Coach Leo Goldman, of MSM Performance Academy, staunchly believes that training and development takes years, no matter what social media influencers tell you.
His training methods include personal assessments, long-term development planning, optimized nutrition, and improved mindset, in stark opposition to the current culture of social media workouts designed for aesthetics over functionality.
His role with MSM Performance Academy is a premium service to the organization’s lineup and will be included in the Jordan Year Challenge, an abbreviated, yet hyperfocused version of their standard training program. Their first project built beneath The MSM Foundation.
With a focus on helping athletes obtain peak performance, essentially going from 0 to 100, the coach provides resources on a wide range of health topics including nutritional guidance, injury prevention, recovery, assessments, nutrition, a positive mentality, and mobility.
As part of the program’s mind training, Coach Leo provides pro-mentality sessions that let his clients ‘get right’ before getting physical. He emphasizes awareness over beliefs, self-reflection, visualization, routines, and communication.
“Your vision will drive you to do anything,” he said. “It’s not willpower at that point. It’s just passion.”
From gymnastics to martial arts, soccer, baseball, football, wrestling, tennis, skiing, and snowboarding, Coach Leo is a lover of all sports. “Sports taught me that, even if I was terrible at something, if I put in enough effort, results would soon follow. I became the hardest worker on every team I was on. Never the most talented, but always the most improved,” he said of his stick-to-it mindset.
A body engaged in so many sports soon developed knee pain stemming from a condition called Osgood Schlatters. Upon getting this devastating news, Coach Leo was advised to play fewer sports with less frequency and go on pain medication, but he couldn’t see that happening. So, he set out to solve his problems on his own, locating Olympic strength coach Charles Poliquin to learn from.
We sat down with the multi-talented coach to learn about his signature three-stage process for taking athletes from zero to 100.
Stage 1: Development
In this phase, Coach Leo teaches his clients some basics about short-term versus long-term development and why speed training should always come last.
Clients, for their part, are often shocked at what they learn in this stage, even if they’ve been athletes since childhood.
“I explain to them that what they are likely doing now is developing power without understanding how power develops — which is by force multiplied by velocity. Velocity is speed training, while force is strength training,” he said.
He went on to provide an example, detailing how every athlete develops compensations, weaknesses, or imbalances in their body that are unique to both their own makeup and their sport of choice. To break his example down into even more practical terms, he said, “Any person that makes 20 more passes with their right foot forward than their left, their body will already start creating compensations.”
Coach Leo provides corrective training for these common imbalances, addressing them as early as possible to avoid future injuries.
Stage 2: Long-Term Training
Coach Leo’s long-term training focuses on the progression model, which essentially breaks fitness down into three areas of improvement. First, his clients focus on isolating their weaknesses. Next, they integrate bigger movement patterns. Lastly, they move into accelerated power work that will help them reach their fitness goals.
To initially locate weaknesses, as well as strengths, MSM Performance Academy uses biomechanical assessments to reveal imbalances in their body. From there, they know where to start creating their training plan and what to focus on.
The program will include mobility sequences tailored to the client’s sport and complement the biomechanical assessment. It also comprises three types of isometric training: concentric shortening of muscles, eccentric lengthening, and isometric contraction holds.
This style forces athletes to hold positions at the hardest part of a range of motion to improve strength, balance, and mobility.
Stage 3: Strength Training
Most coaches and clients begin strength training the first time they meet. However, reaching Stage 3 with Coach Leo typically takes about three months of work, beginning with the mindset training.
“Athletes need to conquer their mental health aspects first to optimize the results of this program,” he said.
It’s not until this stage that athletes begin developing the ‘force’ part of the athletic formula. “Velocity is speed training, and force is strength training. However, you need to develop force before velocity. Most athletes aren’t getting the results they want because they aren’t focused enough on force. But you need to get to the right place before you develop force,” he said.
Coach Leo is currently offering a version of his strength training and development program alongside the Jordan Year Challenge. Visit the MSM Performance Academy website to learn more.
About Coach Leo Goldman and MSM Performance Academy
MSM Performance Academy, founded by Lucas Zeiler, and led by CEO Kal Maadi helps families guide their children to reach College and Professional levels in the best way possible; teaching them the fundamentals to maintain sound minds and bodies, while performing optimally, both physically and mentally. The goal for MSM is to offer mental and physical performance training and empower youth sports athletes, student-athletes and professional athletes to become leaders of themselves. Through The MSM Foundation, the academy teaches players how to reach optimal levels of mental and physical performance. For more information, please visit themsmfoundation.org