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5 Keys to Better Training-->, FF Insider#96
November 16, 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.

Finish First Sports Performance is the official training/performance coaching provider for the Youngstown Phantoms USHL Hockey Team, the Robert Morris Univeristy NCAA Division 1 Men's Ice Hockey Team, and the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Organization.

Inside this Issue:

To bring you the very best information, this newsletter focuses on awareness of the training principles for young athletes, and how to use them to make sure your coach is on the right track. Enjoy!

1. Performance: 5 Keys to a Successful Pre-Season Training Program for Wrestling

2. Nutrition: Vitamin C Needs in Athletes

3. Announcements

4. Featured Exericse

5. Motivational/Inspirational Quote

6. Thank You


5 Keys to a Successful Pre-Season Training Program for Wrestling

By Brandon Monin, MS, CSCS, Performance Scientist

Yes, folks, it’s that time of the year again; fall sports seasons are coming to an end and it’s time to focus on preparing for winter sports seasons. It’s a great time of year for me as I anticipate the beginning of a new season of one of my favorite sports--wrestling. Many coaches and athletes make mistakes while training in preparation for the start of the competition season. A good pre-season training program will help get you off to a fast start and set the tone for the entire season. This article is going to give you five key elements that should be addressed in every wrestlers pre-season training program.

1. Use Total Body Lifts

Every workout you have in the weight room needs to be total body. Whether you weight train once a week or three times a week all the lifts need to hit both the upper and lower extremity. Another important part of pre-season weight training is to make sure you’re addressing all the necessary physical traits (strength, speed, power, endurance, flexibility). A lot of coaches and athletes make the mistake of only training to get strong and forget about the areas that need to be addressed. Too many wrestlers and coaches are consumed with being “big” and “jacked”. Although being strong is important, being strong, fast, explosive, powerful and having the ability to sustain those traits throughout the entire match will be more beneficial. For the most part every move a wrestler makes in a match needs to be fast, explosive, and powerful.

2. Use Specific Plyometrics

Wrestlers need to have plyometrics in their training program. This is going to help improve power, speed, and explosiveness. As I discussed earlier a wrestler must have all those traits to be successful. Plyometrics will help a wrestler with their shots, throws, and bottom moves. All of which require a great deal of power, speed, and explosiveness. Plyometric training for wrestlers needs to include exercises for high power output both in low repetition and high repetition outputs (power vs. power endurance), as well as rapid force production and reactive plyometrics (aka. Powermetrics).

3. Use Specific Conditioning (Sprinting vs. Distance Runs)

For as long as I can remember every coach of mine stressed the importance of long distance running. Every pre-season of my wrestling career involved long slow distance (LSD) runs. Research has shown that these are not as effective for a wrestler as sprinting. A wrestling match is more similar to a sprint, or a series of sprints, than a LSD run. If you think about it, a wrestling match is truly a six or seven minute sprint (series of sprints). When you do specific sprint training, you can vary the distance that you run or the amount of time you are sprinting. Either way, be sure to use maximal effort.

4. Use Shorter Rest Intervals

The rest intervals either during your weight training or running should be short. Recovery should be allowed so that the set can be can be done completely at a very high intensity (maximum effort for maximal results) . Using shorter rest intervals will increase functional “work” capacity (the amount of work that can be done in a certain amount of time). For a wrestler this is vital because a full match is constant work of six or seven minutes. As the regular season gets closer, the rest times can be shortened more so that off the mat training is more sport specific to an actual match. During a match there isn’t more than fifteen seconds between periods. A wrestler needs to be able to recover quickly and be ready to get after it. Matches are often decided in the third period and typically the wrestler with more gas in the tank comes out on top.

5. Use Smart Nutrition

In my opinion this is the most overlooked aspect of a wrestlers training. With cutting weight being a huge part of the sport, a good, well balanced diet needs to be addressed, beginning in the pre-season. The pre-season is the perfect time to start watching what you’re eating and start burning fat while sparing muscle. If you are eating properly (correctly), the more fat weight you lose results in less muscle loss. Crash dieting or losing a lot of weight too fast can be detrimental to a wrestlers performance. I’ve seen it too many times--wrestlers cutting a ton of weight days before a match or tournament and then as a result wrestling terrible. Not only were they dehydrated, but they were most likely not using the right nutrients for fuel and were burning (losing) muscle tissue! I’m not advising you to start restricting or cutting calories; I am simply saying that the pre-season means that it’s time to cut out the junk foods and start eating plenty of lean meats, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. A proper diet will ensure recovery during the high volume and high intensity of pre-season training. In addition to food intake, proper hydration is also important—just like calories. The pre-season is NOT a time to restrict fluid intake. You should be drinking a lot of water every day. There is no reason or excuse for a wrestler to be dehydrated during the pre-season.


Vitamin C Needs in Athletes

By Heather R Mangieri, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN Finish First Sports Performance Nutrition Advisor, Visit Heather’s Website

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the water soluble vitamins essential to many body processes. Among them include collagen synthesis, the formation of certain hormones & neurotransmitters, regulation of amino acids, folic acid & cholesterol, participation in wound healing and its assistance in the digestion of iron. Further, it is involved in a number of biochemical pathways that are important to exercise metabolism and the health of active individuals. Most notably may be its work as an antioxidant.

The current RDA for vitamin C is 90 mg/day for males ages 19 and older and 75 mg/day for females over age 19. Slightly lower amounts are recommended for teenage males and females aged 14-18, 75 and 65 mg/day, respectively. Even lower amounts are suggested for children. There has been some evidence to suggest that active individuals may need more vitamin C due to the increased stress associated with exercise.

Research regarding vitamin C consumption in athletes is considerable. Perhaps because it is one of the vitamins that athletes consume in rather substantial amounts. Another possibility is that exercise is a known stressor and vitamin C is known for its immune boosting properties. Early and recent research show that vitamin C supplementation improves physical performance in those that are deficient, but a thorough analysis of these studies suggest that vitamin C supplementation does not increase performance capacity in those that are not deficient (1). No solid experimental research supports the use of mega doses of 5-10 grams that some athletes take, even for the prevention of the common cold (2, 3).

On the other hand, some investigators still testify that active individuals need slightly more vitamin C than the RDA. It has been documented in at least one well regarded study that vitamin C protects against oxidative stress in endurance and ultra endurance athletes, especially preventing upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) (4). While performance enhancement could not be proven, perhaps equally important from a health standpoint is immunity. The current guidelines reflect that research and the assumption of others.

Individuals that consistently exercise may require at least 100 mg/day of vitamin C to maintain normal vitamin C status and protect the body from the oxidative stressors of exercise (5). This amount is easily obtainable from the diet. Individuals who are competing in ultra endurance events may require up to 500 mg/day. This elevated amount may require the use of a supplement in order to meet the higher recommendation. Either way it is important to remember that vitamin C does have a tolerable upper limit of 2,000 mg/day which should not be exceeded.

1. Bell, C., et al. 2005. Ascorbic acid does not affect the age-associated reduction in maximal cardiac output and oxygen consumption in healthy adults. Journal of Applied Physiology 98:845-49.

2. Audera C, Pattulny RV, Sander BH, Douglas RM. Mega-dosing vitamin C in treatment of the common cold: a randomized controlled trial. Med J Aust. 2001;175:359-362

3. Douglas RM, Chalker EB, Treacy B. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database System Review. 2000;2:CD000980.

4. Evans W. Vitamin E, vitamin C and exercise. Am J of Clinical Nutrition. 2007:72(suppl):647s-652s.

5. Keith RE. Ascorbic acid. In: Wolinsky I, Driskell JA, eds. Sports Nutrition. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press; 1997:29-45.

Meeting the Increased Vitamin C Needs of Athletes: Practical Advice

Now that you understand your increased vitamin C demand, how can you meet needs? One important thing to remember is that vitamin C is vulnerable to heat and is destroyed by oxygen. Food will lose some of the vitamin during processing and/or preparation. The best sources are whole, raw foods. The following is a list of foods that are rich in vitamin C and will help you reach your goal of 100 mg/day.

½ cup Orange Juice= 62 mg

1 cup Red Tomato= 34 mg

½ c raw Sweet red pepper= 142 mg

2 cups Romaine Lettuce= 26 mg

½ cup Strawberries= 43 mg

1 Orange= 70 mg

½ cup Sweet potato= 20 mg

1 Kiwi= 57 mg


  • Congrats to Robert Morris Univeristy NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey Team on their great start...7 - 2 - 1, and a #18 National Ranking according to Inside College Hockey power rankings. Keep up the hard work and determination. It's an honor to work with such a good group of guys and be a part of their journey!
  • Finish First Sports Performance is currently working on our website--expect some changes over the next few weeks---changes that will make it easier to navigate and find what you are looking for!
  • Finish First Sports Performance is also currently working on our first podcast, a downloadable auido file that will provide training tips, coach interviews, athlete interviews, and other useful information.
  • Finish First Sports Performance will be changing the hours of operation over the Thanksgiving holiday week. The gym will be open as usual on Monday and Tuesday (Nov 22 and 23). The gym will be open from 9am - noon on Wednesday, Nov 24th. The gym will be closed on Thursday, and Friday. The gym will re-open on Saturday from 9am - noon. Normal business hours will resume the following week, on Monday, November 29.
  • Finish First Sports Performance will be unveiling the new Hockey Logo in the next few weeks---yes, it is definitely cool and you're gonna want a shirt with it on!
  • Finish First Sports Performance is making progress on the new World-Class training facility and there's already a buzz in the Pittsburgh area about it...drawings and details to come in the next few weeks.

Featured Exercise: Barbell Cuban Press

This is a great exercise to strengthen the rotator cuff, upper traps, and deltoids, with emphasis on the posterior portion. This exercise can be used to help develop musculature that can help stabilize the shoulder during multiplanar movements. Begin with a wooden dowel, broomstick, PVC pipe or metal pipe to get the movement down before progressing to increased external resistance. This should not be an incredibly heavy movement for pre-habilitative purposes. You can do 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Barbell Cuban Press

Motivational Quote

"Sports do not build character. They reveal it."
-- John Wooden

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, MS, CSCS, PES, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

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