In this latest Fitness Corner, strength coaches Johnny Parker and Duane Carlisle discuss the way their program has changed now that the 2007 season is under way.**
With the off-season conditioning program now a distant memory, these days strength and conditioning coaches Johnny Parker and Duane Carlisle are fully engulfed in the regular season program. Now that the locker room looks more like a permanent residence compared to the makeshift, crowded encampment it resembled during the off-season when the team carries more players, Parker and Carlisle are excited to have things return to a sense of normalcy.
"During camp, big guys lifted after the morning practice and little guys lifted in the afternoon," said Parker. "There were about 40 players in each one of those categories, and forty guys in the weight room at one time is a lot. Now, players have the option to lift in the morning, during lunch or after practice so there are fewer players in here at one time. It's a much better working environment for them and a much better teaching environment for us."
Along with that better environment comes an entirely new lifting schedule and a new lifting focus.
"When we are in the off-season general conditioning, which is what we do, takes priority," said Parker. "Now that camp is over and we are in our in-season schedule, specific conditioning takes more of a priority. We don't get as much time with them as we do in the off-season, but we definitely get more time than we do during training camp because there aren't as many demands on their schedule."
As the case throughout the year, Parker and Carlisle have continued with their categorization of the team into two groups, "big guys" and "little guys." The little guys, meaning everyone but the linemen, linebackers, fullbacks and tight ends, lift for 30 minutes on Monday and 20 minutes on Thursday. The big guys usually lift for 45 minutes on Wednesday and 25 minutes on Friday.
"We try to touch the whole body in all of these workouts," said Parker, "However, in the workouts later on in the week, there's less of an emphasis on the legs."
These workouts are designed to maximize Parker and Carlisle's time with the players while making sure they are as fresh as possible heading into games on Sundays.
Parker and Carlisle have seen big results in comparison to this time a year ago, especially with some of the players now entering their second years in the NFL.
"For instance, Manny Lawson is considerably heavier," said Parker. "I believe that will be a benefit to him. He has gotten considerably stronger and he also thinks that has helped him so far in his play on gamedays."
Lawson is not the only example however, as the entire team has stayed strong late in games, grinding out last-minute wins versus Arizona and St. Louis. Those strong finishes help showcase a well conditioned team, something Carlisle and Parker take pride in.
"I'm awfully proud of our players because it's easy to be proud of them," said Parker. "Coach Nolan will not compromise on the type of person he brings onto this team. You have to be a good person, you have to be tough and this has to mean a lot to you. It's easy to feel confident about these guys."
Question from a Reader:
Philip's Question: How important are biomechanics in running development?
Carlisle's Answer: I'm not exactly sure what you mean by biomechanics as it relates to running. I would assume that means proper technique. It is very important in sprinting or running fast, which is different than running long distances. With regard to sprinting or linear speed in this case, the three important biomechanical aspects of moving from point A to point B are proper posture, proper arm action and proper leg action. You call that the PAL method with P standing for posture, A for arm action and L for leg action. Proper movement comes down to positioning the body to be able to move forward as quick as possible. For posture, the athlete should have an upright position, tight abs. The knee should be driven forward and the arms should be in sync with the legs.
To have your fitness related question considered, please email Carlisle and/or Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach Carlisle also has training videos available. Find out more by visiting his own website by clicking here!