Real World Strength and Conditioning

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Exercise Order Is Not Set In Stone

In another lifetime, I taught strength and conditioning classes at Texas A&M and at Texas Woman’s Universities. A number of my books were geared to be textbooks for those classes as I wasn’t really happy with the books that were available. I bring this up because this blog is going to be about how textbooks approach a subject versus how coaches should be approaching it. The subject in question is the order of the exercises that our athletes perform.  ...

Agility Pitfalls

Pitfalls with Agility Training   Unlike when I started in the strength and conditioning profession, even an entry-level high school strength coach has to have a huge tool kit to address all the things we have to do today. Thirty years ago we were concerned with Olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and some auxiliary exercises. Today, you have to know a little bit about everything.   Agility is important for athletes. As I’ve noted in another post, I see...

Kettlebell Swings: Simple but Very Effective

The kettlebell swing exercise is one of my favorite exercises for metabolic conditioning, warming up, and even core training. It’s a relatively simple exercise to master, works most of the muscles of the body, is rhythmical in nature, and is conducive to having teams perform the exercise.   Let’s start with how to perform the exercise. This exercise begins with the kettlebell on the ground. Approach the kettlebell and straddle it. I like to have the feet about shoulder-width apart....

Speed Training: You Don’t Need Frills

Speed is critical to sports performance. One of the side effects of the systematic incorporation of strength and conditioning into sports is that athletes are becoming bigger, stronger and they are a lot faster than they used to be. This means that if we have prospective athletes, speed training is something they are going to have to incorporate into their programs. Nowadays, lifting weights and practicing the sport are not enough!   In a previous post ( http://www.cissik.com/blog/2017/10/speed-running-fast-is-a-skill/ ), we...

Overload: You Can’t Get Better Without It

The overload principle is a fundamental one to strength and conditioning. Basically this says that in order to keep the body adapting, we have to find a way to make the workouts more difficult. If we don’t find a way to continually make the workouts more difficult over time, then we will stop getting stronger, larger, faster, and more powerful.   There’s a lot of ways that we can do this in strength and conditioning. We can increase the weight....