Showing posts from March, 2002

Tampa Bay: Post Asanovich would like to thank Jim Bryan for the heads up on this article from Mark Asanovich, former Tampa Bay Strength Coach and now with the Baltimore Ravens, is well known for his emphasis on safety. “Accepting a risk of injury in training... is unacceptable, unprofessional, and unethical.” Johnny Parker has taken the reign under John Gruden’s Tampa Bay team and knows he will do a great job. However, we would like for other coaches to consider this; Is weight room safety a high priority? According to, "Before the arrival of Parker, the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, this room was densely packed with weight machines, so many in fact that they spilled out onto the back porch, covering that entire area as well.” - And that is a bad thing? The article continues, "Parker favors the functionality of free weights, which now run several rows deep on each wall of the room, and the player’s initial rea

Repetition Speed

“I don’t wake up every morning thinking I’m the fastest man in the world; I wake up every morning thinking I’ve got a lot of work to do to get better.” -Maurice Green We apologize to our regular readers for not having our website updated on Wednesday. We had some internet provider issues. I can hear you coaches out there saying, “No excuses!” I know, you’re right. FYI- for new readers we do our best to update the website on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We hope you have a great Easter! A simple element that many strength training programs may overlook is repetition speed. We believe that in order to properly track strength progression a coach must teach athletes to use a consistent repetition cadence. maintains that the repetition speed can vary among programs as long as momentum is minimized. At the 2002 Strength & Science Seminar we came across many programs that believed in a 2-second concentric, movements away from the ground, and 4-second eccentric, move

Power Training

“Ours is the age which is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to." - Howard Mumford Jones At a recent Track & Field clinic a vendor was handing out flyers from a company called "Powernetics." Barney Fuller, President of Powernetics, wrote, "The first point I want to make is that we cannot build a powerful explosive athlete by training and conditioning him with slow strength movements, such as slow heavy squats. The reason is simple; the ingredients necessary for power development are not present." He went on by indicating that by the time type II (fast twitch) muscle fibers are recruited in a set of a slow controlled movements this will instill slow motor impulses into these fibers. could not disagree more. Good scientific research that we have found that is not misleading, does not indicate that fast movements in the weight room develop powerful and explosive athletes. In fact it says the opposite. A movement th

Mental Conditioning

 “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." —Douglas Adams Nicole Black-Lavoi, Ph.D. At the recent 2002 National Strength & Science Seminar in Blaine, Minnesota, Nicole Black-Lavoi, Ph.D. Student at the University of Minnesota, gave an informative seminar of preparing the athletic mind for top performance. She emphasized that the prevailing myth that the use of imagery is NOT sports psychology. Rather, sport psychology should be thought of as finding the most efficient means to motivate an athlete. Intrinsic motivation, (the self-determination that an athlete uses to push them self), claims Black, burns deep and lasts longer than any form of “pep talk.” Find out what that athlete desires from athletics and fuel the fire. She addressed the following points that coaches can use to develop intrinsic motivation from their athletes. Tip #1: Define success as a p

Myth Debunking 101

“Excuses are no good. Your friends don't need them and your enemies won't believe them. So why make them?" -Jake Gaither, Legendary Florida A&M Football Coach As mentioned before we would like to re-cap several of the speakers from the 2002 National Strength & Science Seminar. Dr. James Peterson, who currently works as a sports medicine consultant out of Arizona, was formerly responsible for strength training at West Point in the 1970's. Dr. Peterson encouraged us to go home and thank our parents for Dr. James Peterson helping the U.S. Government research one of the most significant strength development studies ever. He based his claim on the fact that West Point provided him with the most efficient control group available. Dr. Peterson opened his talk with a Clinton joke... Which obviously turned off some of our liberal friends in attendance but it was funny! "Bill Clinton had to get a physical... few people know this but he is hard of hearing so Hillary

How Heavy Of a Load Do I Use?

 “Labor disgraces no man. Unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor." -Ulysses S. Grant Arthur and Bailey are the authors of "Complete Conditioning for Football," a very popular book among high school football coaches. In it they "explain" how to develop power, “The highest power outputs are at about 30% of the load maximum (1RM). At lighter loads under 15 % of 1RM, the velocity of the movement is very fast, but the power generated is low. This is because the load is too light to generate effective power. As the intensity goes over 65%, power decreases rapidly. The load becomes so heavy that the speed of movement is too slow to generate power. Therefore the highest power outputs are in the range of 15-65% of a person s 1RM, and intensity is related to the velocity at which the load can be lifted to develop maximum power. Thus, to develop power the intensity of training must be adjusted to the speed of movement.” Did you get all that? If an ath

Minnesota or Bust and Dear Stronger Athletes

 “You've got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you may not get there." -Yogi Berra By the time you read this we'll be halfway across Iowa... We've decided to turn this road trip from Kansas City to Blaine, MN one big progressive dinner. We'll start with a light pre-breakfast of a cup of coffee from my local Quick Trip guy. By the time we hit the Iowa border we may be ready for a full blown truck stop steak & eggs breakfast. In Des Moines one may find us sampling the local Mexican cuisine and so on... I think you get the picture. We are so pumped to get to the National Strength & Science Seminar. If you are going to be there please stop by our booth and tell us you read our site, we would love to meet you. For those of you traveling some distances please drive safe... and maybe we'll run into you in St. Paul for our evening salad buffet. Dear Dear Coach Rody, I just found your website on the flyer for t

Strength Coaches to the Test

 “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Chinese Proverb Last summer, we at got together with an Olympic lifting advocate coach, a believer that it requires more than one set to failure to trigger the necessary strength and growth. He agreed along with another coach to try the program, which requires that the athlete train all working sets to failure after a warmup set only on certain exercises. We added one twist to the program to accommodate him in that he wanted to do 2 sets to failure. (It is important to note that both of us have been training before this workout session.) We had told them that if you cannot perform more reps at the same weight on the second set then that second set is not necessary because you should be fully exhausted after training in an all-out-manner to complete muscular failure on the first set. We started with the bench press training in pairs. We made it clear that we should ch

Ballistic Training

“I'm not allowed to comment on lousy officiating." -Jim Finks, New Orleans Saints G.M. 1986 Olympic weight-training is often referred to Ballistic Training. would like to cite more quotes from strength coaches who believe that the quick lifts develop power. It is still believed by ballistic training advocates that the only exercises that are considered explosive are the power clean, hang clean, snatch, power press, clean and jerk etc... maintains that exercises like the squat, bench press are explosive because the athlete has the intention to move the weight quickly towards the end of the set. An article written by Sean Flanagan in Strength & Health Magazine called “Improve Performance with Ballistic Training," states, “In order to realize one’s true athletic potential in most sports, ballistic training methods must be employed.” He continues, “Let’s take a look at why ballistic training methods are so important for the develo


 “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. Perf

Swiss Ball: The Super Tool

 “There is a sucker born every minute." -P.T. Barnum How fitting I thought when my wife came home with the latest fitness tool this winter: The Swiss Ball! "Look at all the exercises I can do," she said as she showed me the pamphlet which illustrated all kinds of exercises from dumbbell bench to crunches with this big, obnoxious green ball right in the middle. Before I go on I should say that my wife is twice the athlete I am. An avid runner, she has finished a marathon in the mountains of Norway for crying out loud! However, like most shop-a-holics she saw a deal too good to refuse. It is our concern that this "new & improved" strength develepment device is misleading more and more coaches who are incorporating them into their training..track coaches specifically. A study done by George Chen, of Stanford University, set out to determine if claims made by Swiss Ball advocates were true. These claims included that: "training improves nervous-system func

Workout Organization

“To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself." -Soren Kierkegaard Speaking to many coaches over the last few months, many state that they only have 3 power racks, 3 benches, and limited equipment. If this is the case, the coach can still put their athlete through productive training sessions. Some coaches want their athletes to all start with the squat or some other exercise. This is not necessary. On the program and many others we would like our athletes to start with one of the major exercise: squats, deadlift, or bench press. If you only have 3 squat racks, 3 benches, 3 areas for deadlift, group them into 3's and start them at one of those stations. This will involve 27 people training at the same time, which is usually the amount for high school classes for weight training. If you have your athletes train after school and have 40-50 athletes and have limited equipment then you might want to consider having them tra