Today we are excited to introduce the second speaker for the 2014 Edition of The Seminar, Rick Brunner. For the past 28 years, Rick Brunner has helped over 1,500 explosive athletes and their strength and conditioning coaches in football, baseball, hockey, basketball, track and field sprints, throws, and jumps, Olympic weightlifting, and many others achieve breakaway gains in reaction, starting power, maximal speed, striking force, and power-endurance. As a nutrition scientist and coach, Rick pulls the facts from thousands of research studies to make practical sense of their application in real-world training/nutrition plans. Rick calls upon his extensive training and collaboration with Soviet and Russian scientists since the 80’s to help deliver modern useful information that athletes in explosive sports can use right away.
JD: If you could, please give our readers a little background information about yourself, what your niche in the world of athletics is, accomplishments, how you got there, education, any products you have available,, and/or notable publications.
RB: My formal education includes a BS in Agriculture and an MBA from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. I then began studying sport nutrition ergogenics in Russia between 1988-1996, and continued through self-education on the topic thereafter. Athletics wise, I played football (Starting OT and DE) and threw the shot put (league champion all 4 years) and discus in high school, and threw the hammer in college (NCAA All-American at Cal Poly).
I began a career in sports nutrition in 1986. My early education was from working mostly with Soviet scientists and coaches. Through this work and these relationships I developed over 40 sport supplements for various companies including my own, Atletika, from 1989-2003.
In 1990 I co-authored a book titled “Soviet Training and Recovery Methods” with Dr. Ben Tabachnik. I have also been the sports nutrition editor for numerous publications including: Powerlifting USA, Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Ironman, Musclemag, and Natural Bodybuilding magazines 1990-2001.
Through my work I was give the honor of being awarded two medals of merit: one by Goskomsport USSR, the Soviet National Program (Moscow, Russia), and one from the All-Russian Track and Field Federation (Leningrad, Russia).
In 2004 I decided to shift my focus from sports nutrition to research on chronic health conditions, especially excess inflammation, metabolic inflexibility, and sarcopenia.
JD: Discuss with us the mistakes you see made by strength and conditioning coaches in the United States and around the world, and what you feel should be done differently/how to correct these issues.
RB: The first thing I would say is never stop learning. Recognize that as a strength and conditioning coach you hold a vital position in making ordinary athletes into champions- I believe the most important coach to impact wins is the strength and conditioning coach. They are the roots of a winning program. Get to know your athletes as individuals. Along with that, always ask tough questions (the whys) and if someone can’t give you the answer- run. Do not easily trust sport nutrition companies as they are in the business of selling anyone with a pulse something.
Secondly, train athletes metabolically and neurologically to match the specific demands of their position, event, or sport. Do not train an athlete with shock methods and refined technique if they do not have an optimal level of base strength for their particular sport. Likewise, do not make athletes over-strong for their sport. Take to heart that most athletes are not powerlifters, bodybuilders, or Olympic lifters. Overreach and adapt to a higher level of performance by using correct sports nutrition while restoring and adapting at a maximum rate. Allow the right nutrition ergogenics to help enhance the training plan through synergy.
JD: Discuss with us the mistakes you see made by athletes in the United States and around the world with supplementation, and what you feel should be done differently/how to correct these issues.
RB: The mistakes may be led on by misinformation or ignorance. Most athletes cannot differentiate between mass market “sports” drinks, bars, and powders from ergogenically sound sports nutrition. Most athletes are not consistent with their supplement programs- in fact, they have no program. Programming of effective sport nutrition WITH specific training in mind is essential for a superior outcome.
JD:What advice would you give a coach to improve knowledge in the lines of continuing education, i.e could you point our readers in a direction to find the scientific and practical information to improve the nutrition and supplementation they use to enhance performance?
RB: Just like athletes, coaches need to PLAN sport nutrition to work WITH the training program- to create the synergy for excellence that can be achieved. The science is available online. Look at the big picture, the science in total. What is the mechanism of action for a nutrient? What can this nutrient be combined with (other nutrients) to create synergy. Dosage? Timing? Then take the science and amplify the training result through your own experimentation in your plan.
JD: You have a new product coming out in the near future through Ultimate Athlete Concepts. Could you please touch upon what your latest work will cover?
RB: We are discussing developing effective sport nutrition specifically for explosive athletes. This focus allows us to introduce very high quality research studied ingredients that HELP amplify good training methods to build greater explosive force, faster reaction, and fine motor skills.
JD: What will our attendees expect from your presentation here on April 25th, 2013?
RB: As a coach myself I will engage them coach to coach. I will not confuse them with scientific babble but explain so things make sense, so they see the big picture and have information they can put to work immediately. They can expect me to tell them the truth about sport nutrition and wade through all the hype that the sport nutrition industry has piled on over the years. They will also learn what athletes should never consume as it can cause them to dis-adapt.
JD: Rick, thanks for taking the time out to talk with us. We’re really excited to have you on the docket for The 2014 Seminar. Do you have anything to leave our readers with?
RB: I’ve worked alongside some of the greatest sport science minds since 1988. Much of my early education was in Russia and then working with many athletes and strength coaches in the USA. What is more important is that all the science of performance sport nutrition- specifically natural compounds that enhance specific anabolic and neural pathways- be put to use in real-world training situations. I have a lot of experience with this to share.
I’m also very mechanism focused, meaning I look for how a specific nutrient influences gene pathways to turn them on or off, and how this influences the training result.
I’m looking forward to interacting and engaging with some very fine individuals that make a profound impact on athletic careers and lifelong memories.
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