This week’s guest is Matt Van Dyke. Matt is the associate director of sports performance at the University of Denver and the author of “Triphasic Lacrosse Training Manual”, along with Cal Dietz.
Matt is the youngest coach I’ve had on the podcast so far at age 27, but in his short time in the field, he is already making a big impact, having written 2 books (Triphasic manual for high school and Triphasic Lacrosse), and having been mentored under some of the great strength coaches of our time.
About a month ago, Matt showed me his ideas on training proper glute function in athletes that has slashed soft-tissue injury rates, and I was completely blown away. I’ve been familiar with the use of neuromuscular resetting for the glutes (Be Activated/RPR/MAT/NKT), as well as the idea of various exercises to aid in motor patterning, but I was really impressed by how Matt had formed a hierarchy to this model, starting with structural issues and working down the line (you can read about the full sequence with all related exercises in the Triphasic Lacrosse manual).
Seeing it all in place, it made a lot of sense to me based on everything I’ve seen in my past experience, and knew that this work was going to change how coaches thought about glute training and function for a long time.
At the University of Denver, Matt works heavily with lacrosse, alpine ski, volleyball, tennis and swimming. His prior experience included 6 months at the University of Minnesota working under Cal Dietz, as well as working at St. Cloud State, and interning at Iowa State.
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- Matt’s background in strength and conditioning
- Pro’s and con’s of using Olympic lifts in a program, and aspects of rate of force development in the Olympic lifts vs. other movements
- How to address athletic compensation patterns via the glute laying model
- The link between the lymphatic system and stress response
- How to integrate breathing into the course of a lifting session, and particularly French Contrast training
- Glute layering and proper hip extension patterning
- Great “Bang for the Buck” glute activation exercises for improving glute patterning
- Tri-planar movement and its role in preventing injury and preparing athletes for sport
“A reason we’ve shied away form O-lifts is the reduced range availability for actual force training in the movement. In an Olympic movement, there is no doubt there is a ton of power created, but this is when an athlete is technically proficient in it”
“An Olympic lift isn’t an absolute strength or absolute speed exercise”
“Olympic lifts don’t fit in the triphasic training model”
“A power clean never reached the same height of impulse (rate of force development) compared to a squat jump” “The total force produced was higher in the power clean” “What can we take to the field?…we want that singular impulse”
“Compensation patterns are either due to a structural issue or a stress issue”
“Belly breathing is one thing we teach our athletes immediately upon them getting on campus”
“After the 4 movements of French Contrast, we’ll implement some smaller movements or prehab work to allow recovery, and then belly breathing as well”
“The glute layering model is a system that created from many other systems (Chiropractic, RPR, isometrics, 3D-Contralateral); we went last year with 0 missed practices due to soft tissue injury”
“One of our favorite glute activation movements is the fire hydrant; in research it doubled or tripled the motor cortex firing of the glute… it forces the glute to fire in all three planes”
“In a cross-under lunge you’ve created a glute isometric in a lengthened position”
“1 minute (isometric) might not be enough to create a substantial change in the connection between the brain and that glute…. These exercises are nothing crazy, we aren’t reinventing the wheel, we’re just changing how that wheel has been implemented to make sure we’re getting the greatest adaptation possible in the most efficient way possible.”
“Our progression acts in a way to get us into the muscle spindles, and away from the GTO’s (by working in the mid-range of extension)”
“As you complete an RDL, if your athletes are looking at themselves in the mirror at the bottom of the RDL, then you are conditioning your head, neck and back to be a driver (rather than the glute)”
“If you have feet that can’t play the game of telephone up to your glutes, then you are going to have problems because you can’t load them appropriately”
“In a staggered stance squat with a toe to heel relationship, we can change the rate at which ankle dorsiflexion occurs; it’s a really simple tool we can use to asses an athletes ability to dorsiflex”
“In warmup, you gotta think bang for your buck; that’s where we came up with the lateral to cross-under lunge, a rotational lunge. Things that can allow us to not only feel the movement but we can complete it to a really high level at a quick pace so we can get right into the training sessions”
“Our favorite movement for entire kinetic chain work is a split stance cable rotary row (shown in show notes below)”
Matt highlighted a ton of great movements during the course of the podcast. Here are some examples of what he mentioned during our talk:
About Matt Van Dyke
Matt Van Dyke is the Associate Director of Sports Performance at the University of Denver. At Denver, Matt is responsible for designing and implementing speed, strength, conditioning, and mobility workouts for men’s lacrosse, alpine ski, volleyball, tennis and swimming.
Prior to his position with the University of Denver Matt was the Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic Sports at the University of Minnesota. During his tenure at Minnesota, Matt was responsible for performance programming for men’s and women’s hockey, baseball, track and field, and the women’s golf team.
Preceding his position with the University of Minnesota Matt completed his Graduate Assistantship as a strength and conditioning coach with multiple teams at St. Cloud State University, where he earned his Masters of Science in exercise physiology and nutrition in May of 2015.
Prior to his GA role at St. Cloud State, Matt served as an intern coach with the Iowa State Olympic Strength and Conditioning staff in the summer of 2012, with the Iowa State Football Strength and Conditioning staff under Yancy McKnight in the spring of 2013, and most recently with the University of Minnesota Olympic Strength and Conditioning staff under Cal Dietz in the summers of 2013 and 2014.
Matt most recently released the “Triphasic Lacrosse Training Manual“, has presented at the 2015 CSCCa National Conference on “Advanced Triphasic Training Methods”, in both 2014 and 2015 at the Minnesota Sports Performance Clinic, is a co-author of “Triphasic Training, A High School Strength and Conditioning Manual” and “Balance of Power” in the September 2014 issue of Training and Conditioning, and has articles on xlathlete.com, while also writing for his professional website vandykestrength.com.
Matt was a member of the Iowa State Football Team for 4 years as a wide receiver where he earned Big XII Second Team Academic Honors for the 2011, and 2012 seasons.
Matt is certified by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (SCCC). He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in exercise science from Iowa State University in December of 2012.