Get Fit and Get Fast – Speed Training with Martin Rooney

Martin Rooney gave a phenomenal presentation at the Perform Better seminar at the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, NJ on December 4th.  His presentation focused on getting back to basics by utilizing sprinting to get in shape.  The following are excerpts from his presentation.

Compared to our ancestors, we are out of shape, tired and weaker.  This is the result of having a bad diet, not getting enough sleep and not getting enough of, nor the right type of, exercise. 

In terms of human evolution, compared to our ancestors we are fatter and weaker NOT bigger and stronger.  This is due, in part, to the fact that the hunt has become too easy.  We don’t need to socialize and develop our brains to get food, we just go to the store.  When we get to the store, we choose to consume toxic foods that are fried or have artificial ingredients.  Right now, the 2-5 age demographic is the most dangerous from an overall health perspective.

We need to stick to natural wholesome foods.  We should not consume anything that is fried, artificial or labeled as “diet”.  For those who are unaware, Splenda was designed to kill ants and Aspartame kills rats.  Neither sound like something we should be putting in our bodies.

Get 8 hours of sleep minimum and do not use an alarm clock.  Make sure the room is dark and about 65 degrees in temperature.  Every 15 minutes more of sleep we get, our IQ raises 5 points.  How do you know you are getting enough sleep?  If you need a coffee to get up then you are not getting enough sleep.  Without enough sleep, you increase your risk of obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, to name a few. 

Exercise is fundamental to longevity.  When it comes to exercise, people think that CRAZY = GOOD.  Our larger brain, as compared to our ancestors, has led to the interesting yet illogical development of conceived exercises.

Illogical 4 of exercise selection:
1) It should be new
2) It should be cool
3) It makes you sore
4) It makes you tired

A great exercise solution would be to run again.  Sprint 30-40 yards to get the nervous system going.  Run on the balls of your feet not your heels, which are to be used for braking.  It is better to use your muscles to run rather than bones & ligaments.

Importance of Sprinting (TENT)

T = Technical – it doesn’t need to be taught, it is a natural movement.

E = Energy System Development – it burns fat and fires up big muscles.  It gets your brain working; there is a cascade of chemicals secreted by your brain when you sprint.

N = Neural Stimulation – the less muscle mass you have, the sooner you die.  Your nervous system needs to fire and sprinting accomplishes that.

T = Tempering the Body – you have to temper steel to work with it and the body is no different.  Sprinting works your bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Sprinting also involves leverage.  Changing the levers makes things faster.  When your legs are bent, they are a short lever (fast).  When your legs are stretched, they are a long lever (strong).  We have to push backwards to move forwards.  We are pulling our foot back into the ground, which activates our hamstrings and our glutes.

Coach Martin Rooney demonstrating proper sprint technique

The most important technical aspect to teach is arm action.  The faster your arms move, the faster your legs move because our legs move as fast as our arms.  If you learn to run faster, your nervous system will become activated quicker and you will perform better.

Two ways to get faster:
1) Stride Frequency – take more steps
2) Stride Length – have a longer stride

Paleontologists can’t agree how the dinosaurs went extinct, but all agree that they went extinct due to an inability to change.  Eating clean foods, getting at least 8 hours of sleep and engaging in exercise that develops strength will increase your longevity, improve your overall health and help you feel more energetic.  The solutions are simple, but it is up to us to make these changes in our lives.  As a species, if we do not change then, we will suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs.

Martin had several great recommendations throughout the day.  He focused on being very attentive to details.  You need to do the basics right in order to perform at the highest levels.  As a Coach, he said that you should be really good at something before asking someone else to do it,   Mastery is making complex things simple and you can’t do what you always did to get what you want.  Martin Rooney is very energetic and engaging and he was more than willing to answer any and all questions.  If you have not done so, please try to get out and hear him speak.  You can find out more about Martin here: click here




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