One More Baseball Testimonial

A couple weeks ago I posted a few testimonials of some of our student-athlete baseball players headed off to DI schools to play this upcoming Fall (You can view it HERE in case you missed it). Making a long story short, I didn't end up including one of them due to not having access to it at the time, but I'd like to post it now as it's more than well-deserved.

David Palmer was kind enough to do this for us. As you can see from the picture at the top of this page, he loves barbell glute bridging. The picture of him showcases him hitting a 600lb BB Glute Bridge (a personal record for him) for reps at the end of Summer training. No, we don't typically "test" people's glute bridges, but given David's enamorment with the lift, we thought it only fair to grant his request to test it.

Anyway, David is a competitive swimmer on top of excellent at baseball, and he drove the 30+ minutes each direction to train at SAPT year-round, no matter how many other commitments he had going on. He's headed off to Radford this Fall, and we wish him the best! Take it away David:

SAPT College Baseball Training Testimonials: Red Dowdell, Ryan Dickt, & Kent Blackstone

A number of our athletes are headed off to compete in collegiate sports this year, and three of our baseball guys were kind enough to take a couple moments in order to provide some insight into how training at SAPT has helped them to prepare for the high level of competition they'll be facing this upcoming season. I should also note that what they didn't say on camera is that they are some of the hardest working athletes I know, giving it their 100% each and every single time they walked in the door. A good training program is nothing without the athlete following it through no matter what "life" throws at them outside the gym walls, so I tip my hat to these guys for consistently training with conviction and purpose, and setting a shining example to everyone who's fortunate enough to work alongside them.

Take it away fellas!

Red Dowdell - Virginia Military Institute

Position: Catcher High School (Senior) Honors: First-Team All-Met 2012, National District Player of the Year 2012

(Note: Below is Red hitting a big deadlift PR at the end of in-season training this past Spring)


Ryan Dickt - Patrick Henry Junior College

Position: Catcher High School (Senior) Honors: National District Player of the Year 2012, 2nd Team All-Region

(Note: Below is Ryan performing a ground-to-standing transitional movement drill in preparation for the upcoming baseball season.)


 Kent Blackstone - New Mexico State University

Position: Shortstop High School (Senior) Honors: First-Team All Met 2012

Best of luck to all you gentlemen this next year!

Some More Female Awesomeness: Achieving Her First Bodyweight Chinup

All of us coaches at SAPT always get fired up about females making awesome progress in the gym (see A Witness to Female Strength and Some Female Pushup Goodness for a couple examples). There's something ridiculously cool about them realizing just how much they can achieve in the weight room, and how empowering it is for them to continue to make progress in that sphere. A few months ago, we started working with a young woman, Meredith, who signed up for our Distance Coaching program. Upon asking her what a few of her specific goals were, she replied with:

"I feel like I could use some help in designing a program and also most importantly to make sure I'm doing everything correctly. I realize that now is the time to do this because its only going to get more difficult as we get older.

One goal of mine is to master a pull-up. As a former dancer, my upper body strength my whole life has been pretty weak. I have tried using the assisted pull-up machine and have progressed to assistance of 20lbs but then when I try to use just the pull-up bar, I am nowhere near where I need to be. I think Ryan would be impressed if someday I could master a pull-up :) "

(Note: Ryan is her husband, an awesome dude whom I actually had the pleasure of meeting a few months ago.)

Given that one of Meredith's primary goals was to perform a complete, non-assisted chinup (she had never done it before), we embarked upon a program with a "chinup specialization" component in order to help her reach this goal.

Well, merely two months into the program, I received the video below of her performing not just one, but two bodyweight chinups, along with an email from Meredith:

"Steve -

Thank you so much for your help in achieving my first ever pull-up! Honestly when I signed up for the 3-month distance coaching program, I thought I would get stronger, but I never imagined being able to do not just one but two pullups within my first 2 months of training. I have really enjoyed the distance coaching and the programs you have created for me. I feel a sense of accountability to make sure I get all my workouts in each week and for once, I actually look forward to my workouts and seeing what I can accomplish each day. Thank you so much for all your help and I can't wait to see what the next 3 months holds for me!

- Meredith"

In a word: Awesome!!!

The point I want to derive from this is that Meredith's success is NOT primarily attributed to some magical program I wrote for her (while popular opinion may hold that SAPT performs magic, I,  personally speaking at least, was never instructed by Dumbledore over at Hogwarts), but rather, her success stemmed from the fact that she attacked each and every training day with focus, determination, and confidence. Also, once a month, she showed up at SAPT to go over the proceeding month's programming, to ensure that her technique was sound that she was executing everything correctly.

And, not to mention, while she knocked her chinup goal out of the park, she's also well on the road of "Picking Up Heavy Things" by hitting a pretty impressive Trap Bar Deadlift PR, nailing 140lbs for six reps:

In exchanging a couple emails with her husband, Ryan, he told me, "Since she started with you guys she hasn't missed a single training day and has been completely dialed in when she gets to the gym. She's working extremely hard and is focused and believes in your program. As you can see, she's getting awesome results. Hopefully you can use her story to help others experience what she has achieved."

I hope this serves as some encouragement to you reading what can be accomplished when you set your sights on a goal (be it a heavy deadlift or squat attempt, fat loss goal, or simply being able to lift pain-free), and refuse to waver in your quest for that particular accomplishment.