Archive for the ‘Training Techniques’ Category

Dear StrongerAthletes: Compound vs Isolation Movements and the Deadlift

5th of April, 2004

April 5 Not by might nor power but by my spirit says the Lord Almighty.” -Zechariah 4:6

Dear StrongerAthletes: Compound vs Isolation Movements and the Deadlift

Dear Coach, I would like to talk about compound vs. isolation movements. I know that you feel that machines are safer (and they are), and, despite the principle of specificity, I believe that compound movements are more functional to sports. Functional strength is what you need in sports. Squatting may not be tackling, but they do both use similar muscles, meaning the hips, thighs, and back. Throwing involves the hips, legs, arms, back, and shoulders. You can see where I’m going.

Also regarding the specificity principle, while lifting will not make you a better player, it does increase your athletic potential on the field as long as you use your newfound strength in conjunction with sports related skills. For instance, in the example I used above, squatting isn’t tackling, but it does increase your overall potential to become a better tackler, because your muscles will be more receptive to higher impacts.

Also, What’s your viewpoint of how deadlifting should be done? Do you think you should just touch the bar to the floor and go up, or do you think a reset is okay? Or is it a comfort thing, like the stance? Personally, I like the reset method better, especially if I use heavier weights in the 6-10 range. I don’t slam the weight on the way down, nor do I use momentum going up, so I feel I’m still executing an efficient movement. I just feel that holding the bar the whole time puts unnecessary stress on the lower back. Also, resetting allows you to reposition your hands if they slide a bit, and it allows you to get in proper form again. I think it helps incorporate the legs better, too. I feel that either way will still stimulate trap and lower lat development.

Also, what “goes out” first when deadlifting properly? For instance, if you’re doing a bench press, your shoulders or triceps might be exhausted before your chest muscles. When deadlifting, what exhausts first–your legs or some part of your back?

I think when it comes to teaching kids how to deadlift, no matter how they end up actually doing it, I think you should make sure they reset early on. I think this forces them to monitor their technique at all times. Plus, it keeps the tension off their lower back, which isn’t always fully developed in adolescents or young adults. Also, I think it gives a better gage of their strength, because there’s always a fine line between touching the floor and bouncing off the floor.

When I said I reset, I don’t really mean I start over. I still have the bar. I just get myself in position to do another pull in correct form. There are so many things that go wrong with the deadlift, that I want to make sure that I’m ready for that next rep. And those mistakes aren’t always injuries. It can make you more inefficient. If I don’t wear wraps, my hands slide all over the place, and I end up off balance. If I reset, I can get my body in better position to get a couple more reps, and they’ll be in better form.

Jay Tusch

In regards to your comments about isolated movements versus compound movements, yes what you say is true, however, we also will give credit to isolation movements as they increase strength which also aids the athlete in performance. We are still squat advocates and prescribe several compound movements to our athletes. (more…)

Applying Safe Principles to High School Programs

26th of November, 2003

November 26 “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” -Galatians 6:7

Applying Safe Principles to High School Programs

Its been nearly a month since our last post. We apologize to those of you who check back on a regular basis. The end of October and early November was a season of mixed emotions for us. Our team clinched a conference title, defeated a rival opponent in a high-profile game, clinched a district title, finished the regular season 10-0… and then lost in a first round playoff game. While it was an outstanding season for our players we all felt that it ended too early. We wish success to our opponent who will play for the Missouri State Championship this weekend. (more…)

Dear StrongerAthletes: Speed Training

14th of July, 2003

July 14 “Be wise with speed. A fool at forty is a fool indeed.” -Edward Young (1683 – 1765)

Coach Rody,

What are your thoughts on speed development? Specifically, all of the devices that are intended to provide “over speed” training.

Thanks for your time,
Scott Monson

Mr. Monson,

We are not advocates of devices such as harnesses, parachutes, down hill running, sled work, etc… To develop speed, the athlete should not only be on a good strength training program but they should concentrate on the following: (more…)

Breaking Through A Rep-Barrier

15th of May, 2002

May 15 “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” -Abraham Lincoln

Enough already with the defense of our position. Lets talk about what we can do to develop better athletes with a safe, productive, and efficient program. [By the way, we received an e-mail concerning our use of “efficiency”: “efficiency- (I’m assuming you mean the best way to train.)” Actually, by efficiency we mean (more…)

Dear We Are Not Alone

19th of April, 2002

April 19 “Son, looks to me like you’re spending too much time on one subject.” -Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four F’s and one D.

Dear We Are Not Alone

As the word is spreading about our website and our purpose we are receiving a lot of e-mail from coaches who think we are from outer space. We include two recent e-mails we have received that appreciate our efforts. We share these with you to (more…)

Increasing the Intensity

15th of April, 2002

April 15 “The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyus.” -Carl Sagan

Mystery Guest

“In his 27th season [in the NFL], our mystery guest is the dean of NFL strength and conditioning coaches. A hard-driving coach who still maintains an easy rapport with his players, he has (more…)

Tampa Bay: Post Asanovich

29th of March, 2002 would like to thank Jim Bryan for the heads up on this article from Mark Asanovich, former Tampa Bay Strength Coach and now with the Baltimore Ravens, is well known for his emphasis on safety. “Accepting a risk of injury in training… is unacceptable, unprofessional, and unethical.”

Johnny Parker has taken the reign under John Gruden’s Tampa Bay team and knows (more…)

Repetition Speed

29th of March, 2002

March 29 “I don’t wake up every morning thinking I’m the fastest man in the world; I wake up every morning thinking I’ve got a lot of work to do to get better.” -Maurice Green

We apologize to our regular readers for not having our website updated on Wednesday. We had some internet provider issues. I can hear you coaches out there saying, “No excuses!” I know, you’re right. FYI- for new readers we do our best to update the website on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We hope you have a great Easter!

A simple element that many strength training programs may overlook is repetition speed. We believe that in order to properly track strength progression a coach must (more…)

Dear More on Contradictions

26th of January, 2002

January 26 “The best way out is always through.” -Robert Frost

We received a wonderful e-mail concerning our January 20th article about a contradiction among some coaches who feel Olympic lifts will benefit their athletes without directly transferring to their sport. We cannot say enough how important (more…)

Frequency of Training

15th of January, 2002

January 15 “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” -John Quincy Adams

quote_jan_15Continuing the topics related to helping coaches run a safe, sound and efficient strength program we address the issue of how often an athlete should lift weights. (more…)