Foam Roll

Coach Eck’s Training Sessions 2/11/13 – 2/25/13

Prevail Strength Coach Jacob Goodin

Have you ever wondered how Chris “Eck” Ecklund gets his training sessions in despite his busy schedule?  Below are his last eight sessions, complete with the rationale for each lift.  Enjoy!

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/1/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. No strength work today (I already got in 4 days this week, which is plenty for me).
  2. Just a fun workout of 6v6 soccer with the Prevail team.  Our games, unfortunately, are reminding me that I am brutally out of “conditioning” shape for soccer.  A little unhappy about that as I know I have more fun when I’m in a bit better condition.  Will have to work on that over the next 2 months.

IT Band SMR Foam Roll

Self Myofascial Release has shown strong research and emperical evidence over the past 5 years to be a key ingredient for pre and post exercise routine benefit. Often described as “the poor man’s massage,” SMR shows 3 primary benefits to increased muscle performance and decreased recovery time: decreased neural inhibition allowing stronger force/muscle contraction, decreased myofascial adhesions, decreased trigger point pain (passive and/or active).

Key coaching points for all SMR work:

1. Perform 2-5 sets of 20-60 seconds per muscle.

2. Find the worst points of tenderness/pain in the given muscle (check the entire muscle).

3. Put as much pressure as possible on the given area while still keeping muscle relaxed.

4. Either roll over or hold pressure on the point of tenderness and gradually work deeper as muscle relaxes.

Ideally perform before your dynamic warm up/movement prep, during rest intervals between strength lifts, and immediately post workouts prior to stretching. However, if you’re only going to do it once, put it prior to movement prep and static stretching before workout sessions.

What I Recommend

For those of you who have not yet taken a look at some of the resources I subscribe to and recommend, take a look in the right hand margin of my blog.

I did want to make special note of a couple sites I use for my own reading/learning as well as some of the sites I use for my own purchases and for those of my clients:

StrengthCoach.com: Edited and run by Mike Boyle, this website has some of the top Strength & Conditioning professionals in the country contributing their thoughts and updates on research, program design, nutrition, injury prevention, etc. One of the primary benefits of this site is online video resources. If you’re a strength and conditioning professional or just an avid learner, take a moment to check out this site.

AdvoCare.com: My trusted source for supplement products and information. These are the only products I have taken and recommended to my clients for the past 6 years . With so many companies out there, it’s tough to know who is doing the research and putting safe, quality USP grade products in the packages. These guys do it. And not only that, their products work synergistically well within their easy systems.

Also, if you’re a trainer looking for a good company to retail to your clients or on your site, you can do it with AdvoCare (click here).

Perform Better: My choice for almost all equipment purchases. Good quality, tons of variety, great library for learning as well.


Human Kinetics:
if you’re looking for ANY book related to exercise, nutrition, training, strength, conditioning, etc., you’ll be able to find it here.

NSCA Performance Videos: A recent find of mine. A great video collection utilizing Dartfish technology showing proper form & technique for several athletic-related lifts, Olympic Lifts and variations, Power Lifts, and Acceleration mechanics.

SPARQ Training: Athletes, this is another Good resource for up-and-coming Performance techniques. Find articles and videos on improving your speed, power, agility, reaction, quickness.

ExRx.net: Another great tool for exercise info and demo videos. Not fun to navigate, but if you take the time you’ll find good info.

CorePerformance.com: Mark Vertegen’s site. Another tremendous site filled with information on exercise for athletic performance, example programs, nutrition insight, and a large library of exercise videos.

Mini Circuit Program

Only have 20-30 minutes 2 – 3x/wk for exercise? This is the program to help you lose bodyfat and increase fitness.

Day One
Outline (Example Exercise)
1a. Combo Lift (Squat – Bi Curl – Shoulder Press)
b. Bridge (Prone Bridge w/ Y Reach)
c. Combo Lift (Cable Squat – Row)
d. Abdominal Crunch (Bicycle Crunch)
e. Balance (Single Leg Balance Eyes Closed)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (2 min Bear Crawl 10 yds – Crab Walk 10 yds – Run 10 yds)

2a. Combo Lift (Push Up – Row)
b. Bridge (Side Bridges w/Abduction)
c. Combo Lift (MB RDL – Dead Lift – Overhead Squat)
d. Abdominal (Standing BB Russian Twist)
e. Shoulder PreHab (Bodyblade Sagittal Plane 90˚ Abduction)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (SMR Latissimus Dorsi)

Day Two
Outline (Example Exercise)
1a. Combo Lift (SL RDL to Row)
b. Bridge (Supine Bridge Elbows on Bench)
c. Combo Lift (Cable Split Squat – Chest Press)
d. Core (Cable Lift)
e. Balance (Single Leg Balance Triangles)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (SMR ITBand)

2a. Combo Lift (Pull up – Hanging Ab)
b. Draw In (Dead Bugs)
c. Combo Lift (Double Leg Hip Lift – DB Chest Press)
d. Core (Cable Chop)
e. Power Lift (Push Press)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (60 second Jump Rope)

Exercises performed in succession (i.e. set of A, set of B, set of C, D, E, SMR/Cardio Agility…repeat). All exercises in each group performed with no time between.

Sets: 2-4
Reps: 6-10 (strength/power), 8-12 (general fitness, bodyfat decrease)
Frequency: 2-4 days/week (must alternate days)

Tri Set Program

Great Program to Lose Fat/Get in Better Shape

Day One
Program Outline (Example Exercise)
1a. Vertical Pull (Chin Up)
b. Squat Variation (BB Front Squat)
c. Prone Bridge (Double Arm/Leg)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (30 second each SMR ITBand)

2a. Vertical Push (Single Leg Standing Shoulder Press)
b. Hamstring Hip Variation (Roman Chair Hip Extension)
c. Supine Bridge (Double Leg/Shoulder Blades on Swiss Ball)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (60 second Jump Rope)

3a. Vertical Pull (Alternating Extended Lat Pulldown)
b. Squat Variation (BB Back Squat)
c. Side Bridge (Double Leg on floor)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (30 second each SMR Piriformis)

4a. Vertical Push (Handstand Push up)
b. Hamstring Bent Leg Variation (Double Leg Hip Lift)
c. Calf/Lower Leg (SL Calf Raise or Toe Raise)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (60 second Slide Board)

Day Two
1a. Horizontal Pull (Inverted Row)
b. Abdominal Crunch (Ab Roller)
c. Single Leg Squat Variation (Step Up)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (30 second each SMR Pectoralis Major)

2a. Horizontal Push (Foot Elevated Push Up)
b. Spinal Extension (Back Extension on Swiss Ball)
c. Hamstring Bent Leg Variation (Leg Curl to Hip Lift on Swiss Ball)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (60 Second Stair Stepper or Step Mill)

3a. Horizontal Pull (Standing BB Row)
b. Quadrupeds (Opposite Arm/Leg on floor)
c. Single Leg Squat Variation (Kettlebell Split Squat)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (30 second each SMR Lateral Gastrocnemius)

4a. Horizontal Push (DB Alternating Extended Bench on Swiss Ball)
b. YTWL (Prone on Floor)
c. Hamstring Hip Variation (RDL)
*SMR or Cardio/Agility Interval (60 second Rowing Machine)
Exercises performed in succession (i.e. set of A, set of B, set of C, SMR/Cardio Agility…repeat). All exercises in each group performed with no time between.

Exercises performed in succession (i.e. set of A, set of B, set of C, SMR/Cardio Agility…repeat). All exercises in each group performed with no time between.

Sets: 2-4
Reps: 6-10 (strength/power), 8-12 (general fitness, bodyfat loss)
Frequency: 2-4 days/week (must alternate days)

It’s Simple: Stop Resting/Work Harder/Do More Table Pushaways

“I’ve been walking 3x/week for 3 hours and I can’t lose any weight.”

“I lift weights for 1 1/2 hours – 2 hours 4x/week and I can’t gain any muscle or get definition.”

You think I’m kidding, but people actually tell me this stuff. And here’s the kicker…they’re not lying. This is the truth.

As you well know by now (hopefully), the main issue with Americans gaining weight and having a variety of cardiovascular related disease issues is that we eat too much and don’t exercise enough. It’s not really rocket science. The equation hasn’t changed much over the past decade:

Burn More Calories than consumed/day = Weight/Bodyfat Loss

Consume More Calories than Burned/day = Weight/Bodyfat Gain*
*this is in the absence of hypertrophy-type exercise

What about all the hormonal issues, genetic and metabolic issues that people are dealing with that may lead to weight gain? Yes, they exist, but I think we have been putting a bit too much emphasis on those issues over the last couple years. If you’re following the above equation and can’t lose bodyfat, then go to your physician and get a physical to find out if, in fact, you do have something medically that must be dealt with. Otherwise…get to work.

So what’s with “Stop Resting/Work Harder/Do More Table Pushaways?”


First, let’s agree that everyone has the same 24 hours/day. So be honest and decide what is realistic for you to achieve with health/performance goals with the time you have to spend. If your goals are out of balance with the time available, you either need to sacrifice time in other areas so you can use it for exercise or modify your goals to match your time. Now let’s get down to it.

1. Rest Less = Burn More
I love it when I see people in the health club sitting around reading the paper in between sets, or even when they are doing cardio. Then the same person makes one of those statements up above. Anyone home? Of course you can’t hit your goals…you’re wasting too much time.

Mistake #1: Most people rest too much in the gym. It is more beneficial to rest less and work more in the gym.


When you’re in the gym, stop resting. The goal is to burn calories to create that caloric deficit (and increase Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption…but that’s for another blog). You’re not in high school anymore. You’re not not trying to become Mr. Olympia (I hope). So stop worrying about how much you can bench or how big your biceps are (in truth, nobody really cares anyway). Use your “rest time” effectively. I hate it when people tell me they don’t have time for core or cardio or balance training or corrective exercise work. YES YOU DO! Do it during your down time.

Instead of doing what I call a Straight Set routine (do a set of reps, rest, repeat), start doing Tri Sets or Mini Circuit workouts.

Tri Set = 3 exercises in a row
(see Tri Set Routine blog for examples)

Mini Circuit = 4 – 6 exercises in a row
(see Mini Circuit Routine blog for examples)

By the way, if you’re holding on to the handles on the cardio machine for dear life, you’re not burning more calories…you just beating the heck out of your joints.

2. Work Harder
Another favorite statement is the “I do cardio for 3 hours everyday” claim. If it’s actually true…great. But if you’re not seeing results…not great.

Mistake # 2: Putting in the time but not the effort to burn enough calories (and see results).

If you do one of the workouts I just recommended, chances are your intensity will automatically go up. But, it is still important to to simply work harder. If you are working at intensities that do not challenge you to a level of fatigue, you’re probably not working hard enough. This is true of resistance training and cardiorespiratory activity. No challenge = Body has Adapted = Less Calories Expended = Less Results.

If you put the concepts of Work Harder and Rest Less together, you should get the idea of more workout density. That is what you want…more bang for you buck…more calories burned in less time.

3. Table Pushaways
Can’t take credit for this one. Got this idea from Mike Boyle (Nationally Renowned Strength & Conditioning Coach). Here’s the final deal: if you want to get in caloric deficit to lose bodyfat, it is a lot easier to NOT eat 500 calories/day than to eat it and have to BURN an extra 500 calories/day.

Why? Takes one decision not to eat 500 calories. Takes about 30-60 minutes (depending on exercise intensity) to burn off 500 calories.

So do some table pushaways and don’t eat as much. Eat 5-6 smaller, balanced macronutrient meals each day.

Prevail Conditioning