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Old 05-23-2007, 10:20 PM   #1
Jim Lark
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A 14yr old elite hockey player came to me with his mother today with a workout binder from GameSpeed. His mother asked me to go over the exercises for him so he could perform them correctly. They ranged from walking lunges and plyo push-ups to straight-legged deadlifts and barbell front squats. The program was 3 days bodyweight exercises and two days weightlifting.

The volume was incredible. It would take me at least an hour to do everything on just the bodyweight day. There were approximately 12 exercises on the bodyweight days from fartlek sprinting to 4 sets of 20 burpees, 4 sets of plyo push-ups, etc. The kid couldn't even do 10 regular push-ups without midline stabilization problems. In addition, we reviewed some walking lunges (which were on his program) and he maintained no lumbar curve and brought the knee so far forward, he was pushing off the toe. I asked him about all of these exercises and he told me the owner, Aaron Thigpen, went over some of the exercises with him but didn't go into much detail.

If any of you are familiar with this facility, please let me know. He claims to hold masters records in sprinting and has an impressive list of clients. But, from my initial look at the program he gave to the 14 year old, I'm not impressed. Furthermore, I'm a little irritated because if this kid starts doing deadlifts and front squats incorrectly, he will really hurt himself.

I asked Mom and son to go back to Aaron and question him about the volume and exercises (in particular seated check press, triceps push downs, etc).

Feedback is appreciated.

Thank you,
Jim
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:05 AM   #2
Franklin Shogie
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here's the link to the website (w/f safe but slow as heck)

http://www.gamespeed.net/
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Old 05-26-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
Jim Lark
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Anyone, anyone...???
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:07 PM   #4
Aaron Thigpen
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Unhappy Re: Anybody know about GameSpeed in Concord, CA?

I know the original post is old but I thought you deserved a reply.

First I sent the young man an elite level hockey player of several years. He wanted to get started before we did a walkthorugh because he lives out of the area from my gym. I advised him to go to a local gym and hire a expert there to walk him through the exercises otherwise he would have to wait until our next session. There were no weight listed so he could start with the miniimal amount to learn technique on his deadlift, and press exercises. This 14 year old is 6'2 180-190lbs. There is a difference when considering chronological and developmental ages when setting training protocols.

Oh yes, he was the only underage athlete to make a 16 year old Elite travel team. His parents credit his work with me.


1. The volume is not extensive for an elite level athlete. Body work exercises are basically calistenics. Second, if you would have looked closer I progressed the number of sets from 1 circuit of each exercise to 4 circuits of each exercise over the course of 4 weeks. Most exercises were for a 30 sec duration or 10-20 reps. It may take you an hour but not most elite athletes.

2. Regualar Push ups were to be done instead of plyo-push ups. He would progress to those.

3. Lunges (non weight bearing) were to be done YES knee over toe. Reason being the demands of skating (acceleration angles ) require that stablilzation be developed in this aspect.I train only weight bearing knee over ankle. You need understand the difference between performance training and fitness training. Performance training requires adaptation to the specific movements of the sport activity. Until your ready to think beyond the Fitness box you should not consult athletes.

4. Your ability to complete a workout has no bearing on what another athlete can do.

As far as my credentials, I dont "claim" anything. I do hold many masters (over 40years of age, Im 43) track and field sprint titles and records. Most recently this September as a silver medal at the world championshipsin Riccione Italy. This year at 43 I ran 10.60 (American Record) for 100m. I practice what I preach. Look it up Let me help you out: http://www.usatf.org.

Prior I was a member of 11 US National teams as a 20-35 year old as a professional. My training credentials go back as far as 1987. Fitness trainer, Coach, Faculty Instructor, published articles.

As a professional you missed a golden opportunity to work with a quality dedicated athlete. A simple phone call to me to clarify any questions would have netted you a client. I dont expect all trainers to agree with my methods but we could have easily worked TOGETHER to help the young man. 14 year olds dont always retain alot of information so Im not suprised some things were left out of their discussion with you. But even they commented you handled things poorly. Sad thing is I have many clients in the same situation who want local talent who are open to collaborating instead of letting their egos or fear of not getting a sale get in the way. Plain and simple you blew it.

BTW, Ill be at In Shape in Antioch today taking a client through a workout because I dont want a cleint to go through what that young man and parent did.

Moderator note: removed one paragraph here

Last edited by David Wood; 11-16-2007 at 05:35 PM.. Reason: removed one section of post that clearly violated our AUP. Leaving remainder, for now.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:23 PM   #5
Ryan Holmes
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Re: Anybody know about GameSpeed in Concord, CA?

Go Sharks?
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
Chris Drewry
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Re: Anybody know about GameSpeed in Concord, CA?

Put this in the bucket before internet egos swell too large.
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:45 PM   #7
John Seaburg
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Re: Anybody know about GameSpeed in Concord, CA?

This may be a bad thread but it does raise a few interesting questions about training young athletes. How much is too much for kids? I've trained a few high school athletes and the challenge was always figuring out a way to improve their speed/strength/power without burn out/overtraining. These kids were usually playing a sport 5-6 days week and were going to good academic schools with tons of pressure to get into a good college. So, with their sport and homework already preventing ideal sleep, how much extra training did I really want to give them?
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:47 PM   #8
David Wood
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Re: Anybody know about GameSpeed in Concord, CA?

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Originally Posted by Chris Drewry View Post
Put this in the bucket before internet egos swell too large.
Yeah, I thought about doing that when I first saw Aaron's post, today. And I might do it yet, depending on where it goes.

But, in fact, it was pretty close to being out of bounds with the original post (which I missed at the time).

The AUP says:

We require a high level of respect to be shown at all times to other users of the board.

I've chosen to edit out of Aaron's post one section where he went (in my judgement) a bit over that line (very mildly so, by Internet standards, but over the line nonetheless (by the rather high standards currently enforced for this board)).

The rest of his post seems to me to be a legitimate defense of a training protocol he specified and was challenged on, including being identified by name, in the earlier post. He also makes what seem to me a good point about how it might have been more resolved with more benefit to everyone with a phone call.

At this point, I'm not interested in seeing Jim's rebuttal . . . in fact, an exchange that devolves into who did wrong to whom first will certainly send this to Pukie (with possible suspensions, depending on how it goes). To me, it still sounds like there might be room for these two guys, who are likely to cross paths again, to work it out privately. I'd urge them to do that OFFLINE. They can report back their glorious success, or keep quiet about their failure, in doing so.

The question raised by John is an interesting one, and might be the one thing that could turn this into a useful line of discussion . . . how do you train kids. Athletic kids? Slothful kids (more common)? Skip seems to do it with tough love. In what ways is the training different?

I also know where John is coming from on the teenage / sleep issue. My daughter runs cross country (heresy, I know for a CrossFitter, but you gotta go with what they'll do). Like John says, she's ambitious, wants (and gets) straight A's. She sleeps barely 6 hours a night (of course, I'm a lousy example, that's my maximum, too.) How do you deal with that?
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:55 PM   #9
Chris Drewry
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Re: Anybody know about GameSpeed in Concord, CA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
The question raised by John is an interesting one, and might be the one thing that could turn this into a useful line of discussion . . . how do you train kids. Athletic kids? Slothful kids (more common)? Skip seems to do it with tough love. In what ways is the training different?

I also know where John is coming from on the teenage / sleep issue. My daughter runs cross country (heresy, I know for a CrossFitter, but you gotta go with what they'll do). Like John says, she's ambitious, wants (and gets) straight A's. She sleeps barely 6 hours a night (of course, I'm a lousy example, that's my maximum, too.) How do you deal with that?
My approach to youth training is based purely on the childs exposure to exercise, and build from that. I.e. the sloths/endomorphs will require more motivaiton and a slower pace and the higher energy/ectomophs or athletic kids will require more variance.

Kids seem more capable to deal with " fitness abuse" (read that as less sleep, higher intensity, longer duration) than adults. And I generally dont worry about overloading them... within reason.
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:56 PM   #10
Chris Drewry
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Re: Anybody know about GameSpeed in Concord, CA?

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Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
Yeah, I thought about doing that when I first saw Aaron's post, today. And I might do it yet, depending on where it goes.

But, in fact, it was pretty close to being out of bounds with the original post (which I missed at the time).

The AUP says:

We require a high level of respect to be shown at all times to other users of the board.

I've chosen to edit out of Aaron's post one section where he went (in my judgement) a bit over that line (very mildly so, by Internet standards, but over the line nonetheless (by the rather high standards currently enforced for this board)).
Thanks,

Lets keep in on topic people!
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