Transplant Athlete
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
  Coaching TReport

Monday night, I went out to the Ashburn Library for "Discussion with strength and conditioning coach Jim Fox". I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I'm always looking for more and better information on training, and after hearing the "discussion", I'm still not sure what it was about. Jim Fox was the strength and conditioning coach for the Caps and is currently a professor at American U.

His delivery was amateurish, with lots of "ums". The content seemed fragmented and lacking in substance, but there is real potential there. He covered his training philosophy in a "this is better for you so if you want to learn more buy my...". But I'm pretty sure this was unintentional.

He started out talking about the mind body connection as it relates to sports and I agree with most of what he said. Its not the muscles that do the lifting, its the mind. In The Complete Book Of Long Distance Cycling they say ultracycling is 90% mental. I think it was Henry Ford who said, "whether you think you can or you can't, you're right." Its all the same thing.

With the mind body connection established, then he went on to cover his philosophy about training:


Here he talked about training based on perceived exertion(PE) and heart rate(HR), nothing new here, but for more accurate training a VO2 Max test gives a more accurate range for training than HR and PE. He was also trying to get across that these measures could be used to determine overtraining or potential training. In particular, I think he was trying to say an Ayurvedic athlete who listens to his/her body takes more rest days and gets better results.

Mind Body Type

He had us fill out a quick survey to determine our type VATTA, PITTA, KAPHA. I'm a bit skeptical about this part of the presentation. He claimed that his training plans take these types in to account when planning workouts and he gave some generalizations, but there wasn't much substance here. For instance, for my type I should avoid training in hot weather...Which I truly believe is hogwash. I know my body can get heat acclimated, just as it can get acclimated to the cold. In fact, I hate training in the 70 degree days during the winter because once I get cold acclimated I don't like to switch until spring (when I start to hate the cold days because I'm acclimating to the heat). Also, he postulated that specific mind/body types require specific nutrition. as well as specific training. So it sounded like he was selling his services, which I'm cool with, but a hand out or flyer on the types might have been nice.

Don't Divide The Mind Body Connection

Essentially, stress at work or stress at home is the same as stress from a workout, so don't try to separate them or think you can.

Then he covered a typical workout which is logical and similar to other workouts I've seen. Finally he told us about the new facility he was opening in Rockville. I did get two important take-aways from the presentation which I'll cover tomorrow.

What could he have done better? The mechanics of the presentation need work, the "ums" are the first thing, but I would also suggest an outline at the beginning to give structure to the presentation. Also a snappier title might help, there were just 3 other people in the seats with me..."The Ayurvedic Athlete" maybe or "The Stress Less Athlete" or even "The Holistic Athlete". A better title will get people to the talks and an improved structure and content will impress them. In ten years, he could have a book series and a profitable practice, because the information is there, but the presentation isn't.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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