One of the things I enjoy most about being a strength coach is the challenge that comes from figuring how to best address the needs of the athletes I train. I’ve always been good at (and enjoyed) problem-solving, and a large part of my job is exactly that. I know it sounds weird, but I look at every athlete I train as a problem to be solved. Every athlete is unique, in that they all have different strengths and weaknesses, and may have different goals as well. Most people will fall into one of a few general templates, but everyone has their own little athletic quirks, so they all require individual attention to make sure their program is as effective as possible.

Terrell Owens was such a clown

Some athletes apparently require a lot more attention than others…

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Every athlete I train undergoes an initial evaluation and then periodical re-evaluations every 6 weeks to monitor progress. A few of the things we test are squat strength, deadlift strength, vertical jump, 20 yd dash, 5-10-5 agility test, and broad jump. Having measured all these things hundreds of times, I’ve started to notice some interesting patterns and come to realize that the broad jump might be the best indicator of overall athletic ability. 

I don't give a shit how much you can bench. What's your broad jump?

I don’t give a shit how much you can bench. What’s your broad jump?

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Quote  —  Posted: December 3, 2013 in Jump Training, Speed, Training
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This post stems from a discussion I had with one of the softball players I train. I made the statement that most softball players could benefit from overhand throwing instruction, because their mechanics are typically substandard when compared with those of baseball players. She retorted that softball players have to short-arm the ball and throw with a low elbow because they have to get rid of the ball more quickly due to the fact that they play on a smaller field. In other words, they “don’t have time” to utilize proper mechanics. But in reality, throwing with proper mechanics doesn’t take any more time than throwing with poor mechanics.

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For those who aren’t in the know, here’s a brief video showing a battle rope workout. The basic idea is that you get a heavy rope and swing it around for a while.

Battle ropes (or battling ropes) have been experiencing a big surge in popularity recently. Lots of trainers are including battle rope exercises in their clients’ workouts, and some gyms are starting to look like shipyards with the amount of huge ropes they have lying around. But is the battle rope workout just another fad, or are battle ropes a worthwhile long-term addition to peoples’ training programs?

Effective training strategy, or stupid bullshit?

Effective training strategy, or stupid bullshit?

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bosu

Unstable surface training has seen an uptick in popularity over the last 5 years or so, and has been touted as an effective way to develop athleticism. But is unstable surface training really a smart way to train? Maybe not.

What is Unstable Surface Training?

Unstable Surface Training (UST) consists of traditional strength exercises performed on a surface that is not hard or flat. Instead, UST utilizes implements like BOSU Balls, Airex pads, and Swiss balls. The reason why some trainers include UST in their clients’ programs is that it’s supposed to add a core stabilization component to traditional lifts like the bench press and squat. Basically, the body has to work harder to stabilize itself if the ground doesn’t provide stability.

"Unstable Training - It Makes Sense on Paper"

“Unstable Training – It Makes Sense on Paper”

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The Problem

There’s really no way to sugarcoat this, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it:  many strength and conditioning programs for girls aren’t very good. And this is a shame because it prevents many young women from fully realizing their athletic potential, potentially costing them college scholarships. For whatever reason, the majority of training programs for young women seems to be more oriented towards traditional “speed and agility” work, with less of an emphasis placed on overall strength and power training. So basically, lots of cones and ladders and TRX, and not a lot of squats and deadlifts. This is a mistake.

5 pound bicep curls? On a Swiss ball? Stop it.

5 pound bicep curls? On a Swiss ball? Stop it.

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Check out my newest article published on Stack.com:

Best Exercises For Baseball Speed

Baseball Speed

As Mark Rippetoe points out in this T-Nation article, there is a big difference between Training and Exercising.  In a nutshell,  Training is the process of following a progressive program that is designed to increase an aspect of fitness over time. The aspect of fitness most often associated with training is strength, but people can train to improve power, speed, and endurance as well. In contrast, Exercising is what happens if your workouts don’t progress over time, or if you do randomized workouts with no attention paid to progression of key exercises, If your program isn’t planned with an emphasis on progression, you’re not Training. You’re Exercising. And you need to stop, because Exercising is bullshit.

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Check out my new article on T-Nation published on 9/17/2013.

In Defense of Deficit Deadlifts

tnation dead

 

And while you’re at it, check out my other articles on deadlifting:

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/5_deadlifting_mistakes_and_how_to_fix_them;jsessionid=6E85D629CC58D5AE8EB8878ECC8F11C3-mcd02.hydra

https://andrewsacksperformance.com/2013/07/04/2-assistance-exercises-to-improve-your-deadlift/

https://andrewsacksperformance.com/2013/05/25/deadlift-case-study-eliminating-the-butt-wink/

 

Although the sports world has largely accepted strength training as an effective way to improve sports performance, there are still a few hard headed old-schoolers who refuse to believe that increasing strength will improve athletic ability. This is a ridiculous notion. Baseball coaches seem to be the most reluctant group to acknowledge the benefits of strength training. Often, this is due to the incorrect beliefs that lifting weights will make you inflexible (it won’t), or hurt you (it won’t if you do it right). But some coaches simply don’t believe that weight lifting will improve any aspect of sporting performance, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask Bo Jackson.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask this weakling named Bo Jackson.

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