As our readership continues to grow we are increasingly invading Olympic lifting advocate circles. Many times these people reply to our articles without an understanding of who we are and what our purpose is. The time has come for us to lay down some basic ground rules.
“Who is StrongerAthletes.com?”
We are two high school coaches from Kansas City, Missouri who see the need to help educate the high school coach on various elements of strength development. We have found that many high school coaches are put in charge of developing their school’s athletes in the weight room without having a working knowledge of exercise science. We see ourselves as a resource for the coach who likes to do his homework.
“Who is your target audience?”
High school coaches who work directly with their school’s athletes in the weight room. We encourage college coaches and professional strength trainers to contribute to our website as well.
“What do you promote in terms of strength training?”
We advocate a safe, productive, and efficient training program that allows the coach to develop his athletes into better athletes by making them stronger in a safe, timely manner. A stronger athlete is what makes any high school sports program better.
“Why do you not advocate Olympic lifts?”
For decades now many coaches link “explosiveness” with quick lifts, similar to those performed by Olympic lifters. Understanding the popularity of the traditional styles and having done and coached Olympic lifts ourselves, what we have found is that:
- Momentum generated by these lifts takes tension off the muscle which in turn makes recruiting type IIb, (or “fast twitch”), muscle fibers inefficient.
- The Principle of Specificity rejects the idea that lifts such as the power clean transfer to sport specific skills such as tackling or throwing a shot put.
- Quick, momentum generating lifts can be unsafe in the short term if not coached and supervised and in the long term in regards to the low back and wrist regions.
“Don’t you know that Power=Work/Time?”
Understand that we have the same understanding of Power as you. Power=Work/Time. Where others misunderstand our point is when we maintain that Work/Time is showing, or expressing, how much Power one has at that moment. Keep in mind we are in the weight room to develop not express. Expression of power is for the field of competition, not training. To further illustrate this point we need to break the formula down even farther.
So, if Work=Strength*Distance then Power=Strength*Distance/Time. If we can increase the Strength element we can thus increase the Power output. We simply feel that it is safer to develop Strength in the weight room.
“What if I disagree with you?”
Great. Chances are you are in good company as many coaches perpetuate the myth of weight room movements simulating sport specific movements as found in many Olympic lifting programs. These coaches get very defensive, as is natural, when one attempts to illustrate why they are inefficient in terms of training an athlete for sports outside of Olympic lifting.
“By using the term efficiency- I assume you mean the best way to train.”
Actually, by efficiency we mean time spent in the weight room. We would not claim a “best way to train.”
“Can I e-mail StrongerAthletes.com with my opinion?”
Yes, via our contact page.
“Does everyone who sends e-mail disagree with you?”
Hardly. In fact, we receive regular correspondence from many coaches all over the country at the high school and collegiate level who are thankful that we are serving as a “voice” for a safe, productive, and efficient program.
- “Keep up the great work. Your site has quickly become one of my favorites.” -Matt Brzycki, Princeton University
- “Jim Bryan sent me an email recommending this site. I was not aware it existed, but I am glad it does now. It is good to see another voice out there promoting safe, practical, and time-efficient training. If I can help/contribute in any way, please let me know. Keep up the good work.” -Tom Kelso, University of Illinois-Chicago
- “Thanks for your web site. I have learned a lot from it.” -Steve Noland
- “I was beginning to think that even after 22 years of being in weight rooms that maybe I should just go with the flow, and join the flock, but I started to look around for [others] to validate my opinions…opinions that did not come from a book or association, but 22 years of training, and common sense. I found them finally in the likes of yourselves, Ken Mannie, Roger Schwab, and others.” -Kevin O’Toole
- “You have a great site, enjoy reading it on a regular basis. Keep up the good work and spreading the word that: you don’t have to follow the crowd to get the job done and be successful.” -Scott Hays, Football/Strength Coach, Fowlerville High School, Fowlerville, MI
- ” I have recently been made aware of your website and am very impressed with the information you present. Can I copy articles off the website and distribute them to coaches and athletes? We are getting a number of students using out weight room and I do not always have the time to follow them through their workouts. I believe that by using some of your articles I can get them to understand the philosophy behind our program.” -Mike Rademacher, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Milaca Public Schools, Milaca, MN
- “With all the conflicting articles and so on that I have read on the net it’s great to get some clarity, and you people have definitely provided it. I do feel that with your help I am learning a lot ,and hopefully will arrive at a good workout routine a lot sooner than I would have on my own. Thanks again, and best wishes.” -Garry Todd
“Are you saying if we don’t train your way we’re wrong?”
Absolutely NOT. Another misconception in the strength training world is that if you do something different you are wrong. We are thankful for all coaches who take the time to work with youth in a positive direction. To those coaches who read our website, we hope they have an open mind and can pick-up something to use in their program. We know we have picked up tons from various Olympic lifting coaches across the country. We desire to keep things professional and acknowledge that we can agree to disagree if the case may be. We respect you for your commitment to your athletes as we hope you reciprocate the same.
“Do you think that the teams you have listed on your TEAMS PAGE make them a better team or think they have better athletes?”
The ONLY purpose for listing these teams is to reassure other coaches that safe, productive, and efficient training programs, such as the one we promote at StrongerAthletes.com, is not unheard of. We are not attempting to imply that these teams are better or have better athletes than other teams. Our point is simply this: There are several strength programs in traditional sports that do not use Olympic lifts. Discrepancies may occur at schools in which one particular team uses Olympic lifting and others do not use them. Such is the case at University of Maryland, for example, where the basketball teams do not use Olympic lifts but the football team does. Please help to keep this list accurate. If you are aware of mistakes or changes at a particular school or team please let us know.