I’d like to introduce the CP community to Chuck. After surveying the staff for their own Chuck fun facts, I quickly learned that he’s gained a Chuck Norris-like persona around CP. Among the tidbits I came across, my favorites included:
- Chuck Abdalian shaves his head twice daily
- Chuck Abdalian holds the gym record for fist-bumps with CP staff during a single training session (174)
- Chuck Abdalian keeps caffeine up at night
- Chuck Abdalian can execute a Turkish Getup with a 16kg kettle bell (likely the only true statement I collected)
Since the majority of these facts are useless, it is best that we move on to some actual Chuck information. Here’s a little look into his training world. Enjoy!
Q: How long have you been training?
I started training when I was 14, running a mile and lifting weights on alternate days. I have been training for most of the last 50 years.
What is your long-term training goal?
After high school sports, my training goal was to stay in the best shape I could within the time constraints of my professional career.
What is your favorite exercise?
My favorite exercise is the overhead forward lunge along with the deadlift and glute hamstring raise.
What is your least favorite exercise?
I have not met an exercise I do not like, but I have been heard cursing the Prowler on some humid days.
What is your most memorable accomplishment (training, personal, professional, etc) since joining CP?
When I started at CP 3 years ago I could not stand up straight due to a lower back injury. Leading up to my injury were years of running and biking 1,500 to 2,000 miles a year and lifting weights 3 times a week. I was in great shape, but my body was unbalanced, which contributed to my injury. So, my most memorable accomplishment since joining CP is the remediation of my injury, I now stand up straight! I am also in better overall shape – the CP Team has restored my athletic agility. I train 5 times a week and have gone over 1,000 days without an injury since coming to CP. I am now starting my 51st year of training.
What does being part of the CP Family mean to you?
Being a part of the CP Family is very unique. I look forward to my training sessions and have missed very few workouts since coming to CP.
The CP Staff and clients truly become your family and friends, since we all share a common goal and passion. The goal is Excellence through hard work fueled by determination. No matter what age group client’s fall into – from 10-year-old boys and girls to senior men and women athletes – we are all striving to continuously discover, develop and push our potential. The sign over the entrance to the CP facility states, “Discover your potential” and the next sign you see when entering the gym is “Excellence Starts Here”. That says it all. There is never a display of ostentatious “Attitude” by clients or staff, but from the friendly banter, you know the people surrounding you share your passion and display an inner intensity and drive to “leave it all in the ring” to quote Bob Costas tribute to Joe Frazer’s professional attitude.
Belonging to the CP Family is powerful – some regular clients drive one and a half hours to regularly train. That is a real testament to the CP Team.
What is your favorite CP Family moment?
On the Columbus Day holiday a few years ago, a CP client, a professional rugby player, came in with his girl friend as a guest. She was a model and athlete, in better shape than anyone at CP! She wanted her work out recorded for professional purposes. On of my favorite interns of all time, Kyle, a real character, was assigned the task of recording her workout. The expression on his face was priceless as he went about his assigned task. Of course, this was a singular and ironic occurrence at CP, which made it special. Usually the only videotaping going on is of a pitcher’s mechanics or New Balance filming a commercial. We all shared something in common with the CP guest that day – we shared excellence and determination.
Having trained in other gyms, what makes the training environment at CP unique?
I have enjoyed a long professional career and have worked with a broad spectrum of fellow professionals. In my opinion, the CP Team are first class professionals with a deep knowledge and passion for what they do. This attitude infuses the training facility and their clients. The CP Team ranks with the best professionals I have worked with, hands down. I have seen first hand the impact on young athletes. As an example, I have watched the development of a determined young man from the time he was an 11 years old skinny kid. He is now 14. He has become very strong, athletic, quietly confident and even more determined. He displays exceptional deportment and character. He embodies the CP philosophy “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit.”
Finally – no curls allowed. Don’t let Eric catch you doing a curl! Now that is as unique as all of the CP Staff wearing tee shirts with sleeves!
What would you say to those who think that CP is only for baseball players?
Functional training forms the base for all sports specific training, so CP is not just for baseball players. I have worked out with not only professional baseball players, but also rugby players, softball players, Olympians, professional women football players, as well as grade school, high school and college athletes representing all sports and of course senior athletes and that occasional model.
Please shoot us an email (CresseyPerformance@gmail.com) if you’d like to receive additional information regarding CP’s services!
With 100+ MiLB athletes in the CPfamily, it is borderline impossible to track the great performances for each and every one of them each day. That being said, here’s a look at just a few solid stat lines from the past week:
Tommy Shirley (Astros AA) is off to a very strong start pitching for the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League. Through 3 starts, Tommy has a 2.03 ERA. His 16:3 strikeout to walk ratio is certainly solid! Stats
Jordan Jankowski (Astros AA) is holding his own out of the Hooks’ bullpen, featuring a 0.00ERA through three appearances, highlighted by nearly 1.5 strikeouts per inning. Stats
Rafael Lopez (Cubs AA) is 5 for 8 with a double, 2RBI, 3BB and 1HR over the past 3 games. Rafael is hitting .345 so far on the season for the Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League. Stats
Murphy Smith (A’s AA) has a 0.93 ERA out of the bullpen for the Midland Rockhounds of the Texas League. Yesterday, Murphy worked 4 scoreless innings of relief. Stats
Post season baseball is quickly approaching for the CP NCAA family and it appears that the guys are finding their stride.
Here’s a look at some notable performances from this past weekend:
James Alfonso (Hartford) was 2-4 at the plate in a 4-3 loss to Rutgers on Friday evening. James had a pair of runs scored in the contest. Box Score
John Mullen (Bryant) was 2-2 at the plate with a walk, 2RBI and 3 runs scored in a 12-4 win over Central CT. Box Score
Carl Anderson (Bryant) hit safely in all four games this weekend, including a 2-3 performance featuring an opposite field HR in a tough loss to Central CT on Sunday. Box Score
Matt Walsh (Franklin Pierce) was 3 for 5 at the plate with an RBI in a 9-5 win over Merrimack on Saturday. CP athletes Joe Flynn, Ryan Leach and Doug Willey combined to throw 9 innings with Leach earning the win. Box Score
Alex Person (Southern NH) earned his 2nd win of 2014 on Saturday, working 6.2 innings in a 9-4 win over Assumption College. Alex allowed just 3 unearned runs while striking out 8. Box Score
It is hard to believe that we’re already well on our way into the 2014 baseball season. It is also hard to keep up with all of the great performances being put forth by the CP-Family. We dedicate our Monday “Weekend Roundup” blog to the college population, so today we will have a look at some of the noteworthy performances during the past week from our high school, minor league, and big-league athletes.
While it might seem funny to combine these athletes into a single post, any CP client will know that there is no definitive line drawn in our schedule for each population to train. Big-leaugers deadlift alongside high school guys and challenge them to ping-pong matches on a daily basis throughout the winter. If they can cohesively train together, I can find a way to report on their great in-season efforts together.
Here’s a comprehensive list of impressive outings from our crew over the last seven days:
CP-Family in MLB
Steve Cishek (Marlins) signed a nice big deal this past winter following a season in which he set a consecutive save record for the Miami organization. After converting each of his first two save opportunities during the first week of the season, Steve was given a very well paid week off with the Marlins failing to create a single save opportunity since April 3rd. It stands to reason that he’ll be feeling good when that time comes this week!
Brandon Gomes (Rays) is also off to a great start in 2014. Brandon has made five scoreless appearances out of the Tampa bullpen thus far, including earning a win this past Saturday night against visiting Texas. Here’s a look at his impressive numbers thus far.
Corey Kluber (Indians) earned his first win of the season on Tuesday, working 6 strong innings as the Cleveland starter against San Diego. Corey allowed just 3 runs on 8 hits. Box score
CP-Family in MiLB
With roughly 100+ CP athletes competing at the minor-league level with MLB-affiliated organizations, it is tough to stay on top of every single great result. Here are just a few of the good ones from this past week. If you’re interested in keeping an eye on any other guys playing pro ball, you can find a comprehensive list of pro CP-Family guys here.
Eddie Campbell (Mariners-A) earned a win in his first start of the season playing for the Clinton Lumberkings of the Class-A Midwest League. Eddie worked 5 innings, allowing just 2 hits and no runs. He is unscored upon through 8.1 innings this season. Stats
Mike Montgomery (Rays AAA) earned a win in his first start of the season, throwing 5 scoreless innings against the Gwynnett Braves. Mike allowed just 3 hits and struck out 7. Stats
Reed Gragnani (Red Sox A) had a huge day at the plate this past Saturday, going 4 for 5 with a pair of RBI against Myrtle Beach. Reed is currently batting .533 on the season. Stats
Tim Cooney (Cardinals AAA) has been nothing short of dominant pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Through 2 starts, Tim has a pair of runs and a 0.73 ERA. Have a look at these numbers.
JR Graham (Braves AA) was impressive in his only outing of the season thus far, working 5 scoreless and hitless innings. JR is best known around CP as the only 100mph+ arm to show up to train in a Santa Suit. Stats
Kyle Helisek (Cardinals A) was solid in his first start since joining the Florida State League. Kyle got a no-decision in 6 innings of scoreless and hitless work on Tuesday evening. Stats
High School Level CP-Family
Jackson Gillis (Wilmington HS) tossed a no-hitter against Woburn HS on Thursday afternoon. Jackson put in many training sessions this winter at CP and is proving to be one of the state’s better sophomore pitchers. He struck out 12 batters in the contest. Recap
Joe Walsh (Plymouth North HS) no-hit Marshfield HS on Monday afternoon in his first start of the season. At one point, Joe retired 17 consecutive Marshfield batters. Recap
CP athletes kicked off the month of April with a great weekend of results on the diamond. Here’s a look at what some of our guys accomplished this weekend at the NCAA level:
Tyler Beede (Vanderbilt) earned his 5th win of the season on the road against Tennessee. Ty worked 8 strong innings, allowing 5 hits and 4 earned runs while striking out 6. Box Score
Aaron Fossas (Wake Forest) earned his 7th and 8th saves of the season on Friday and Saturday agains Maryland. For the weekend, Aaron worked 3 innings, allowing just 2 hits and a single run while striking out 3. Box Score
John Sheehan (William & Mary) led his team to a 14-2 win over UNCW on Saturday. John worked 7 innings, allowing just 2 earned runs while striking out 8. Box Score
Joe Flynn (Franklin Pierce) earned a win over American International on Saturday. Joe struck out 10 over 6 innings while allowing just 1 earned run. Box Score
Billy Bereszniewicz (Binghamton) had a strong day at the plate in a 16-3 win over UMBC on Saturday. Billy was 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored and an RBI in the game. Box Score
Jake Willsey (Tulane) hit safely in all three contests against UTSA this weekend, highlighted by a 2-for-4 outing on Saturday. Box Score
We have a handful of married couples training with us here at CP, and Jason/Bethany just may be the strongest of the bunch. Most importantly, Jason has what may be the thickest facial hair CP has ever seen…Kevin Youkilis included.
Have a look at the picture of Jason alongside CP Office Manager Paige below for definitive proof.
Bethany and Jason have been training at CP since the start of 2013 with similar performance enhancement goals. They share an interest in endurance sports such as duathlons, triathlons and organized cycling events. We chatted with both of them about their training motivation and goals and will now share it with you! Say hello to the Kiernan’s.
Q: How does training at CP fit into your fitness goals as it relates to endurance racing?
Jason - I am entering my fourth year of racing. I started racing duathlons in 2011 and triathlons in 2013. In 2013 I competed in 15 events ranging from sprints to half marathons to a Half Ironman, to a century ride. This was the most events I have competed in to date. CP worked with me to develop a training schedule to complement all the cardio training. We set up the schedule to align heavier strength training with my base build period and lighter strength training as I reached my peak training period. We also coordinated the strength training to taper before large events. Training at CP helped me to reduce the small injuries that I have had in previous seasons such as IT band syndrome, which allowed me to enter so many events.
Bethany - I started training at CP in January 2013. I know several people—including my husband—who had been training at CP, and they encouraged me to visit CP for an assessment and starting training here. I was at point where I felt that the training I had been doing on my own just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I needed something different, not only to mix up what I felt had become a somewhat monotonous training regimen but also to add a new element to my training that would push me beyond my current level. CP delivered on both counts, beginning almost immediately, and continues to do so.
Q: What is your favorite exercise here at CP?
Jason - I like medicine ball work such as overhead ball slams, or throwing the medicine ball against the wall. It can be a nice form of stress release.
Bethany - I like overhead sledgehammer hits. Something about swinging the sledgehammer at that giant tire is both a great physical challenge and a lot of fun too.
Q: Do you have a least favorite exercise?
Jason - Any type of deadlifts but mostly trap bar deadlifts. Before starting my training at CP my strength training had consisted of mostly upper body as I thought my legs were getting enough of a workout from all of the cardio. This resulted in me being quad dominant. Even after a year I still struggle with keeping my knees out on deadlifts to fully utilize my hamstrings.
Bethany - Glute hamstring raises. And pushups are the exercise I love to hate (program after program).
Q: What is your most memorable accomplishment (training, personal, professional, etc.) since joining CP?
Jason - Completing a Half Ironman in 2013. When I signed up for the Half Ironman in January of 2013 I did not know how to swim and had a decent fear of the water. By the time the race rolled around in August of 2013 I was able to swim the 1.2 miles with ease and now swimming is my favorite cardio exercise.
Bethany - One accomplishment for me in 2013 was completing The Flattest Century in the East, a 100-mile cycling ride organized by the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen. Although I had done another century ride the year before, I felt much more confident and stronger going into TFCE compared with the previous one, and I know that my training at CP had a lot to do with that.
Q: Would one of you mind sharing what being part of the CP Family means to you?
Bethany - Knowing I’m part of something unique that is helping me work towards my training/fitness goals in a way that is tailored specifically to me, but at the same time doesn’t cause me to lose out on the “community” aspect of training is a pretty fantastic feeling. Plus, I think it would be pretty cool if in the future I learn that some of the other people training at CP alongside me are now playing professional or semi-pro baseball!
Q: How would you describe the concept of CP Family to someone who hasn’t been here before?
Jason - It is nice to be in an environment with other athletes who are all working towards making themselves better. You can move at your own pace and you have the opportunity to talk with other athletes about their training. CP created an environment for serious training while maintaining a community feeling that encourages interaction with the trainers and other athletes. You never have the feeling that you are alone in your training while trying to reach your goals.
Q: Do either of you have a specific favorite CP moment since you started training with us?
Bethany – I find it amusing when a battle over the music selection breaks out. It is almost impossible to know what sort of music I’ll be training to each time I’m at CP. (note: Greg got on a serious “viking metal” kick back in the spring of ’12)
Jason – Any time that Tony attempts to dance would qualify as a memorable CP moment. He shouldn’t do that anymore.
Q: What would you guys say to those who think that CP is only for baseball players?
Bethany - Definitely not! While at first glance it may appear CP is geared solely towards baseball players, any person who wants to take their training to a higher level can benefit from what CP can offer.
Jason - No matter what you are training for the benefits of including strength training into your workout schedule is huge. CP evaluates your strengths and weaknesses and develops a training program tailored to your areas of need. CP teaches you proper technique and provides a balanced training program which makes you a better athlete no matter what sport you compete in.
Please shoot us an email (CresseyPerformance@gmail.com) if you’d like to receive additional information regarding CP’s services!
We may only be two days in to the MLB season, but the CP-Family is already starting to leave it’s mark on the box scores. Here are a couple of quick performances worthy of note from the first couple of days of action:
Steve Cishek (Marlins) converted his 30th consecutive save, and 1st of 2014, on Tuesday evening. Steve tossed a perfect inning and recorded 1 strikeout in a 4-3 Marlins win over the visiting Rockies. Box Score
Brandon Gomes (Rays) put together a spring training that Joe Maddon could not ignore, posting a 0.00ERA in big league camp. As a result, he found himself on the mound in Toronto on Opening Day. Brandon had 2 strikeouts in 1 scoreless inning of work as the Rays defeated the Jays by a score of 9-2. Box Score
AJ Pollock (D-Backs) ended his offensive drought with a 3-hit performance last night. He was 3-4 with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored in a 4-3 D-Backs win against the Giants. Box Score
Lastly, Corey Kluber gets the nod as the Cleveland Indians game-2 starter today in Oakland. The Indians and A’s were postponed yesterday, so they’ll play a double-header today. Corey takes the mound at 3:05pm!
The CP collegiate baseball players brought the month of March to a close with another strong weekend. Here’s a look at some of the noteworthy performances submitted by the #CPfamily:
Andrew Chin (Boston College) submitted a fantastic start against the #1 team in the country on Saturday evening. Andrew pitched into the 8th inning and left with a 5-run lead against visiting Florida State before seeing a win slip away from BC in the 9th. On the evening, he allowed just 3 hits and 2 earned runs through 7.1 innings of work. Box
Carl Anderson (Bryant University) put on a clinic at the plate over the course of the 3 Bryant wins. Carl was 10 for 12 on the weekend with 8RBI hitting in the leadoff spot against Albany. Game 1 Box, Game 2 Box, and Game 3 Box
Aaron Fossas (Wake Forest) earned his 5th save of 2014 against Notre Dame. Aaron is now 4-1 on the season with a 2.49 ERA through 25 innings of work. Box
Adam Ravenelle (Vanderbilt) had another strong inning of relief, going 1.2 scoreless innings in a 6-2 over the #17-ranked Kentucky Wildcats. Box
The CP guys playing at Franklin Pierce had a dominant day on the mound on Saturday in sweeping a pair of games against Stonehill College. In the first game, Joe Flynn worked 8.2 innings and struck out 11 batters in a 4-2 win. In the second game, Brendan O’Rourke and Doug Willey combined to allow just one baserunner in a 1-hit shutout. Recap
I’d like to formally introduce the CP internet community to our current intern, Tim Geromini. Here’s a look at what inspired Tim to pursue an internship here at CP, how it plays in to his long-term career goals within the industry, and his thoughts on the experience thus far.
Say hello to Tim!
Q: Where are you from?
A: I happen to be a rare breed of CP intern. More specifically, I live fairly close by in Franklin, MA. It appears that most other interns come from other parts of the country, and in some cases other parts of the world. I had the pleasure of growing up here in MA, attending Curry College, and working in a variety of roles at jobs close to home.
Q: Has working in strength & conditioning always been a career goal for you?
A: Not exactly. I studied sports management while at Curry College, which led me to a couple of opportunities working in amateur and professional baseball organizations. I’ve been a member of the Baseball Operations team with the Nashua Silver Knights (Futures Collegiate Baseball League) and the Lowell Spinners (Red Sox Single-A Affiliate).
While I enjoyed the environment and responsibilities which came with the in-season operation of a baseball club, I found that the off-season consisted of far too much desk work. I’ve come to learn that I have a need to stay active, so the office setting didn’t work especially well for me. It was with this in mind that I began the process of pursuing a career in strength and conditioning, beginning with a volunteering opportunity at the U-Mass Lowell S&C program.
Q: So how did Cressey Performance make it on to your radar?
A: I was actually training at a facility in Milford, MA when a young athlete approached me to ask if I had worked at CP. He was apparently surprised to see me doing scapular wall-slides during my warmup and concluded that I had to have been part of this system. CP wasn’t on my radar at the time, but this interaction put it there. I spent the following weeks and months familiarizing myself with all things CP on the internet.
Q: What inspired you to pursue an internship with us?
A: My experience at U-Mass Lowell helped me realize that I could get excited to show up for work every day if I were coaching collegiate athletes. Since a collegiate S&C job is likely to involve working with a number of different teams/sports, I thought I’d benefit from spending a couple of months here at CP where I would be exposed to a broad spectrum of athletes. One of my biggest areas of potential improvement coming in to this experience was embracing a semi-private group-training model, and I’ve enjoyed developing that skill since starting in January.
Q: Do you have any specific professional goals for the next 3 to 5 years once you’ve completed your internship?
A: Like I said, collegiate S&C is definitely the long-term goal for me. If given the opportunity to be picky, I’d tell you that I’d like to coach the baseball team at a solid school here in the northeast. However, I’m well aware of the fact that I might find myself working with several other teams in addition to any baseball program I am involved with. I can certainly see myself having fun with that.
If I were given the chance to pick a best case scenario at this exact moment, I think I’d like to work with the baseball players down at the University of Connecticut. Hopefully I’ll find a way to get my foot in the door at a program such as theirs in the coming months.
Q: What surprised you the most about CP once you’d settled in here?
A: Coming in, I didn’t realize the sheer volume of collegiate and high school athletes who call this place home. I think I expected a bit more of a balance between the “general fitness” population and professional athletes, but there’s definitely a strong following of younger guys and girls specifically seeking performance enhancement.
Q: Last question of the day: Are there any life experiences or career accomplishments you didn’t share in your resume?
A: I went skydiving for my birthday two years ago with a close friend. I can’t emphasize enough how much I enjoyed it. I’d have to say that the relief I felt when my parachute successfully deployed is unparalleled in relation to anything else I’ve experienced in my life.
I’m also proud to say that the Nashua Silver Knights won back-to-back FCBL championships during my time working in their Baseball Operations Department. Since my job was to handle player contracts and facilitate the re-signings of athletes who had previously played with us, I felt like I really had a hand in the creation of a winning roster.
Please shoot us an email if you’re interested in learning more about the Cressey Performance Internship Program. CresseyPerformance@gmail.com
We have a tendency of overlooking the hard work of our MLB-Affiliated athletes at spring training during the months of February and March as we focus on the performances of our NCAA athletes. While spring training results are hardly the news that get baseball fans excited, it is nice to know that the CP-Family is continuing to work hard in FL and AZ. Here are couple of quick articles, videos, etc. to highlight what’s new among our pro crowd:
The Palm Beach Post published an article this weekend discussing Steve Cishek’s consistent improvement over the past two seasons. After a year in which Steve represented Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, set a Marlins franchise record for consecutive saves, and tied for the best save conversion percentage in MLB (94.4%), he now enters the 2014 season as one of the top closers in the game. Read the complete article here.
Tim Collins is about to begin his fourth MLB season with the Kansas City Royals, a team on the cusp of playoff contention. Tim was a mainstay in one of MLB’s best bullpens in 2013, making the second most appearances on the Royals staff. The Worcester Telegram interviewed Collins to get his take on the coming season. Read the article here.
Eric and Anna picked the perfect day to attend a Red Sox/Braves game in Orlando this weekend, as they had the pleasure of watching Cory Gearrin earn the save in a 6-3 Braves win. Check out the quick MLB.com recap video here.
(Cory continues to have some of the best game day attire the CP-Family has ever seen…)
In somewhat related news, Eric took the time to discuss his take on the upcoming MLB First Year Player Draft with the guys at Baseball America. This two-part interview goes in to great detail regarding the training philosophies employed here at CP. Give them a read! Part 1 and Part 2.
Keep an eye out for some updates on noteworthy CP-Family performances in the near future now that the MLB season is less than a week away!