Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Strength Coaches - Alumni Give Back

Left to Right: Coach Dillon Burns: Class of 2003, Coach Paul Northrop:2003,
Coach Cap:1986, Coach Sam Krom: 2012, Coach Robbie Parker: 2013
I am nothing without my Coaches, my family...
Stamford High has had an underground Strongman Program since... Forever. In that time we have had many students come through who continue training with me even after they leave - they go from students, to lifting partners and friends, to eventually - family. Nothing builds family better than pulling trucks and picking up Atlas Stones together. Hopefully many of you athletes will form these bonds of blood sweat and tears. (Yes, sometimes when you are pulling tacky off your torn up arms you cry.) And quite a few of them enjoy giving back to our strength community and Stamford High. Now that we are an official program, you should know some of the Black Knights Alumni who will be coaching with me from time to time (See Picture). You should also know that they do not have to be here. They are here because they want to give back to a program that gave so much to them, and some of them are just there for me - Family. We do for each other in the weight room, the Yard, and in life. These are just a few of the volunteers, there will be others stopping in from time to time. And when they speak you answer: "Yes COACH!"

Oh yeah, in case I haven't mentioned it... we pull trucks and have Atlas Stones.
We will be arranging that soon. Stay tuned --

Thank them always! Thank you Coaches! Thank you Black Knights Strongman Family
-Coach Cap

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Assistance Essentials: Kroc Row

The Kroc Row -
Single arm dumb bell row that is performed by using the heaviest weight you can rip up for the most reps (at least 15-25). Form is important but it does not have to be as pretty as a bodybuilding "dumb bell row." Rip it!

Concentrate on full range of motion. Fully extend the shoulder at the bottom to feel the stretch in your lats and middle upper back. Rip it up and back at the top, retracting your scapula back as far as possible while pulling your elbow back - try and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Full stretch and complete contraction. Back in a 15 degree angle, athletic position, free hand propped on a bench or rack, arm dangling... flex the scapula together to rip the weight upward - finishing buy touching the dumbbell head to your pec. rinse and repeat.

Goal Massive upper back, phenomenal grip strength for everything. Great assistance lift to the deadlift.

 Kroc Row
Krock Row

Wednesday is a half day so...Lax 12:30

Photo: Jason Rearick
Wednesday is a half day so Boy's Lax will be at 12:30-1:30. If it's raining check with me to see if we are inside.

Vote for Troy Duncan

Vote for Troy for Unsung Player of the Week: Troy threw for 129 yards and ran for 101 in a 24-16 win over Fairfield Warde.

Photo: Mike Ross / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Monday, September 28, 2015

There is ALWAYS Someone Bigger...

In Strongman and Strength Training you you should compete against your peers - but truly - your greatest opponent is YOURSELF.

Why?  Just take a look at this picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger (middle) who bulked up to the biggest he has ever been for the movie "Conan the Destroyer". Arnie is 6' 2" - 250ish by the way - but he is dwarfed by his friends Andre the Giant (7' 4" 500+ pounds) and Basketball Hall of Famer: Wilt Chamberlain (7' 1" 276 lb). Arnie looks like a kid being scolded by his uncles for not wearing a shirt to the mall. If Arnie's expectations were to be bigger or stronger than Andre, he would have given up his bodybuilding career and become their hairdresser (they could all use one).

Moral of the story:There is ALWAYS someone else Bigger, Stronger, Smarter, and/or Faster than you. So, be the best YOU can be, work until you are hamburger and then... even giants will respect you.

-Coach Cap

Last Week and This Week...

Fantastic week last week. 3 new teams joined us in the "Yard": Coach Parness brought both JV and Varsity Boys Soccer, and Coach Lacomis' Baseball Team has begun the long, slow climb to mightiness as well.

This Week: Weather looks spotty so please contact me before coming out on your assigned days, if I haven't posted whether we are in the Yard or inside in the weight room.

I'd also like to thank everyone for all the positive feedback, suggestions and help we have been receiving. Black Knights' Pride lives.

Any problems posting to your sites let me know.

Let's get after it!

Coach Cap 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Strength Definition from One of the Strongest Men to Ever Live

Great Week...But Need More!

Great week in the "Yard". The Yard is what we call the area at the far end of the football field where we do our Strongman (and WOMEN!) circuit. More and more teams are joining in our blooming culture of strength. And if you haven't seen a 90 pound athlete roaring with achievement after flipping a tire that weighs almost three times their weight... what have you been up to? We would still like to see more of our teams signing up and/or see coaches come down and watch the action - or better yet try the equipment yourself! We love having coaches work in! Workouts are 1 hr. at the most right now. I urge you to try and find the time. If your athletes have blue cards they can come down on their own on open days if you can't make it as well.

(Yes that is me. Yes, that is a 250 lb. tire - and yes that is the explosive power your athletes can achieve if they start now.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Arnold Strong

MarcUS Dixon McInerney - One of the First SHS Strongmen

For those of you who don't know, "Strongman" at Stamford High was actually started back around 2008. I will write a page on that at a later date. One of our first "Black Knights Strongman Team" members was Marcus Dixon McInerney. Marcus and I worked out together all the time in the old weight room that was behind the stadium before it was torn down (because we broke it with the 275 pound stone:). His smile was infectious. He spotted me when I hit my last PR on the bench as a matter of fact. This workout time together allowed me to get to know him pretty well and even, I hope, call him friend - It was an honor. He was a good kid, a troubled kid, but a good kid. Life swooped in and gave him a way out of his situation, and then it swooped in and took him from us. Gone but never forgotten.

Marcus' legacy teaches us to embrace everyday, good or bad,
and that with every new day comes an opportunity to begin again.

We miss you my old friend. You will forever be a member of the Black Knights Strongman Team.

All our thoughts and prayers to his friends and family on this day and everyday,
- Coach Cap

For those of you who would like to learn more about him, if you missed the MarcUS for Change Day Walk/Run, you can Click Here.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Visualization Practice Spreads in Sports (Click for Full Article)

Found this great article about 'Visualization' in sports and its increase by David Quick of THE POST and COURIER. If you would like to read the full article click the title or click here > (CLICK HERE)
Visualization practice spreads in sports, but it’s useful off the field and court as well

Football placekickers, baseball pitchers and basketball players have something in common besides being athletes: major league pressure, often for many to witness.
You can see the strain in the eyes in the placekicker who must nail a field goal for his team to win in the final minute of a game, the relief pitcher who must get a final out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the basketball player on the foul line who must sink his or her free throws seconds before the buzzer sounds.
All those situations are as mental as they are physical. Athletes have been using the practice of visualization for decades to ease anxiety. In fact, the exercise is becoming more formalized and practiced by entire teams. 
But athletes aren’t the only ones who can use visualization, and various forms of it to deflect pressure and win their non-athletic game.
Extensive research has shown that when someone visualizes an action, neurons in their brain fire in a fashion similar to when they are physically doing the task. Visualization techniques not only ease anxiety but improve motor skills, moods and provide an increase sense of confidence...

(CLICK HERE) for entire Article

Fantastic First Workout with the Wrestling Team

Fantastic first Strongman Workout with Coach Lewis and our Black Knight Wrestling Team!

Any of you coaches who would like a first hand opinion of how Strongman can work for your kids please ask the coaches who have braved the waters.

Lot of big games this week!  Good luck to all of our teams!

-Coach Cap

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Look to this day...

Bruce Lee's daughter posted this journal entry from dad. It reads: "Look to this day, for it is life. The very life of life. Within its brief span, lies all the verities and realities of your existence. The bliss of growth. The glory of action. The splendor of beauty. For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is but a vision. But, today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day."



Young Athletes, being in the moment, doing just the task that is in front of you at that particular moment - whether it is a set play, a skill, a training move - do that and only that... have nothing else in your mind... See what a difference mindfulness makes.

-Coach Cap

Blog is Live

Okay, so the Blog is live. There is a link right off of the Stamford High Website (thank you Malcolm). Please feel free to use your page to update your athletes, fill it full of your own workout links, articles, whatever. If I did not make a site for your team please let me know!

Black Knights Culture of Bigger, Stronger, Faster Athletes can happen if we work together.

Even if you are not using my services this season, please use your blog page for whatever training info you have. Having a central hub where athletes can go for this info is probably a good idea.
Reserve your spots now. We are filling up.
Coach Cap

PS. Thanks to Coach Moriarty for making this all happen - For seeing that the needs of are athletes step up into the 21st century.

PSS. Coaches, even if your kids aren't coming out, please come and jump into workouts so you can get a taste of what we are offering - and its fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scheduling is Almost Ready

Welcome back Coaches,
Hope everyone had a good break. Was good to see Coach Armstrong and the Freshman Football team back for round 2 and Coach Kerry and her Field Hockey team joined us on Monday. Very good crew. Would like to see more teams come out for intro circuits this week because, by next week I would like to be in full swing with a semi permanent rotation. So...
By Saturday, please contact me for your team's 1 hour time slot or 2 - 1 hour time slots if we have the room - they are filling up already. And yes, there should be room for teams who need to be flexible. And we will try and put in In-season teams first, but after Sunday it will be on a first come-first serve basis. I am going to cater to the coaches and teams who show interest in the program first. Those of you who haven't tried our outside Strength Circuit - come on down and see the fun and growth some of out athletes are making already.
I will be posting the schedule on the blog: on Sundays.
Today and Thursday and Friday I will set up the circuit. It will be ready to go around 2:50.
The first circuit runs from 2:50ish to 3:30, the second from 3:30ish to 4:30 ish. If more teams show interest we will have a 4:30 to 5:15ish.
The first circuit: 2:50-3:30 might become an open slot some days where any athlete with a blue card can come down and just jump in. SO your more enthusiastic athletes can get their Strongman on.
Please, if possible have your teams do a quick dynamic stretch or run first to loosen up - and they should do a warm-down stretch or your conditioning afterward. If you need help with stretching programs I can help with this.
You can text me @ the number listed in the email - no later than 8:30 PM Please. Or email me.
Starting next week all info will run through the BLOG.
Schedule This week looks like this:
Wed: 9/16
2:50-3:30: Open
3:30-4:30: Open
Thursday: 9/17
2:50-3:30: Open
3:30-4:30: Open
Fri: 9/18
2:50-3:30: Open
3:30-4:30: Freshman Football
Thanks for all the support. We are off to a great start,
Coach Cap

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

SHS Strength 1RPM and W1RPM Formula

One of the goals of the Strength and Conditioning Program is to get an umbrella - a root - weight room strength routine that can reach across all sports and then have individual coaches add their sports specific lifts underneath it. This will allow athletes AND coaches to always feel comfortable in the weight room no matter what season they are in, once familiar with the basic program. For now we will be using a variation of the '531' System.

The 531 System at its heart is a very basic, (marathon - not sprint) version of a powerlifting program. It works on a set progression of percentage lifts - based on 90% of a 1 Rep Max in 5 core lifts: Deadlift, Power Clean, Bench, (Military) Press, and Squat. The athletes do not even need to perform a strenuous 1 rep max in order to figure their 1RPM.

A formula of: Weight x Reps x .0333 + Weight = 1RPM.

And then you multiply that number by 90% to get your 'Working 1 Rep Max.' This W1RPM is what you base all percentages off of. Sounds complicated? Not really. There are many calculator apps and charts I will hang in the weight room which make this very simple.

Using percentages of max lifts are better for the athletes because they are less likely to hit burnout while usually making slow and steady, but significant progress.

Much info can be found on-line about these programs and how to do the main lifts. Feel free to begin educating yourselves - but, with all things 'internet' there will be good stuff and bad stuff - be wary. I will post links I think demonstrate best as we progress.

If you are not trained in these power lifts do not attempt them without myself or one of the other qualified coaches, please. Until we get going keep it light with your athletes to build their stamina for when we do finally get moving.

In the meantime, feel free to try and schedule Strongman/ Functional Strength Circuits with me out on the field after school, Lots of fun - and FUNCTION!

Slow and steady - but significant progress.

More to come.

Coach Cap

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Welcome to the New Blog - Coach Cap

Welcome to the Black Knights Strength and Conditioning Blog. I am Coach Caplan (AKA Coach Cap) and I will be posting all the information our coaches and athletes will need to get the most out of our new program.

'...To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.' - Bruce Lee

Stay Tuned for Greatness.