Coach Trung Cao (TC) is the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the Tampa Bay Rays. TC was named the 2012 Rays Player Development Man of the Year. Prior to joining the Rays, he worked in the White Sox organization for 11 seasons.
I immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam when I was 9 years old. We bounced around and settled in Toms River, NJ.
My upbringing taught me patience, persistence and perseverance. Nothing is easy when starting something new, whether it be a skill, or getting in shape for the summer. Having patience allows you to be persistent in a learned skill. You have to persevere, and keep working through adversity. It’s the same approach I use at work.
MY LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
I enjoyed taking my kids to Glazer Children’s Museum when they were toddlers. I still enjoy going there because there is a little kid in me. The Dali Museum and The Morean Arts Center Chihuly Collection are my other two places.
To stay active, I take my bike to the trails at Hillsborough State Park and Fort De Soto Park. I love cycling and kayaking any water bodies. Crystal River and Weeki Wachee are two great places to visit for swimming or kayaking through slow-moving clear aquamarine water.
When guests are here, we tend to hit up Bern’s Steak House. For another favorite of mine, we would take a drive to Indigenous in Sarasota where there’s an incredible chef who focuses on sustainable seafood.
My hidden gem is in Apollo Beach at the TECO Big Bend Power Plant. The manatees congregate there for the warm water from the discharge and it’s fun to watch.
Coach TC’s Tips for the Weekend Warrior
If you’re looking to get fit and stay in shape during the summer months, your training and progress must be slow and steady to avoid injury.
Find activities that you enjoy and focus on breaking a sweat or getting out of breath to help improve cardiovascular health.
Below are some key guidelines to help you get started. As always, before starting any activities or exercise program, consult with your doctor.
- Shoes – Get a good pair of shoes for the right occasion. If you are running trails, try to have a pair of shoes that are designed for trail running. You certainly don’t want to wear a pair of basketball sneakers to play soccer.
- Warm Up – Have a warm-up routine such as foam rolling, flexibility, mobility and slow rhythmic movement prior to your specific activity.
- Fuel – Make sure you fuel up prior to the activity and hydrate with electrolytes prior to and during the activity.
Getting In Shape For Summer
- Get a physical examination with your physician. Share your objective plans and/or goals
- Seek a certified/qualified trainer to get some advice and suggestions.
- Focus on multi-joints and large muscle groups.
- Time – allow yourself time to get physically fit.
- Progression – Focus only on your individual level, intensity and effort. Pushing yourself too fast too soon only leads to injury and frustration.
- Spend time working on flexibility and mobility at the end of the workout.
- Focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t do!
Disclaimer: these tips are not intended as medical advice. For personalized advice or concerns about your health, please consult a qualified medical professional. Always listen to your body and make choices that are appropriate for your fitness level and individual circumstances.