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Stronger Athletes

Safe, Effective Strength Training for Athletes

May 10 "I don't want to sit on the fence, but it could go either way." -Maurice Banford

Mystery Guest: Chet Fuhrman, Pittsburgh Steelers

[Correctly identifying Coach Fuhrman were Fred Cantor, University of Maryland-Baltimore; Aaron Vitt, Moberly, MO; Matt Bryzcki, Princeton University] In the future, if you think you know the answer or simply want to chime in with a guess.. contact us. All correct answers will be recognized on Friday. "This week's mystery guest was named conditioning coach, [for the Steelers], in February 1992 following 10 years as strength and conditioning coach at Penn State.

A native of Harrisburg, Pa.,he is in his 10th season with the team and his 23rd year of strength training. He served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Penn State from 1979-80. He was named the first strength and conditioning coach ever at Weber State in Ogden, Utah, in 1981, before returning to Penn State to take charge of the strength and conditioning program in 1982.

Our mystery guest, 48, graduated from Central State (Okla.) University in 1973 with a degree in physical education. He spent the next five years as strength coach and assistant coach in football and track at Harrisburg and Steelton-Highspire high schools. He also is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association."

**Note** Much of this bio was taken from www.nfl.com.

A Quick Note About "An Experiment in Muscle Fiber Recruitment"

In regards to Wednesday's article about Coach Kelso's experiment to determine the difference between muscle fiber recruitment in quick versus slow lifting protocols, we had several good questions which we would like to briefly address.

Coach Rody, I had some questions about the recent "study" that Coach Kelso performed. How do you measure a .66 or .86 rep on a bench press?

I do not want to speak for Coach Kelso but I assume the .66 and .86 were numbers that came from averaging several athletes.

I have never come across anyone that has encouraged lowering a weight as fast as possible. What do you mean when you say "quick lift", are you including all exercises that are performed in a fast manner (seems like they would then be called "quick reps")or specific lifts that are normally done quickly?

In regards to performing "quick" lifts, the test had nothing do with performing the bench press quickly. The study was for the recruitment of type IIb muscle fibers. This was sparked by an example given by Coach Whitt earlier that week on May 6; it may explain why he chose to use the bench press exercise to test muscle fiber recruitment rather than say doing the bench press fast is wrong. I seriously doubt anyone has their athletes doing fast bench press. Again this was to test fiber recruitment.

In much of your information you talk about muscular strength, what other components do you feel will help improve an athletes performance?

We would suggest, in addition to making the athlete stronger, a proper diet and sport specific drill work would be "components that will help improve an athletes performance."

StrongerAthletes.com Classic: What is a Productive and Efficient Program?

StrongerAthletes.com would like for coaches to think about their program and ask the question, "Why"? Why do you do the program you do? Why does your program have certain exercises and not others? We would like all athletes to be on a program that is safe, efficient, and productive. This article will address how productive and efficient your program is.

We provide a very productive and efficient program that takes each individual athlete into account. All coaches have a goal to help athletes get stronger, bigger, and more powerful and explosive. To make a program productive and efficient, the coach must require the athlete to train just enough to meet his or her goal to get stronger.

Compare 2 athletes on 2 different programs:

Both athletes make the same gains. That makes program # 2 more efficient.

Coaches should not be leery about having their athletes train 2 times per week. Strength training is not a contest to see how long an athlete can train or how many days per week they train. The important outcome is that the athlete makes gains. It must be understood that an important job for the coach is to adjust the program to fit a particular athlete’s level. This may require an athlete to train 3 days per week, 2 days per week, or 3 days every two weeks.

For example, high school freshman should not be on the same program as a Senior that has been lifting for 2-3 years. One of them will suffer in gains.

There are 3 phases to an athletes’ strength development:

StrongerAthletes.com maintains that an athlete should have more days off than training days. This will ensure a longer growth phase. If an athlete trains again before the recovery phase ends, it will put them back into recovery again and if this repeats many times, the strength and growth phase will never occur and the athlete will be in an overtrained state that could take time to get out of.

Productive training means doing enough to get all 3 phases working properly. Efficient training will occur by spending less time training. Coaches need to take all these phases into account for each athlete. Each athlete will eventually be on his or her own individual program. This takes work but is well worth it.

Richardson, Burton "Heavy Duty Changes".

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