Stronger Athletes

The Overload Principle

February 25 "Little strokes fell great oaks." -Benjamin Franklin

The overload principle refers to an athlete stimulating a muscle beyond its current capacity. This involves training with a high amount of intensity. Which brings us back to the Olympic lifts. Olympic lifting advocates as well as non-Olympic lifting advocates for the most part agree that the overload principle is a necessary part of training. In order to trigger muscle strength and growth, an athlete must train to failure and performed either more reps or more weight, or both. this is overload. In addition, other techniques such as forced reps and negative can be incorporated as well to overload the working muscle. constant tension on the muscle is a must inn order to achieve this type of stress on muscles.

Matt Brzycki in his article "One More Rep," explains, "This principle states that in order to increase muscular size and strength, a muscle must be stressed -- or "overloaded" -- with a workload that is beyond its present capacity." would like to know why coaches still believe that they can use the overload principle when doing the Olympic lifts? Lets get into the execution of a power clean. The athlete initiates the movement then what takes over? Momentum. During the momentum phase of the lift, the tension was taken off the working muscles. How can overload be achieved with these type of movements? Reaching muscular failure in a muscle group is impossible when doing these quick lifts.

Mark Asanovich, strength coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers comments, "The Overload Principle states that muscular development will only occur as a result of the application of a stress that exceeds the muscles volitional contractile capabilities. Therefore, if the application of the stressor is "momentum-assisted," the amount of stress is lessened once the load has been accelerated. As a result, muscular development is compromised. Consequently, performing exercises at maximal speeds will yield minimal muscular results."

Again coaches need to know why they are doing the program they are doing. If a coach believes in using the Overload Principle then they need to incorporate the right kind of movements in their program. Strength Training Coach's Manual

We are proud to present, a brief but complete strength training manual for use by athletes, coaches, and strength training instructors. The manual covers the fundamentals of safe, efficient, and productive strength training techniques. The coach will find many coaching points and tips to assist in implementing the philosophy into training sessions or classes.

Please send a check or money order for $14.00, (USPS Priority Mail Shipping and Handling included), to We are currently sold out. If the demand is there we may offer it again in the future

2002 National Strength & Science Seminar is pleased to anounce the 2002 National Strength & Science Seminar which will be held March 16 at Blaine High School in Blaine, Minnesota. The mission of the seminar is "To Educate Coaches and Exercise Science/Sport Medicine Professionals Concerning a Practical/Scientific Approach to Strength Training and Fitness."

You will find "valuable information from world-renown professionals across the country, practical ideas and handouts giving you information needed for your situation, and answers to your questions regarding coaching and all aspects of exercise science." Speakers include:

Scott Savor tells, "We are having some of the best professionals in the nation speaking and are expecting approximately 400 people in attendance. Until now there has been nothing like it." If you have any further questions about the 2002 National Strength & Science Seminar we encourage you to contact Scott Savor at

***No Liability is assumed for any information written on the 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 training.***

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