Olympic lifting

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Squats and Shoes: Don’t Drink the Kool Aid Yet

I started out competing and coaching Olympic lifting. Way back when, it was ingrained in all of us that we needed to get special Olympic lifting shoes to be successful in the sport. These shoes have very hard soles that are a little higher than normal shoes. The idea being that normal shoes are something you would sink into when performing the Olympic lifts or squats, so they should be avoided.   A recent study in the Journal of Strength...

Power Development, Part II: Cautions

In a previous post (http://www.cissik.com/blog/2017/01/power-development-part-i-foundations/ ), we covered some of the qualities that are necessary to have an explosive athlete. Before jumping into the nuts and bolts of power training, it’s important to keep things in perspective. This post is going to cover six cautions to keep in mind with power training and your athletes: Too much of a good thing Don’t let power training distract from your goal Our athletes are not Olympic lifters There is no best It’s...

Power Training: What If There Is No “Best?”

Power, the ability to generate force quickly, is important to every sport. As a result, it’s something that coaches focus on with the training of their athletes. The approaches to the training of power are pretty broad, from using slow strength training all the way to performing plyometrics and everything in-between. Regardless of the approach used, the vertical jump is one of the most frequently used tests to evaluate an athlete’s power.   Teo et al, in the Journal of...

Time Only Goes One Way: Age and Performance

As we get older, a number of us use the rationalization of “I still work out, so that won’t happen to me!”   You see this when it comes to age-related declines in strength, muscle mass, and measures of performance. The challenge with this is that there are very few studies that examine this, for obvious reasons this is difficult to study. In the past there have been studies that looked at master’s athletes and found an inevitable age-related decline in...

Coach, I Don’t Want To Be Too Strong

Last week I had a tweet about diminishing returns and an athlete’s strength.  The question comes up, can athletes be too strong?  This is a difficult one to answer.  It’s difficult to answer because if you answer yes then it serves as a rationalization for every athlete that does not work hard during training.  “Hey coach, I’d like to train really hard but I don’t want to become too strong.”   What’s wrong with an athlete becoming too strong?  First,...