Research

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Coaching Cues Matter

Coaches are always looking for more effective ways to coach. We all have to learn over the years that our coaching needs to be clear, concise, and memorable. Vern Gambetta calls this being a twitter coach (i.e. avoid speeches and focus on what is needed). But, as coaches we’re always looking for magic cues and drills to get our point across.   Schutts et al have a really interesting article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looking at...

What if things don’t work like we think?

Ask anyone in the strength and conditioning field for more than a few minutes about how to develop hypertrophy and they will tell you that athletes need to do sets of 8-12 reps with 70-80% of maximum. Why? Because combine this volume and weight with incomplete recovery and it will cause a short-term increase in testosterone, growth hormone, and other anabolic hormones which, if done enough times, will eventually lead to larger muscle fibers.   Chasing this down in the...

Are Hex Bar Deadlifts Better?

hexagonal bar

In recent years, the hexagonal deadlift (i.e. the trap bar) has gained in popularity with athletic strength and conditioning circles. The argument is that it puts the body in a safer position to perform the deadlift and may allow for more weight to be lifted. Some coaches swear by this exercise.   Like a lot of “new” things, there is resistance to this. In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Lockie et al compared the conventional deadlift to the...

Lifting Weights Really is Good for Your Brain…

People have said for awhile that exercise is good for the brain. That’s a pretty broad statement and is usually associated with anecdotal evidence. In the Journal of Applied Physiology, Church et al have an interesting study looking at strength training and something called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).   BDNF is a protein that supports the survival of neurons in the nervous system, as well as growth and differentiation of new neurons. It is important for memory, neurogenesis (growing new...

Supersets: For More Than Just Bodybuilders

bench press

Supersets have been around bodybuilding circles for a long time. Basically, supersets involve pairing two exercises and performing sets of them in an alternating fashion with little rest between them. For example, push-ups and bench press. Perform a set of push-ups then a set of bench press, continue alternating.   It can be done with similar muscle groups (the example above) or with opposing muscle groups. In that circumstance, one might superset dips and pull-ups.   The benefit of supersets...