Olympic lifting

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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,...

The Overhead Squat And Athletes

The back squat is a fundamental exercise for an athletic strength and conditioning program.  It develops lower body strength, does so in a manner that involves exerting force against the ground, and also requires the athlete to strengthen their trunk muscles to support the weight.  A variation of the squat exercise that shows up in Olympic lifters programs, warm-up routines, and has gained popularity thanks to things like CrossFit is the overhead squat.  This is a much more technical lift...

Keeping Training Simple: A Rant

I want to thank Twitter for helping me come up with this post.  Recently I tweeted something to the effect that squats, pulls, presses, rows, and the Olympic lifts are pretty much all you need for an effective athletic strength and conditioning workout.  Think about it, every muscle of the body is trained.  The skeleton and joints are loaded.  Muscles are being built.  The athlete is becoming a lot stronger and is learning how to apply that strength. No coach...