A Little Background on Stronger Athletes

"If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat." -Herschel Walker

How It Began

This website began in 2001 while Jeff Roudebush, Coach Rody, was doing his best to enlighten a quick-lifting football coach, myself, on safer methods of strength training. "How absurd," I thought, "to train football players, or any athlete for that matter, without the use of quick lifts."

Jeff would not give up. He spoke about issues of safety, productivity, efficiency, the principle of specificity, and muscle fiber recruitment.

However, his safety arguments were the most compelling. I found myself being more and more open to hearing other points. I became embarrassed at the literature and answers I was receiving from other strength coaches who felt the way I did. Nobody could satisfy the concerns Jeff, or the articles he was presenting me with, were making.

In the Winter of 2001, out of a need to get Jeff's energies spent in another direction than on me I encouraged him to start a website, promote these ideas that he was so passionate about. Jeff was excited but did not know where to begin so I helped him set up his domain name and web site. Before I knew it I was elbow deep in StrongerAthletes.com.

I looked at what I was doing as a favor to Jeff, I was learning a lot, but I was still very skeptical. Then we went to Blaine, Minnesota for the 2002 Strength & Science Seminar. I heard Matt Brzycki, John Thomas and others speak and demonstrate the principles of safe and productive training. I returned home and began to read, read and read. I was convinced that Jeff and other strength coaches like him were on the right track in terms of working with athletes.

Coaches, consider the whole athlete. Are you taking steps to ensure his safety or do you consider injury just a part of the process? Do you put unrealistic demands on athletes or should they all be in your 1000 lb club?

While we are currently bringing to a halt regular StrongerAthletes.com updates we will add some articles at times. It has been a fun ride and we are actively pursuing other projects such as contributing authors to other publications and coaching clinics. We are by no means out of the game.

Coaches, we want you to pursue your own answers to questions rather than have you use training methods that are in vogue or considered necessary for "explosive" athletes. Our articles, as well as others who we refer to often, provide a perspective you may never have considered before. Read the literature, and make up your own mind.

We will occasionally update our articles list and will keep our teams page as accurate as possible. We encourage you to continue to e-mail us your comments and questions. Thank you to all of you we have met along the way. You have been a source of encouragement and strength for us. Coach 'em up!

Sam Knopik Head Football Coach Pembroke Hill School

Jeff Roudebush Head Track & Field Coach Pembroke Hill School

Update

After an extended hiatus, StrongerAthlete.com is now back as StrongerAthletes.com. Coach Rody and Sam started something that grew rapidly into a valuable resource. It got a lot of coaches thinking about what they were doing and if there was maybe a better more efficient way to do it.

As a result of the efforts of Coach Rody, Sam, and others that shared their vision, two National Strength and Science Seminars were held. The mission of the seminar was "To Educate Coaches and Exercise Science/Sport Medicine Professionals Concerning a Practical/Scientific Approach to Strength Training and Fitness."

Coach Rody and Sam created a large body of work that is invaluable to coaches and others training athletes. They overachieved and built something that became too much to update at the pace they had started given schedules workloads etc. They were blogging before blogging became popular or known by the masses.

The site lay dormant for a number of years and I happened by. There was simply too much good stuff here to let it die. I contacted Coach Rody and Sam and was given permission to carry on with the site. Coach Rody and Sam, may contribute from time to time with an article or answer the occasional email, but I'll be doing all the site maintenance as well as posting new articles from time to time.

--Ryan

Stronger Athlete's Mission

Our Mission: "To promote safe,productive, and efficient methods of strength training for high school and collegiate athletes while debunking the olympic lifting establishment that has engulfed many of our high school and college athletic programs. It is our desire to create better athletes through controlled and intense strength training."

Why StrongerAthletes.com?

The trend is slowly but surely turning away from training athletes using Olympic style lifts such as the power clean, hang clean, snatch etc... Why perform dangerous lifts when it doesn’t make our athletes better at sports? Let's look at one important fact: the Principle of Specificity rejects the idea that weight room movements simulate athletic movements like throwing the shot, blocking or tackling for example. Therefore how could these weight room movements be beneficial to the strength training athletes. Traditional athletic guys will have a hard time even listening to this line of reasoning because they have been so ingrained to think clean, jerk, snatch... But go back and ask your football coaches and lifting coaches why you did those lifts... They can’t answer you with reason and logic.

StrongerAthletes.com's Intention

It must be noted that StrongerAthletes.com respects other coaches' and authors’ opinions on strength training for athletes. We understand that all people in this field have a common goal: To improve our athletes’ strength which will in turn improve their performance in their prospective sport. It is our intention to share ideas whether contradictory or not, with other coaches. It is not are intention to discredit anyone’s beliefs. We here at StrongerAthletes.com have very strong opinions about how a coach should train their athletes. We firmly believe that coaches owe it to their athletes to provide the safest, most efficient and productive program possible and we believe we can provide that program.

We believe schools that incorporate Olympic lifts in their program should consider this alternative. It is our belief that if the top high schools and colleges that do the these lifts were to take them out of their program, provided they did the correct movements such as squat, bench, dead lift etc. that they would still be top teams. There are top programs that do not do these lifts as it is. We challenge the Olympic lifting schools to take them out to see if their success changes as their weight room injury rate falls.

Get Started

It is our mission to: “To promote safe, productive, and efficient methods of strength training for high school and collegiate athletes while debunking the Olympic lifting establishment that has engulfed many of our high school and college athletic programs. It is our desire to create better athletes through controlled and intense strength training.”

We have many great articles that we've written based on sound principles of muscular physiology.  These articles explain a safe methodology to follow when strengthening your athletes.

There are three ways you can navigate.

  1. You can simply dive in and start reading articles.
  2. You can pick a topic of interest and see the articles in that group.
  3. You can read this all of our entries chronologically as they were posted by using the archives.

Key Articles that give you the cornerstones of our approach

Safe and effective training to you, Stronger Athletes