The Training of Elite Athletes

Whether it’s Olympic athletes training for gold, professional or collegiate players gearing up for a new season or weekend warriors wanting to better their game, there is an army of behind-the-scenes strength and conditioning coaches, sports docs, nutritionists, trainers, physical therapists, researchers, sports psychologists and other specialized experts helping athletes to maximize their performance and stay healthy.

ATLX went behind the scenes to meet some of these uniquely qualified coaches and experts, all of whom bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and a proven track record in their respective fields. We call them the “athletes behind the athletes” and they are truly a special breed. They have trained and treated the most famous superstars of sport, the military’s Special Forces and everyday athletes alike. We are excited to share their decades of collective experience and some of their favorite stories with you in our debut ATLX feature theme, The Training of Elite Athletes.

Dr. John Ivy, head of the department of Kinesiology & Health Education at the University of Texas and author & advisor to many major consumer brands, reminds us that, for elite athletes and for all of us who are active, the timing of nutrient supplementation post-exercise is a critical, yet often neglected component of our training and nutrition programs. Dr. Ivy’s colleague at the University of Texas, Coach Jeff “Mad Dog” Madden, speaks to us about how he has approached strength and conditioning over his distinguished coaching career and across a variety of sports.  Coach Madden has trained over 300 collegiate football players drafted by the NFL, two Heisman Trophy winners (Rashaam Salaam and Ricky Williams), two Heisman runner-ups (Vince Young and Colt McCoy) and a long list of other accomplished athletes and Olympians in other sports. Dr. Rob Ziltzer, a physician at the Scottsdale Weight Loss Center who advises the NFL, explores how elite athletes lose and maintain their weight with some lessons for everyday athletes.

Teena Murray, the Director of Olympic Sports at the University of Louisville, provides a personal blog about how she got her start as strength and conditioning coach and has risen to the highest ranks of her profession in a predominantly male-oriented coaching community. Coach Robb Rogers has trained a variety of elite athletes in his distinguished career, including Division-1 football players, members of our Special Forces and everyday people wanting to get fit. Coach Rogers shares his insights into some of the differences between coaching collegiate athletes and military Special Forces operators where your enemy defines when and how the game is played and without a game clock. Robert Dos Remedios, the Director of Speed, Strength & Conditioning at College of the Canyons, trains collegiate athletes from a variety of different sports. Coach Dos talks about his approach to training and the principals that have grounded his strength and conditioning programs for the past two decades.

Ryan Capretta, founder and the head of strength and conditioning at Proactive Sports Performance, talks about his experience at the professional and collegiate level, what it takes to train athletes at the highest level and how to deal with such diverse personalities, styles and individual needs. Capretta has trained the likes of Clay Matthews, Antonio Cromartie, Lindsay Vonn, Nick Swisher, Dwight Freeney, Larry Fitzgerald and many others. Dr. Keith Pyne, a managing partner and physician at Sports Lab NYC, has treated over 1,100 elite athletes across the major sports. Dr. Pyne has developed unique treatment methods at SportsLab NYC that concentrate on neuromuscular structural integration, or the interaction between the central nervous system and the muscles of the body. Dr. Chad Moreau is an elite training coach and the owner of, a website where hockey players can obtain their own unique tailored training routines. Chad has worked with many NHL greats, including his brother, Ethan Moreau, and the 2012 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup champions Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar.

This group of experts forms the foundation for ATLX’s introductory theme, The Training of Elite Athletes. We are excited to share with you their experiences, advice and insights into the world of the elite athlete.


What do Clay Matthews, Nick Swisher, Derek Fisher, and Lindsay Vonn have in common? Cue: Ryan Capretta.





SportsLab NYC: Professional athletes put their injuries in the capable hands of Dr. Keith Pyne.





Master Coach, Jeff “Mad Dog” Madden: 30 years of earning his nickname.





Training the Military Elite: When a battle’s endgame depends on the enemy instead of the game clock.





You Got Better: In the training room with Robert Dos Remedios.





Dr Chad MoreauWhy Stanley Cup Champions train off the ice to stay ON the ice.





Timing is everything: Why it’s not only what you eat, but WHEN.





Teena Murray: How she made it big in a profession dominated by men.





How do elite athletes like NFL players lose and maintain their weight for peak performance? Ask Dr. Ziltzer. 

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