Carbs Are NOT the Enemy

by Kevin Boss on January 11, 2019 No comments

Remember not long ago in the late 90’s & early 2000’s, when everyone was scared to death of consuming dietary fats and a fat-free diet was the latest and greatest way to get lean? Fast forward to today where the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. Now people are eating nothing but fat because their neighbor lost (it’s not really lost because I’m certain they will find it again) 20lbs with the newest ketogenic FAD diet. Because of the gaining popularity of the ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are now being victimized again. It’s like the time when a guy with the last name Atkins lied to everyone and told us that carbs would make us fat! Now, because of this latest keto food fad, people are avoiding carbs like we once avoided fats! The point I am trying to make is that we need to stay off the diet carrousel and find a diet that we can actually sustain! That diet for me is called “eat real food!” That means trying to avoid foods that are packaged, processed, preserved, and have an ingredient list an inch thick with ingredients that you don’t recognize and can’t pronounce. Instead, try to consume mostly real earth grown foods that God put here on earth for us to eat! Carbs like potatoes and rice, proteins like chicken and steak, and fats like avocados and almonds. Eating all of these earth grown foods and eating them in moderation is the most sustainable and effective “diet” there is! You might be thinking to yourself “what about that neighbor that lost the 20lbs on the keto diet?” Eliminating carbs can be a useful strategy for short term weight loss. But just like every other fad diet, it’s only temporary and rarely ever sustainable. Often times a low carb diet is successful early on because of the overall reduction in calories being consumed. It’s not necessarily because of the elimination of carbohydrates. There is also a significant amount of water weight lost when carbs are completely eliminated, and we should all know that is very temporary. This may work in the interim until “hanger” sets in and your body is crying out for carbs and calories in general. If you keep this up for too long, your metabolism will slow way down and, in turn you have created a situation where your body is working against you and your goals as irreversible metabolic damage has occurred! Eating nothing but fats and restricted amounts of protein can also leave you malnourished. You are literally starving yourself of critical and essential vitamins and minerals that help your body function at optimal levels.

Most people that know me know that I am very calculated and aware of what I choose to put in my body. Because of that, most people ignorantly assume that I eat low to no carbs. When we get invited to someone’s house for dinner or we are at some social setting where food is present, it never fails that someone makes a comment about me and their incorrectly perceived assumption that I don’t eat carbs. I always enjoy telling them that I actually do eat carbs…A lot of carbs! I actually probably consume 2-3x the amount of carbs most people eat. Around 300-400 grams depending my activity level that day. I just make sure I am eating the correct carbs!

I typically maintain a lean body fat percentage of around 8-10% year round. With 4 kids, a wife, and a business to run, I’m certainly not as active as I once was. So the reason that I am able to maintain the low BF% is definitely not because of the HIIT sessions I am NOT hitting 3x/ week. It’s not the fasted cardio sessions that my sleep trumps every time, or the 10x/wk CrossFit sessions I never plan on doing. It can’t be the Orange Theory classes I’ve never attended either. It’s because I CONSISTENTLY eat well!

As athletes, or just someone who enjoys being active the need and demand for carbs becomes even greater. Choosing to eat low carb is also choosing to train on low fuel. This is a strategy that will drastically decrease your performance in the short term (training session that day) with your total output suffering mightily in that session. Performance will also be slowed in the long term by not being able to obtain your goals because your fueling strategies are counterproductive to your training strategies! Like I stated above and am choosing to emphasize again, this is also a recipe for causing irreversible metabolic damage to your body that will extinguish your metabolic flame.  On that note, don’t claim that you actually do eat carbs because you eat a lot of veggies. Yes there are SOME carbs in veggies but it is not a carbohydrate. That would be like saying the steel cut oatmeal I eat every morning is a protein because there is some protein in it.

The most preferred source of fuel for the human body to run on is glucose (carbohydrates). Nearly every system in your body requires glucose/glycogen to be present in order to run efficiently and at optimal levels. Your brain needs almost twice as much energy as any other cell in your body to function optimally. It does have the ability to run off of ketones (fat) though not ideal for the active adult.  If you choose to put your brain in this dangerous position, it will send out emergency signals to the rest of your body that starvation is taking place and stress hormones will be released throughout your body. So now, not only is your brain functioning at slower speeds because it’s trying to run on the wrong type of fuel, it’s also in a constant state of fight or flight because your brain is sending messages to your body that you are starving! The central nervous system, which includes the brain and the spinal cord, is another system that operates best on glucose. A properly and highly functioning CNS is absolutely critical for not just performance but for every day functions as well.

Hormonally, carbohydrates play a huge role in maintaining optimal levels. For men, when carbohydrate levels drop too far, cortisol levels will rise as testosterone levels drop. This “out-of-wack” testosterone:cortisol ratio is every man’s worse nightmare as it results in increased body fat and decreased muscle mass. For women, who are even more hormonally sensitive, a lack of carbs can create a host of major health problems. Issues such as chronic fatigue, irregular menstrual cycles, depression, lowered fertility, decreased milk supply in nursing mothers, and much more.

The human body is pretty incredible in being able to adapt to not-so-ideal situations and environments. What I often see from clients who have chosen to make this misinformed decision to eat low carb is they forget what feeling good really feels like. They so desperately want to find a short term fix to a long term problem that they convince themselves that they feel good and that hunger pains and heavy afternoon eyelids are just temporary and can be resolved with a 4th cup of coffee. In reality, if they just fueled themselves correctly and realized that a chunk of butter in your coffee was not a good replacement for your breakfast they would start feeling and performing well!

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Kevin BossCarbs Are NOT the Enemy


by Kevin Boss on November 13, 2018 No comments

I frequently get asked the question, “what are the best exercises for baseball players?” I typically respond with, “it depends…” It depends on the athlete, what we find in their assessment, what their training age is, etc. But today I’m going to give the people what they want and provide a list of my Top 10 baseball specific exercises!



  1. TURKISH GET UP: I don’t necessarily love the term “functional” when it comes to describing an exercise. It’s a term that has been used very loosely and is often times associated with idiotic “exercises” such as back squats on a physio ball. With that being said, the Turkish Get Up is truly one of the most functional exercises you can do. It’s what we would call a “bang for your buck” exercise because it covers so much in just one exercise. The get up offers a tremendous amount of mobility in the hip and thoracic spine. It provides stability throughout the entire shoulder girdle and anterior core. Lastly, it serves as a full body strength exercise specifically targeting your shoulders, core, and lower body. I would much rather see a baseball player be able to do a Turkish Get Up with a load of 70-80lbs instead of a 300lb bench press.
  2. LONG LEVER INCH WORMS (Anti-Extension Anterior Core Exercises): The core musculature plays a very important role when it comes to throwing or pitching a baseball. One of the core’s number one jobs is to transfer force from your lower body to your upper body. When you think about everything that goes into throwing a baseball and the incredible amounts of speed and power that are displayed in that throwing motion, you quickly realize there is little room for error. The throwing motion is initiated by putting force into the ground from your back or trail leg. That force is then transferred further up the kinetic chain to the all-important core and then continues to travel to your upper body and finished through the arm. If the core is weak, it becomes an “energy leak” where the force or energy that was initially created then dissipates when it gets to the core and is not able to continue to carry up to the arm. When this happens, best case scenario is you throw with less velocity. The worst-case scenario is you get hurt because of the compensation strategies that will take place in your shoulder and or elbow to make up for the velocity that was lost through your weak core. I like the long lever inch worm because it not only challenges your anterior core by resisting extension the further you walk your hands out but it also provides stability and strength throughout the entire shoulder joint.
  3. LIFTS, CHOPS, PALLOF PRESS VARIATIONS (Anti-Rotation Core Exercises): No one can argue the fact that baseball is a rotational sport that requires tremendous strength and power in the transverse plane (rotational). Anti-rotation exercises are a staple throughout our off-season training, but play a critical role early on in the offseason after our baseball athletes have just spent up to nine months living in that rotational plane. Resisting rotation and training that physical attribute will ultimately help improve your strength and power in that movement.
  4. ROTATIONAL & OVERHEAD MED BALL THROWS: After we resist rotation early on in the offseason, we then put a heavy emphasis on training rotation. This typically takes place in phase two of our offseason training program when we start our light implement power work with rotational and overhead med ball throw variations.
  5. KB ARM BAR: Pitching a baseball is the most violent movement in all of sport and is, quite honestly, terrible for your arm. With a proper strength and conditioning program and arm care program, these dangers can be minimized. I chose the Arm Bar to represent as my “arm care” exercise on this list. I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as strictly an arm care exercise. It’s more of a pseudo mixed exercise that can be plugged in as an arm care exercise or programmed in the actual lift. I chose to do this because I wanted “arm care” represented in this list, but I didn’t want to take a deep dive down the arm care rabbit hole right now ( I will do a separate blog on my Top 10 Arm Care Exercises another time.) The kettle bell arm bar is a unique blend of shoulder stability and thoracic mobility that challenges the athlete to maintain proper glenohumeral (ball and socket) congruency. It helps allow the athlete to gain better body awareness in understanding what that correct ball in socket position feels like. It also helps you learn how to shut off larger muscle groups such as upper traps and lats in order to turn on smaller stabilizers such as the muscles of the rotator cuff.
  6. HEIDENS: Throwing or pitching a baseball, as well as the takeoff phase in stealing a base, is done so predominantly in the frontal plane. Just as much as baseball is a game played in the transverse plane, there are also important movements that take place in the frontal plane. Pitching is an example of this. Being able to laterally push off of the mound and generate force with that back leg is the first step in being able to produce the velocity that every young pitcher is chasing. The Heiden jump, also known as “skaters,” is a great exercise for producing force in the frontal plane as well as receiving and accepting that force in the landing phase of the jump.
  7. SINGLE LEG RDLs: Google an image of a pitcher at their follow through and note the close resemblance between that image and someone doing a single leg RDL. It is remarkably similar. It is probably a position/exercise pitchers should get strong and sturdy in, right?
  8. REAR FOOT ELEVATED SPLIT SQUATS: In #6, I discussed the importance of back leg power production in the frontal plane and how this creates velocity and momentum towards the plate. Equally as important is the lead leg or stride leg and its ability to decelerate or “apply the breaks.” There is plenty of research supporting the importance of the lead leg and its role in creating velocity by being able to absorb force quickly and act as the “breaks” to create a catapult like action through the arm which, in return, produces the velocity. The rear foot elevated split squat is one of my all-time favorite exercises for developing critical unilateral leg strength and stability, regardless of the sport. You can click here to read more about my love of rear foot elevated split squats as well as my thoughts on unilateral lower body training.
  9. 1 ARM LANDMINE PRESSES: I’m a huge fan of the landmine press and its ability, if done correctly, to help promote scapular upward rotation. This is important because it’s the same motion (scapula moving on the ribcage (scapulothoracic) that we are trying to encourage and create efficiency in with throwing. Another reason I really like the landmine press is that most athletes can be cleared to press at this angle even if they have not been cleared to vertically press overhead. We see a lot of athletes that really struggle to achieve true overhead shoulder flexion without compensating through the lumbar spine. Because the landmine press is pressing more at a 45-degree angle, this allows the athlete to still reap the benefits of a vertical push without compromising their core integrity and lumbar positioning.
  10. BAND PULL APARTS: This was difficult to narrow down to just one pulling variation, but I went with the band pull apart because of it being more of a posterior deltoid and cuff focused exercise. As a bonus, you receive a lot of the same benefits of any traditional row or horizontal pulling variations.
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by Kevin Boss on October 2, 2018 No comments
  1. SLEEP – 10 Hours a night is an absolute must. Plan your day accordingly so you can get to bed at a good time. Sleep is the very best time for your body to recover from training and other stressors life throws at you. While you are sleeping your body is releasing critical hormones that help build and repair muscle as well as flush out harmful toxins in your brain. Do not miss out on this opportunity for safe, natural occurring, and free performance enhancing drugs!!
  2. NUTRITION – Eat real food and eat more of it!! You simply cannot build muscle without an adequate amount of calories. With your activity level increasing, your caloric intake needs to increase as well. We will be providing several different options to help get calories in before and after training sessions. For those athletes who are looking for some fuel pre-training we will be offering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a ready to drink protein shake as well as several different options of protein bars. Post-training, our always popular muscle building/recovery smoothies will be available.**PARENTS – YOU HAVE THE OPTION TO PUT A CC ON FILE SO YOUR ATHLETE CAN CHARGE PRE/POST-TRAINING FOOD**
  3. RECOVERY – Just as important as the training itself is the recovery between training sessions. Far too often we see athletes taking the approach of “if some is good then more must be better.” Although we love the driver behind that mindset, ultimately that approach will lead to overtraining which will then lead to injury, sickness, etc. Make sure you are listening to your body and recovering just as hard as you are training. Below are some recovery strategies to help speed up the process.
    • Soft tissue work: Foam rolling or massage
    • Normatec compression boots (available anytime for BSP athletes upstairs)
    • Nap
    • Re-read #1 & 2 (adequate sleep & proper nutrition)
    • Low level aerobic capacity work (talk to a BSP coach about this)
    • Mobility Circuits (talk to a BSP coach about this)
    • Sympathetic shut off time / Screen-free time
  4. HYDRATION – The formula we use and have seen a lot of success with is taking your body weight cutting that number in half and that becomes the amount of water in ounces you should be aiming to drink every single day.  Find a good water bottle and always keep it with you!
  5. CONSISTENCY – In our opinion being consistent in the weight room is the #1 PED (Performance enhancing drug) out there! And it’s not just consistent for weeks or even months….it takes years of consistent training to really see great progress!
  6. DISCIPLINE – “Discipline is doing what needs to be done even if you don’t want to do it” Arriving early to each training session and doing your 5-10 minutes worth of performance prep requires great DISCIPLINE! Going to bed early so you can get your 10 hours requires great DISCIPLINE! Showing up to each training session even when you don’t feel like it requires great DISCIPLINE! Saying no to social peer pressures requires great DISCIPLINE! Choosing the right foods to eat requires great DISCIPLINE!
  7. RELENTLESS WORK ETHIC – “Everyone wants to be great until it’s time to do what greatness requires!” The most successful athletes I have seen at every level have been the ones who are intrinsically motivated and are able to push themselves even when no one is watching!
  8. STRESS IS STRESS…it doesn’t matter if it’s stress from school, family, girlfriend or boyfriend stress, and or physical stress from training or playing…your body cannot decipher the many different stressors in your life and too much of it can wreak havoc on your body and the positive physical adaptions you are chasing. Find a way to combat against the unnecessary stress in your life or else you are working against yourself. Always know that our entire coaching staff here at BSP is here to support you and ready to lend a listening ear if there is something in your life you are struggling with and need someone to talk to.
    • SLEEP: Easiest way to combat against sickness is to make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
    • HAND WASHING: Keep your hands clean and away from your face.
    • EXERCISE: The right amount will boost your immune system but too much will deplete it. If you are sick, you need to rest!
    • EAT WELL: Fueling your body with good non-processed whole foods is critical to keep your body and all its systems functioning at optimal levels!
    • SUPPLEMENT NATURALLY: Instead of loading up on sugary processed lozenges, syrups, pills, and powders try to supplement with REAL earth grown foods that have their own natural occurring immune boosting properties.
  10. COMFORT IS THE ENEMY OF PROGRESS…it’s human nature to choose the path of least resistance…unfortunately that path leads us to mediocrity! The path that will challenge you both mentally and physically is the one that will bear the most fruit at the top! Those athletes that can regularly push themselves outside their comfort zone are the ones who will be the most successful!
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by Kevin Boss on September 6, 2018 No comments

The modern high school athlete is more concerned with their 40 yard sprint time, vertical jump, or maximum bench press than actual performance on the field. The data driven culture on performance has driven a bias towards training to the tests. Athletes are fixated on their output rather then their movement quality.  Often an athlete will lose perspective on what is of most value to improve their performance on the field. They rely on instantaneous feedback from force-plates or stopwatches and neglect internal cues of alignment, balance, and stability while performing the task at hand. Training with poor design leads to injuries and time off the field of play. The most common injuries we see in high school athletes are low back pain, hip muscle strains, anterior knee pain, and shoulder pain. All injuries that can be prevented.


Athletes and parents often do not want to hear about injury prevention, and would rather the emphasis be on increased sports performance.  The reality….they are synonymous.  If you train appropriately, you will move with better quality, move faster, and thus improve sport performance.  Training based on movement quality will increase squat strength, jump height, and sprint speed with minimal risk.  If you train with proper movement patterns, you create a more resilient system which is less prone to injury. Therefore, if you train to build a resilient injury free system you will improve your ability to perform on the field of play.  INJURY PREVENTION = SPORTS PERFORMANCE.


So then what does this type of training entail?  A resilient body has the capacity to perform basic fundamental movements in all planes of motions and under variable conditions.  The basic movements entail rolling, crawling, hinging over, squat, lunging, pushing, and pulling. Variable conditions entail moving in multiple directions, against different resistance (bands, weights), and at different speeds.  Every athlete has a different entry point into training with different goals based on their ability. This is where a skilled trainer and physical therapist are of value to help determine dysfunctions and weakness to cater a program specific to needs.  Injury prevention training will include common strength building exercises, acting as a cog in the wheel of moving better.


The ideal time to implement a new training program would be 8 to 12 weeks prior to a season or after a season. These basic principles can also be incorporated year round to improve your performance and reduce injury risk.  THE GOAL = Train with a purpose. Train to move well. Train to be resilient to injury or overuse.

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by Kevin Boss on August 27, 2018 No comments


Strength Coaches, Personal Trainers, Physical Therapists & other fitness enthusiasts…

We are thrilled to announce that we are are hosting a state wide NSCA clinic this Fall!

Our presenter lineup is set and is TOP NOTCH. Do not miss this amazing opportunity to better yourself as a coach and to continue to push our field & profession forward!

Limited spots available so don’t wait – CEU’s available!


NSCA Oregon Clinic Oct 2018 Flyer

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The Power of Sleep

by Kevin Boss on December 11, 2017 No comments

For this blog I’d love to share a great article by Precision Nutrition (PN) on the importance of sleep.  We all know we need to get around 8 hours of sleep a night, but how many of us actually do it?  With the busyness of life, school/work, and technology, it’s easy to leave ourselves with just enough time to squeeze in a few hours of sleep before we have to do it all over again tomorrow.  This article covers the many benefits of good quality sleep as well as various tips to improve our current sleeping habits.  PN does such a great job of simplifying and laying out not only the benefits of healthy habits but easy, practical ways to implement them into our lives.  Enjoy this article and helpful  infographic by Precision Nutrition and feel free to explore their other content as well as reach out to me with any questions!

Hacking sleep: Engineering a high quality, restful night.

Check  out this infographic from PN!


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Kevin BossThe Power of Sleep