View Full Version : Core Performance - Sport Specific

Elliot Royce
12-30-2006, 07:27 PM
What's the view on Core Performance's sport specific programs? I tried the hockey one in the past: it was excellent in terms of making sure you cover all the bases but I got a bit bored after a while.

In a sense, it's the complete opposite of a CF workout because each workout is very complicated, with different phases (prehab, movement prep, strength, etc.). In this way everything is segmented - conditioning is 14 minutes of interval training, strength is 15 minutes of lifting, etc. On the other hand, it does seem much more targeted. If anyone is interested, you can do a 7 day trial and select the sport you know best to see what's recommended.

Mike ODonnell
12-31-2006, 12:46 PM
Remember their programs are probably meant for athletes who train up to 3-4 hours a day. So take what you like from them and add them in. I would add in a few exercises here and there after my main lifts (DL, Squat, etc) or do it on an off day. Unless you are going pro or rehabbing an injury, just use what you feel works for your sport. Ex, for hockey I like the lunges in all directions to keep my hips open and flexible.

Elliot Royce
12-31-2006, 01:25 PM
Good advice, Mike. They do tailor them down but I think 20 minutes of strength training per workout is not going to get me very far.

"Going pro" - not likely!

We've talked about this before. I think you advised getting Mike Boyle's book, which I did. Seems like I could add in some of his level 1 exercises and get the same effect as the Core Performance stuff. What do you think?

Steve Shafley
12-31-2006, 02:08 PM
I was really quite pleased with Boyle's book.

Mike ODonnell
12-31-2006, 03:05 PM
There's alot of crossover I am sure with Boyle's program and Core Performance. I like Core Performance's warmup sequences...I like Boyle's exercises. Remember Boyle is comes specifically from a hockey background in training...and his exercises are geared towards that. He likes alot of single legged based exercises which I agree are essential for sports (Outside the big lifts).

Elliot Royce
12-31-2006, 03:34 PM
How would you integrate some of Boyle's stuff with Crossfit? Sub for the warmup or add in at the end?

Or sub single legged exercises for double whenever possible in the CF repertoire (1 armed pullups would be beyond me though!)

Robb Wolf
01-02-2007, 11:09 AM
How would you integrate some of Boyle's stuff with Crossfit? Sub for the warmup or add in at the end?

Or sub single legged exercises for double whenever possible in the CF repertoire (1 armed pullups would be beyond me though!)
I'd be interested to hear Steve and Mike's thoughts on this. I'm not familiar with boyles work...need to get the book apparently.

Steve Shafley
01-02-2007, 11:58 AM
Unless something is designed to be used with the WOD, as written (like Rutherford's ME Black Box), it's not an easy drop in.

Let's say the WOD is:

Squat: 5x5

Would you want to warm up with intense work on split-squats, step-ups, bulgarian split-squats (leg elevated), or pistols?

I'd say "No." Your main focus would be to reach a high level of performance on the 5x5 squats.

You could very successfully follow up the 5x5 squats with unilateral work, though.

You have to go back to the original question: What are you trying to do?

If your answer is "to be as ready as possible for anything that come up" then your course of action is going to be significantly different than if your answer is "I want to total 1800 lbs in equipped powerlifting competition" or "I want to make the regional select-side for rugby".

Despite all the suggestions to the contrary, specialization is a requirement for high level compeititon or performance. If your goals are specialized, then your training towards that goal is going to be specialized.

If that goal is a sub-120 second Fran, then you are still going to be specializing in improving certain aspects of your performance to reach it...namely pull up ability, and maximal strength on the thruster (which is going to lead to better and faster gains in the strength-endurance or power-endurance capabilities)

Elliot Royce
01-02-2007, 12:38 PM
Excellent points, Steve. I'm a 44 year old recreational athlete so I'm never going to be going pro! However, what motivates me most to exercise -- besides feeling good -- is my adult hockey. And, unlike a lot of sports which do focus on a narrow set of skills, hockey involves most parts of your body. People will argue the case but I think hockey players are among the most conditioned athletes there are: strong, agile, explosive, lots of stamina, etc. Perhaps not marathon runners, but able to do fairly well across a lot of dimensions.

I don't get very motivated by the thought of maxxing out all the CF workouts. It would be great to be in such great shape that I could max them out, but that is just not a motivating idea for me. CF for me is a means to an end.

I've asked Mike Boyle to design a hockey-specific program for me. I'd like to try to integrate that with some of the CF workouts if I can. For instance, instead of 400m run plus thrusters, do intervals (45s on, 120s off) for 15-20 min on a spin bike then do thrusters. That's got to be transferable to hockey, right?

I mean Coach Glassman is just making these workouts up. It's pretty easy to see the pattern behind them and they're not Gospel. There is no magic to 5x400m runs - intervals on a bike or rowing or something else is just as beneficial, no? What I see as the "hidden gems" of Crossfit are:

- intensity
- CFWU: a lot of people just diss Pullups, pushups, dips, etc. and focus on lifting big weights. Clearly a mistake since it neglects the integration of different parts of the body.
- O lifting: Boyle feels that you get all of the benefit from doing these from the hang rather than the floor, at least unless you're an O lifter. Doing them from the floor risks injury for many of us.
- variety: Coach G. keeps things interesting.

PS - I only discovered Boyle recently but he was the S&C coach for BU for 17 years and for the Boston Bruins for 10 years and for the 1998 US women's Olympic ice hockey team. Mike O'Donnell put me on to him.

Steve Shafley
01-02-2007, 12:50 PM
Boyle has a lot of experience with hockey players.

Mike ODonnell
01-02-2007, 01:02 PM
So is Boyle cutting me a commision check? Ha.

There are so many variables when it comes to workouts and goals....so with that being said, no one workout is probably the "best", but a program that periodizes not only the important aspects to a specific sport but also targets your weaknesses and imbalances to increase overall performance. Mike Boyle may have you doing single legged squats, another person may favor something else, Paul Chek may have you squatting on a swiss ball....in the end of each can make you a better athlete than you are right now, then it works.

Powerlifting programs may only increase hockey performance by 65%, skating all day may have little contribution to increasing your strength in a deadlift, working on balance may increase your ability to stabilize a load and therefore increase work output in both. If you want good stick handling ability, then you need to practice that. There are so many variables in training goals not too mention so many variables with in the game itself. Are you a big defenseman who needs physical strength or are you a power forward who has the speed to get around people.

I'd say stick with a program that is geared for you. If you want more size, then you lift heavy. If you want more speed you do explosive and plyo work. If you want sports improvements then you do movement based training such as 1 legged squats, lunges or slide board work. If you want a program for all then you need to have a monthly plan that targets each area specifically without compromising the effectiveness of each other.

Hope that makes sense. In all, do what you feel is working for you. If your balance sucks, then do more 1 legged strength and stability work. While pullups might be a good metabolic workout and give developed lats, it will only contribute a small fraction to increasing your wrist shot. Hockey is an extremely glycolotic sport, lots of short bursts of speed. Jogging will detrain your sprinting ability on the ice, so shorter more intense distances are better. Quick feet make a better hockey player along with strength.

Remember even the pros workout with different people....some may go to Boyle, Mike Modano goes to Chek, others to Core Performance, some go on their own, I've seen some in my gym doing their own programs.....not all are doing the same things. However I do believe for increase atheltic performance you need a balance of sprint work, basic big lifts, explosive lifts, plyo and agility and balance/injury prevention.

Pierre Auge
01-02-2007, 01:28 PM
Steve, Mike, (Robb you've read my opinion on this)
I think thats the idea there though, knowing that basic concept. If were going to use What is Fitness? as our definition of Fitness than we have to understand that this is what the WOD is designed to produce. At the same time if you're an athelete in a specific sport you sure do have to practice that sport to get good at it. Or at least train in a manner that will transfer directly to this.

Thats why I have no problem prescribing CrossFit to a Hockey player, because it wont hurt for them to be capable of anything. Hockey demands a great deal of that. While I have to insist that they train specifically for their sport. Skating drills, handling drills, body contact drills, single leg drills, balance, accuracy drills. At the same time I disagree with the idea that because they are a specialized athlete they require segmented training whether that be segmentation via periodization or segmentation via psychomotor development.

So being there I think its more relative to percentage of effect. What I mean to say is the athletic sport specific skills required will have a higher percentage value in the training as the non specific anciliary training (ie: CrossFit). Might look like 1 or 2 out of every 5 workouts is WOD like and the rest are SST. Like you said its such an individualized issue when you get into athletics that so many variables have to be addressed that it's unwise to say apply it LIKE THIS.

If your sole goal is fitness than I think the Glassman's are on the right track and the WOD is as good as you'll get.

and I keep rambling and rambling and rambling

Mike ODonnell
01-02-2007, 05:20 PM
I don't buy into the idea that any ONE workout will be best for every possible application. But that is what makes fitness, everyone has their own view on what does work. Boyle probably doesn't think Chek is right all the time either. It's the flexibility to learn and adapt as neccessary. Even CF is a program that changes their WODs as they learn more about what works for their trainees. (as now you see more heavy lifting days for example)

Just like no one program is best for every possible application, so is everyone and their specific needs/imbalances/weakeness/injuries prevention different. It would make no sense for an athlete that has muscle imbalances to jump right into a full program of complex lifts without trying to fix a foundational problem. Much like an offseason program should be programmed differently than in-season workouts. (for athletes) All full body movement programs that use compound actions and varible free weight resistances will be of benefit for any athlete. So no need to say one program is the best...you take the best exercises for your needs and apply them. Have a CF metcon day, have a 5x5 strength day, have a Boyle sports specific day, have a yoga recovery day....training is taking what works best for you and applying it.

Pierre Auge
01-02-2007, 06:17 PM
thats exactly my point there is no perfect program, thats where a good coach comes in and says OK IT AIN'T WORKING TIME TO CHANGE, and move on... Nothing more than that, sorry didn't mean to go all preachy on CF that wasn't my intent. I just happen to like the program for what its worth.

Mike ODonnell
01-02-2007, 06:36 PM
No worries, I like some of the CF metcons, but I also like Boyle's stuff and other influences in my life from over many many years. For me it's really hard unless I can see the athlete's movement/form, evaluate/test him, talk to him about his goals and then determine the best course of action to take based on what I see and hear. Fitness is all about opinions, and mine is always open to new ideas and implementations if I see it works.