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Showing posts from December, 2001

Intensity and Fiber Recruitment

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We here at StrongerAthletes.com hope you and your family are enjoying a wonderful holiday and Bowl Game season! Intensity Without intensity a program is not very productive. As pointed out by Tim Swanger, Mike Bradley, and Steve Murray, Strength and Conditioning Coaches at the United States Military Academy, “You must place your muscles in a critical situation. The effort level must be maximum. Your brain will only recruit the minimum number of muscle fibers necessary to do the job.” Intensity has to be learned. Usually after a year of training the athlete will understand what an intense workout really is. A coach can identify it by looking at an athlete after a set of squats. If the athlete has to sit down a few minutes because of muscle exhaustion, they finally understand intensity. There are specific ways to teach intensity if a coach is not satisfied. This brings up the type of exercise performed. In order to train the fast twitch muscle fibers effectively and efficiently, the athl

Power Clean to Hang Clean

 "Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." -James Thurber It seems there has been a recent trend moving from the power to hang clean. Why is this so? Are coaches finding out that power cleans are creating many back injuries so not starting from the bent position will help prevent this problem? Dr. Greg Shepard, in his book, Bigger Faster Stronger the Total Program , admits , “hang cleans are easier on the lower back [than power cleans].” Yet the power clean is 1/6 of his program’s Core Lifts. Why? It’s troubling to discover that popular and influential coaches around the nation do not understand this major conflict in philosophy. In a recent article published by Coaches Education.com a preeminent Track and Field coach relates that if he could recommend just 1 exercise for his throwers it would either be the “clean or the back squat.” However earlier in the article he states that Olympic lifting causes wrist and lower back pain and injuries.

Specificity I: Do Olympic Lifts Enhance Athletic Ability?

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"Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true." -Demosthenes Do Olympic Lifts Enhance Athletic Ability? Proponents of Olympic movements claim that exercises in the weight room such as the power clean transfers to skills on the field. One example, given by M. Arthur and B. Bailey in "Complete Training For Football," is the similarities in body position between the acceleration phase of running a 40-yard dash and a power clean. The claim says that a power clean execution involves triple extension of the joints involved, (the ankle, knee, and hip) which matches the triple extension of the joints in a sprint. It is exactly true if you power clean leaning forward! (FYI: Authur and Bailey maintain that this relationship happens). But who is going to do that? Even if you could power clean leaning forward, we believe the lift still cannot transfer to a better sprint. Different neuromuscular pathways are used in the 2 activit

Expressing Power or Developing Power

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"Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks." -Charlotte Bronte Expressing Power or Developing Power A popular and somewhat sound argument for Olympic lifts (clean, jerk, snatch, etc.) is based on performing exercises that maximize power. Using the following formula: Work= Strength*Distance Speed= Distance/ Time Power=Strength * Speed Thus Power= Strength* Distance/ Time= Work/ Time This means that Athlete A who lifts an amount the same distance as Athlete B, only faster generates more power. The example shown by M. Arthur and B. Bailey in " Complete Conditioning for Football ," is The above is exactly right but we believe it is incomplete. Arthur & Bailey’s example is actually defining what Ken Mannie, Strength and Conditioning Coach at Michigan State University, calls “Expressing Power”. It seems to me that athlete A is ex