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Do you have a fitness or conditioning question for Graig White? Please click here to submit your question.

Question:

Hello, I'm going to be a senior in high school next year and I plan on attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My dream job is to become a strength and conditioning coach for a major university or a professional sports team (preferably the Chicago Bulls or any MBA team.) I hope to major in kinesiology. I was wondering if that seems like an appropriate degree, and if so do you suggest any emphasis such as exercise physiology or any others?
(Jimmy from Chicago, Illinois
)

Answer:
Jimmy, good luck with your senior year. A couple of things, I've approached it from a different perspective, I majored in Psychology, which has helped me a great deal! I've found that having the ability to motivate and listen to people has helped me more than you could imagine. I've come to understand that most people tend to open up more when they are in the weightroom. I've had some really wonderful conversations with some of my athletes inbetwen sets. So that's something to think about. Secondly, when the NBA lockout is over find out who the conditioning coach is for he Bulls, contact him and go and see him. Spend as much time with him as you can, you'll find that by making that connection it may lead to having some doors opened for you in the future. Good luck and stay in touch.

Question:

I coach girls at two local schools. Age range 6 - 18. Can I use Bullworkers with the girls? If yes, where can i get appropriate programmes? Bullworkers are on sale locally but the programmes supplied with the equipment are not very impressive.
(Bernie from Pune, Maharashtra, India
)

Answer:

Coach Traynor, thanks for writing, I am not a big fan of the Bullworker even when it first came out. Is there a reason you choose to use it? I don't know of any reason you can't use it with girls as long as they are supervised things should be ok.
Question: Hi Graig, I went on the internet this morning hoping to find out some information on lifting weights and how much weight is safe. I have a son who is 10th grade this year. He played football for the 2nd time this year. They are required at our school to take a weight conditioning class every day if they play a sport. That is fine, however, I worry so much about the amount of weight the coach expects my son to lift. He weighs about 120. Yesterday he came home and said that he was lifting 225 very easily. That was a 45lb bar, with 2 45lb weights on either side. He said that the coach walked over and told him that he needed to add a 35lb weight to each side. The coach is very demanding of these kids and expected him to do it. My son attempted but could not. I don't understand why it would be safe to add so much more at once, why not a 5lb or 10 to each side to ease you way up. I am not so sure that the coach is looking out for the best interest of these boys health. I have had back problems in my life time and that is something I don't want my son who is only 17 to have this early in life, much less blowing out a knee, etc... Could you please tell me what would be safe for a child my sons size to lift with out hurting himself physically. Thank you, Debbie, a VERY concerned mom.
(Debbie from Lexington, GA
)
Answer:
Debbie, I can understand your concern and I if the situation is as you say I too would be concerned. Does the coach who is supervising the weight training certified by anyone? If so who? I am in complete agreement that the weight increments should be a little smaller. A 70lb jump is a little severe in my mind and I don't recommend it. Talk with the coach and voice your concerns and find out how you guys can co-exhist peacefully. If that doesn't work then I would talk with a school administrator to get my point across. I would be very interested in knowing how this turns out, would you please keep me posted?
Question: Hi I'm 16-yearold high school hockey player. I really want to have a body like NHLer's. What exercise should I do for that? I've been using a bullworker. Is that effective and by the way, I want to be a strength and conditioning coach in the future.What should I major in at the university? Thank you very much for your help!
(Hidetoshi from Osaka, Japan
)
Answer:
Hidetoshi, thanks for writing. You are the first question that I have had from Japan. Check out a book called "Complete Conditioning for Hockey" by Human Kinetics it is a great book and will help you a great deal. As far as becoming a stength coach check with the National Strength and Conditioning Association they should be able to help.
Question: I am currently a freshman at Michigan State University and have been considering major in Excercise Science in order to pursue a career as a Strength and Conditioning coach. I am wondering what kind of wages are out there for someone interested in this career, and what kind of jobs are available. I have always been a dedicated trainer myself, and I would like to share knowledge with others, but I am unsure of the benefits of a career in such a field..thanks!
(Ryan from East Lansing
)
Answer:
Your question is one I hear quite often and to you I say this, the benefits of being in this business are huge. You get to work with athletes that are looked upon as role models. Think about it, an athlete that is being worshipped is training with you! And then don't let that athlete win an award like and MVP or something, because you know that you were a big part of it. Look at Gil Reyes, he has a client list of one, but his one is Andre Agassi. I have one of my favorite athletes at your school right now her Name is Tina Vandermiren. She is in the athletic department. Look her up and she will be able to talk to more about getting started. And tell her I said hello.
Question: Hi, I was wondering what you think about the one set to failure routine, and I always wanted to know but no one does know what the pec deck / or fly machine max weight record is? Thank you so much.
(Cody from Canada
)
Answer:
Cody thanks for writing. I'm not a big fan of that training method, there are too many variables that can have a negative effect on training. Please understand, this is just my own personal opinion. I've worked with coaches who swear by this protocol and have had great success, give it a shot and find out if it works for you or not. When you ask about the pec deck "record" what exactly are you asking? Are you talking about reps or weight? If you are talking weight I don't think there is anyone out there that keeps track of those kinds of things, but contact the National Strength and Conditioning Association of the National Academy of Sports Medicine they should be able to help you.
Question: I am a forty-five year old psychiatric nurse who avidly weight trains. As a younger man I competed in several natural bodybuilding contests and always did well. It has always been difficult for me to train legs as my knees have always given me problems, especially during the winter months. Recently, I had developed a weakness in my left knee, which I thought was progressing well. Then one day I was attempting to aquat with 300lbs and again hurt the knee. The doctor insists that there is no structural damage. However, I can no longer squat with heavy weight and have difficulty squatting at all due to the disparity in strength between the two legs. I want to increase the size of my thighs, but the incline leg press has never been effective for me in doing so. What exercises do you recommend to achieve my objectives? Thank you in advance!!!! Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated.
(Lester from Bronx, New York
)
Answer:
The answer to your problem is to do one-legged extensions. It will help clear up the muscle disparity that exist between your quads. Give that a try for a while and see what happens.
Question: I am 18 years old, and I have been a dancer all my life. However I haven't kept up much dancing in the last two years. Instead I have join different gyms to stay in shape. With dance so serious in my life I was used to doing up too, if not more 600 crunchs, in different positions. I took a couple months off from working out. I started college last September (2003) so it was hard to find time to work out. Now I've been back at the gym for just about a month, but I've noticed that doing that same work out routine for my abs is not working for me anymore. I don't know what's happening. I love to work on my abs, but I feel lost right now. Can your abs get tired of the same old routine? If so, what can I do to help myself? Should I take a break from ab excersises all together?
(Shanna from Toronto, Ontario)
Answer:
Shanna, thanks for writing. Yes take and break and let your body rest. Six hundred crunches are way too many and I wouldn't suggest that many to anyone. Write again in a month and let's see what is happening.
Question: Looking for examples of resistance training programmes for the sport of gymnastics, main components of fitness being strength and flexibility.
(Stacy from Stirling)
Answer:
Stacy, figure out what body parts you are looking to work and then decide what movements you want to do. There are no specific exercises you want to focus, create a body that is fit on all levels and you can't go wrong.

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