Introducing Zac Brouillette

Editor’s Note: Zac Brouillette is HMMR Media’s newest writer. He recently joined the Innovative Athletic Performance Institute in Florida as the Director of Speed, Strength, and Conditioning. Prior to that he worked as the Director of Sports Performance at Ohio University. But, most importantly, he was a hammer thrower in college. Now he is taking that background and applying it to athletes in a multitude of sports.

To start out with, we thought it would be helpful to have Zac answer a few questions to learn about his background, his viewpoint, and his experiences. Check it out below. Zac also has been blogging for a little while on his own blog, and we’ve copied his archive over to HMMR Media. Read it here, or go to directly to some of the more popular posts about his brick method, healthy eating, or lessons learned from Dan Pfaff. Read more

I’ve taken a new job…

10390140_632250483536793_2777947964744101815_nAs many of you know, I have recently decided to leave Ohio University and have accepted a full-time position in the private training sector. This was a very difficult decision, but one that I feel will help me continue to grow and develop while sharpening my tools as a strength and conditioning professional. The organization I will be going to work for is the Innovative Athletic Performance Institute in Ocala, Florida. This is not just another private training facility, it is an all encompassing high performance training facility that will feature elite medical care and elite performance training under one roof. Read more

Reviewing Your Training Program: Accept, Adapt, Apply

qeKH.AuSt.42It’s that time of the year where summer training programs are winding down and Strength and Conditioning Coaches throughout the country are looking back at their summer training session and hopefully critiquing areas that worked well and other exercises, drills, etc, that didn’t work so well. When recently working on a recap of my summer training programs I thought of a catchy little 3 word phrase that represents what I try and do at the end of any long training block. These 3 words are ACCEPT, ADAPT, APPLY. I originally became a fan of these simple 3 word phrases after hearing Carolina Panthers Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Kenn use the phrase Absorb, Modify, and Apply, when discussing what to do with material you gather at clinics, site visits, etc. Absorb the material presented to you, modify your program in accordance with what you think fits into your philosophy, and lastly apply this new information in your program and with your athletes. My program evaluation model of accept, adapt, apply, has a similar thought process behind it, with a few changes that I think should help coaches continue to evolve and improve their programs. Read more

Dan Pfaff on Plyometric Training

Guidelines for the Implementation of Plyometric Training

by Dan A. Pfaff, Louisiana State University

Plyometric Overviews

Box-Jumps-280x421Developmental athletes and their coaches are continually searching for new approaches in training that will help them actualize their potentials. Endless reviews of training formats used by current world class athletes reveal time tested approaches on running workouts, weight training inventories, and skill technique drills. A recent emphasis has been placed on another type of training known as “plyometrics”or jump training. This method takes advantage of deficiencies that we have in trying to develop parameters such as muscle endurance, muscle development, and neuromuscular development.
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What I’ve Learned Over 15+ Years of Trying to “Eat Healthy”

The Background Story

Yes, that’s really me at 10 years old.

Yes, that’s really me at 10 years old.

Most people don’t know it, but I used to be a chubby kid. Like a 28% body fat, husky-jean wearing chubby kid. I used to be that kid that wore his t-shirt in the pool (like I was fooling anyone…) and a big highlight of my summer was defending my championship in the big splash contest at the local pool. Then, one random day in 7th grade P.E., we had the local performance academy guys bring some weights to our school and as cheesy as it sounds, my life was changed forever. I instantly fell in love with lifting weights and I used this new love of strength training to combat my bad diet for a few years, but it wasn’t until my last couple years in high school that I really dove into nutrition and began to see my body really change. My first day of college football in  August 2004, I weighed in at 204lbs and 7.6% body fat. To this day, I still maintain a body fat between 8-12% at a body weight of 240-250lbs.
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Dan Pfaff Insight Part 2: Preventing Hamstring Injuries

fc032-danpfaffToday I will continue my second post in a series of blog posts related to Coach Dan Pfaff and his unique training methods. I have recently watched many of his presentations and clinic files and have paired that with the knowledge I gained while using Coach Pfaff’s training style in my collegiate throwing career as an All-Big 12 Hammer Thrower and Shot Putter, to write articles reflecting training tools I feel could be beneficial to the strength and conditioning community.
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Stop Lifting. Start Practicing.

It’s that time of the year where I spend a few days writing up 4 week winter break workouts for all my sport teams that will be off campus for the holiday break. As I was recently writing these, I had a few thoughts on the concept of strength training vs sport skill training and I plan to share some of those ideas in this blog post. My thoughts on this topic are all my own and stem from my past as a successful multi-sport athlete and my 6+ year career as a strength coach.

Heavy Squat set - close upAs most people reading this know, I work full-time as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach at Division I Ohio University. I have the luxury of working with hundreds of male and female athlete’s on a daily basis with one common goal: Increased athletic performance. For me, one of the hardest parts of my job is trying to educate coaches and athletes that simply coming in and lifting weights is not a guarantee you will be a better athlete. Gaining strength can help improve your overall athleticism, but it likely won’t do much to enhance your sport specific skill set. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when an athlete with sub-par sport specific skills devotes all of their off-season down time to the weight room and is never seen on the field, court, or arena working to improve the sport specific skill areas they clearly lack.
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The 5 S’s of Training as Defined by Dan Pfaff

I recently purchased a couple Dan Pfaff seminars online and wanted to narrate some of his training ideas into a series of blog posts. If you have read any of my prior blog posts you know Coach Pfaff had a strong influence on my training program as a thrower in college while I was training under throws coach John Dagata at Iowa State (Coach Dagata is now the Jumps coach at Oklahoma). While training under some of Coach Pfaff’s principles, I saw my speed, strength, and explosive power reach levels I would have never dreamed of achieving a few years earlier. As a drug-free collegiate athlete I possessed a 38.5? standing vertical jump, a 10’9” standing broad jump and a sub 4.7s laser 40yd dash at 255lbs and 9-11% body fat. Near the end of my senior year I could dunk a 16lb shot put from a stand still with ease. All of these feats were achieved after approximately 24 months of rigorous training following many of Coach Pfaff’s principles, as implemented by Coach John Dagata.
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The Brick Training Method: The Championship Training Cycle

1. Training Blocks

benchpressOne of the biggest challenges strength and conditioning professionals face is how to organize their training blocks. These “blocks” are often referred to as Macro cycles, Meso cycles, and Micro cycles, but if you are like me, when you see or hear those terms you have to pull out the NSCA text-book to get a quick refresher of what exactly these terms represent again. For the sake of simplicity, I refer to them as the Annual Block, the Specific Block, the Weekly Block, and the Daily Block. Read more

Year Round Training Plan: Basketball

wt-roomThe following information will layout the yearly training program we implement with the Ohio Men’s Basketball team. We rank training variables by order of importance from 1-5, with 1 being of little importance, and 5 being very important. Each time of the year has different demands and we train for them accordingly.
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