Paragon Training Principles and Objectives
- Vital to efficient training
- Key to performing at the highest level
- Will improve any level of athlete
- Produce very rapid results
Paragon's rules for success in sport can be summed up in nine basic statements:
1. Part-time athletes only get part-time results. (Charlie Francis)
2. Success in sport is always about doing the most, smart work in the shortest possible time, day in, day out.
Athletes only have a given amount of time and energy available to them in each day.
Unnecessary training, poor diet, and distracting personal lives are the biggest problems for any athlete at any level, as they consume valuable energy and time that could be applied to athletic development.
Depending on how well you manage your diet and overall fitness, your body will produce a given amount of chemical energy and digested nutrition — “X” — to fuel and replenish your mind and body. That limited chemical energy and nutrition is all that is available to train and play, digest your food (the most energy consuming of internal bodily functions), and to regenerate your body when resting.
That said, consistent good training and nutrition will make “X” much larger, allowing you to consistently train and play harder and smarter, allowing you to develop faster.
3. The Elimination of Unnecessary Training is Critical to Rapid Development
Time and energy wasted on less efficient training techniques, practice drills, nutrition, digestion, etc. will not allow you to develop as quickly as a better-organized opponent. Unnecessary training tires the body, taxes digestive organs requires for regeneration, and wastes time and energy. Top athletes know it's critical to focus on what’s most important.
4. Top performing athletes usually have several things in common:
Foremost, they enjoy hard work and have a constant desire to learn and get better, and then they have:
- Top Coaching
- Superior Training Programs
- Superior Nutrition that allows your muscles and brain to perform far better and longer
- Superior Regeneration Programs
- Patience, discipline, attention to detail, and smart decision making
- The mental strength to continue on when nothing is going well
A less talented athlete who has all the above usually outperforms a more talented athlete who lacks desire and discipline.
Maximizing your full potential requires continuous gradual development, day-in day-out, month after month, year after year, until you retire.
5. Understand How Your Body Functions, Learns, And Performs
Understanding how and why your body responds to different types of training is critical to achieving rapid athletic development. This allows you to pick and choose training methods specific to your own strength and skill-development needs, as everyone has different weaknesses they need to improve and develop.
To excel in a particular sport, all athletes require strength that is specific to their sport’s specific bio-mechnical movement. They need to develop specific muscles, and most importantly, the nervous system pathways that control them, in the same manner in which they will be used in competition. Hockey players require a unique and specific strength to excel on the ice, while those competing in track & field, baseball, football, basketball, tennis, golf or other sports need to develop their muscles and nervous system pathways for the different and sport-specific manners in which they will be used competing.
Most athletes today try to increase their competitive strength by lifting weights in a gym. However more than 15 years of Paragon testing with world class athletes has proven that developing muscles with conventional weight training methods is not as effective as newer sport specific methods developed by Paragon over the past 10 to 15 years. This is because weight lifting, as compared to the game you play, uses different nervous system motor-coordination “pathways” to control these same muscles.
Your brain, and the nervous system & muscle cells the brain controls, adapt to the specific training, or work, you give them. Because of this:
- The coordination of specific muscle motions or movements requires the development of specific & individual motor-memory pathways between the brain and the muscles used in that coordinated action. Even though aspects of a specific movement, such as the push-off action in skating, running, or a squat, may use the same muscle groups, the nervous system motor pathways and the sequencing of muscles required to execute and achieve all those actions are different and highly specific. Our research shows those differing motor pathways require unique and specific repetitions of focused training to fully develop.
- And because individual muscles cells produce the energy you need to play, the manner in which you specifically train those individual muscle cells determines what type of energy those muscle cells will learn to generate, whether power for short bursts and/or endurance fuel for stamina.
Most training used in high level sport development today either develops a muscle cell’s power, or its endurance, but not both at the same time. Lifting, resistance training, and sprints generally build power, while longer intervals of training develops mostly aerobic conditioning.
Paragon’s training programs have been successful across a wide range of sport because our training methods are different.
Much of our weight training is done with specially weighted training equipment designed for use on the practice surface while actually playing or practicing, or while doing other training in very similar sport-specific actions.
Our revolutionary motor-specific-resistance (MSR) equipment and training systems are the only ones that allow you to develop specific motor coordination, power, and endurance all at the same time.
And because MSR training recruits so many more muscle cells than conventional weight training, superior sport-specific conditioning is achieved in just 25% of the time normally required. Paragon athletes using MSR training work out 50% fewer hours per day, and 50% fewer days, to achieve a superior level of fitness, as proven in 10 years of testing on world class athletes.
Paragon's MSR Training & Equipment develop your body’s muscles, and the nervous system controlling & coordinating them, to specifically respond to the specific actions and power output required in your sport.
6. Sport-Specific Training - All Movements Are Different And Motor-Specific
Certain weight training in a gym is very important, but most athletes do too much weight lifting and not enough sport specific training. Paragon' training program are designed to teach you the most efficient combinations of both.
- Every play, sprint, jump, swim or other sport actions you make requires a specific coordination of muscles, fired in a specific sequence by the brain. Your brain is signaling trillions of muscle cells simultaneously every time you move.
- The brain locates, or learns where muscle cells are, through repetitive action. To understand how, consider a little baby learning to walk. At first its movements are very uncoordinated, because the brain has yet to locate and connect with the bundles of individual muscle cells that allow it to walk. Its initial movements are rough and jerky motions, but with each repetition of the same action, these actions get smoother.
- The brain remembers everything you do. Each time the brain connects with a muscle cell, that action is remembered in your subconscious.
- Because of this, the key to rapid development of coordination is focused, quality training. You only want your brain to remember quality work. Sloppy practice produces sloppy motor-memory, which will produce inconsistent play when your mind reaches back to retrieve sloppy memory imprinting.
- Regular highly-focused practice with specific muscle movements makes you stronger and better at whatever you are doing, and very quickly.
Paragon’s Training Programs allow athletes how to more efficiently train in a sport-specific manner.
7. Develop Advanced Nutrition To Maximize Physical And Mental Play
Nutrition will make or break an athlete. Consistent game-breaking playmaking or world record sprinting requires a calm mind and powerful muscles. The nutrients required to fuel your muscles and your brain’s thinking are very similar. Hard physical play uses up these nutrients quickly. Nervous play, muscle spasms, fatigued legs, reduced coordination, and/or injury are all signs of mineral and/or other nutrient deficiency. A lack of specific nutrient supplementation often knocks a team or athlete from the playoffs as a series progresses.
Sourcing quality foods that are free of environmental pollution, as well as additional supplements that are absorbable by the human body, are critical to maintaining consistent, superior energy levels. Because many foods contain dangerous toxins, and most supplements either do not work or absorb as advertised, many players become depleted too quickly under the grind of Olympic competition or in an extended playoff.
Making sure you have the proper fuel will keep you healthy and give you the fresh legs and cool head necessary to play well under the most demanding conditions. Experiments prove this without a doubt. They are discussed at length below.
In summary, Paragon Training Programs are designed to:
- Teach you about the most advanced training and nutrition available
- Dramatically increase your speed, endurance and game specific strength & coordination
- Improve health, resistance to injury & illness
- Accelerate healing if injured or sick
8. Training / Cell Preservation / Cell Regeneration
Most athletes think it’s the training that makes them stronger, without fully realizing that it is the stimulation of the body’s bio-chemical regeneration and recovery capability that actually make them gain strength. Training is merely done to stimulate the body to regenerate. Full regeneration/recovery is the most critical process in the daily routine of any full-time athlete.
Most athletes get to where they are on hard work and believe in “no pain, no gain”. As a result many over-train. In reality “less is often more”, particularly for mature well developed athletes.
The object of training is to stimulate your body to build muscles capable of a particular strength and power. The stress of training stimulates hormone releases that build muscle. The tempo of that training conditions muscle cells to release energy at a particular output. These two factors are the most important when planning successful training for a particular sport.
The object of any athlete’s training is to develop and maintain strong healthy cells. Over training, which tears down muscle cells that took time and energy to build, puts a very large tax on the body, particularly on the liver, predisposing the athlete to injury and causing premature aging.
Well-organized training, and monitoring of that training, builds strength and power very quickly because you don’t do much damage to your body in the process. This leaves you more time to play hard or work on other aspects of your game requiring further development.
The liver is the most important organ for any athlete. It’s the body’s chemical processing plant. It synthesizes most chemicals our body uses to build cells, but also has to detoxify the body of environmental toxins, alcohol, and anything else that shouldn’t be in your blood, including junk food. It also provides your cells with fuel–glycogen.
Anything that adversely affects the efficiency of the liver will adversely affect your physical and mental performance. Your digestive system and brain are also obviously very important too. This makes your nutrition and lifestyle just as important as the actual training you do. The less your liver has to detoxify and/or digest, the more it is capable of generating the many nutrients your cells require to grow and maintain.
Recovery and Sleep
Proper sleep and recovery are the most underrated components of any athlete’s training program. Without proper sleep the body will not regenerate or perform properly.
Quality sleep is dependent on excellent nutrition and regular eating and sleeping rhythms. Poor overall nutrition, eating the wrong foods prior to sleep, and erratic sleeping habits make it impossible for the body to recover efficiently or fully. This almost always leads to reduced power, stupid playmaking, and/or injury.
Using Morning Resting Heart Rate (MRHR)
Morning Resting Heart Rate is one of the best indicators of how tired your body is, and whether it is ready for heavy training, light training, muscle cell & blood cleansing training, or a day off.
Monitoring your MRHR is important because it provides an indication of oxygen and nutrient levels in the blood, and how well cells are recovering and the liver is functioning. Regenerating cells use oxygen in the recovery process. Regenerating cells also require a continuous supply of specific nutrients from the blood, many of which are synthesized in the liver. Cells also must get rid of waste, much of which is dumped into the blood and then detoxified by the liver.
If the blood is rich and clean, a lower normal heart rate will pump adequate levels of nutrient-rich blood to the cells needing the nutrition. If the body’s cells and blood are depleted, and the liver can not keep up with the synthesis and detoxification required to replenish the body’s cells, MRHR will rise, just as an older refrigerator needs to pump more of the time as coolant (Freon) levels in the cooling system leak out, leaving it less capable of carrying heat out.
A tired body’s depleted blood is low in oxygen and other nutrients forcing the heart to pump harder all the time. This is not the time to be training–instead its time to get some rest and to make sure the only food you are eating is the best.
Heavy training on a depleted system is very counter productive because:
- Your body can’t regenerate properly
- Cells are weaker in this state and more prone to injury
- You’ll flatten your adrenal glands
- You’ll flatten your nervous system
- You can’t train at a high level
- All important motor memory training is impaired as a result
It’s wise to make sure that during heavy training, or the playoffs, that you allow your body and MRHR to recover fully once every 7-14 days.
Well conditioned athletes have resting heart-rates between 35 - 48 BPM. A bigger person may have a slightly lower rate compared to a smaller person, as a bigger heart has a longer stroke length, requiring fewer beats to pump the same volume of blood. An untrained male might have a Morning Resting Heart Rate of 60-64. An untrained female from 68-72. A humming-bird heart beats at about 400 BPM…
Paragon research with professional athletes and medical patients shows Morning Resting Heart Rate is a simple and reliable indictor of the body’s state of rest and/or health. It should be monitored by athletes and active individuals as required.
To take MRHR: Leave stop-watch, heart monitor, or electronic blood pressure machine by bed at night. Upon waking, remain still and calm, and take pulse-rate before getting out of bed. (Heart rate is lowest after night rest, and before moving or digesting food which increases heart-rate). If you reach for your watch, or move a bit to put the blood pressure cuff on, take at least a full minute to get fully relaxed before taking a reading. Take at least 2 readings and average the lowest 2.
To take manually with a watch, set timer to 15, 20, or 30 seconds, find pulse, wait until fully relaxed. Start watch (or follow the seconds), count pulse, and multiply by 2, 3 or 4. (Athletes who do this daily count for15 seconds once experienced.)
The specifics of how to use MRHR to plan how much training and recovery during preseason, regular season, and playoffs are not provided here, but would be a key part of any Paragon training program.
9. Understand How Your Muscles Work
Relaxing a Muscle Consumes Energy
A muscle causes movement by first contracting, and then relaxing. This is made possible by muscles fibers within the muscle that contract or shorten (fire) and relax or lengthen (reload). Components within the muscle fiber slide together to contract, or apart to relax. They are pulled one way or the other by magnetic forces, like electrically driven slide-motors.
Most people think muscles do their “work” when they are being exerted or contracted (fired). However contracting a muscle only uses energy that was stored within it earlier. It’s only after a muscle cell has fired and contracted, that work is actually done, as the energy used in operating our muscles is required to relax the muscle.
The process of relaxing a contracted muscle allows it to be stretched back to its original length. This stretching takes energy. A relaxed muscle is like a stretched rubber band that has been loaded with stored potential energy. The bio-chemical action required to relax a muscle into this stretched position is what consumes energy and makes us tired. This biochemical process reloads the muscle with the energy required for the next “firing” by the central nervous system (CNS) controlling it. This subsequent CNS firing causes an instant release of stored energy that causes the muscle to contract again.
When A Muscle Runs Out Of Nutrients, It Can No Longer Relax and is Prone to Injury
Muscles that run out of nutrients can no longer relax. More specifically, the individual muscle fibers that make up our muscles are out of fuel required to relax. This is why portions of a muscle can seize. Once a muscle locks or seizes (spasms) in a contracted position it become shorter and is very easy to tear.
Muscles use ATP as a fuel, which our body synthesizes and regenerates from carbohydrates and fatty acids.
After a muscle has fired, ATP is used along with the proper bio-available magnesium to relax individual muscle fibers. If your muscles 1) run out of this magnesium, and/or 2) the foods to fuel your muscles, they can’t utilize and/or synthesize the ATP necessary to energize and relax, and they will spasm and/or pull.
Of course, regardless of adequate supplies of fuel and magnesium, if they also temporarily, yet completely, deplete their supply of ATP they can’t relax as easily either.
So in summary, weak, or fatigued muscles, will spasm as they run out of energy and tire. If a muscle is starting to spasm in chronic manner, it probably needs magnesium (and possibly potassium and sodium), food, water, rest, and then additional conditioning. To prevent future spasming, the weakened muscle should first be replenished with hydration, magnesium (and sometimes potassium, sodium, and phosphate depending on the extra & intracellular levels of these important nutrients), and rest.
Massage can help release spasmed muscles by pushing nutrient rich blood into the affected area. Then, to prevent future spasm, the muscle should be built up and strengthened so there is more muscle to do the work. Understanding this concept in full is critical to preventing most muscle injuries and spasms.
Proper Muscle Tone Prevents Muscle Spasms and Tears
Optimum athletic performance requires well-balanced “muscle tone”. Your muscles contain hundreds of billions of individual muscle cells which are capable of contracting, or shortening, or relaxing and lengthening. At any given time a certain number of cells are “fired” and contracted, or relaxed and lengthened.
“Muscle tone” is produced and defined by the ratio of fired muscle cells to relaxed cells. If muscle is too loose, it has no elasticity or springiness. When too many individual fibers in the muscle bundles are already fired (contracted) the muscle will feel overly “tight”. In this case, because too many bundles of muscle cells are already contracted, these muscles won’t make as much power and will have limited motion as compared to that muscle group when more of it’s individual cells are relaxed. Good muscle tone has the right ratio of fired cells vs. relaxed cells, and feels fresh, powerful, and elastic.
Water, phosphates, bio-available magnesium, and other electrolytic salts (bio-available sodium, calcium and potassium) are critical to making sure your body has adequate electrolyte to operate your muscle. Letting your body get to low on phosphate, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and water can lead to injury.
Any exercise, and especially intense exercise, tightens muscle tone. A smart, experienced sprinter in the 100m Olympic final knows that each sprint before the final will tighten his muscle tone. They know to start the preliminary rounds with looser muscle tone and use each of the earlier competition rounds to tighten it properly for the all-important final.
Endurance athletes need to maintain ideal muscle tone as well–to ensure they produce maximum power, full range of motion, and don’t cramp up.
Anytime you experience “tightness” your muscle tone is overly contracted. To loosen it (or relax muscle tone) requires a combination of adequate hydration, the proper balance of phosphate, bio-available magnesium, and other absorbable minerals for proper electrolytic function, stretching, light use of the depleted muscle, massage, and active release. Too much stretching, massage and or active release can produce muscles that feel flat, as they will have lost optimum elasticity.
Spasmed or cramped muscles need light exercise or activation to release.
Resting a spasmed muscle will only make it worse, as blood flow required to release the individual muscle fibers will be reduced with rest. Low intensity motor-specific activity, combined with regular hot and cold treatments will maximize nutrient delivery to restore optimum muscle cell bio-chemistry.