Tag Archive for: Strength Training

It’s not the weight room

A beautiful weight room with polished floors, tons of weights, machines that go bing, beep and burp surrounded with walls of mirrors all in a strictly controlled air conditioned environment set at an optimum 72 degrees may not be all that it appears to be. It’s not the weight room it is what happens there that matters. Is real coaching going on or is supervision with everyone doing the same program? Read more

Book Review: Science and Practice of Strength Training

You’d think that making presentations is about teaching others, but for me it is as much an exercise in improving my own knowledge. I get to meet new people, hear new ideas, and, most importantly, the act of presenting helps me understand what I know and what I don’t know. This final point inevitably leads me to pick up more books to fill my knowledge gaps. In preparing for presentations this fall, one of my weaknesses related to the basic science of strength training. Therefore I decided to recently reread a classic in this area: Science and Practice of Strength Training, Second Edition by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky and William J. Kraemer.
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Meaningful Training

There is training that is just work and leads nowhere – this is training as performance. This is the Crossfit WOD mentality that each workout is an end unto itself and must be as hard as possible to be good. These workouts make you very tired and sometimes even put you in the hospital. Read more

Training Mistakes – Part Two

Repetitious Exercises

This usually overloads one area or one component; the end result is a poor training response. I always say hunt with a rifle, not a shotgun. Read more

Training Mistakes – Part One

The following is a list of some mistakes that I have made in my coaching and teaching. If you learn from your mistakes I should be a genius, but unfortunately some of the lessons were only learned after I repeated these mistakes several times. I hope that by sharing these with you, it will help you to avoid making the same mistakes I have made. Read more

Forces and Force Development

If there is one thing to take away from Bondarchuk’s most recent book, it is that what we call strength is not a singular concept. The book is a difficult read, but it is does lay out why the athletes with the highest maximal strength are not necessarily the fastest or the most explosive. Each of those activities feature different types of strength and should be trained differently.
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Ask Martin Vol. 28: Strength Coaching Throwers

Do you have a question for me? “Ask Martin” questions are chosen from inquiries submitted by members. So join now and you’ll also get access to a wealth of other training information.

Question: I am working on a collegiate strength training staff and, among other sports, I am responsible for the strength training for throwers. I am wondering if you have any input on how to balance strength training with the different phases of throws training. For example, if there is a phase of throwing heavy implements, what would be best to do in the weight room at that time? -Coach Nicholas
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Book Review: The Olympian Manual for Strength and Size

I’ve given a teaser and interviewed the translator, but I have yet to give my own thoughts on Dr. Bondarchuk’s new book The Olympian Manual for Strength and Size. As we are sending out the pre-orders I thought it was time for me to weigh in with my thoughts. As I normally do in my book reviews, I will give an overview of the book, discuss in detail it’s organization and content, and then summarize what I like and didn’t like. If you would like to order the book, you can do so in the HMMR Media Store. As discussed below, if you order the book from HMMR Media I can also help answer some questions you might have after reading it. Read more

Strength Training – A Definition

Strength is often trained is an independent motor quality, I certainly have made that mistake. Strength is a highly interdependent motor quality. Unfortunately it took me too many years to really understand and apply that. I think some of the problem and confusion lies in the definition of strength training. In order to clarify what strength training is it is important to have a good operational definition of strength training. When I was first exposed to the work of Frans Bosch ten years ago he defined strength training as: “Coordination training under increased resistance.” Just that concept got me thinking again about how much strength is enough and are you ever strong enough? I thought his definition was a step in the right direction to help me answer those two questions but it was not comprehensive enough. So over the past few years I have worked to come up with my own operational definition of strength training incorporating Bosch’s ideas. For the definition to be operational it needs to be applicable to all training environments. The definition I use for Strength Training is:

Coordination training with appropriate resistance to handle bodyweight, project an implement, move or resist movement of another body, resist gravity and optimize ground reaction forces.

Let’s parse this out and look at the elements of the definition in detail. Read more

Bigger Is Not Better

This is the time of year when many throwers are in their “hypertrophy” phase of training where the focus is on increasing muscle mass. As I mentioned in my interview with Vern Gambetta, the concept of building a base in the off-season is a bit outdated for elite athletes. So is the related concept of hypertrophy. To put it simply: bigger is not better.

At a bodyweight of just 207 pounds, Szymon Kolecki has a personal best in the clean and jerk of 518 pounds.

It is a time honored tradition for men to work on getting bigger muscles. But bigger muscles are not necessarily better for the throwing events. You need more powerful muscles and, contrary to popular belief, the two do not go hand in hand. Read more