In the Spotlight – Alexis Hart

In the spotlight today is Alexis Hart.   Lexi is a freshman three sport athlete at our school (Truman High School) participating in Volleyball, Basketball, and Track.  In addition she participates year round in club volleyball.

hartLexi started as a freshman (which is rare) on our Volleyball team this season as an Outside/ Middle Attacker.   She had the top hitting percentage on the team (.346) and was second in blocks with 16.5.  Lexi also led the squad in earned points with 175, which was 25% of the team’s total earned points.  Alexis was voted 2nd Team All-Conference (also rare for a freshman) and was nominated for the All-Area and All-District squads.  You can read about Lexi’s (and her freshman teammate, Brianna Savidge) volleyball exploits at this link

Examiner Article – Freshman duo sparks Pat’s strong start

In Basketball, Lexi was part of the squad that had a 25-1 record this season.  She started on JV and did earn some varsity minutes this season.  In Track, Lexi is a sprinter and is planning on competing in the 200m and 400m runs.

Lexi has been training in our program since the summer of 2012, and was enrolled in our Advanced Strength Training and Conditioning class both semesters this school year.  Lexi had the top Vertical Leap among the women athletes tested this year (22 inches measured on the wall, not with a Vertec) , and her Power Quotient (56.87) and Pound for Pound Ratio (3.84) were among the leaders as well.

This is Lexi’s current workout card:

Hart Card

Here is a video of Lexi doing some of our Core lifts (Push Press, Bench Press and Back Squat) and a supplemental “change up” lift (Hang Clean to Front Squat)

Lexi challenges herself every day when she trains, whether in the weight room, volleyball or basketball court, or track.

Questions or Comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd –

What Are You Measuring?

Today I am sharing some additional testing data from our advanced strength and conditioning class for athletes.  Before sharing this data though, I think it is important to discuss the why, what, and frequency of our testing.

The primary reason we test our athletes is to make sure our workout program is accomplishing what we want it to.  If we want our program to make our athletes more explosive, faster, and quicker, then we should design our testing around those factors.  Generally, the battery of tests that we use are:

  • Estimated 1RM Bench
  • Estimated 1RM Squat
  • Estimated 1RM Push Press
  • Estimated 1RM Hang Clean
  • 40 yd dash (Straight Speed)
  • Vertical Leap (Explosion-Leaping Ability)
  • Pro Agility Shuttle (Quickness/ Agility)
  • Body Weight

And from these we can then calculate:

  • Pound for Pound Ratio (Lean Muscle Mass)
  • Power Quotient (Lower Body Power)

As was mentioned is a previous post (Pound for Pound Ratio Data), the Pound for Pound Ratio Takes the athlete’s Total Weight (1RM for the 4 Core lifts) and divides it by their Body Weight.  The Power Quotient multiplies the Square Root of the Vertical Leap by the Square Root of the Body Weight.  An athlete that weights 200 pounds and has a vertical of 25 inches is generating more lower body power than an athlete that weighs 100 pounds and has an identical vertical leap.  As detailed in a previous post (Workout Card Motivation and Efficiency) the workout card automatically calculates both of these numbers.

I also believe testing is a strong motivating factor, and with this variety of tests, most of the athletes can take pride in some aspect of their results.  Beyond just the raw data, the calculated results (Power Quotient and Pound for Pound) are great motivators as well.  The smaller athletes generally can score higher in the Lb/Lb category, and the larger athletes have a chance to score well in the Power Quotient.  All of the results are printed on their workout cards so that they can see it daily, and in the case of their estimated 1RM they can check their progress as well.

2011 NFL Scouting CombineWe typically test our athletes 2-3 times a year, depending on when and how often they take our strength and conditioning class.  Last week we tested the athletes in our class on the vertical leap.  The vertical leap test always gets a great deal of pub this time of year because of the NFL Combine. This increases the interest among our athletes.  We test using a measured tape against the wall.  We mark their reach, then note their jump/ touch mark, and subtract the two.  While not as accurate as using a Vertec (which we do have) we opt for this method because we can test more athletes during a short amount of time using the tape/ wall technique.  We do it this way every time, so when we compare data we are comparing “apples to apples”.  We tell our athletes (and it proves to be true ) that typically they could measure 2”-6” higher testing on a Vertec.

The following results were from student-athletes (both men and women) that were enrolled in our strength and conditioning class.  It includes athletes from all sports, and all grade levels (9-12)

The results for the 76 men we tested ranged from 12” to 31”.  The average jump was 21.26” and the Median was 21” This graph shows the distribution of the results.

Male Vertical Leap

The results for the 40 women we tested ranged from 12” to 22”.  The average jump was 16” and the Median was also 16”.  This graph shows the distribution of the results.

female vertical leap

The calculated Power Quotient for the 76 men ranged from 41.28 to 80.75 (higher number is better).  The average PQ was 59.34 and the Median was 59.23.  This graph shows the distribution of the results.

Male PQ

The calculated Power Quotient for the 40 women ranged from 39.50 to 61.32 (higher number is better).  The average PQ was 47.57 and the Median was 47.36.  This graph shows the distribution of the results.

female PQ

I do believe our testing protocol, in conjunction with the printed workout cards, serves us well in evaluating and motivating our student-athletes.

If you have any questions, please just comment or email!

Jeff Floyd –

Jump Rope Training

pat jump ropeThis is not your 5th grade, out on the playground during recess, jump roping!  This is a slightly expanded, and better video, version of the jump rope training that I shared in an earlier post –Jump Rope Drills;  We do each pattern for either 20 seconds with a 10 second rest before switching to the next pattern, or 25 seconds on with 5 seconds rest.  These are the patterns in the order we complete them:

  • 2 feet in the same place
  • 2 feet front to back
  • 2 feet side to side
  • 2 feet round the clock- clockwise (12-3-6-9)
  • 2 feet round the clock counter-clockwise (12-9-6-3)
  • Alternate right left
  • Alternate 2 right – 2 left
  • Ali Shuffle
  • Rocker – right foot forward
  • Rocker – left foot forward
  • Rocker – side to side
  • Right foot in the same place
  • Left foot in the same place
  • Right foot front to back
  • Left foot front to back
  • Right foot clockwise
  • Left foot clockwise
  • Right foot counter clockwise
  • Left foot counter clockwise
  • Backwards

The following video demonstrates each of the patterns.  The male athlete in this video is a defensive lineman on our football team.  The female athlete plays volleyball, basketball, and soccer.  We feel these drills can benefit athletes in all sports.

We go through this sequence twice then end with the following:

  • 30 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 20 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 15 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 10 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 5 seconds -as many jumps as you can

10 seconds rest in between each “burn out” set

We finish with a 1 minute cool down of slow jumping – their choice, whatever pattern they want, 10 seconds rest, then 40 seconds cool down of slow jumping.  The entire workout takes between 26-30 minutes.

Here is a short video of an entire class (about 60 students) doing some of the drills

As always if you have any questions, just comment or email!

Jeff Floyd –

Be a Quick Purple Cow!

The next quality I am going to discuss, the next quality that will set you apart from the other 250,000 high school seniors that are playing football, is the Purple Cow Quality of Athleticism and Quickness

pro agilityThis quality is related to speed and explosion, which were discussed in previous posts (Purple Cow Quality #2 Speed and Explosion-how to get it) but slightly different. Coaches look for the ability of an athlete to change directions, stop and start, adjust angles, and their overall body control.  Some of this can be measured by tests, the most notable the NFL Pro Agility shuttle test.  This video is a very good description of the NFL Pro Agility shuttle test (also known as the short shuttle, or 5-10-5 shuttle).

Aside from testing, coaches will evaluate film, and possibly evaluate performances in other sports such as basketball or wrestling.

How do you improve your Athleticism and Quickness thereby improving your time in the NFL Pro Agility Drill?   How do you develop Purple Cow Quickness? Now that would be REALLY remarkable… a Quick Purple Cow!

Much of the same type of training (plyometics, dynamic weight training, etc.) that lends itself to increased speed and explosiveness will help improve quickness, too.  In addition, if you are currently not doing quickness drills as part of your workout program, ask your coach for a program you can do on your own, or look at some of these drills:

These links are an excellent series of drill,  Lateral Speed and Change of Direction Drillsfrom Central College:

Here is the Lane Shuffle Drill

And the Sprint Agility Drill

This link (Florida Gator Agility and Foot Quickness Drills ) will take you to another list of football specific drills from the Florida Gators Strength and Conditioning Coach.  There are drill descriptions and some accompanying video: 

Another good series, and time tested set of drills are the BFS (Bigger Faster Stronger) dot drills.  Here is a pdf file explaining the drills: BFS Dot Drill and this video showing an athlete completing the drills.

Like all the other qualities I have discussed, mastering this one does not come easy, or all at once.  Practice, improve, and become a Quick Purple Cow!

Tomorrow video and coaching points on the first of our four core lifts, the Bench Press.

As always, any questions comment or email… I will answer!

Jeff Floyd –

Explosion – How to get it

TGC-VerticalJumpIn addition to wanting to know about and see your speed, specifically your 40 yard dash time, (see my previous post regarding how to improve your speed and 40 time) they will also want to see (and will ask your high school coach about) if you are an explosive athlete.  Typically the physical test coaches use to determine how explosive you are is the vertical leap.  How do you improve your “athletic explosiveness” and thereby improving your vertical leap test results? How do you show the recruiters that you have remarkable explosion… Purple Cow jumping ability?

Generally speaking a program that incorporates dynamic strength training (power clean, push press, snatch, etc) and plyometrics will give you the best results. The workout program that I have shared in the post  A Weekly – (not weakly) Workout is a dynamic strength training program.

hopPlyometrics, or “plyos” for short, are a type of exercise designed to produce fast and powerful movements. They are generally used by athletes to improve performance in sports, especially those that involve speed, quickness and power. Here are video of some great plyometric drill you can do, shared from the Central College Strength and Conditioning web site.  Clicking these links will show examples of these plyometric drills:

Here are a couple of samples:

Hudle Hop – Continuous

Depth Jump

Some additional training guidelines and suggestions regarding plyometrics can be found at this site: Plyometrics – Exercises and Program Planning

If you are currently not doing these things (dynamic strength training and plyometrics) as part of your workout program, ask your coach for a program you can do on your own OR you might try to begin training using the information I have provided on this site.  You can also consult other information that is available on the web, such as this jump training program which incorporates dynamic strength training and plyometrics.

Train to be an explosive athlete!

You Can Do More – your brain is lying to you…. don’t believe it!

Jeff Floyd –