Monday, February 13, 2012

Extra Strength: The Most Important Hire A College Football Head Coach Can Make

I agree with the article, an athletes strength coach is probably one of the most influential people their life. "They'res father figures, counselors, motivators, educators and trainers" states the article. It's been my experience that clients and athletes alike become very close with their personal trainers and strength coaches.  Often opening up to them about personal issues during the course of a workout.  I had a colleague at one time that was getting his psychology degree so he could practice psychology while training people!
Be sure to familiarize yourself with your son or daughters strength coach at all levels.  My experience has been that it's a crap shoot with the quality of training.  I have had parents come to me because they weren't comfortable with the training program their son was doing at school.  In one instance, their sone was a high school water polo player and the coaches had the team doing power cleans.  Not only is it a high impact exercise but it has nothing to do with water polo or any other sport.  Another local football team was required to carry cement blocks around the field as part of their training!

I would predict many of today's training gimmicks like cement blocks, power cleans, parachutes etc. will make way for safe proven strength training methods such as low force high intensity full range strength training.  This is by far the best way to build muscle fast and safely to improve athletic performance.  


  1. Are you kidding me? Power cleans have everything to do with every sport!

    1. Anonymous...I appreciate your comments. Could you give me some insight into your perspective so I can respond more thoroughly? Thank You!

    2. Hi Blake, sorry if I sounded rude. In my opinion, power cleans are one of the best exercises for developing explosive strength. The same goes for olympic lifting in general. Any athlete that needs to be fast, powerful, or explosive would benefit from doing cleans.

    3. No offense taken! I absolutely thought the same thing as far as power cleans are concerned, it made sense that explosive training is the way to go. As I researched it more and really looked into genetics, it turns out that certain things just don't work the way we thought they did. Power cleans work, just not like we thought.

      Genetics dictate pretty much everything, some people have good genetics and some don't. You get what you get and keep in mind is we aren't factoring in the "heart or desire" of an athlete just pure genetic ability. Genetics dictate what percentage of a muscle someone can recruit and how fast they can recruit it. Also if you factor in the lengths of muscles, connective tissues, insertion points, bones, and proportions of each of them. As it turns out, Dick Butkus was born with all of these! Not to mention he picked the exact sport in which these genetics are favorable. It was once said that if you had to build a football player from scratch, he wouldn't look that much if any different from the actual Dick Butkus.

      Bottom line is lets say Butkus was born with the ability to recruit 50% of a muscle and I was born with the ability to recuit 25% of a muscle. No amount of power cleans, plyometrics, functional, or any explosive training will ever get me to be able to recruit 50% like Butkus. What I CAN do is add 10 lbs of muscle by working out properly, this gives my 25% more of a base to work with...but it'll still be 25%.

      Interesting read from an article about this subject, read below if your into it:

      Arthur Jones wrote,

      "Doing a power clean jerks the muscles violently during the first few degrees of movement…after which point the weight is moving so fast that the muscles literally are not involved in the rest of the movement. The result being that a dangerous yank is imposed on the muscles at the start of the movement and then absolutely nothing is accomplished during most of the movement. In such cases you are throwing the weight, not lifting it… and such a style of training will produce nothing but injuries.

      Yet, in practice, that is exactly how many people train… which probably explains why it takes them years to produce a degree of results that could have been produced in an equal number of weeks; and it certainly explains why people who practice such a style of training eventually injure themselves seriously.

      Jerking greatly increases the forces imposed on the muscles and joints. But in practice, thousands of athletes train in what may well be the most dangerous manner… meanwhile believing that their style of training is quite safe. The movement that occurs during an explosive lift literally occurs so fast that the muscles are unable to keep up.

      The practice of fast lifts will build little or absolutely nothing in the way of actual strength in the muscles, instead, a person will learn the skill required to throw a barbell; that is right, throw a barbell… because he certainly is not lifting it.

      For a weight lifter such skills are a necessary thing… but they are utterly useless for any other athlete; and developing the skill to throw a barbell is unavoidably dangerous, a danger to which active athletes should never be exposed.

      Unfortunately, many of the current strength coaches come from the old school, being former weight lifters themselves. As weight lifters, they had to train in that manner in order to develop the skills required for weight lifting; so it naturally follows that they pass on this style of training to other athletes, football players in particular.

      The result is that many thousands of football players and other athletes are now being forced to take part in a style of training that is of absolutely no value for the purpose of developing actual muscular strength… and far worse, a style of training that is extremely dangerous. The so-called power clean is one common example of a lift that is of no value to anybody except a weight lifter, and is a very dangerous lift to practice."

      Arthur Jones