How to Squat

By Todd M. Cambio | July 2, 2014

Here are some tips for the beginning position of a back squat:


• Spread the floor apart with your feet. This will activate the hamstrings and gluteals requiring the production of torque.

• Squeeze the bar. Squeezing the bar helps to recruit the upper body into the lift. Having a strong upper back and activated triceps supports the weight and helps protect the spine. Squeezing the bar allows for more muscle activation.

• Sit back and down. Begin the squat by lowering the body as if sitting down on a chair or a bench.

• Sitting at least parallel is a recommended goal.

• Keep a neutral spinal alignment. Neutral spinal alignment is the natural alignment of the spine from the coccyx to the base of the skull. A common mistake is the tendency to not maintain a “flat back.”

Spinal flexion can be a sign of loading too much weight or because a weak core prevents spinal stabilization. A flat or slightly arched lower back can help produce more power than if the spine is overly flexed.

Also, looking forward instead of up with the head will help neutralize the cervical spine.

• Push the hips through. When at the bottom of the squat, standing up properly is the next objective. This means they move the hips back to front instead of up and down. The gluteals must fire and allow the hips to “pop” up and forward. Trying to push the hips underneath the bar is the goal.

• Push through the heels.

• Hips and shoulders rise at the same time.

A great variation to the back squat id the front squat.

Hope that helps,

Todd

www.ToddCambio.com

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Strength Camp for High School and College Athletes 

By Todd M. Cambio | June 16, 2014

 

Goal: GET STRONGER!

Nobody ever said they were too strong… Simply working to get stronger will improve athletic performance and will have a profound effect on your durability through a 4 month season. Think of this as “armor building”…

“Sparta, Rome, the knights of Europe, the samurai… worshipped strength… Because it is strength that makes all other values possible.” (Enter the Dragon)

We will work to learn and improve (test numbers):

While also introducing:

EVERYTHING done in camp will be individualized for YOU! Prior to the first day (July 7th) you will have to schedule a time to get in and test with Coach Carroll.

In order to judge progress at an end point we must know where we are starting. This pre-camp testing is vital.

When: July 7th – August 15th, M/W/F 8:30-10

Where: Precision Fitness, 39 High Street (lower level) Westerly RI 02891

Cost: $150 for six weeks (12 person limit) 

Contact Coach Carroll at (401) 241-8890 or bbcarroll54@yahoo.com to reserve your spot and schedule your pre-testing. 

 

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Spartan SGX Week 9 – Rain Run and a Hurricane

By Todd M. Cambio | June 13, 2014

Torrential Rain and a Hurricane Is No Match For a Spartan!

This week was about turning it up again to another level.  While we amped up the training with a hurricane workout (No, we didnt workout in the middle of a real hurricane!) we also worked on prepping the mind by doing our whole workout in the rain!

Monday’s Workout: After running about 2.5 miles in the pouring rain with well over 100 Burpees, we still made time to stretch…in the rain of course!

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These Spartan brothers and sisters walked in the the gymnasium thinking that it would be a normal workout inside. Nope. Not tonight!

A Spartan must be ready for anything!

What happens if it rains at a race? Are you going to stay home? Heck NO! You race. You adapt. You conquer. These guys did that! Attitude and readiness were exemplified. Well done guys! Aroo!

SpartanMiserableBoethius

Thursday’s Workout: Hurricane Pinto!

ON this day, Coach Pinto put everyone through one of our favorite obstacle course race training workouts…the Hurricane!

This style works the athlete’s full body in every plane of motion incorporating strength, speed, agility, core and stamina!  This is a metabolic monster of a workout!

The idea is to go all out for 30 seconds while your partner is breaking.  We did 3 stations for 30:30 x 3 sets = 9 minutes a round x 3 rounds.

Nutrition Task: COOK your own meals!

Get that grill fired up for lean meats and veggies.

Use healthier condomints, marinades and dressings!

Still think ONE-Ingredients whole foods!  Grill your meats and veggies and put them over salad greens!

SpartanCookaMeal SpartanMustard SpartanOliveOil

Aroo, Aroo, Aroo,

Todd

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Spartan SGX Week 8 – Metabolic Madness

By Todd M. Cambio | June 6, 2014

This week is all about upping the intensity, getting out of the comfort zone and starting to really increase the work capacity in the training program.  We are going for an overall improvement in our efforts!

Monster Kicks

Monster Kicks

Metabolic conditioning has several meanings depending on who you talk to.  For us, I want to do full body movements that recruits lots of different muscle groups and gets those muscle groups working hard and fast at the task at hand.  

Then rest between tasks or exercises so that you can attack the next task hard.  

So basically I am incorporating longer circuits with minimal rest in between exercises. Keep in mind that the intensity of the set should remain as high as possible throughout the specified work duration.  In order to elicit the desired response, the body must be pushed in terms of performance. 

Such high intensity during the session leads to a higher resting metabolism for the next few hours according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Monday we went outside and went for the full “Crazy 8′s” Burpee/run combo after a great full body dynamic warm up led by SGX Coach Mike Pinto.

The fast explanation is we do 1 x 100′ run, then 1 burpee.  Then 2 x 100′ runs then 2 Burpees…all the way to 8 runs/8 burpees.  Since its “Crazy 8′s” we work our way back down from 8 runs/8 Burpees …to 1 run/1 Burpee!  1…8, 8…1

Goal is to improve time and Burpee form each attempt at this workout.

Thursday we did one of my Spartan Round and Round Workouts!  Basically you move station to station and complete 20 reps of each exercise.  Each round is 100 reps.

Goal: Get as many rounds as possible (with great form) in 30 minutes.

Workout:

  1. TRX Low Row or Pull Ups x 20
  2. Slam Balls x 20
  3. Burpees x 20
  4. Shuttle Runs x 20
  5. Wall Mountain Climbers x 20/leg

Nutritional Task:

Add those healthy ONE-Ingredient Foods together to make something even more healthy!  Like Guacamole, fresh salsa, hummus, etc.

SpartanAvacado SpartanGarlic SpartanGuacamole SpartanSpices

Spartan Up,

Todd

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Spartan SGX Week 7 – Wood Carry

By Todd M. Cambio | June 2, 2014

With only one day this week, we had to make in memorable!

So after our warm up, we did some sprint work, our Spartan A, B, C’s and then onto a short jog over to the wood pile!

WHY you may ask???

To move the pile of course!

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After a moving the wood pile, then moving it back, we went on to our workout of:

  1. Burpees x 20
  2. Band Rows x 20
  3. Push Ups or Band chest press x 20
  4. Knee to Chest Abs x 20
  5. Lunges x 20

Goal = 5 rounds = 500 reps

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Nutrition Task = Eat at least one piece of fresh fruit a day!

SpartanFruit

Think organic, in-season fruits as much as you can.  We have already discussed berries, now add some other selections of fresh fruit!    Pineapple, oranges, honeydew melon, mangos, apricots and more!

Spartan Up!

Todd

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Spatan SGX Week 6 – VO2 max

By Todd M. Cambio | May 23, 2014

VO2 Max Boosts Running Fitness

Hill repeats

We are rougly half way through our training sessions at Mohegan Sun in preparation for the CT Spartan Sprint.

We have focused on mobility, stability, movement patterns, general body weight strength and now we are moving into the next level of training!  This weeks’s theme: VO2 max!

VO2 max is essentially your body’s ability to consume oxygen.  The more oxygen you can consume, the better you can run.

According to Active Magazine Running Expert Matt Fitzgereld:

“There are two major factors that contribute to a high VO2max. One is a strong oxygen transport system, which includes a powerful heart, hemoglobin-packed blood, high blood volume, high capillary density in the muscles, and high mitochondrial density within the muscle cells.”

“The other is speed, or the capacity to contract a large number of muscle fibers simultaneously, as the more muscle tissue is active at any given moment, the more oxygen the muscles demand.”

“VO2max training boosts running fitness more than any other type of run training.” 

Hill Sprints

HOW do you boost VO2 max?

Simple…go hard!  Use lots of muscles.  High intensity for short bursts.  Things like hill repeats, shuttle runs, sprint intervals, 400′s to name a few.  It actually hurts at first to do this type of training, but the benefits are tremendous.

Hill sprints (like we did this week) do a fantastic job of improving your VO2 max as well as bulding strong and powerful legs!

Here is Monday’s workout 5/19:

  1. Warm up run around the fenced area x 2 
  2. 10 minutes of hill sprints
  3. 20 minutes dynamic movements: inch worm, lizard, elbow to ankle, single arm planks, sumo drop squats, jumping jacks, seal jacks
  4. 15 minutes: 20-10-5-Run: 20 lunges – 10 Burpees – 5 push ups – run 200 yards.  Repeat AMRAP
  5. Cool down & stretch

Thursday’s Workout 5/22: The 5 min burpee Challenge and Leg Cranks!

This workout also hit upon Anaerobic Latate Threshold Taining.  This kind of training simply means that Lactic Acid (Lactate) builds up in the blood stream faster than the body can absorb it, so you “feel the burn.”  Having a higher lactate threshold means an athlete can continue at a high-intensity effort with a longer time to exhaustion.

  1. Warm Up: Continous with the Spartan A, B, C’s
  2. 5 Minute Burpee Test
  3. Leg Cranks: Squats x 20 -> Lunges x 20 -> Squat Jumps x 20 -> lunges x 20.  Goal 4 rounds
  4. Yoga based stretch routine

Goal: Muscular Endurance and VO2 Max improvements

 

Nutrition tip of the Week: Eat whole grains for carbs!

SpartanBread

Ditch the “white processed crap”

THINK whole grain breads (from a bakery), cereals (organic based) , pastas, brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, and any other starchy vegetables for your complex carbohydrate source.

LOSE the highly packaged breads, cereals, muffins, cookies, bagels, wraps, chips, crackers, etc.

Training to improve VO2 max and Lactate Threshold saps your muscles of their energy source – glycogen!

glycogen

Glycogen is replaced in your muscles by eating carbs…make that healthy carbs.  The best time to eat your carbs is before and after an intense workout!  It will refuel and aid in the recovery process.  DO NOT SKIP CARBS if you are training hard!

Until next week Spartans…Aroo, Aroo, Aroo!

Todd and Mike

 

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Spartan SGX Week 5 – Walls and Ropes

By Todd M. Cambio | May 13, 2014

This week was the first time we broke out some actual obstacles!  We also took it outside finally!

Resisted Band Sprints Resisted Band Runs

Abs 1 Abs 2

We met in the gymnasium and completed our Spartan Warm Up before going outside for some resisted band work, a hill climb, some Burpees (of course), some push ups, some abs and wall climbing practice!

Monday’s goal: Conquer the WALL!

Thursday’s Goal: Climb the rope!

Rope Climb  Rope Traverse

Mohegan Sun Spartan Team

Thursday’s workout consisted of a full animal movement warm up (Including the Spartan A, B, C’s), some dynamic movements and then onto “CRAZY 8′s” conditioning!  We finished up the session with some rope practice!

Nutrition Task #5: Eat More Berries!  They are loaded with anti-inflammatories, vitamins, minerals and fiber!  They will help you recover quicker after one of these workouts!  They are all super foods so please endulge!

Think blueberries, blackberries, rasberries, cranberries, strawberries, Acia berries, golgi berries, and I’ll even throw in cherries (not sure if they are classified as a berry or not…but its awesome for you!)

SpartanEatBeries

Aroo, Aroo, Aroo!

Todd and Mike

www.ToddCambio.com

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Spartan SGX Week 4 – 1000 Reps

By Todd M. Cambio | May 13, 2014

Week 4 with the Mohegan Sun Spartans!   Great job to all!  New Nutrition Task 4 is listed below too!

SpartanDifficultiesEpictetus

This week we focused on upping the physical training by doing TWO rounds of the 1000 Rep Challenge Workout!

We did a total of 400 Reps:

  1. Squats x 20
  2. Lunges x 20
  3. Lateral Lunges x 20
  4. Push Ups x 20
  5. TRX Rows x 20
  6. Plank Ups x 20
  7. Mountain Climbers x 20/side
  8. Hip Ups Right Side x 20
  9. Hip Ups Left Side x 20
  10. Burpees x 20

Nutrition Task #4 – Eat more Greens!

SpartanGreenPlate

Try replacing some of those higher calorie sides with vegetables!  Lose the dinner roll and add  some asparagus along with a salad!

Keep up the great work!  Aroo

Todd and Mike

 

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Spartan SGX Week 3 – Intervals

By Todd M. Cambio | May 2, 2014

Week 3 is in the books with the Mohegan Sun Spartans!   Great job to all!  New Nutrition Task 3 is listed below too!

TRX Wall Low Row

I would also like to thank everyone who participated in the 90 seceond Burpee challenge for Autism on Thursday night!

This week was a step up in the intensity.  We incorportaed more animal movements and increased our conditioning component.

For animals, we have added to the Spartan A, B, C’s (Ape, Bear and Crab) by including:

Conditioning was increased by adding in 1…10 Spartan runs and Spartan Suicides!

Spartan Suicides Spartan Suicides 2

We also added a little “I Go U Go!” training!

Here was our Spartan SGX WOD Thursday:

5 min jog

Warm Up: See it here: http://www.toddcambio.com/spartan-sgx-training-day-1/ but we added in:

Skater Lunges

Interval Training: Rd  - 1 min:1 min, Rd 2 & 3 – 30 sec:30 sec

  1. TRX Low Row
  2. Core Sprinters
  3. Jump Squats

TRX Low Row Core Sprinter

TRX Row Jump Squats

90 Second Burpee Challenge for Kettlebells4Autism.

Conditioning: 1…10 partner Spartan Runs

Cool Down/Recovery:

Week 3 NUTRITION TASK:

Throw away all the junk food (processed items) in your house!  If it is not there, you will not eat it!

Junk Foods

Aroo, Aroo, Aroo!

Todd

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Kettlebells 4 Autism

By Todd M. Cambio | May 1, 2014

On Cinco de Mayo, Monday May 5th, 7 – 8 PM at Precision Fitness, we will be swinging bells in honor of our friends and families affected by autism!

Kettlebells4Autism

We are asking all our friends to swing a bell (or other exercise) for 90 seconds to show their support for Kim and Jeff and there cause!

Can’t make it, simply donate below and participate on your own!

You could also show your support by taking a picture or video of yourself doing 90 seconds of swings and post it on our FAN page!

We will have body weight options available for those who are not kettlebellers.

We will have food and beverages in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo too!

Our Mission:

To support not-for-profit organizations devoted to autism research, treatment, and/or the delivery of evidenced based practices, to those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. By way of an annual Kettlebells 4 Autism (KB4A) Fundraising Event, and merchandise sales, funds will be raised for a minimum of 4 not-for-profit organizations per year.

Please support our very own Jeff and Kim Ligori in this fight!

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