How to create a good strength and conditioning program.

1)ease of application and interpretation

– Something fun and enjoyable

-should allow for easy progress tracking

-should use how you “feel” if you’re not motivated , do this..

-should take into consideration your environment, level of fitness, and interpretation of program

-make your program work for your schedule

2) What are your training for? Powerlifters, baseball players, crosscountry?

-There should obviously be some variety in your training program, but it should still pertain to your goals, hobbies, and lifestyle.

-does the program keep you healthy, and happy?

-what frequency, intensity-sometimes these things may change

-do you have physical limitations holding you back for certain forms of exercise? The imbalances  or injuries that  may have/had are going to determine what you should and should not be doing.

3) Exercise selection

-instead of thinking of a body part think of a movement pattern, and goal of that pattern you are trying to accomplish and the purpose of that movement pattern.  If you need work in an area in strengthening, it would be important to implement that in your program to REMIND you that’s what its there for.

_Hip dominant

_knee dominant

_Push  (horizontal/vertical)

_Pull (horizontal/vertical)

_unilateral work

_isolation exercises

_Core work

_loaded carry(optional) (doing these assymtrical will be great for core)

-mobility –incorporating mobility throughout a full range of motion will make sure that our body stays away from creating imbalances. Shortened tissue will cause dysfunction, period. Shortened tight illiopsoas = underactive glutes. I don’t care if you can squat a lot of weight, if you’re tight in the illipsoas and your glutes aren’t firing as hard as they should, you could be stronger.

squats long vs short torso croppedlong femur vs short femur squats


-The exercise selected must pertain to the athletes body type (Femur length, muscle imbalances, short torso, long torso, long arms, short stature)

: The barbell back squat may not be well suited for tall individuals with long femurs, it just turns into an ugly lift. The displacement of the weight for someone like this look much more comfortable with a front squat position.

As you can see the individual with the long femurs must excessively lean forward.  The long femur individual is going to have more stress at the knees and lower back due to their body mechanics. Look at the difference in the angle patterns in the second picture.  If you were to put them in a front squat position, It would look more natural for their movement. Not only will this put much less strain on the knees, it is more of an athletic movement and works the core harder. Another issue with back squat is that it could tear up your shoulders if you don’t have the mobility to get your arms behind the bar. If you are overly kyphotic it could also further muscle imbalance.

 The only progress this guy is gonna make is to a wheelchair

 wheel chair squats


functional scoliosis vs regular

this  is common, our bodies are not symmetrical all the time. They say squats and deadlifts build great strength, but they can also really hurt you. if you have imbalances, or your hips twist and shift during a squat, have a physical therapist assess you to help from making the imbalance worse.

front squat long femurs

The picture on the right could be a recipe for disaster. I assess people daily with super long femurs and a short torso. Each time it never fails, their back squat looks terrible. It has nothing to do with mobility and more so to do with lever lengths and position. People with short femurs tend to make a back squat look effortless.

Option for people that don’t want to load the spine but get great leg work?

Bulgarian Split Squats

bulgarian split squat

 THE FITT principle and how to apply it to your program

-make it FITT for the athlete by…

Frequency– Choose a frequency you can deal with. “Leg day “ everyone dreads for the same reason that a person trains one time a week and does nothing the rest of the week. Some serious “DOMS” happens. Leaving you overly sore, tired, and crabby. Instead of incorporating a bunch of leg work into one day, simply spread it out over the course of the week. This will help tremendously. For the people only lifting weights one time a week, at least lift another day spread out. There is a saying “stimulate, don’t annilate”. This will help your DOMS and progression.

Intensity– Going hard 24/7 in every gym session will leave you spent, moody, and eventually hurt. Ever played a sport? Remember that when you were younger and you practiced something, you typically didn’t go to complete failure everytime. It would lead to burn out. SAME GOES FOR THE GYM GUYS. That’s why I feel it is necessary in your programming to have a plan B. Not everyday is the same. Stressors are different daily, and sleep deprivation could leave you feeling weak. Don’t feel like your plan A heavy day is going to work? Why don’t you choose plan B? We’re human.

Time– I’m gonna keep it simple. The heavier it is and the more intense it is, the longer you rest. The less strenous it is, the shorter the rest.

Type- type of exercises will determine your recovery time and spacing out on them. Bicep curl curl to failure is going to be a lot faster to recover from than  a  heavy deadlift session close to failure.

Dynamic warm up-

This is to ensure our muscles are working together to perform the movements we are asking it to in a proper fashion. This will vary depending on your hobbies, what you do for a living, and what you were doing before you train. Sitting all day at a desk? Thoracic extension, hip flexor stretches, pec minor, .hamstring stretches, brachialis stretch. “But Travis,I don’t have that kind of time”. That’s the beauty of rest between sets, use it for your stretches, and mobility work. That does not mean we will stretch the muscle we are working  between sets. Typically, stretching the opposing muscle group or mobility drills to make the lift go smoother will be beneficial.

Hope that will save you some time.