As our readership continues to grow we are increasingly invading
Olympic lifting advocate circles. Many times these people reply to our
articles without an understanding of who we are and what our purpose
is. The time has come for us to lay down some basic ground rules.
StrongerAthletes.com?" We are two high school coaches
from Kansas City, Missouri who see the need to help educate the high
school coach on various elements of strength development. We have found
that many high school coaches are put in charge of developing their
school's athletes in the weight room without having a working knowledge
of exercise science. We see ourselves as a resource for the coach who
likes to do his homework.
"Who is your target audience?" High school
coaches who work directly with their school's athletes in the weight
room. We encourage college coaches and professional strength trainers
to contribute to our website as well.
"What do you promote in terms of strength
training?" We advocate a safe, productive, and efficient
training program that allows the coach to develop his athletes into
better athletes by making them stronger in a safe, timely manner. A
stronger athlete is what makes any high school sports program better.
"Why do you not advocate Olympic lifts?"
For decades now many coaches link "explosiveness" with quick lifts,
similar to those performed by Olympic lifters. Understanding the
popularity of the traditional styles and having done and coached
Olympic lifts ourselves, what we have found is that:
Momentum generated by these lifts takes tension off the muscle
which in turn makes recruiting type IIb, (or "fast twitch"), muscle
The Principle of Specificity rejects
the idea that lifts such as the power clean transfer to sport specific
skills such as tackling or throwing a shot put.
momentum generating lifts can be unsafe in the short term if not
coached and supervised and in the long term in regards to the low back
and wrist regions.
"Don't you know that
Power=Work/Time?" Understand that we have the same
understanding of Power as you. Power=Work/Time. Where others
misunderstand our point is when we maintain that Work/Time is
showing, or expressing, how much Power one has at that moment.
Keep in mind we are in the weight room to develop not express.
Expression of power is for the field of competition, not training. To
further illustrate this point we need to break the formula down even
farther. So, if Work=Strength*Distance then
Power=Strength*Distance/Time. If we can increase the
Strength element we can thus increase the Power output.
We simply feel that it is safer to develop Strength in
the weight room.
"What if I disagree with you?" Great.
Chances are you are in good company as many coaches perpetuate the myth
of weight room movements simulating sport specific movements as found
in many Olympic lifting programs. These coaches get very defensive, as
is natural, when one attempts to illustrate why they are inefficient in
terms of training an athlete for sports outside of Olympic lifting.
"By using the term efficiency- I assume you mean
the best way to train." Actually, by efficiency we mean time
spent in the weight room. We would not claim a "best way to
"Can I e-mail StrongerAthletes.com with my
opinion?" We encourage anyone to contact us. However, we ask that you keep
the following in mind:
Keep it professional and mature. You do not have to agree with
us to write a professional comment.
An example of
something unprofessional, "Sir -- I have been involved in the
development of world class athletes (Olympic and Professional) since
1961 and have to say about your articles that you know nothing about
building strength and power. You write the most nonsense I have ever
read. Sincerely, Alden Davis Phd (University of Sofia)"
we had chosen to respond to this e-mail it would look something like
this, "Dr. Davis Phd., We are sorry that you hold such strong
feelings for people you do not even know. We are sure that you are a
learned man and have had the opportunity to work with tremendous
athletes, however, we are not training Olympic lifters, we are training
high school athletes from football players to girl's basketball teams,
neither of which require the adolescent to loft a bar of weight over
his or her head. They do however require strength, speed, and power.
Our philosophy allows for that regardless of your opinion that it is
nonsense. We respectfully feel that you do yourself a disservice by
being closed minded in this regard. Sincerely,
An example of something
mature, "Dear Coach,
Please explain why you recommend that an athlete train by body parts
like they're in Rehab or a Bodybuilder? Is there a sport that is
performed using only isolated body part movements?
Are there any full body movements you can recommend where the whole
body lower (legs) middle (torso) and upper (arms) are involved in the
exercise all at once, just like in Sport?"
Thanks, Steve Zeigman
Coach Zeigman, Thank you for your
comments. We have not advocated one isolation movement. The squat,
bench press and deadlift train multiple muscle groups. In fact, the
deadlift virtually trains all skeletal muscles in the body. Performing
slow controlled compound movements is the safest, most productive and
efficient way to train our athletes. We hope this answers your
questions. Coach Rody
Anonymous e-mails will be disregarded.
e-mail becomes the property of StrongerAthletes.com and we
reserve the right to publish it on our website. (If you desire to keep
it off-line please specify in your e-mail).
"Does everyone who sends e-mail disagree with
you?" Hardly. In fact, we receive regular correspondence from
many coaches all over the country at the high school and collegiate
level who are thankful that we are serving as a "voice" for a safe,
productive, and efficient program.
"Keep up the
great work. Your site has quickly become one of my favorites." -Matt
Brzycki, Princeton University
"Jim Bryan sent me an email recommending this site. I was not
aware it existed, but I am glad it does now. It is good to see another
voice out there promoting safe, practical, and time-efficient training.
If I can help/contribute in any way, please let me know. Keep up the
good work." -Tom Kelso, University of Illinois-Chicago
"Thanks for your web site. I have learned a lot from it." -Steve
"I was beginning to think that even after 22 years of being in
weight rooms that maybe I should just go with the flow,and join the
flock, but I started to look around for [others] to validate my
opinions...opinions that did not come from a book or association, but
22 years of training,and common sense. I found them finally in the
likes of yourselves, Ken Mannie, Roger Schwab,and others." -Kevin
"You have a great site, enjoy reading it on a regular basis.
Keep up the good work and spreading the word that: you don't have to
follow the crowd to get the job done and be successful." -Scott Hays,
Football/Strength Coach, Fowlerville High School, Fowlerville,
" I have recently been made aware of your
website and am very impressed with the information you present. Can I
copy articles off the website and distribute them to coaches and
athletes? We are getting a number of students using out weight room and
I do not always have the time to follow them through their workouts. I
believe that by using some of your articles I can get them to
understand the philosophy behind our program." -Mike Rademacher,
Strength and Conditioning Coach, Milaca Public Schools, Milaca, MN
"With all the conflicting articles and so on that I have read on
the net it's great to get some clarity, and you people have definitely
provided it. I do feel that with your help I am learning a lot ,and
hopefully will arrive at a good workout routine a lot sooner than I
would have on my own. Thanks again, and best wishes." -Garry Todd
"Are you saying if we don't
train your way we're wrong?" Absolutely NOT. Another
misconception in the strength training world is that if you do
something different you are wrong. We are thankful for all coaches who
take the time to work with youth in a positive direction. To those
coaches who read our website, we hope they have an open mind and can
pick-up something to use in their program. We know we have picked up
tons from various Olympic lifting coaches across the country. We desire
to keep things professional and acknowledge that we can agree to
disagree if the case may be. We respect you for your commitment to your
athletes as we hope you reciprocate the same.
"Do you think that the teams you have listed on
your TEAMS PAGE make them a better team or think they have better
athletes?" The ONLY purpose for listing these teams is to
reassure other coaches that safe, productive, and efficient training
programs, such as the one we promote at StrongerAthletes.com, is
not unheard of. We are not attempting to imply that these teams are
better or have better athletes than other teams. Our point is simply
this: There are several strength programs in traditional sports that do
not use Olympic lifts. Discrepancies may occur at schools in which one
particular team uses Olympic lifting and others do not use them. Such
is the case at University of Maryland, for example, where the
basketball teams do not use Olympic lifts but the football team does.
Please help to keep this list accurate. If you are aware of mistakes or
changes at a particular school or team please let us know.
If you have questions
or comments about this web site or strength development or training
please write strongerathletes
Liability is assumed for any information written on the
StrongerAthletes.com website. No medical advice is given on exercise.
This advice should be obtained from a licensed health-care
practitioner. Before anyone begins any exercise program, always consult
your doctor. The articles are written by coaches that are giving advice
on a safe, productive, and efficient method of strength