Home Posts tagged "Strength Training" (Page 10)

Off-Seasons: Year Round Sports

I have gone through your book and it is very good. I am however confused as to how I can apply the phases to year round sports like BJJ. Our tournaments are not to often and I do not find out about them until 2 months before. I love the static template as it is just what I need. Any help with organizing this into a yearly plan would be great. Thanks. A few options: 1. Give it up and take up checkers. :) 2. Plan several mini off-seasons. That is, go into off-season mode, and then just kick in the metabolic conditioning work 4-6 weeks out from your tournament. 3. Set aside 4-5 months out of the year when you won't compete; you'll just train. Eric Cressey Step-by-Step what it Takes to Become a Superior Athlete
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Talking Shop: Bob Youngs’ Five

Eric Cressey

In addition to learning outside the gym, right off the top of your head, what are five things that our readers can do right now to become a better lifters, athletes, coaches, and/or trainers.

Bob Youngs

1) A good program must include: movement prep, flexibility work, injury prevention work, core work, cardio work, strength training, and recovery/regeneration work. Does that sound familiar? In other words, construct programs that incorporate all aspects.

2) Read one book per week. If you ever come over to my house you will see hundreds of books. I shoot for one new book per week.

3) Network within your given sport or profession. If you are a powerlifter, seek out lifters stronger than you and learn from them. If you are a strength coach, seek out another coach you think has something to offer that you don’t have. You get the idea. Most people are willing to share information if you ask them; this is usually the way you will learn the most.

4) Work smarter. Many people work hard; what makes a person the best at any given task is usually working smarter.

5) Have properly defined and realistic goals, and write them down. I am shocked by the amount of athletes and coaches who have one broad goal and no steps to get there. Set a big goal and then break it down into smaller goals. I will use a powerlifter as an example. I hear all the time, “I want to squat 800 pounds.” That’s great, but how do you get there? If you have a current max of 500, your next small goal might be to squat 550. Then, you break that down further to knowing you need to hit X on a given max effort exercise. Now, you have a goal every time you go into the gym.
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Finishers

I was wondering what your thoughts on “finishers” to workouts are. You know, tough stuff to test yourself at the end of a lift.


Truthfully, I rarely add "finishers" to the end of sessions. In my opinion, this brings to light an amazing "phenomenon" that exists in the performance enhancement field. Those who make frequent use of finishers are the very same individuals who don't know a thing about volume manipulation for optimal supercompensation. If the finisher was such a valuable inclusion, then why wasn't it written into the program initially?

Some people claim that these are an ideal means of enhancing mental toughness. I can’t disagree, but I do think that your mental training stimuli should already exist in your programming. If you need to search around for things to haphazardly incorporate at the end of a session, then you need to take a look at program design abilities. I’d rather see a “finisher” just be considered an appropriately-planned “last exercise.” Believe it or not, there should even be times when you leave the gym feeling fresh.

There may be instances where I'll push an athlete (or myself) with increased volume and/or intensity based on the pre-training mood. This is one basis for cybernetic periodization; effectively, you can roll with the punches as needed.

I will say, however, that finishers have their place with younger athletes where you’re just trying to keep the session fun. If you find something productive that they’re enthusiastic about doing, by all means, deviate from your plan a bit and build on that enthusiasm. When they start getting more experienced, though, you’re going to have to know when to hold back the reins on them a bit.

Eric Cressey
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The Science and Practice of Strength Training

I get a lot of emails from up-and-coming coaches and ordinary weekend warriors who are enthusiastic about learning more about how to design their own programs, but are absolutely awestruck and confused by Supertraining. It’s a phenomenal book, but it isn’t exactly one with which you want to get your feet wet if you’re new to the strength and conditioning education scene. As such, these individuals often ask me if I have a suggestion for a comparable book that is more user-friendly. I immediately recommend Vladimir Zatsiorsky’s Science and Practice of Strength Training. Admittedly, this book is technical at times, but that’s not to say that you will not be able to think it out. And, because the ability to think critically is crucial to successful program design, you’ll be better off in the long run when it comes time to write programs for your athletes, clients, and yourself. Zatsiorsky won’t spoon-feed you cookie-cutter routines, but he will outline which methods do and do not work – and, just as importantly, why they succeeded or failed. You’ll receive a comprehensible interpretation of decades of carefully logged training journals of elite Soviet athletes; no Western training system has such a substantial and carefully documented pool from which to draw training insights. The Science and Practice of Strength Training should be on the bookshelf of every coach, sports scientist, and trainer – as well as those of intermediate and advanced lifters looking to get to the next level. Eric Cressey Apply these Principles to your Athletes.
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Olympic Lifts and Adolescents

Olympic lifts and adolescents… do you use them? Why or why not?
Personally, I generally don’t for several reasons. It’s not because I’m inherently opposed to Olympic lifts from an injury risk standpoint. Sure, I’ve seen cleans ruin some wrists, and there are going to be a ton of people with AC joint and impingement problems who can’t do anything above shoulder level without pain. That’s not to say that the exercises are fundamentally contraindicated for everyone, though; as with most things in life, the answer rests somewhere in the middle. Know your clients, and select your exercises accordingly. My primary reasons for omitting them tend to be that I don’t always have as much time with athletes as I’d like, and simply because such technical lifts require constant practice – which we all know isn’t always possible with young athletes who don’t train for a living. Equipment limitations may be a factor (bumper plates are a nice luxury). And, to be very honest, I’ve seen athletes make phenomenal progress without using Olympic lifts, so I don’t concern myself too much with the arguing that goes on. If another coach wants to use them and is a good teacher, I’m find with him doing so; it just isn’t for me, with the exception of some high pulls here and there. Eric Cressey
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5 Relative Strength Myths

Just being strong isn't enough; you need to be strong for your size, too. Make no mistake about it, training for strength without markedly increasing body weight is a lot more challenging than just focusing on absolute strength. Continue Reading... Sign up for our FREE Newsletter today and and receive this deadlift technique video!
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Deadlift Diagnosis

Hi. My name is Eric and I have a problem. I never expected it and I didn't plan for it. It just happened. And now, I'll never be the same. Hardly a minute passes when I don't think about it, salivate, and get the shivers. My own grandmother cringes in fright when she even hears about "it." Yes, folks, I'm a deadlift-aholic. I don't just want to pull; I want to pull every minute of every day for the rest of my life. I dream about grinding out heavy pulls where the bar seemingly bends in half, and I jump at the opportunity to do speed pulls so quickly that I nearly castrate myself with the bar. This passion has led me to a ranking in the Powerlifting USA Top 100 for my weight class, and the brink of a 1RM of 3.5 times my body weight. Continue Reading...
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5 Relative Strength Myths

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. There's a very simple way to improve your maximal strength almost effortlessly. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with periodization, sets, reps, intensity, rest periods, exercise selection, neuromuscular coordination, or anything else in the gym with which you're concerned. You won't find it on an infomercial, either. Continue Reading...
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Get Your Butt in Gear II

In Part I we covered some pre-training measures you can use to get your glutes fired up and ready to go. Now it's time to get to work on strengthening them. Before we discuss the exercises, let's go over four regulations. If you violate these four groundrules, we'll kick your ass (no pun intended). 1) You'll use a full range of motion (ROM) on all exercises, even if you're the most inflexible person alive. 2) You'll drive/lead with the heel and not prance around like a sissy on your tiptoes. 3) You'll keep the torso erect (chest high and scapulae retracted) to ensure a full ROM. 4) You'll check your ego at the door and decrease the weight if necessary to perform the exercises correctly! Every rule doesn’t apply to every exercise, but more often than not, these little cues will help you to increase your gluteal function and strength. Now, let's move on to the exercises! Continue Reading...
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Get Your Butt in Gear

We need an appropriate balance between strength and mobility in our hips. This is true if we want to squat or deadlift more weight, jump higher or sprint faster. A world-renowned philosopher by the name of Coolio may have said it best: "You can't have da' hop if ya don't have da' hip!" It’s no surprise that athletes in sports like Olympic lifting, powerlifting and sprinting have amazing overall development in both flexibility and strength of the hip musculature. We see tons of injuries to the hamstrings and lower back, but rarely encounter any sort of injury to the glutes. The fact of the matter is that most athletes are tight in the hamstrings, lower back and hip flexors. This collection of problems is related to a lack of strength and motor control in the gluteal muscles. When the hip flexors (antagonists to the gluteus maximus) are overactive, the gluteus maximus becomes weak via a mechanism known as reciprocal inhibition. Furthermore, when our "butt" muscles aren’t up to the task, the hamstrings and erector spinae muscles are forced to work overtime to compensate. This is known as synergistic dominance. This unfortunate cycle often results in injury, or at the very least, sub-optimal levels of performance. Continue Reading...
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