Today, I’m happy to introduce our eighth presenter for The 2013 Seminar, Jesse Burdick. Jesse is a former collegiate baseball player, turned powerlifter, and is now a coach at Combat Sports Academy and running the Crossfit Powerlifting specialty course with Mark Bell (Super Training Gym). He recently totaled elite at 220 after leaning up, dropping weight, and getting back in shape. We are really excited to have Jesse’s energy at The Seminar, but what is probably his most overlooked attribute is his immense knowledge and intelligence when it comes to the training and preparing athletes. We’re really excited to hear what Jesse has to share at The Seminar.
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.
JB: Well first off thank you very much for considering me to speak, no matter how big or small this is a huge honor. I am a former division one and semi pro baseball player. After moving to the west coast I needed to find something to stay competitive and interested in and I was able to find powerlifting. Since that point I am one of 30 people in powerlifting to achieve elite totals in 5 different weight classes. While learning to lift I became a CSCS, ART therapist, and was able to cut my teeth under some of the world’s best coaches and lifters. Right now I am a S & C Coach at CSA gym in dublin, california. I also run powerwod.com and am a frequent contributer to Men’s Health, Muscle and Fitness, and 2 years ago, along side of Mark Bell, was hand picked by Louie Simmons to assist him in his role of powerlifting coach for CrossFit.
JD: Jesse, you’re a strong dude who’s moved some huge weights on the platform. I’m sure there have been some ups, downs, and hiccups along the way. With that in mind, what are a couple of the common technical issues you see with athletes in a weight room?
JB: There are always thing that can be improved in anyone’s weight room. The biggest issue that I see is a lack of communication, direction, and motivation. If the athletes are taught properly, have a good idea, or even any idea, of what they are doing and how to work hard, things seem to take care of themselves.
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 to correct these issues.
JB: This is such a loaded and bloated question I’m not sure where to start. I believe issue number one is recovery. No one knows exactly how to accomplish this. It encompasses so much of life that it is close to impossible to actually get it right. There are people who err entirely on the side of caution and then those who ignore it. There are fancy machines and computers that should make things easier and at times create a paralysis by analysis situation. If I knew how to correct this problem, I wouldn’t be doing this interview sitting in the last row of a southwest plane getting smashed by stewardess’ asses and sweating because of the fat chick trying to sleep on my shoulder- I’d be rich as hell. But I’m not and I think Buddy Morris said it best when he said, “Listen to your athletes and they will tell you everything you need to know”.
JD: Although strength training is just “a piece of the puzzle”, where do you see its role in the grand scheme of developing an athlete?
JB: I like to think and say that strength is the platform or base of any good program. No one has ever heard someone say in a post game or fight interview, “Boy you know I think if I was a little weaker out there, I would have had a much better shot of winning.”
JD: What advice would you give a coach to improve knowledge via continuing education, i.e. could you point our readers in a direction to find the scientific and practical information to hone their skills and understanding of physical preparation?
JB: I think it is of utmost importance to read everything available concerning any piece of the physical preparation puzzle. There should certainly be a direction towards the hard sciences and the work being done overseas. As important as book knowledge is though, in my opinion, it is more important to spend time in your own classroom sweating, straining and bleeding.. Not only should you actually look the part you are trying to play, but when you lose track of or get too far away from your roots, I think you have lost motivation and direction.
Jesse, thanks for your time and we’re really excited to have you on the docket this year. To be able to pick the brain of one of the top lifters out there is always a great learning experience.
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