Third round of this series of interview already. Patrick Ward, strength and conditioning specialist and massage therapist, was kind enough to give me a couple minutes of his time to answer my questions. Here we go:
My current training is pretty darn boring. I lift 3 days per week and perform total body workouts. I do the same four exercises each day 3 sets x 5 reps and currently work below 80% intensity for all sets. I do some form of cardiovascular exercise at least 3-5x/week usually consisting of either consistent work in the 120-150bpm range or some form of extensive tempo work. I’ll do this for about 3-5 weeks and then begin to focus more on some specific lifts, increase the intensity, etc…
What’s your favorite song to lift heavy things to?
I can’t say that I have a favorite song to lift to but I do enjoy putting country music on the radio. Sometimes I even listen to sports talk radio when I lift. I try not to blast realy intense music and hype myself up for lifts in the gym unless I am testing something and I am trying to get really gassed up. Otherwise, I try and keep my cool.
What would be your best advice to an up-and-coming strength and conditioning coach who wants to make it in this business?
Read as much as you can, ask a lot of questions of others and of yourself, and never take anything anyone says as gospel – be open to many possibilities.
What’s your passion, or second passion in life after health and fitness?
I like jazz music a lot and actually my undergraduate degree was in jazz guitar from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
Who are your 3 most influential mentors?
Charlie Weingroff, Willem Kramer, and Judith DeLany are up there as far as people that have influenced me professionally that I have been able to have some form of personal communication/relationship with. Also in that list I would have to include Don Miller, Jeff Cubos, and Dave Tenney.
What’s the biggest mistake you see athletes who want to make it to the next level make?
Doing too much. Most athletes crush themselves with insane amounts of either volume or intensity (or both) setting themselves back from further progres and decreasing their level of readiness, causing them to have inconsistent results when they compete.
What’s your favorite supplement?
I am not a huge supplement guy. I like fish oil and protein powder (muscle milk chocolate is my favorite). After that if you want some creatine or a multi-vitamin go for it. In general though I am a whole foods guy and feel that people should dial in their diet before they try and SUPPLEMENT it with anything.
What’s the most overrated exercise?
Every exercise has its place in a program and it is not my job to tell people what they should or should not use as every situation is different and every individual is different. I try not to get enamored with too many exercises or exercise variations. I see a lot of people creating new exercises for the sake of doing something “new”. I still like to stick with the basics and just focus on that.
What’s the most underrated exercise?
Don’t know if there is an underrated exercise. I try and focus on very basic compound exercises and they aren’t exercises that most people aren’t already doing – bench press, chin ups, rows, push ups, deadlifts, squats, lunges. Perhaps an exercise that I do like to use that I don’t think too many people use is the step up. I think it is a great exercise for the lower extremity and find that most people seem to shy away from it for one reason or another.
What book are you currently reading?
The Science and Practice of Manual Therapy by Eyal Lederman
Patrick, thank you so much for your time!
(If you want to learn more about Patrick, make sure to check out his website at OptimumSportsPerformance.com)