bg-3 Sparks Advanced Training and Physiology – Conshohocken, PA – Day 3

Sparks Advanced Training and Physiology – Conshohocken, PA – Day 3

Sparks Advanced Training and Physiology – Conshohocken, PA – Day 3

Day 3

Day 3 began with a check-in with regards to the AthleteDISC profile. Athletes were given a list of “Potential Areas for Improvement” on Day 2. Athletes shared one thing they needed to improve, and how they could integrate it into the morning session. The focus for each athlete would be different based on their AthleteDISC profile. Example areas for improvement included:

1. Staying within the confines of the assigned workout and focusing on doing it well.

2. Taking risks within a workout and focusing less on getting the details exactly right.

3. Accepting and participating in a different kind of workout to achieve similar goals and understanding there are many different paths towards success.

Animal Flow

Athletes were introduced to Animal Flow, which is another training concept that involves using your body weight as resistance. Athletes are taught to mobilize using the FMS routine, and then stabilize the lengthened muscles using “animal movements” as well as “traveling forms.” Animal Flow serves as a great way to warm up the body for training, as well as adding variety to the training program (instead of just rowing or erging). Athletes learned different traveling forms, and then Coach Rufo had them do a short 5 minute circuit. This included a little Flow where they created their own sequence to finish out the session.

Animal Flow!

Animal Flow!

Underswitch to...

Underswitch to…

Scorpion Hold!

…Scorpion Hold!

Kettlebells – Deadlift and Swing

Following a short break (with more FMS), athletes began learning the core lifts of kettlebell training. By learning the core lifts, athletes will be able to return home confident that they can lift properly. The best part is that they will not need to purchase a kettlebell to perform the core lifts. Coach Rufo began by teaching the deadlift. Athletes broke into pairs, and each athlete watched and coached each other in the deadlift. Coach Rufo brought athletes to the front of the room to perform the lift, while the group pointed out what they saw. This allowed the athletes to learn the exercise much quicker.

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swing

Athletes spent the remaining time on the kettlebell swing. Coach Rufo was impressed as athletes learned the kettlebell swing quickly and with good technique. He explained that training with kettlebells was a practice, and that strength training was not about achieving results. It was about focusing on the path to achieving the results.

Individual Meetings and Nutrition Discussion – Part I

Athletes worked up a big appetite with the first lifting session of the week, therefore it was back to the hotel. Athletes were able to sign up with Coach Rufo to discuss their AthleteDISC profile. Coach Rufo worked with individual athletes to create strategies for potential areas of improvement. Athletes were instructed to use these strategies at the next training session. Coach Leanne Davis worked with rising seniors and answered any questions in regards to the college recruiting process.

Following the individual meetings, Coach Rufo had the first nutrition discussion on the topic of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) and the proper amounts for athletes, especially aerobic athletes. It was important to note that every athlete is different, and each athlete responds differently to the amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in their nutrition plan.

Coach Rufo discussed the importance of tracking nutrition by using a journal or food app (such as or seeking advice from a registered dietician or nutritional consultant. If an athlete is serious about their training then they must be serious about their nutrition. Athletes were instructed to use the MyFitnessPal app during camp to see how their nutrition affected their training and performance.

Kettlebells – Clean, Press, and Indian Clubs

Athletes returned to Studio B for the second lifting session of the day. Athletes learned the kettlebell clean, which is a pulling lift and sets up the athlete to safely press the kettlebell overhead. Athletes were taught how kettlebells teach athletes to correctly use “tension” to recruit muscles in the correct sequence. This allows athletes to create the proper tension in their posture to row well and row fast. Athletes were introduced to a “descending ladder” workout incorporating all the kettlebell lifts – deadlift, swing, clean, and press – that works the whole body in a short amount of time. Following the kettlebell workout,  athletes returned to the ergometers and practiced creating that same tension during the rowing stroke. It was an eye opening experience for many!

“Descending Ladder” Workout


Before the kettlebell session, athletes also learned to use Indian Clubs, which are weighted club or bat shaped weights. These tools help promote, restore, and maintain shoulder mobility and stability. Indian Clubs are ancient tools used to prepare fighters to fight, but also were revived in Europe and the United States in gymnasiums in order to keep students physically fit along with gymnastics and calisthenics.

“Foam Roll those shoulders…before you lift!”

Training logs and Restwise

Coach Nick Goode returned to discussed using training logs to keep track of an athlete’s progress. It’s important to know your results so you can review what you have done during previous workouts as well as chart your progress. Training logs can also be a source of confidence to draw upon when you are fatigued or having a difficult time believing you can do well.

Training Logs Talk

Training Logs Talk

Coach Goode introduced athletes to RESTWISE, another training App that allows athletes to monitor how they feel before and after sessions. This provides good insight on when to rest or when it is okay to train. A training log or training app allows athletes to know if they are truly fatigued or maybe not confident in their ability that day. It can be tough for an athlete or coach to determine whether the athlete just needs to be motivated, or truly fatigued. The more training data you have, the easier it will is push through the wall when you know that it’s just motivation that is holding you back.

RESTWISE - A great tool!

RESTWISE – A great tool!


Day 4 continues tomorrow!

Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth…There is no spoon.

Thanks for sharing!