This month STT launches its monthly interview segment.  This month Coach Taylor, owner and founder of SMARTER Team Training answers questions that are often asked at conferences and clinics he speaks at around the world.

STT: How did you become involved in the industry?

Coach Taylor: I have been interested in the human body since back in high school.  I probably had to work harder at being a student than my athletic pursuits.  And one thing after another lead me to meet good people that lead to a student-assistant position, then an internship, then sleeping on couches volunteering everywhere I could, finally a door opened up and I was more than happy to push it open.  I love what I do and wouldn’t have wanted to take any other path to get to where I am today.

STT: What is your specialization? Feel free to expand upon your job responsibilities, interests or current project you are working on.

Coach Taylor: Early in my career, I would have said football and baseball.  But I have grown and worked with just about every sport the NCAA offers.  I’ve been fortunate to be on numerous DI staffs as a GA, assistant, and head strength coach so I try to relate to teams that don’t always get the exposure that the more prominent teams get but are also working just as hard to be champions in their own right.

STT: What aspect of the field do you enjoy the most?  Feel free to elaborate and provide multiple examples.

Coach Taylor: Without a doubt it is the people I meet and get the chance to work with.  From the athletes I have had the chance to coach and the coaches that I have been fortunate to work with, I have been honestly excited about what’s to come next every day I have been in the profession.

STT: Should I eat before or after training?

Coach Taylor: YES!  Is probably the simplest answer I can give.  I don’t think people eat often enough when training.  I don’t mean the that we don’t eat enough.  I believe that we need to consider portion control and timing when we are in hungry mode.  Take a trip out of the country and look at what they consider as a “large” serving.  There are big, strong athletes all over the world.  It isn’t just what they are eating.  Ideally though I’d like to see a trainee eat and hydrate an hour before a strength or conditioning session.  I am also a big proponent of putting calories into your body immediately following a workout with a meal within forty-five minutes to an hour after your last rep or sprint.

STT: When is the best time to workout?

Coach Taylor: In the morning.  Too many things come up that become excuses or reasons not to workout.  It takes discipline to prepare your body the night before, get to bed at a reasonable time, wake up to your alarm, and get your mind right for hard training before your competition may even know what they are doing that day.  Plus working out early is rewarding because you are doing something for you.  Without question your body and mind are your two greatest assets in life.  Why not make it your first priority to take care of?

STT: Does age make a difference in a weight training program?

Coach Taylor: I believe it does.  I work a bunch of camps and am involved in clinics around the country.  If the group I am working with is middle school or early high school, I may focus workouts around body weight exercises.  As the athletes mature into advanced trainees, the workouts become much more intense looking because of the apparatus used, but the body can handle more stress as it compensates though the years from training.  When athletes age, the intensity rises and the duration of the workouts shorten to keep the athlete mentally and physically fresh.

STT: What is the best meal after weight lifting training?

Coach Taylor: Anything.  I don’t think that we know enough about the human body to say any one thing is more important than another at any point in the day.  I do believe in moderation, hydration, and a daily multivitamin.  But for specifically after a workout, just eat healthy.  If you do have a craving for something, eat it within the hour window or so following your intense workout.  Reward yourself for working hard and going after your goals.

STT: Should strength training and cardio workouts be done together?

Coach Taylor: Depends on your goal.  I now work with mostly intermittent sports.  I incorporate some form of cardio training into their workout each day.  We also sneak in flexibility, injury prevention, movement prep, and strength components to enhance each athlete’s work capacity.  Being fit is more complicated than just running a half marathon or squatting twice your body weight.  Even the toughest of men crumble at the site of the plate push on their workout.

STT: How often should I do strength training?

Coach Taylor: If you are going hard, putting stress on your entire body twice a week and then finding time for an additional upper body workout is more than fine.  If you are not an athlete and you can get two legitimate strength sessions in a week, you are doing great.  I don’t believe in training the same muscle group each day consistently.  Your intensity drops too low and your workouts suffer.  If you need to break it up and do upper three times a week, and lower twice to fit in time for your cardio requirements, I can work with that concept too.  Whatever works best.  Just find time to workout is the key.

Keep in touch with STT for an interview with Coach Stein of Stronger Team coming soon.  For more information about upcoming interviews, and to keep in touch with STT, join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook by searching SMARTER Team Training.

I hope all is well.  Have a great day!