Sunday, January 10, 2010

Serious Strength Training

I admit it! I was definitely one of those coaches that believed to have a real, serious, focused training facility I had to have all the usual suspects. Primarily squat racks, bumpers, Olympic bars, etc. C'mon, isn't that what a strength coach should have in his/her facility?

However, if I had to do it over again, I would have!!! While my philosophy of training has not changed how to address it has. If you asked me how to build really solid strength seven years ago I would have said heavy deadlifts, squats, and presses. Now, I would have a completely different perspective. There seems to be so many more options since tools such as sandbags, suspension training, and kettlebells have become available tools.

Now I look at a strength program and not only do I see new opportunities to create strength programs that not only help the weight on the bar, but keep movement abilities as a top priority as well. Too many times when people try to lift more they sacrifice both their athleticism and health. Sure, people can increase the amount they can lift on the bar, but how do you feel? Banged up? Tight? Stiff? I was that person too!

But wait?! How do you get stronger when the weights of sandbags, kettlebells, and suspension units can't come close to what you can put on a bar? Ah, there are numerous ways....

1. Take your same type of movements and change the leverage. For example, start with bear hug squats, move to zercher squats, then shoulder squats. By changing the leverage you change the weight your body feels and can make a lighter weight feel much heavier!

2. Change the speed of movement. Once the tempo of a repetition was really specific. While we have gotten away from that, you can still manipulate a repetition by decreasing how fast you lower a weight, where you add pauses, how fast you try to lift the weight.

3. Alter stability of the exercise. Instead of lifting from a very stable base, try changing the base of support. When you press overhead go from different positions such as a lunge. Rather than just performing a power clean, work on a staggered stance power clean.

Rather than just talking about all the ways, here is a strength workout I performed recently with the same training tools we are talking about.

1 comment:

Susan Martin said...