Opening Week for DST Athletes

  • By Dynamic Sports Training
  • 08 Apr, 2016
This week was Opening week in baseball, both Major and Minor League. We have several DST Athletes - old and new - sprinkled throughout the different levels of professional baseball. At DST, we strive to make our athletes feel as if they are a part of a family with connections that go deeper than just training together. We want our professional athletes to be excited about our high school and youth athletes doing well, just as we want our youth, high school and college athletes supporting those at higher levels.

In doing this, we can truly develop an environment of encouragement both in our facilities and nation-wide through online and social media channels. Below is a list of current professional baseball players who trained with Dynamic Sports Training during the 2015-2016 off-season and where they are playing. We encourage you all to follow them on social media and watch them when you can during the season. If one of our guys has a great game or gains some recognition, post on your social media about it using the hashtags #DSTstrong and #DSTfamily. Let’s make this a place where all our athletes encourage each other throughout their careers.

Evan Gattis, DH (MLB): Houston Astros- @BulldogBeing

This year was a first for Evan spending his off-season with a training staff and we couldn’t be more ecstatic he allowed us to be a part of it. Gattis came in and crushed it from the very start. A lot of people ask us how much he can lift, but this off-season wasn’t about how much weight he could push, it was about getting fundamentally sound with his body. Evan is a great student and was adamant about learning how his body functioned. After being set back by a sports hernia, Evan will start the season in Corpus Christi with the Hooks. He was able to have an active Spring Training taking live AB’s in AA and AAA games. We're looking forward to watching him dominate here in our home town.

Scott Kazmir, LHP (MLB): Los Angeles Dodgers- @scottkazmir19

Scott signed a 3-year contract with the Dodgers this off-season where he will be the Dodgers No. 2 starter behind 3-time Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw. He had a great off-season that included 6:00 a.m. workouts every single day. He focused on improving his body composition while gaining core stability and lower body strength. His focus and attitude this off-season are sure to lead to accolades on the field.

Jay Bruce, OF (MLB): Cincinnati Reds

This was Jay's 2nd off-season with us and he made great strides, yet again. He his a consistent hard worker whose humility and dedication speak volumes in the weight room. He has been a great role model for many of our younger athletes and other pros who are trying to achieve the same level of success he has had in his time in The Show. He is the every day right fielder for the Cincinnati Reds and he can flat-out crush the ball .

Trevor Bauer, RHP (MLB): Cleveland Indians- @BauerOutage

Trevor has been a DST mainstay since the beginning of his professional career. Trevor had a great off-season and spring training where he improved in several areas of his game. Trevor is a fantastic student of the game and he's always pushing himself and our team to perform at the highest level possible. He is a starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Carl Crawford, OF (MLB): Los Angeles Dodgers

Carl has been training with DST off and on since we opened our doors in 2008. Spending much of his prior two off-seasons in Arizona, we were happy to welcome Carl back this year. He's a blast to be around and brings a ton of energy to our workouts. Though he's one of the best raw athletes you'll ever see, he's still a very hard worker and is constantly looking to improve every facet of his game. Carl and fellow DST Athlete Scott Kazmir will lead the Los Angeles Dodgers' quest to return to the postseason.

Ryan Lollis, OF (AAA): Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants) - @Loll1pop2324

With Ryan Lollis in the equation, you can guarantee a great off-season group. He's one of those guys who naturally leads others and provides energy in the weight room and keeps others lockedin. Lollis is looking to build off last season where he worked his way up to the MLB, making multiple appearances in the San Francisco Giants starting lineup. Ryan is a grinder and a guy that loves to work so we see great things for him in the future. He starts his journey back to the 40-man roster this year in Sacramento with the River Cats.

Austin Pruitt, RHP (AAA): Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays)- @aus13tin

Austin has been with us since his days at the University of Houston. He is a consistently hard worker who has really amped up his off-season work over the past two years. He has progressed quickly through the system, moving up a level each year. He will begin this year in Triple-A with the Durham Bulls in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He is a starting pitcher and earned Performer of the Month honors from us in February.

Alex Bregman, SS (AA): Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros)- @A_BREG1

Houston Astros fans know the name - and for good reason. Alex spent his first off-season out of LSU training with us down in Houston. He comes out of this year’s off-season training with a non-roster big league camp invite and boy did he make the most of it. This spring, he has turned heads with his abilities at the plate as well in the field. Bregman will continue his campaign for the show in Double-A Corpus Christi with manager Rodney Linares.

John Simms, RHP (AA): Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals)- @schlimms13

Through the adversity John has faced, he has always bounced back proving the nay-sayers wrong; and we wouldn’t expect anything different. John is a guy that understands what the grind consists of and takes every chance he has to better himself to reach his ultimate goal. After coming off last year’s off-season that involved hip surgery, John had something to prove. He earned himself a spot in the Arizona Fall league this year dominating every outing he was given, going 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA. John followed up his fall with an off-season for the books down here in Houston and gained more confidence in his overall abilities. He is returning to Harrisburg with the Senators.

Jared Lakind, LHP (AA): Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates)- @J_Lakind

Jared is in his second year with DST. Last year, he had a great season over two levels between rookie ball and Low-A with a combined 1.69 ERA. He focused on gaining velocity this off-season and it showed in Spring Training where his average fastball velocity was up 2-3 mph. His solid spring earned him a bullpen role for the Double-A Altoona Curve of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Louis Head, RHP (AA): Akron Ducks (Cleveland Indians)

Louis is a tremendously hard worker who joined DST late this off-season. He is a guy who is focused and hell-bent on improving in multiple areas. This off-season, his focus was on improving mechanical flaws in his delivery while gaining velocity on his fastball. It showed in spring training as his average spring training velocity in 2015 was 91-93mph with a spike to 94-97mph this spring. He is looking forward to a break-out year and will start in Double-A Akron in the Cleveland Indians organization.

Avain Rachal, IF (A+): Daytona Tortuguas (Cincinnati Reds)- @AvainRachal

Avain was a different animal coming into this year’s off-season and was one that really stood out. Being known for his power, Avain looked to add another tool to his game by honing in on his speed this off-season. He really excelled in his starts early in the training and took that success into his maximum velocity. He definitely turned some heads when his times were called out; we look for Avain to be a threat on the base path this year and to stretch out a few more doubles. After having a solid campaign in Dayton last year, he will start in Daytona Beach with the Tortugas.

Casey Grayson, 1B (A+): Palm Beach Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)- @CDGrayson43

Casey has also been with us since his UofH days. The former Coog is coming off back-to-back team MVP seasons on the Cardinals’ farm. This off-season, he emphasized improving his body composition and gaining power. He had a solid spring which earned him a job on the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals of the St. Louis Cardinals Organization.

Ashford Fulmer, OF (A): Augusta Greenjackets (San Francisco Giants)- @Lord_Fulmer

The former University of Houston Cougar Outfielder, Ashford Fulmer, is coming off his first off-season with Dynamic Sports Training. Ash really hit the ground running with his training making strength and speed improvements. He kept that momentum rolling into spring training earning himself a spot in Low A with the Augusta Greenjackets.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (A): West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates)- @KeBryanHayes

‘Key’ had his first DST experience this off-season. The young kid is strong and can flat-out hit. The 2015 1st Round pick will begin his 2016 campaign in Low-A West Virginia in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Stone Garrett, OF (Miami Marlins)- @stonegarrett22

Stone is coming off a break-out year with the Miami Marlins’ Batavia Muckdogs in the Penn League, and racking up a few awards along the way (Baseball America Short-Season All-Star, NYP Player of the Month in August, Mid-Season All-Star, and Miami Marlins Minor League Player of the Year).  Late in the season, he suffered a left wrist contusion that ended up requiring surgery coming into his off-season training after being hit by a pitch. Through Spring Training, he has progressed well with his rehab and has gotten to see the field recently. He will be kept in extended to obtain more at bats and looks to be up in Greensboro with the Grasshoppers around the start of May.

Eric Thomas, OF (Pittsburgh Pirates)- @Hi_im_Eric

E.T. is in his second year with us here at DST. He is coming off a big off-season where he made a lot of improvements on his mobility and overall strength. We look for Eric to have a solid year with the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization. Eric will be in extended spring training to start the season.

Tyler Ford, LHP (Detroit Tigers)

Tyler is an incredibly hard worker with a ton of energy. Tyler joins Casey Grayson, Ashford Fulmer, and Austin Pruitt as former Coogs that continue to train with DST into their professional careers. Tyler will begin the season in extended Spring Training. He is a relief pitcher in the Detroit Tigers organization.

Nolan Riggs, RHP (San Francisco Giants)- @NolanRiggs

Nolan is a big kid with a big work ethic. The 6-foot, 9-inch starting pitcher had a great 2015 in Short Season A-ball with the San Francisco Giants organization. His emphasis over the off-season was to gain overall strength and mass, move better on the mound and improve his velocity. He accomplished everything he set out to this off-season and will begin 2016 in extended spring.

Kyle Dowdy, RHP (Detroit Tigers)

Kyle Dowdy will begin his first professional season with the Detroit Tigers organization. The U of H Alum got off-site programming with DST during the 2015-2016 offseason. He will begin the season in extended spring.

Barret Loux, RHP (Independent): Sugarland Skeeters

Barret is coming off his first off-season with DST. The former 6th overall pick, his career path took a detour after a couple of different arm injuries that required surgery.  Barret came in with an emphasis on finally getting his body right after those surgeries. The focus was on regaining range of motion through the scapula and the shoulder while gaining more stability through his rotator cuff. At the same time, Barret had to completely re-tool his mechanics that led to his arm problems in the first place. Well, that is exactly what he did. He is throwing healthier than ever, and his velocity is back to the low 90’s. He will be in spring training with the Sugarland Skeeters of the Atlantic League as he hopes to make the jump back to affiliated ball.

Josh Martinez, RHP/IF (Independent): Florence Freedom

Josh is a first-year DST Athlete and a first-year pro. The former HBU Husky caught the eye of the Florence Freedom coaching staff while playing in the Arizona Winter League this off-season. He will begin his professional career this spring. Josh is a dedicated athlete with a great desire to improve each day. His passion for the game is hard to match.

#DSTstrong #DSTfamily

Dynamic Sports Training Blog

By Dynamic Sports Training 25 Apr, 2017
The muscle-up is an advanced upper body exercise mainly seen in the gymnastics and CrossFit communities. The application of the muscle-up to team sports is limited, however we can break the movement down into its more basic components and achieve a positive training effect.

The muscle up is comprised of two basic components: a pull up ´╗┐, followed immediately by a dip . These are two very simple and very effective exercises in their own right. The pull up is one of the biggest 'bang for your buck' exercises in building a strong, muscular back. Dips are a great exercise for building the pressing muscles such as the chest, triceps, and front delts.

If you’ve ever watched men’s gymnastics, it is pretty easy to see the high level of upper body strength and musculature development that these movements have contributed to. Even these athletes were not able to achieve a flawless muscle-up on their first time trying. They started with the basics of these movements and progressed as they mastered the beginner variations.

This is something we see being skipped in many CrossFit classes and from enthusiastic individuals roaming your local gym. If we put the muscle-up (done properly) on an exercise continuum and compare it to an education continuum, it would be equivalent to a master’s level education. No one gets their masters, or even gets to practice the core curriculum, without first passing the required prerequisites. This approach should be no different when picking exercises to include in a well-designed strength and conditioning program.

So whether you want to achieve your first muscle-up or to simply have a strong upper body, make sure you are mastering the basics first.
By Dynamic Sports Training 25 Apr, 2017
It's no surprise to us here at Dynamic Sports Training when we see one of our athletes' names (or multiple) in an article headline, spotlighting him or her for doing something great in their respective sport. We've been with them through the offseason grinding and know they're capable of achieving greatness. 

Even though it doesn't surprise us, we still get pumped whenever we see our athletes in the media. This last week, we had a few baseball clients achieve a bunch of 'firsts' and we'd like to highlight their recent accomplishments:

Austin Pruitt (RHP) - First Career MLB Win (Tampa Bay Rays)

Austin has been training with DST since his college days at UofH. While a Cougar, Pruitt worked with DST Owner Lee Fiocchi who was the Head Strength Coach for the baseball program at the time. Pruitt has worked with DST North Director of Operations and Sports Performance Specialist, Kevin Poppe, for the last four off-seasons. He was drafted in the 9th round in the 2013 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, earning his spot in the Big Leagues this Spring Training (2017) and making his major league debut on April 2, 2017.

Three weeks after his debut, Pruitt earned his first career win while striking out five against the Detroit Tigers on April 19 (video). A short three days later, earned his second career win against the Houston Astros, both at home at Tropicana Field. 

"Pru has overachieved other people's expectations his entire career," Poppe comments. "He's a guy that will have a chance to play a long time in the big leagues. He has worked extremely hard over the past several off-seasons to get to this point. He's added velocity, and we are all extremely excited to watch such a good guy get to chase his dream."

DST Sports Performance Specialist, Dennis Koenck, has also been able to see Pruitt's work ethic first-hand. 

"I had heard stories of Pru from Poppe that seemed almost Chuck Norris-like," Koenck jokes. "When I first met Pru, I knew that he was a command guy because he wasn't that much taller than me, until I saw his work ethic and how hard he grinded this off-season. Knowing the odds were against him in Spring Training, the hard work this off-season followed him wherever he went, and it shows a lot with his character. Pru is the man...He sets goals every day, continues to climb, and we're pumped for him!"  

Ryan Tepera (RHP) - First Career MLB Win (Toronto Blue Jays)

Ryan Tepera spent his 2016-17 offseason with Dynamic Sports Training in Houston, Texas, at our West location working with DST Sports Performance Specialist, Sammy Knox. Tepera was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 19th round in 2009, making his MLB debut with the club in 2015. 

"I have worked with Ryan each of his last four off-seasons," Knox comments. "Each year he has evolved and progressed into a more well-rounded and complete athlete. It's been fun to watch."

On April 21, 2017, Tepera tossed three scoreless innings to garner his first-ever Big League win against the Los Angeles Angels in extra innings. 

Josh Graber, Director of Business Operations at DST, commented how exciting a time this is. "Ryan's the kind of guy you like to cheer for. He's humble and hard-working. We're so excited to see one of the good guys capitalize on a well-deserved opportunity like this."

Tepera was pretty pumped about Friday's performance when he took to Twitter. "What a game last night! W's are always special, but when they include your first career win and 3 scoreless innings, it's unforgettable" -(via @RTepera

"Ryan Tepera pitches three scoreless frames in extras, striking out three while allowing just one hit to earn his first Major League victory." - (video)

Robert Dugger (RHP) - First Midwest League Win (MiLB - Clinton LumberKings)

Robert Dugger was drafted in the 18th round of the 2016 draft by the Seattle Mariners. On April 23, 2017, Dugger tossed two scoreless innings to earn his first Midwest League win against the Quad Cities River Bandits. 

DST Sports Performance Specialist, Dennis Koenck has a special connection to Robert Dugger, being his first minor-league client he trained on his own as a one-on-one.  

"Rob is the type of guy that found a way to stay even keel, no matter how intense the workouts got I couldn't tell if he was tired or not. It's rewarding to see him go out there and get this first win under his belt -- it takes the pressure off and now he gets to continue to grind, and go out there and perform. From the jam-sessions during the re-eds, explosiveness during the workouts, to the handshakes before he'd take off - I'm pumped for him to continue to build off of his first win."

"Dugger is meticulous in his offseason work at the Texas Baseball Ranch and here at DST," Poppe adds. "He is just a focused kid and is extremely competitive. No doubt he'll be able to have continued success at higher levels."


We are very proud of all of our athletes. We love seeing their success on and off the field, and are looking forward to seeing what other accomplishments they have this season. Way to go, DST Family!
By Dynamic Sports Training 18 Apr, 2017
For all you competitors, creatives, and wannabe fashion designers, we're going to have ourselves a little contest to let YOU -- our athletes -- design our next shirt for our 2017  #SummerofSeparation . (Yes, there will be some nice prizes!)

DST Design Contest Rules

1) Create the very best possible design for our 2017 Summer of Separation shirt each athlete will receive at summer training

2) Submit your design via social media (don't forget to tag us! @DST_Houston) by May 1st.

3) The DST Team will review all entries and choose 4 Finalists .

4) The 4 Finalists will be posted on social media and put to a vote.

5) The contest winner  will be announced on Tuesday, May 2nd. The winner will receive FREE summer training and $50 cash!

What if I'm not very creative?

Don't worry about it! We want everyone to participate. That means we'll take something even if you made it in paint! If your concept is good enough, we'll have our designers work with you to get it the way you want it if you're voted a finalist.

What are the guidelines for my design?

None, really. You can hand-draw it, use an editing software, whatever you want to do! If you need someplace to start, we'd recommend a couple of free design softwares: Canva or PicMonkey

Any recommendations?

Just make sure you use our logo (below) -- but feel free to use it however you'd like!  ´╗┐Bonus points if you incorporate #SummerofSeparation

Other Questions?

 Send Josh Graber an e-mail at with the subject line: DST Design Contest

By Dynamic Sports Training 18 Apr, 2017
This week's exercise is the lunge, which is a great lower body strength exercise for all fitness levels.

In order to properly perform a lunge, make sure the knee, shin, and ankle of the front leg are all in alignment when lowering your body. It is also important to keep the chest up and shoulders back to avoid injury. When going down into the lunge, make sure to lower your body straight down the center of gravity, not shifting any weight forward or backward. When at the bottom of the lunge position, focus on engaging the glute and hamstring to explode back up. Remember to keep an upright posture throughout the entire movement, on the way down as well as on the way up.

To make this movement more challenging, try holding onto weights. Grip the weights tightly, not letting them just hang down by the side. This forces additional muscle engagement in the upper body and core, turning this lower body strength exercise into a full body strength exercise.

The lunge is important for building lower body strength, which translates to lower body power and explosiveness down the line. The lunge can be incorporated into any workout regimen, commonly used in its simplest form with beginners, as well as used in other variations, incorporating added weight/bands with more advanced athletes. 
By Dynamic Sports Training 13 Apr, 2017

To keep and improve flexibility.

When we are born, we have excessive joint mobility and flexibility. As we grow up, we lose the mobility we don’t use and retain some based on the activities we do and sports we play. This plays a role in the compensations we develop. For example: As a baseball player, you partake in thousands of reps of swinging and throwing using one side of your body prior to high school -- this is what we would label “functional compensations” --  as the excessive range of motion a pitcher gets in the shoulder is a big contributor in how well they can throw a baseball. On the flip-side, it is likely to cause certain issues when performing other activities that require more symmetry. Lifting weights and learning how to perform your basic movement patterns properly will help to improve and maintain joint mobility while building stability and strength.

Mobility without stability is just as much an injury risk as an overly stiff body that lacks mobility.

By creating stability in a given range of motion, you are more likely to retain that joint mobility. Think of resistance training as pressing the save button. If you only quarter squat, you will likely lose the ability to achieve full hip flexion compared to someone that squats with load through a full range of motion. By training from a young age, we develop the functional mobility and strength that sets the athlete up for greater improvements down the road, along with a decreased risk of injury.

Gravity is resistance

I had a parent ask me recently, after seeing one of our youth athletes doing cleans, when the time was right to start resistance training. I explained to him that everyone does resistance training in life as soon as they are born. Let me explain. How does a baby stand up for the first time? Well, after trying over and over and failing to overcome their own bodyweight and gravity, they eventually build up enough strength and coordination to stand up and walk without falling. Fast forward a few years and those kids are running, jumping, and exploring the world through movement. Each ground contact during running is upwards of three times your bodyweight. Even some of the strongest NFL players will never lift anything that heavy in the weight room. Ever seen a young child jump off the monkey bars or from the swing and land on the ground from high up in the air? Did you worry about them and the health of their body? These are joint forces that are much more extreme than anything they could do in a controlled weight training session with a knowledgeable trainer. By participating in resistance training, a good coach can teach proper mechanics and help build a more resilient body, thereby reducing the risk of injury in sport.

Where are all the farm boys with stunted growth?

It doesn’t matter if we are lifting barbells or a bail of hay, resistance is resistance. Most people have heard that lifting weights at an early age will stunt the growth of a growing child. If this were the case, why aren’t children who grew up on farms (or other scenarios where physical labor was unavoidable) deformed and broken? Bails of hay, buckets of water, and wheelbarrows full of dirt all add up and are relatively heavy just like barbells and dumbbells. We have yet to see an epidemic where these children grow up to be hindered by it. Most of them reap the benefits of a strong mind and body as well as a robust general capacity to do physical work.

Let me emphasize that I am not condoning jumping into resistance training blindly. Everything is about progression. Loading the spine with back squats will not be on the agenda on day one or maybe even year one. An experienced eye will know when someone has earned the right to progress and, when that day comes, that is exactly what should be done. Do your research and find a good coach to guide your young athlete. I firmly believe you can find just that here at Dynamic Sports Training.
By Dynamic Sports Training 11 Apr, 2017

The bird dog is a rotary stability movement that resists movement of the spine, moving from four points of contact with the ground to two points of contact. Start with both knees and both hands on the ground. Alternate between raising the opposite arm and leg off the ground and reach as far as you can in opposite directions.  Make sure to keep the core tight, limiting the amount of body movement from the original position.

The alternate leg lower is a core stability movement. The goal is to help maintain a neutral spine and resist against extension in the lumbar spine (lower back). Start with the back flat against the ground, the lower back pressed into the ground and the core tight, both legs straight in the air at a 90 degree angle from the ground. Keeping one leg straight in the air (knees locked), slowly lower the opposite leg until just above the ground. Raise the same leg back to the starting position and repeat with the other.

Both movements improve core strength and stability to help prevent injuries as well as help address other minor issues, including reducing energy leaks during athletic performance or exercise. Incorporating these exercises into a workout regimen can decrease chance of injury, as well as improve the body's ability to function through exercises involving the core.

Effective application of these exercises can help a wide range of people -- including youth, professional athletes, and the general population. Constructing pillar strength is essential to maintaining proper posture. 
By Dynamic Sports Training 10 Apr, 2017
This month's spotlight athletes are long-time DST athletes Kris and Cody Nguyen. Both brothers have been training with DST for over four years, working with several Sports Performance Specialists including Kevin Poppe, Jeff McCollum, and Sammy Knox.

The 21-year-old brothers currently attend Houston Community College together.  Both are extremely dedicated to their training, coming into the gym regularly five times a week and keeping each other accountable as workout partners. Sammy Knox, who currently writes their programs, was very complimentary of the brothers. "Kris and Cody are some of the most consistent and focused athletes I have seen," Sammy said. "They truly exemplify what it means to be DST athletes."

Their strength and speed have increased greatly from working with our team over the past four years, maximizing the time they spend in the weight room and improving their performances on the baseball diamond. It's been exciting to follow their journeys and to see how much they've accomplished. Team DST is looking forward to continue to help Kris and Cody reach their goals and, with their work ethic? Nothing can stop them!
By Dynamic Sports Training 07 Apr, 2017

I was recently asked the question, "How has the journey been so far?"

Well, it’s the beginning of April, so it’s been about three months since I started my journey here at DST.

I had no clue what I wanted to do with my degree after graduating from UTSA last December. A mutual friend introduced me to Dennis "DK" Koenck who told me that his company was looking for a business intern, so I applied and got an interview with Josh Graber, the Director of Business Operations. I showed up dressed as a business professional because this was my first big interview right out of college. I remember meeting Poppe (Kevin Poppe, Director of DST North) that day and him telling me "nice tie." Turns out, I was a little overdressed for the interview!

Beginning the new year, I was your stereotypical “new guy” at the company: a little shy, timid, and uncertain of myself. Eventually, I opened up and started to fit in nicely with the staff here. Since I played baseball in high school and club ball in college, I knew I should be working out, but I could never find the motivation to do so consistently. When I started working at DST, I knew that I should take advantage of what was in front of me: a top-class weight room, helpful trainers, and great motivation from the entire DST staff.

I started out using a generic program designed to get me moving and sweating. Then one day as Josh, Rachel (another business intern), and I were brainstorming during a meeting, we decided to challenge each other to a health and fitness competition utilizing the trainers we have on staff. Josh teamed up with Sammy, Rachel teamed up with Stephen, and I teamed up with Garrett.  And thus, the DST Three Month Challenge was created. We would be competing against each other for three months to promote DST and our trainers. We were each assessed, took a BMI test, and all took before photos to compare when we’re done.

We decided we needed more than just pride on the line, though. The losing team has to bear the shame of singing karaoke in front of our summer camp -- Oh, and the other teams get to decide the song! If this wasn't going to motivate me, I don’t think anything would have!

So Garrett and I got to work. He built me a personalized training program along with a nutrition plan. He couldn’t stress enough to me that I needed to commit to the diet in order to thin down and get strong. So I did.

The first day I weighed in at 203 lbs, which is considered overweight for my height. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. The first day was honestly the toughest because I was extremely out of shape and I hadn’t trained hard in over five years! I was able to tough it out and finish the first week without actually dying. I can't even express to you how sore I was. When I got home that first night, I couldn’t get up from my chair without immediately falling back down. Day one was so bad my legs had given out on me!

Another surprise to me was just how hard it is to stay to a good diet! It’s tough to cook and eat as healthy as Garrett wants me to! My first time meal-prepping for the week took me over five hours to shop, chop, and cook all of my food. 5 weeks in, I’ve cut that down to 3 hours, which is a big difference.

Typical Day :

  • Breakfast Shake: 1 scoop of protein, a cup of strawberries, half a cup of blueberries, two cups of milk, and 5 macadamia nuts.

  • My first snack is an ounce of deer sausage, half an orange, and 15 cashews.

  • Lunch is a bag of frozen veggies (broccoli, water chestnuts, and carrots steamed), usually 5 ounces of chicken, a handful of grapes, a handful of carrots and a cup of strawberries.

  • My second snack of the day is the same as my first snack, 1 oz of deer meat, the other half of orange and 15 cashews.

  • Dinner is 5 ounces of meat, a cup of onions that I steam with 12 spears of asparagus, and a half cup of green peppers. A cup of strawberries or half a cup of watermelon and a handful of grapes with 25 peanuts or 15 almonds.

I’ve never had what you’d call a “healthy diet” so this was all very new to me, but it’s been a huge success so far.

So here we are, halfway through our challenge, and I feel great! My weight is down to 191, I've lost a little bit of my belly, my arms are toned again, and I haven't felt better since my senior year of high school. I’m motivated to stay active and competing against some pretty awesome people is motivation as well. With Josh already in good shape and Rachel just coming back from Iceland after playing professional soccer there, I knew this competition was going to be challenging, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I need Garrett to push me hard, but I also know I have to bust my butt to get on their level. You have to be resilient and relentless if you want to be successful, and this challenge has definitely tested me on that.

“How has the journey been so far?” I would say that this is one of the most fun things I have ever been a part of. Losing weight, looking good, getting stronger, and competing against my coworkers has been a heck of a ride. And let me tell you something: they don’t stand a chance. I'm very excited for May when I'll bring home the bragging rights as champion of our three month challenge!
By Dynamic Sports Training 06 Apr, 2017
Mindset Principle: Relentless
By Josh Graber

“A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” —James N. Watkins

Have you ever known one of those people who just refuses to give up? Has to play "just one more game" until they win? Sometimes you love them, sometimes you hate them, but you will  always respect their tenacity and never-say-die attitude. That mindset of relentlessness is exactly what we'll be focusing on this month.

Last month , we discussed resilience and the importance of bouncing back after getting knocked down. Relentlessness and resilience are definitely closely related, but there's also a distinct difference between the two: the resilient person withstands all sorts of setbacks and doesn't falter while the relentless person fights through all obstacles no matter what they may be.

Still sound the same? Think of it in terms of the proverbial meeting between an immovable object and the unstoppable force. The immovable object is the resilient athlete and the unstoppable force is the relentless athlete. 

Let's go back to that person you know who refuses to quit. What's always the end result? They win. They accomplish their goals. Always. Why? Because the narrative is never over until they're on top. It doesn't matter if they lose 19 games before finally winning one. At the end of the day, they won. 

Have a goal? Be relentless. Don't stop until you reach it. Babe Ruth had it right when he said, "You just can't beat the person who never gives up." Be that person.

Nutrition Principle: Nutrient Timing
By Chelsea Bellinger

Nutrient timing is all about the dispersion and distribution of calories and macronutrients throughout the day. This is a complicated concept because, like most things regarding diet and exercise, there is no "one-size-fits-all" guideline on how someone should consume their nutrients throughout the day. The type of athlete, intensity of the training program (or performance days) and time of day the athlete is expending the most energy are just a few factors that go into evaluating an individual's nutrient timing. Nutrient timing is important to ensuring the athlete's body is fueled properly during training sessions, competition time and also during recovery time. 

Physical Principle: Tempo

By Sammy Knox

When discussing tempo in training, we are referring to the speed at which we execute the exercise. Training with different tempos is important because it will provide the athlete with a different stress, therefore causing a specific adaptation to that stress. There are three different tempos we utilize in our training because there are three different types of muscular contractions.

  1. Eccentric – a muscle that is lengthening while contracting
  2. Isometric – a muscle that does not change in length while contracting

  3. Concentric - a muscle that is shortening in length while contracting

Let's use a squat exercise as our example:

- The better you are at eccentric strength (a slow descent in the squat), the better you will be at absorbing force. This is important for both preventing injury and increasing performance. When sprinting, we want to spend very little time on the ground while still being able to apply enough force to be fast. The stronger the athlete is eccentrically, the better they will be able to achieve this.

- Isometric strength (holding the bottom of the squat) is beneficial to being a well-rounded athlete, as you are required to hold static postures under high forces and velocities while sprinting. Our core muscles must be strong isometrically during sprinting and other athletic feats to transfer force in the most efficient and effective way.

- Concentric strength (standing up from the bottom of a squat) is all about force production and can also be referred to as  “starting strength.” This is very important in the acceleration phase of sprinting, which is the first 10-20 yards. This is the case since we are not able to utilize the stretch reflex as effectively to propel us in the direction we want to go; therefore, we must use more concentric strength to get us going.

As you can see, all three tempos are important and useful for athletes to develop maximum strength.

By Dynamic Sports Training 04 Apr, 2017
The medicine ball slam is a great full-body, compound exercise that generates explosive power in the sagittal plane (movement done from front to back). The athlete contracts their core/lats to throw the ball downward to the ground. The athlete will rotate through the thoracic spine (upper back) while bringing the ball overhead and keeping their hips in line. They'll also achieve triple extension through the ankle, knees and hips. Then, forcefully contracting the core to keep the torso rigid, the athlete will slam the medicine ball down.

Medicine ball slams are a total-body movement, emphasizing the bracing of the core and generating explosive power by coordinating the movements of the athlete's upper and lower halves. We never use just one muscle or one part of the body in sports, so training total-body movements is imperative to improvement.  The medicine ball slam is a great exercise that translates from the weight room to a game scenario.

3 main keys to this exercise:

1. Be athletic.
2. Gain triple extension.
3. Slam the ball as hard as you possibly can.
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