Today’s guest is Mike Robertson, President of Robertson Training Systems and co-owner of IFAST in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mike currently coaches a handful of professional athletes during their off-season, and is the physical preparation coach for the Indy Eleven professional soccer team. He is the creator of “Complete Single Leg Training”, “Physical Preparation 101”,”Bulletproof Athlete”, and many others.
One of the first websites I started looking through way back when, in my own journey as a performance coach, was T-Nation, and one of the first authors I remember reading was Mike Robertson. Fast forward a decade, and I’m an avid listener of Mike’s “Physical Preparation Podcast“. Mike has delivered a vast amount of knowledge to the S&C community in his years as a coach.
In the past few years, I’ve started to attend some Postural Restoration Institute Seminars, and the ideas in the aftermath led to some researching that led me right to Mike’s articles on topics, such as “addressing the sagittal plane first”, and based on my questions I’ve had relating postural work to athletic performance, both in a linear and team based setting, I knew I had to get Mike on the show to learn more about the integration of these ideals with athletes.
Ever since my podcast with Mike Boyle, I’ve also had ideas and questions on the utilization of single leg training with athletes on the levels of progressions, as well as when and why to really emphasize it. On today’s podcast, in addition to performance posture training and single leg elements, Mike also talks about his departure from powerlift based training for athletes and ideas on maximal strength training.
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- Mike’s background in the field, and what’s been new in the last few years
- The “Sagittal Plane First” ideal in training, and how Mike uses it with his athletic assessments and training
- Mike’s take on methods to build and establish athletic position in the weightroom
- Posture, training and effects on sympathetic and parasympathetic tone
- Single leg training vs. bilateral training in novice vs. advanced athletes
- Single vs. bilateral training in terms of training athletes for speed
- Mike’s take on maximal strength and 1RM tests (or lack thereof) for athletes
- Mike’s evolution from the powerlift oriented mentality, towards a more holistic athletic approach to physical preparation
- What piece of advice Mike would offer his former self
“The better you understand your sport, the more you played your sport, the better understanding you have of what it takes to be successful”
“Working with athletes, I don’t want to look or move like a powerlifter”
“A lot of our athletes are so extended and so sagitally oriented, that they lose access to their frontal and their transverse planes”
“One of the first things I’m universally chasing with my athletes and clients is control of that sagittal plane. To start, you gotta have abs, and you gotta have hamstrings”
“Abs and hamstrings pull our pelvis back up underneath us”
“You have to reposition first, and from there, you need to work on controlling that position”
“If you don’t own your sagittal plane first, sure you can move in your frontal and transverse planes, but it’s not going to be authentic or true motion, you are going to have to find ways to cheat or compensate to do it”
“Until you truly own position, you are never going to get the results that you want, and no magical cue is going to unlock that”
“I’m a big fan of anterior loaded lifts (to get the core underneath athletes)”
“I think there’s a lot of value in basic isolated ab work, teaching them to actually get their abs to turn on and get their thorax and pelvis facing each other is absolutely critical”
“After 2-3 years of basic strength training, continuing to chase max effort strength is not going to give you the gains you are looking for with regards to your athletes”
“When it comes to single leg and split stance work, the biggest thing you are going to see if a restoration of movement variability”
“Just because they run fast, don’t assume they are clean in single leg postures in the gym”
“All that matters is carryover, I don’t care if a guy can squat 1,000lbs, if he can’t carry it over onto the pitch, then it’s not valuable”
About Mike Robertson
Mike Robertson is one of the most highly sought-after coaches, consultants, speakers and writers in the fitness industry today.
Known for his “no-nonsense” approach to training and brutal efficiency, Mike has made a name for himself as a go-to resource for professional athletes from every major sport.
Mike is the President of Robertson Training Systems and the co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training (IFAST) in Indianapolis, Indiana. IFAST has been named one of the Top 10 Gyms in America by Men’s Health magazine three times in the past six years.
Mike currently coaches a handful of professional athletes during their off-season, and is the physical preparation coach for the Indy Eleven professional soccer team.