Showing posts from January, 2002

The Best Exercises for Power

"The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." -Robertson Davies would like coaches to understand the difference between developing power and expressing power . We believe that athletes should train to develop power in the off-season as well as in-season. An article written in Strength and Health Magazine, "In-Season Power Training," by Mike Clark from Texas A&M stated "Olympic-style weightlifting movements (power and full) and their variations are the most effective lifts for power. Here are some of the exercises we use in our in-season training. Hang clean, hang snatch, back clean, block snatch, squat/push press, one arm DB snatch." will refute this argument time and time again. That the aforementioned lifts merely express power and do little to develop it. If momentum is involved in the lift, then the load is too light to efficiently train type IIb muscle fiber. See Muscle Fiber Recruitment .

More on Contradictions

"The best way out is always through." -Robert Frost Dear More on Contradictions We received a wonderful e-mail concerning our January 20th article about a contradiction among some coaches who feel Olympic lifts will benefit their athletes without directly transferring to their sport. We cannot say enough how important it is to recognize various philosophies and training methods but encourage all coaches who work with athletes in the weight room to find a safe, productive, and efficient program.'s reply is following the quoted dialog. Dear Coach Rody, I just found your web site. On January 20, you posed a question [ See Make-up Your Mind ]. I have an answer. The question was: “In other words Lentz’s comments can be interpreted as: “Olympic lifts will not benefit the athlete in any sport but weightlifting, however, the athlete will benefit from explosive lifting.” This statement seems contradictory and confusing. If anybody has an

What is a Productive and Efficient Program?

 "A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change." - Katharine Butler Hathaway 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: Program #1- The athlete trains 4 days per week for 60-90

Make-up Your Mind

 "Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself." -Walt Whitman maintains that performing Olympic lifts does not benefit an athlete in any sport other than the actual sport of Olympic lifting. In our research we have come across many confusing viewpoints. Some coaches believe that a hang/power clean does not neuromuscularly transfer to better skill performances in the sport but will still incorporate these lifts in their program. See To Transfer or Not To Transfer . It is true according to the Principle of Specificity that this transfer cannot occur. Some say that they still perform the exercise for coordination development. Coordination development for what, the power clean? Why don’t they just practice the actual sport skill besides waste time with these potentially dangerous exercises? Doug Lentz in his article “Strength Training For the Adolescent Athlete” in Strength and Health Magazine states, “ The ability to perform the actual snatch or

Dear - Safety First

"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." -Walter Lippmann As our strength training philosophy spreads via the world wide web we are recieving some great comments from various coaches and athletes. Every so often we'll post many of these for the benefit of our readers. Please feel free to respond to any of our comments with opinion or questions of your own. Dear Coach Rody, I just ran across your website. Thank you for having this forum for discussion. I agree that we all share the same goal of strengthening our athletes. I also agree that supervision is seriously lacking in our high school weight rooms. I appreciate your comments. does have a philosophy that is in the minority right now but it is growing in popularity. Yes, we as coaches, all have the same common goal to strengthen athletes but our approach, we believe is the safest, most productive, and most efficient program possible. There are other very good programs out there but we f

Frequency of Training

Continuing the topics related to helping coaches run a safe, sound and efficient strength program we address the issue of how often an athlete should lift weights. Our experience in strength training indicates 1-3 times per week is best. This actually depends on whether or not the athlete is in season, offseason, how advanced they are, and the experience they have. "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." -John Quincy Adams Ted Lambrinides, the head of the exercise science department at Thomas Moore College and a long-time consultant with the Cincinnati Bengals, believes, “There are a number of factors (nutrition, lifestyle, emotional stress, sports/practice, injury, number of exercises performed in a workout, level of trainee, volume of work performed per workout) which can influence training frequency recommendations.” Many athletes seem to respond best training 2 days per week. Three days per week usually

Strength Training Supervison

"If you have laid a solid foundation for the program, trained your athletes to a high level of conditioning, and developed advanced skills, you should win consistently." -Dan Gable, Legendary Wrestling Coach A strength-training program that is well supervised is critical for the success of athletes. We have witnessed many coaches sitting or reading the newspaper while athletes train. This does not benefit our athlete. Many things are involved in supervision. One very important job of the supervisor is to make sure all athletes are training correctly on the proper program and are performing the execution of each exercise correctly. This will ensure the safety of the athletes. It will be beneficial for many coaches on staff to get involved in supervision. Ken Mannie explains, “Your entire coaching staff should be well versed on the practical application of your program. They should also be capable of providing hands-on assistance during the training sessions.” Another importan

Skill Transfer in Sports Training

"Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead To Transfer Or Not To Transfer maintains that performing a weight room exercise in the attempt to simulate specific skills in a sport cannot happen. Yet many coaches seem to think that this does happen because others just do what other teams do or misinterpret the meaning of the Principle of Specificity . The athlete must train the muscle in a controlled manner with full contractions while fully exhausting the muscle then go out and do the actual skills of the sport they are training for (blocking, tackling, spiking, jumping, throwing etc.) Lorne Goldenberg in his article “The Application of Weightlifting For Ice Hockey Training,” published in Strength and Health, states, “I tested the players for a maximum hang clean in training camp. They did not do much lifting during the season due to a poor training fac

Progression and Recuperation in Strength Training

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." -John Quincy Adams Progression One of the most important factors in a good strength training program is progression. To make sure that every athlete progresses it will take proper communication with your athletes. It is crucial to tell athletes to notify you (the coach) if progress slows or stops. Adjustments should be made at that time on that individual's program. Every athlete responds differently to a program and you will need to fit the program to that athlete's needs. Also, each athlete's recovery time is different. Cheryl Zovich in her article “Progression” states, “Many lifters fail to progress due to the fact that they continue to use lifting techniques they’ve outgrown.” However, individualizing an entire team's workouts can be daunting. We spoke to a local high school coach about this topic and he said that it is impossible to do. He said ther

Potential Injuries from Olympic Lifts

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." -John Quincy Adams Many coaches still believe that Olympic lifts are safe to perform for athletes of various sports. We think that common sense tells us otherwise. Take for example lifting an object off the floor, lifting slowly is much safer than lifting it quickly. An article written in Strength and Health Magazine winter 2001 by Doug Lentz, “Strength Training for the Adolescent Athlete,” indicates that by “Not performing the “catch” phase of the power snatch and clean, we avoid potential wrist complications.” maintains that the “catch” phase is not the only area a coach needs to be concerned with. Lentz continues, “By incorporating a sound training base and safe introduction to explosive lifting movements, the athletes experience the benefits first-hand. Certainly there are those opposed to explosive movements who claim this type of lifting is

Dear Stronger Athletes: Cleans and Athleticism

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." -Anaïs Nin As our strength training philosophy spreads via the world wide web we are recieving some great comments from various coaches and athletes. Every so often we'll post many of these for the benifit of our readers. Please feel free to respond to any of our comments with opinion or questions of your own. Dear Coach Rody, I do not argue that any lift simulates actual sport movements. I do believe that the power clean is a lift that requires athleticism thus is a good lift to do in order to develp athleticism. If a power clean improves your athleticism... to meet what end? We maintain it will only improve performance of the power clean. -S.A. I am always looking for new ideas in strength training. Please let me know some of your ideas. I don't feel that any lift that builds strength is a bad lift. I don't argue that specific lifts carry over to movements used in sports though. Lifting to me builds s