Safe Effective Strength Training
June 24 "Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." -VoltaireFor the summer, we have decided to reduce our frequency and post once or maybe twice a week. We will be very busy training our athletes and taking vacations. We will pick up the frequency again in the fall. We will continue responding to your e-mails regularly so please do not hesitate to send us your thoughts or comments about training.
As coaches we are always on the lookout for coaching resources. Recently we stumbled upon a gold mine of early '70's football coaching clinic manuals. These include lectures by some of football's greatest coaches including Chuck Fairbanks, Joe Paterno, Bob Devaney, John McKay, Eddie Robinson, and Lou Holtz (when he was still at North Carolina State).
One of the materials in this collection was a March 1973 University of Arkansas Annual Football Clinic manual. At the time, Frank Broyles, a fine and outstanding football coach led a proud Razorback program. His strength coach, Jim Bone was given time on the last day of the clinic to talk about what they were doing with their players in the weight room.
As you may know, organized strength development at the collegiate level was relatively new in the spring of 1973. (It was in 1970 that Boyd Eply, recognized by many as the first official strength coach on the collegiate level, began working in an official capacity with the University of Nebraska.) Therefore, by 1973 although the rest of the football world was "waking-up" to strength training, the science behind the issue was relatively unknown. Let me clarify, the science of strength development as it applies to intercollegiate athletics was relatively unknown.
With all due respect to Coach Broyles and Coach Bone we would like to point out some advancements in the science of strength training since this clinic in the Spring of 1973. At the time they were were on the cutting edge of developing better athletes. Thirty years later we should be prepared to learn how far we have come in our knowledge of strength development for traditional sport athletes.
|"Functional strength training programs should be done three days a week (M-W-F). Each workout should be followed by a mile and a half jog. This can be either around a track, football field, or cross country. Handball, paddle-ball, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and cross-country running are outstanding activities to participate in as they will help build your "wind" endurance as well as aid in developing quickness and agility. If these are done they are to be done in addition to functional strength and jogging program or on those days you are not lifting." -Jim Bone, 1973|| W. Wescott found in a 1986 study that when
aerobic conditioning is done before strength training sessions one can
obtain better results. (Brzycki, P152) |
By splitting up your training days between strength days and aerobic days you cut into your recovery time. Although not nessessary if scheduling conflicts arise, it is recommended to perform both on the same day. (Wescott 1986)
|"When performing exercises, execute in a rapid, forceful movement during the lifting stage." -Jim Bone, 1973||This is one of the more contravercial topics
on strength development since the early '70's. Below is a list of
studies done specifically for this question: "Does lifting speed
enhance strength or power?" |
1975- Van Oteghen "found no significant differences in strength improvement between a "slow speed" group and a "fast speed" group." (Brzycki)
1975- Rosentswieg, Hinson and Rigway "noted thatslower speeds appear to develop strength quicker than... using faster speeds." (Brzycki)
1983- Kanehisa and Miyashita found "a group using low velocity repititions demonstrated signifigant increases in power at all velocities tested." (Brzycki)
1983 & 1984- Adeyanju, Crews and Vitti "reported no signifigant difference between slow and fast training speeds on strength and power production." (Brzycki)
1987 & 1992- Palmieri, Wenzel and Perfetto "found that the use of fast movement speeds while strength training does not develop power any more than slower lifting speeds."
1990- Kasper "reported greater strength increases from slower movement speeds."
1993- Behm and Sale "concluded that "an actual high velocity movement in training exercises is not nessesary to produce a high velocity specific training response."
We haven't even touched on the safety factors involved in performing "rapid" movements in the weight room.
1982- Dr. Fred Allman states "It is possible that many injuries... may be the result of weakened connective tissue caused by explosive training in the weight room." (Reston)
Other studies on weight room safety and lifing speed can be found:
1990- Bates, Wolf and Blunk
1993- Behm and Sale.... [There are others but I'm getting tired of typing!]
|"Part of this program is derived from the Russian Olympic weight training program. Russian weight lifters are slim, lanky athletes who are tremendously strong, quick and agile. This is the type of football player we hope to develop at Arkansas." -Jim Bone, 1973||First, it is important to understand that
when collegiate strength trainers looked to apply weight training
philosophies to their sports for the first time ever, they looked to
the only group of athletes who were lifting with athletics in mind...
the Eastern Europeans. Nobody can fault these pioneers for doing
However, these athletes were preparing for Olympic lifting competitions, not American Football! Science has found that, despite popular belief quick lifts such as the Russian's Power Clean enhance quickness and athletic ability, movements performed in the weight room do not transfer to movements in sports competition other than Olympic lifting. We encourage you to look these studies up and make your own conclusions...
Matt Brzycki's, "A Practical Approach To Strength Training," was used to cite these research studies. This book is a must have for the coach looking for answers to these issues. All coaches, Olympic and non-Olympic advocates can use Brzycki's book. It is an outstanding resource in itself as well as for it's 16 page bibliography. Anyone wondering, "Where is all this science you guys keep talking about?" need look no further. Best of all... its cheap! I got my copy for $18.
Below are the full citations for the studies we mentioned
Adeyanju, K., T.R. Crews and W.J. Meaders. 1983. Effect of two speeds of isokinetic training on muscle strength, power and endurance. Journal of Sports Medicine 23: 352-356.
Allman, F.L. 1976. Prevention of sports injuries. Athletic Journal 56 (March):74.
Andress, B. 1990. University of Michigan basketball training. American Fitness Quarterly 8 (January): 12-15, 22.
Bates, B., M. Wolf and J. Blunk. 1990. Vanderbilt University strength and conditioning manual. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.
Behn, D.G., and D.G. Sale. 1993. Intended rather than actual movement velocity determines velocity-specific training response. Journal of Applied Physiology 74: 359-368.
Bone, J. Weight training for strength, endurance and explosion. University of Arkansas Annual Football Clinic Manual. March 23-24, 1973.
Diange, J. 1984. Football and power cleans: A dangerous mixture. Scholastic Coach 53 (January): 22, 74.
Jesse, J.P. 1979. Misuse of strength development programs in athletic training. The Physician and Sports Medicine 7 (10): 46-50, 52.
Jones, A. 1977. Flexibility as a result of exercise. Athletic Journal 57 (March):32, 37-38, 92.
Kasper, J. 1990. The effect of slow speed training utilizing free weights on muscular strength. High Intensity Newsletter 2 (3): 6-8.
Kanehisa, H, and M. Miyashita. 1983. Specificity of velocity in strength training. European Journal of Physiology 52: 104-106.
Leistner, K.E. 1989. Strength training injuries: On the field but from the weight room. High Intensity Newsletter 1 (4):1-2.
Palmieri, G.A. 1983. The principles of muscle fiber recruitment during ballistic movements. National Strength & Conditioning Association Journal 5 (5): 22-24, 63.
Pipes, T.V. 1979. High intensity, not high speed. Athletic Journal 59 (December): 60, 62.
Riley, D.P. 1982. Strength training for football: The Penn State way. 2d ed. West Point, NY: Leisure Press.
Rosentswig, J., M. Hinson and M. Ridgeway. 1975. An electromyographic comparison of isokinetic bench press performed in three speeds. Research Quarterly 46:471-475.
Schmidt, R.A. 1975. Motor skills. New York: Harper & Row.
Thomas, J.1994. Penn State football strength training summer conditioning manual. University Park, PA: Penn State University.
Van Oteghen, S.L. 1975. Two speeds of isokinetic exercise as related to the vertical jump performance in women. Research Quarterly 46: 78-84
Welday, J. 1986. Coming clean with the power clean. Scholastic Coach 56 (September): 22-23.
Wescott, W.L. 1986. Integration of strength, endurance and skill training. Scholastic Coach 55 (May/June): 74
Wood, K. 1991. Cincinnati Bengals' strength training program. American Fitness Quarterly 10 (July): 38, 40.
***No Liability is assumed for any information written on the StrongerAthlete.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 training.***