2018 NSCA Missouri State Clinic Recap:

A Recap of the 2018 National Strength and Conditioning State Clinic held at Lindenwood University on April, 21st.

I'm sorting through all the information shared at the 2018 NSCA Missouri State Clinic. The drive back to Lindenwood University and heavy traffic has helped think on it.

There were 7 speakers in all who spoke 50 minutes each. There are a few strategies and tips I want to try out and share with clients.

The event sold out quick and the speaker lineup didn't disappoint.

Plus, I got the chance to meet and hear from people that have been in the field since before I was born. They had some awesome insight about how the industry has changed in the last 25+ years.

Here are some of my highlights from my notes:

From Anecdote to Applied

Eric Renaghan, CSCS, RSCC*D, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the St. Louis Blues.

This presentation for me was the highlight of the entire day. Eric spoke about how the Blues have applied science to strength and conditioning.

The entire presentation was very thoughtful and it sought to answer three goals:

  1. Are Athletes improving?
  2. What do the athletes need?
  3. How long do you have to train?

Eric grabbed my attention when he mentioned agile programming.

Agile programming is about testing, implementing, evaluating and retesting new ideas. The goal of course is improving the product or in this case, the athlete.

The St. Louis Blues have a training model based on the nervous system. They focus on an athletes weakness, assuming that their strengths will not deteriorate.

Force plates and biomechanics provide feedback on the athlete. They show what is working and what is not.

The goal is always to make sure that the athletes are healthy, available, and improving.

The most enlightening points that came to me were:

  • The Blues are minimal in testing, making integration seamless and affordable.
  • Minimalism aside, tests are effective enough to drive decisions
  • NHL hockey players are shown all their data
  • Force plates are able to measure baseline imbalances. Return to near baseline determines if an injured athlete is ready to play.

Upon learning about force plates from Dr. Bryan Mann, I was curious to find out about imbalances. Eric told me that there is not a specific number that they can say is ideal.

Athletes may have a band or range that works for them. When imbalances were completely eliminated or close to 0, injuries actually went up!

The three tools that the Blues use in training are:

  1. Hawkin Dynamic Force Plate
  2. First Beat
  3. Kinduct Technology

I could keep writing. I took about four pages of notes on this presentation. Eric was happy to answer the follow up questions I asked after he spoke.

Comprehensive Programming for the Head, Neck and Upper Back

Rob Taylor, CSCS, NSCA-CPT Founder and Owner of SMARTER Team Training

This was the most hands on presentation of the day. Rob had attendees smiling, interacting and learning throughout his presentation.

He spoke on how the neck is often neglected in training.

With the spotlight on concussions and testing on the brain, the neck will become more of a focus in the future. The neck is one of the shock absorbers that protects the brain.

The eyes control some of the muscles in the neck and head. Don't believe it? Cup you hands behind the base of your skull and look left and right.

I was not able to take as many notes here that would be useful, there were a couple points:

  • Neck training should follow these guidelines:
  1. Full Range of Motion
  2. Muscle should lower and raise the weight
  3. The emphasis should  be on lowering the weight
  4. You should reach momentary muscular failure
  • Vendors are the people who attend the most events, if you want a connection, ask a vendor.

The Use of Pre-workout Supplements for Strength and Power Athletes

Andrew Jagim, PhD, CSCS, CISSN, Assistant Professor, Exercise Science School of Health Sciences.

Dr. Jagim covered a few different supplements. He listed what he considers a pre-workout supplement based on his research.

The terms "MIPS" or Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement was introduced. Most MIPS contain three main ingredients:

  1. Creatine
  2. Caffiene
  3. Beta-alanine

It's a lot easier to take one MIP supplement than many different supplements at a time.

Pre-workout supplements often contain "proprietary blends" or "energy matrix's". The mystery leaves the consumer guessing what's in the product.

That means that many researchers can't test that product and know if it's safe.

Dr. Jagim attributes many of the short term benefits shown in supplements to caffeine. The lengths of studies vary greatly. It's difficult to know if certain ingredients make a difference short term.

Creatine has been tested extensively. No study has shown any negative effects on kidneys. It has been shown to be safe for consumption as long as 3 years without a break.

Some other takeaways included:

  • Caffeine can be supplemented at 3-6mg/kg. MIPS often contain 200-400mg.
  • The boost you get from supplementing Caffeine lasts, you don't feel it when you're tolerant.
  • 4-6g/day of Beta-alanine is an appropriate dose.
  • Pre-workout supplements and caffeine can develop a dependence effect.
  • Companies often cut down an amount to market the same thing to women.
  • We need more studies on females and more long term studies.
  • No study has attempted to clean up an athletes diet before putting them on supplements.

Creatine and protein supplementation is safe for all ages, even as young as 3 years old.

You should always consider what's driving the results of a supplement, is it the caffeine? Creatine?

This position stand from the Internal Society of Sports Nutrition is a good resource.

I also wrote a post on creatine and why you should take it here.

My Missouri State Clinic Regrets:

  1. I wish I actually took some pictures! There were a few powerpoint slides that had some great graphics in them. A picture of some of those could have told a great story.
  2. I packed my own food (I'm trying to lose some body fat) but, I didn't think to pack water! Pizza and cookies were exclusively available for lunch.I'm still calling this a win.
  3. Not being more purposeful in connecting with some of the attendees!

The clinic was incredible. I took 9 pages of notes, filled with great ideas and insights that will benefit my business in a major way. I hope that you were able to learn a little yourself.

I'll be at the event next year, hope to see you there!

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