Stronger Athletes

Dear Talk About Skill Transfer

March 8 "He said on my death bed I would achieve total consciousness, so I've got that going for me, which nice." -Bill Murry, Caddyshack

Coach Rody, The seminar is coming up soon. I'm looking forward to meeting with you at the seminar. I hope everything is going well. -Scott Savor

Everything is going very well! Our readers keep coming back and giving us great feedback. We're looking forward to the trip to Minnesota and visiting with other coaches. Thanks for all your help. -S.A.

Coach Rody, I found your argument that cleans do not transfer to sprints very interesting. Your main point is that in the clean the body is in the vertical position, while in sprinting there is a forward lean. You say that this means there will be no carry over. But what about bench press, which you advocate tremendously. You lie down when you bench. Who plays sports lying down? -Dan Meyers

Mr. Meyers, I appreciate your comments. We do not believe that transfer occurs with any lifting movement. Performing a bench press and other slow controlled lifts develop strength and power because the tension on the muscle is constant thus training the muscle to complete failure. We feel a stronger athlete will enable him to perform sport specific skills more efficiently and with more power and explosiveness. The Olympic lifts do not keep constant tension on the muscle because momentum takes over the lift. This type of lifting a very inefficient in terms of training the type IIb fast twitch muscle fiber. After the athlete has trained their muscles properly in the weight room performing slow, constant tension movements it is necessary to go out and practice those skills such as tackling, throwing the shot, sprinting or whatever the skill may be. The problem with the Olympic lifts is that the neuromuscular pathways used is totally different when performing the sport specific skill. The Olympic lifts go against he principle of specificity as well and the principle of muscle fiber recruitment which is backed by scientific research. Feel free to respond to any other articles that we have written or any other issues that pertain to strength training. -S.A.

Coach Rody, As far as the coaches that rolled their eyes during your talk. I'd like to roll their eyes shut. I've done the Olympic lifting, I loved it. BUT it's not the safest way to train and I'm not convinced it helps ANYTHING but Olympic Lifting. All this talk about [Non-Olympic Lifting] coaches being closed minded is hogwash! Most came from a lifting background and have chosen a safer way. -Jim Bryan

Coach Bryan is exactly right. Most coaches, who were athletes, have used olympic lifting in their own training. Being closed minded in not an option. Those coaches who have experience on both sides of the issue are justified in their opinions one way or the other much more so than those who refuse to hear an argument. For those that may not know, Coach Jim Bryan is a highly respected strength coach who has been working with athletes for several years. You can find out more about him at his web site: Jim Bryan Strength-Conditioning-S.A.

Coach Rody, To all those interested: on March 23rd, 2002 at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky there will be a "two man" strength training clinic with Kim Wood, Strength Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals since 1975, and Richard Sorin, the first Captain of Crush. This will be Kim Wood's only clinic appearance in 2002. He will talk about [Non-Olympic Lift] training for football. Information is available from Dr. Ben Oldham, Athletic Director, Georgetown College (502) 863-8000. -John Wood

Coach Wood, We appreciate the update and would encourage those interested to contact Dr. Oldham for more information. -S.A.

Coach Rody, So is the clean a worthwhile exercise or not? -Jason Sopko, Head Football Coach, Forest City, Iowa

Coach Sopko, Assuming you mean, "So is the clean a worthwhile exercise or not FOR FOOTBALL?" In short: We say absolutely not. For Olympic competition: We say absolutely. For a more detailed response we encourage you to read our previous posts as most of them give several reasons why Olympic lifts are not safe, productive, or efficient when dealing with developing Stronger Athletes. -S.A.

Coach Rody, I just wanted to reiterate the importance of recovery in training. My progress was slowing and coming to a halt because I was gradually getting into an over trained mode and decided to take a 2 week layoff from training. I came back stronger on each set of each exercise performed. Rest is definitely the key to successful training. -Chris Hankins

Coach Hankins, Thanks for sharing your story. Rest can be very beneficial if coaches could ever be comfortable with prescribing it. We understand that coaches who run a strength and conditioning class could be put off by individualizing an athlete's program. However, it is not necessarily difficult. Simply have the athlete skip 1 particular exercise for that day but do the rest of the workout. This way the athlete is still participating but getting the rest they may need to improve in a particular exercise. -S.A.

Coach Rody, Andrew Willey, currently attending Missouri Southern State College, asked our strength staff to view your website. Well done!! It is especially pleasing to note that you have a valid interest in promoting safe, productive, and practical programs at the high school level. If our staff can be of any assistance, please let me know. If possible, we would be interested in viewing a workout next time we are in Kansas City!!

Best wishes for Continued Success...
Mike Lawrence, Head Strength Coach, Missouri Southern State College

Coach Lawrence, Thanks for the support from your level. We believe the college coaches across America can influence high school coaches in this regard. We look forward to sharing some ideas with you in the future. -S.A.

Coach Rody, What are those manuals you guys are selling like? Do you think I should buy one? -Aaron Vitt, Head Wrestling Coach, Moberly High School, Moberly, Missouri

Coach Vitt, Of course we think you should buy one! No, two! Seriously, these manuals include how to incorporate this philosophy into a class or team and the reasons why. Also included are techniques you can use to teach your athletes how to workout more intense. The manual is @30 pages and includes workout sheets that can be photocopied for classroom use. However, in the works is a video to go along with the manual that the coach can use to gain a greater understanding of the program as well as witness athletes using these training methods in action. We should have those ready to go by the Blaine, Minnesota Clinic.

It should also be said that Coach Vitt has recently coached his third straight State Champion. Coach Vitt is constantly on the lookout for effective training and coaching strategies and we look for him to have continued success. -S.A.

Coach Rody, Looks like Tampa Bay will join the Olympic lifting side. They get stupider and stupider over there. -[Name Withheld]

We checked the Tampa Bay web site and Mark Asanovich is still listed as their strength coach but that may not be the case. Tony Dungy has a history of incorporating the Non-Olympic lift philosophy in his programs both in Minnesota and at Tampa Bay, we can only assume the Colts will follow suit. If anyone can shed light on Tampa Bay's future please let us know. Thanks. -S.A.

Coach Rody, Coach Mark Asanovich Will join the Baltimore Ravens as an assistant March 17th. He was not retained as Strength Coach for the Buc's. Buc's loss! Coach Asanovich is a proven Coach and a leader in the NFL. -Jim Bryan

Thanks for the update coach! -S.A. 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. ( Strength Training Coach's Video Coming Soon)

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 announce 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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