Monday, 28 November 2011
My interview with New Zealand's TVNZ

Ben and Owen Franks, training for the All BlacksI've been down under (New Zealand) for a couple of weeks. The people and the scenery have all been amazing.

Just when I thought things couldn't get better, I was blessed to be singled out for a short television piece during my stay down here.

The news station TVNZ learned about my training a couple of New Zealand's favorite sons, elite rugby players and brothers, Ben and Own Franks. The piece aired on the evening news and covered some basics of training such high-level athletes as well as exposing the sad fact that I am not a shy eater.

The people at the station were professional and way more than gracious to put my bubble head on their airwaves.

Have a look.

Click here or on the picture below

Ed Cosner's TVNZ interview regarding training Ben and Owen Franks

Posted on 11/28/2011 8:21 AM by Ed Cosner
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Developing Explosive Strength and Power

.3 seconds...that's all the time you have in sports

Got your attention?  Doesn't sound like much time does it?  You're asking yourself what the hell is Ed talking about has he lost his mind...what about .3 seconds.   Well, if you want to be an elite athlete that had better be your reaction time!!  I'm talking about change of direction, exploding out of your position, creating or closing seperation, and so much more and it all happens in .3 seconds. 

In sport we define power as the product of strength x speed (distance) / time

Each of these components must be part of your overall training plan.  Of course there are different emphasis not only during each train cycle but also within each training session.

One of the best ways to develop Explosive Strength and Power is by the use of the Olympic Weightlifting movements in your training.  First let me tell you that any coach that says that the lifts are too technical and/or difficult to teach, there are other exercises just as good, I don't have the athlete long enough, or that they are dangerous...Seriously?? Then find a new job!!

Let's explore a few reasons for why I think the way I do.  The olympic lifts produce the highest output of power and rate of force development.  The "dip and drive" phase of the press or jerk and the "jump and pull" phase of the clean or snatch take .2 to .3 seconds.  Consider that maximal strength takes .7 to .9 seconds or more to develop and in sports that's an eternity.
The lifts also help in the systematic and coordniated movements of the body and aid in the development of force production (the initial movement from the ground into extension) and force reduction/stabilization (the catch).  This will strengthen and prepare the athlete's body for change of direction, jumping and landing, the explosive release of an implement, and the impact of a collision in sports.

The peak power development of the Olympic Weightlifting movements are: 

  • 4-5 times more than the squat or deadlift
  • 11-15 times more than the bench press

*from John Garhammer Journal of Strength Condtioning Research 7(2): 76-89 1993

Let's get some real examples:

  •  800 pound squat produces 765 foot pounds per second
  • 500 pound bench press produces 420 foot pounds per second
  • 280 pound power clean produces 1885 foot pounds per second

*from Mike Clark, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Kansas City Chiefs NFL

Stay tuned as I will cover the role that maximum strength plays in the development of Explosive Strenght and Power.
Then later we can go through the use of plyometrics and medicine ball training to "bridge the gap" so we can take the gains made in the weightroom and have them show up in the sport you play!! 

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES


Posted on 11/27/2011 5:48 PM by Ed Cosner
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Training of a Champion Week 2

We ended another great week of training the other day and now that I've had an opportunity to observe and test Ben we have a better feel for how the training program will evolve. 

One word can describe how our strength training is going....STRONG!!!  We're moving big weights and moving them explosive.  However,  we need to move the improvements from the weightroom to the rugby pitch.  So now time for us to add in aglility, quickness, and some plyometrics into our training plan.  

Now I already knew that this is one strong dude!!  I mean come on look at the sport he makes his living at and then look even closer to the position he plays.  He is athletic and he is strong but there is something missing for him and he knows it or I would still be in San Antonio not here.  Before I came Ben already had a list of goals for the off season training.  Together we broke those goals down into goals for each training cycle and each training session.

Do you have goals that guide your training?  Are you secure enough to be one of the best in the world at your sport yet sit back and evaluate yourself honestly?  Without goals it's hard to have focus in your training or in your life.  How do you know that your training plan is working?  Write them down and put them where you can see them.  I heard a quote once and it applies here, "When you write down your goals you own them"

Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES 

Photo: James (Red) McLeod; Whero Films

Posted on 11/22/2011 4:17 AM by ed cosner
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Training of a Champion

So the month of November finds me at the bottom of the earth here in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Of course getting here was quite the ordeal thanks to the horrible "customer service" that was offered by Continental/United Airlines or whatever they call themselves.  Thanks to Air New Zealand for making my 14+ hour trip from LAX to Auckland a wonderful experience.  Note to self...always fly Southwest Airlines or Air New Zealand when you can.

However, I am not here on vacation, I am here to train Ben Franks of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup Champion New Zealand All Blacks.  So why did Ben bring me here all the way from the USA you ask?  Simple he wants to become stronger, more powerful, more explosive and quicker and he knows I am just the right man for the job.  I've been training him since February and he trusts me to get the job done.  Even if that means moving me into his spare bedroom for a month...poor guy just didn't realize how much I can eat!!!

I did come bearing gifts so I'm not that bad;  from Ironmind Ben got the #2 gripper, a copy of Milo, and training straps and from Titan Support a great new belt, wrist wraps and the Ram!!!  From Ben I got an autographed All Blacks jersey,  an autographed rugby ball both from Rugby World Cup and All Blacks shorts. Also a place to stay and food!!!  He and Genna are great hosts opening up their home to me.

Now this is Strength and Power Training, my passion, my life's is going to be heavy and it is going to be hard!!!  This ain't some bullshit training plan designed by some pencil neck geek that has never lifted a heavy weight...this is MY training plan!!  It is simple and it is basic  not some flashy fad's called a workout for a reason.  He ain't alone in this I am training right there with him and pushing him to his body's limits.  He is a committed athlete and a blast to work with!!  He does all the right things to be successful.

So I got in and got some food and we were off to the gym where we will spend almost every morning training, sweating, suffering, and getting strong and powerful...the very reason I am here.  Eastside Barbell/Gravity Gym is an awesome place for some real training.  It has jerk boxes, squat racks, benches, and plenty of bumper plates.  The afternoon training sessions will find us at Linwood Rugby Academy for agility work followed by rugby skill training with Scotty or you can find us at Canterbury Crossfit the gym the Frank brothers own with their dad, yes scary there are 2 of these beasts playing for the All Blacks.  There we will be doing our medicine ball training thanks to all I have learned and stole from Vern Gambetta one of my mentors and hereos in Athletic Development.  

 Please check back and see how our training is going.  Got some pictures posted in the gallery go check them out!!
Until next time remember      Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES

Posted on 11/17/2011 12:44 AM by Ed Cosner