes

Personal training and nutritional consultation isn’t cheap. In fact, meeting with a trainer 4x per week for 6 months can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 dollars.

So, what are you getting for your 5-10 grand? Well, if a trainer or nutritionist can’t demonstrate his or her previous successes, you have no idea. None at all.

The best trainers and nutritionists keep detailed statistics of their clients. They track client adherence. They log how their clients’ bodies are changing and over what time period. They record performance and lifestyle changes. They keep photo albums with before and after photos.

And they can point to compelling testimonials from previous clients about their services. They can probably even introduce you to a few, so you can talk to them directly about the experience.

The worst trainers and nutritionists have nothing. No photos. No testimonials. No data. Nothing.

If your trainer can’t show you compelling evidence that they’ve helped people like you get the results you want, assume that it’s because they’ve never actually done it before.

#3: They Don’t Have Multiple Certifications

Most personal trainers in the world today have nothing more than a high school diploma and a personal training certificate they got at a weekend personal training seminar.

And most nutritionists have little to no training specific to exercise nutrition. (Registered dietitians do need to possess an undergraduate degree. But this degree specializes in clinical nutrition — i.e., what to serve hospital patients — NOT exercise nutrition. Big difference.)

So if you have exercise and performance related goals, are these the types of folks you want to throw your money away on? Not me. If it were me, I’d look for someone with multiple certifications. Someone who has clearly made it a priority to seek life-long education. Someone who’s gone out and sought a diverse knowledge profile, learning about training methodologies, body composition, nutrition, supplementation, and more.

The best trainers go out and do this. They’re life-long learners. They spend 5-10 hours per week reading top-shelf training and nutrition information from the best in the field. The worst trainers, they stick with their weekend certification. They waste their time reading muscle magazines, or People magazine. And they end up not even knowing how much they don’t know.

#4: They Aren’t Healthy or Fit

Just like realtors who’ve never owned a home and financial planners who are broke, out-of-shape trainers and nutritionists piss me off.

Now, let me clarify. You don’t have to look like a fitness model to be fit and healthy. So that’s not the standard here. However, if a trainer doesn’t have more muscle, less fat, and a better health profile than the average person, why would I listen to any advice on building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthier from them?

It’s a no brainer. If a trainer or nutritionist isn’t healthy and fit — and doesn’t practice the behaviors necessary to remain that way — they can’t be my coach.

#5: They Don’t Know The Difference Between an Outcome and a Behavior

“I need to lose 10 lbs,” that’s an outcome goal. “I need to exercise 5 times per week,” that’s a behavior goal. Trainers and nutritionists who don’t know the difference between the two should be fired immediately.

You see, focusing on outcomes, that’s the job of the trainer/nutritionist. Their program needs to be built in such a way that the outcome is an inevitable consequence.

However, focusing on behaviors, that’s the client’s job. Therefore any trainer worth a damn knows that to achieve success, their clients must be rewarded for successful behaviors, not for specific outcomes.

Followed this week’s habits 90% of the time and didn’t miss any workouts? That’s worthy of a reward — regardless of the outcome — because it’s this pattern of behavior that’ll eventually lead to success.

In addition, the best trainers have ways to monitor behaviors and track client adherence/accountability (such as the PN adherence chart, the software we use in the Lean Eating program, etc).

The worst trainers, on the other hand, they make progress seem like voodoo, separating the outcome (weight loss, etc.) from the behaviors necessary for the accomplishment of that outcome (X exercise sessions per week, eating X servings of vegetables per day, etc.).

Your trainer should give you simple behaviors to practice, track whether you’ve done so, and reward you when you have. That’s their job. So are they doing it? Or are they just asking you to step on the scale? (Or worse yet, neither?)

#6: They Don’t Have A 3-Month Plan From The Start

Before day 1, session 1, after all the assessments are complete, the best trainers and nutritionists will already have, in hand, at least a 3-month plan based on their client’s level, needs and goals.

When I walk around commercial gyms, it seems like a cruel joke (and the joke is on their clients) that most trainers are making up workouts as they go along.

There’s no plan. There’s no “big picture.” They’re making stuff up as they go. What a waste of everyone’s time and the client’s money. I mean, seriously, where else in life do we find noteworthy success coming as a result of no planning, no forethought, and such obvious lack of care?

If your trainer or nutritionist can’t show you their 3-month outline on day 1, session 1, after all the assessments are complete, get away. Fast.

#7: They Don’t Carry A Clipboard or Notebook

Clients want to achieve something measurable. So what happens when your trainer or nutritionist measures nothing at all? The best trainers and nutritionists measure everything. They monitor and record performance variables like sets, reps, and rest intervals. They monitor nutrition habit and behavior compliance. They monitor workout attendance. They monitor body composition. They take pictures. Need I go on?

The point here is that you miss what you don’t measure and record. Also, without metrics, no one knows if progress is actually being made. So isn’t it time we got rid of all these trainers who don’t measure or record anything in favor of those trainers who do?

#8: They Don’t Know How To Help All Types of Clients

There are basically three types of coaches. First, there are the coaches who are simply terrible, who can’t get great results with any of their clients. Of course, there are plenty of these out there. But if you’ve got your head up, these are easy to spot.

Next, there are the coaches who are great, who can get great results with all of their clients no matter who they are or where they’re coming from. Of course, these are few and far between. And if you find one, you lucked out.

And finally, there are the in-between coaches, those who seem to get great results with some clients but can only help a small percentage of those that actually come to see them. The goal of every trainer and nutritionist should be to learn the techniques and strategies necessary to help EVERY type of client that comes to see them. That’s the hallmark of the great ones.

#9: They Don’t Integrate Training and Nutrition

In order to change your body, there is something you need to know. And you will likely never learn it at a commercial gym. Exercise, alone, doesn’t work.

Time and time again, the research has demonstrated that without a dietary intervention, even performing 5-6 hours of well-designed exercise programming each week leads to surprisingly little body composition change.

So you can bet that the best trainers offer an integrated nutrition solutions as part of their programing. They schedule private nutrition sessions. They assess your nutritional intake and compliance regularly. They show you around the grocery store. And more.

The worst trainers? They either leave you to figure it out on your own. Or they offer useless nutritional sound bytes in between workout sets.

#10: They Don’t Care

Let’s be honest here. If your trainer or nutritionist doesn’t do most of the activities I’ve listed above, regardless of whether or not they say they care, they simply don’t.

They don’t care about being good at their job. They don’t care about helping you achieve your goals. They just don’t care. And that’s the worst part of this all, isn’t it? People are throwing thousands of dollars a month at people who just don’t give a shit. It’s a shame.

But it’s not necessary. Armed with a little knowledge, informed people can choose wisely if a trainer or nutritionist is in their future.

Vision Training for Improved Performance

By Emily E. Novitsky, BS, CSCS, Finish First Sports Performance Athletic Performance Specialist

Some parents, coaches and athletes believe that hand eye coordination is genetic talent you either have it or you don’t. However recently there has been a substantial amount of research proving otherwise. The current research shows that there is a positive increase in sports performance upon the completion of a vision training program. As a result, the following article will explain vision training and the seven concepts of vision training. Then lastly what sports/ positions would benefit most from vision training.

Vision Training is the concept of training your eyes to work/function in a more efficient manner for the benefit of your particular sport. Some benefits of vision training are: you will be able to coordinate proper eye movement with your body, you will be able to maintain concentration during a particular athletic event, you will be able to make quick and accurate decisions, and visualize your excellence in your sport. The research has shown that 80% of our physical actions are initiated with our eyes. If we do not train our eyes properly we may be not efficiently performing activities to our fullest abilities. One misconception parent/coaches/athletes are that they don’t know that vision is both a learned and developed skilled that can be improved with training. Therefore the following are the 7 different forms of vision/vision training that we use at Finish First Sports Performance (these concepts are universal and are used at most sports performance facilities):

Seven Concepts of Vision Training

1. Dynamic Visual Acuity – the ability to see objects while they are in motion, while you are in motion or even both

2. Eye Tracking - the ability to "keep your eyes on the ball," no matter how fast it may be traveling. You will be stationary while the object is moving.

3. Eye Focusing - changing focus quickly and accurately from one distance to another.

4. Peripheral Vision - seeing people and objects "out of the corner of your eye" while concentrating on a fixed point.

5. Fusion Flexibility and Stamina - the ability to keep both eyes working together even under high speed, physically stressful situations.

6. Depth Perception - quickly and accurately judging the distance and speed of objects.

7. Visualization – this is the ability to use your mind to draw mental picture of how to perform a certain activity for your sport. Visualization has been shown to increase your confidence and aid in greater focus on your athletic goals.

Consequently the next question is “What sports/positions would benefit the most from vision training?” The answer is simple all sports/events that has an object ball, puck, person, etc that entails you to focus or track it during play. Some sports like hockey, baseball, softball, golf, basketball, volleyball, football, and tennis are just a few sports that would benefit from most forms of vision training. To be more specific a great candidate for vision training would be a hockey goalie.

However a minor misconception about vision training is that you have to fancy equipment that cost thousands of dollars. This is definitely not true most drills can be created from objects that you already own and are lying around the house. One of my favorite vision drills at Finish First would be the tennis ball drill. We take a normal tennis ball and use a sharpie to place either numbers or letters and sometimes both around the ball. Then we stand about 8-10ft away from the athlete. We will then proceed to toss the ball to the athlete and they must tell us the number or letter they see before they catch the ball. As the athlete becomes more advanced in this drill we used smaller objects like golf balls and we will move further away. This drill is fun and easy drill that you can do on your own or as a team building drill before practice or even a game. There are many different variations to this drill and other vision training concepts.

Since spring is upon us while you are watching the baseball games or outside playing a round of gold try to focus on the task at hand. Imagine the possibilities of these sports/activities if you were have better focus or tracking skills of the object.

If you or someone you know has any additional questions pertaining to vision training and how they can benefit from these drills feel free to visit or call Emily/ Jeremy at 412-787-5070.

Yummy, Healthy Apple Cobbler

Apple Cobbler Protein Bars (Post Workout) (p. 171, Gourmet Nutrition Precision Nutrition)

These bars provide a multi-layer gooey goodness that appeases even the most finicky of eaters!

Ingredients: 1 cup oat flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 6 scoops strawberry or vanilla whey protein powder 2/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt 1 omega-3 egg 1 cup oat bran 1 cup granulated Splenda 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened 2 tbsp honey 1 large apple, cored and chopped 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt 1 tbsp olive oil

Prep Time—30 minutes

Difficulty Level—Medium


Instructions: Combine these in a large bowl: oat flour, whole wheat flour, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and most of the Splenda, leaving a couple of tablespoons for later. Stir these dry ingredients together. Put the yogurt, egg white, vanilla extract, and olive oil in a blender, and turn it on low. Add the protein powder 1 scoop at a time, until thoroughly blended. Pour this mixture into the bowl, and stir together until it has the consistency of dough.

Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with olive oil cooking spray, then pour the mixture into the pan, flattening it up to the edges. Next, mix the applesauce, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, chopped apple, and honey together, and pour over the top of the dough mixture in the pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the oat bran over the top, until thoroughly and evenly covered, and then sprinkle the remaining Splenda over the top. Bake for 15 minutes at the 350-dgrees F, and then switch to broil for 3-4 minutes, just until top is slightly browned. Be careful not to overcook.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories (k/cal)…..200

Protein (g)…..17

Carbohydrates (g)…..29 Fiber (g)…..5 Sugars (g)…..9

Fat (g)…..4 SFA (g)…..1 MUFA (g)…..2 PUFA (g)…..1 Omega-3 (g)…..0.1 Omega-6 (g)…..0.7

High Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes (Post Workout)(p.65 Gourmet Nutrition Precision Nutrition)

Even pancakes can still be a part of a healthy breakfast menu with this version of whole wheat, protein packed mancakes (or womancakes—wouldn’t want to leave anyone out!).

Make your own topping with fruit and/or berries. Strawberries or blackberries with or without a little Splenda are always a good choice. Wild blueberries can also be added to the batter before cooking.

You could also use cottage cheese and berries for added protein. If the curds of cottage cheese turn you off, put the berries, cottage cheese, and Splenda in a blender for about 30 seconds for a thick, creamy topping.

Ingredients: 1 cup whole wheat pancake mix (any variety will do, as long as it’s whole wheat) 2 heaping scoops of vanilla whey protein powder ¾ cup lowfat cottage cheese 3 egg whites (1/2 cup) 3 tbsp flax seeds ¼ cup water

Prep Time—20 minutes

Difficulty Level—Easy



Place the egg whites, cottage cheese, flax seeds and water in a blender and process until smooth. Mix the wet ingredients together with the pancake mix and protein powder in a large bowl. Cook the pancakes any size you like them in a skillet coated with olive oil cooking spray over medium-low heat. After pouring the pancake batter into the skillet, they will be ready to flip after bubbles form around the edges (about 5 minutes).

Nutritional Information (Per Serving) (with Strawberry Topping):

Calories (k/cal)…..520

Protein (g)…..50

Carbohydrates (g)…..60 Fiber (g)…..2 Sugars (g)…..17

Fat (g)…..9 SFA (g)…..3 MUFA (g)…..2 PUFA (g)…..4 Omega-3 (g)…..2.6 Omega-6 (g)…..1.2

NSCA PA Strength and Conditioning Clinic 2010

On April 10, 2010, the National Strength and Conditioning Association will be hosting their annual clinic for coaches, trainers, and athletic administrators. The clinic will be in Warren, PA, and will offer classroom presentations and hands-on instructional sessions.

Finish First Sports Performance coach Jeremy Hoy will be presenting again this year at the clinic. He will be doing a hands-on session about alternative training methods such as using sleds and ropes to effectively produce results and help athletes win the battles in competition.

More information can be obtained by contacting Jeremy or for online registration Click Here.

Total Performance Training for Youth and High School Ice Hockey Clinic Spring 2010

The coaching staff at Finish First Sports Performance would like to announce the Total Performance Training for Youth and High School Ice Hockey Clinic, Spring 2010. The event is slated to be held on April 24th, at the Finish First Sports Performance world training headquarters (Pittsburgh, PA, USA). The details about the event are below, and are not set in stone, yet. These details will be finalized in the next 2-3 weeks, including price, time of day, and speakers/clinicians. Space is extremely limited, so if you are interested in attending, please let us know.

Some of the topics to be covered:

• Learn how to correctly prepare during the off-season

• Information specific to hockey players ages 8-18 (age appropriate training)

• Specific evaluations/assessments for detecting imbalances and weaknesses, including self-evaluations and assessments

• Dietary strategies for gaining weight, losing weight,or maintaining weight

• Training for power, speed, strength

• Plyometrics for ice hockey

• Conditioning for ice hockey (bikes vs running vs skating vs slideboard)

• Flexibility for ice hockey (static vs dynamic, when, why, band, partner, etc)

• Exercises for a harder, more accurate shot

• Goalie specific exercises on the slideboard

• Dynamic Vision Training Exercises (track the puck better)

• Samples of how to properly train to get ready for the next season (sample programs)

• Learn about proper nutrition, sleep, performance training, skating, stick-handling, mental focus, leadership, athletic development, etc.

Plus Hands-on demonstrations and experience

This is a must see clinic, and remember--space is extremely limited...we most likely will only have room for 20 people to attend.

If you are a parent or coach looking for the 'How-to's' of off-ice hockey training, then this is the clinic for you!

Youngstown Phantoms USHL Team

Finish First Sports Performance is pleased to announce that we are now the official training provider for the Youngstown Phantoms USHL team. We are looking forward to helping more high quality hockey players develop and work towards achieving their goals. To show your support, please check out the Youngstown Phantoms website, check their schedule, and attend a game!

Youngstown Phantoms

Motivational Quotes

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."
-- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

"It is the fight alone that pleases us, not the victory."
-- Blaise Pascal

"What we think or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do"
-- John Ruskin

"I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism."
-- Charles Schwab

Thank You for Your Support

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

For Finish First Insider backissues #1 - 29, click here

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