Mar 18, 2002

How Heavy Of a Load Do I Use?

March 18 “Labor disgraces no man. Unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor." -Ulysses S. Grant

Arthur and Bailey are the authors of "Complete Conditioning for Football," a very popular book among high school football coaches. In it they "explain" how to develop power,

“The highest power outputs are at about 30% of the load maximum (1RM). At lighter loads under 15 % of 1RM, the velocity of the movement is very fast, but the power generated is low. This is because the load is too light to generate effective power. As the intensity goes over 65%, power decreases rapidly. The load becomes so heavy that the speed of movement is too slow to generate power. Therefore the highest power outputs are in the range of 15-65% of a person s 1RM, and intensity is related to the velocity at which the load can be lifted to develop maximum power. Thus, to develop power the intensity of training must be adjusted to the speed of movement.”

Did you get all that?

If an athlete trains at 15-30% or more of his one rep max, this seems too light to develop power. Ken Mannie addresses this concern in his article, Power Point, “The point we are making is that there is a clear distinction between developing power and expressing it.” [See Expressing vs. Developing Power].

Mannie recommends to use heavy weights in a given rep range, 6-15. Control the speed throughout the set and maintain constant muscle tension. Then go out and have quality practice to improve your sport specific skills

But wait, there is still much more to clear up!

Arthur and Bailey further state,
“To develop power using the explosive lifts such as the power clean and snatch, 75-85% intensity for three to five repetitions is best.”

To recommend that the athlete perform 75-85% of their 1RM seems contradictory because they recommended 15-65% earlier in the book. According to there definition of developing power, the speed will be too slow at this load. So which is it? 15-30% or 75-85%?

Arthur and Bailey continue,
“Do slower multiple joint movements such as the squat and bench press at 50-60% for three to five sets of three to five repetitions.”

StrongerAthletes.com believes that this weight is still too light to develop power and the repetition range should be high to fully train and exhaust the working muscles.
“Do jump squats at 30% intensity for three to five sets of three to five repetitions," Arthur and Bailey advise.

We believe again the repetition range is too low. As far as the jump squats is considered, this is not a safe exercise, just as all Olympic type of movements have an inherent risk of injury. These types of exercises express power, they do not develop it.

StrongerAthletes.com recommends that athletes use heavy weights in the 6-15 rep range and that the momentum be minimized as much as possible. This will stress the muscle continuously throughout the entire set.

 

National Strength & Science Seminar Recap

We had a great time in lovely Blaine, Minnesota. The drive was perfect, no major automobile problems, (as far as my father-in-law knows anyway!) Scott Savor and Luke Carlson pulled off a super clinic. Highlights for us included visiting with Penn State Strength Coach John Thomas and his counterpart at Princeton, Matt Brzycki. Dr. James Peterson, formerly of West Point and has been on the ground-floor of much strength research, was also very informative.

We would like to thank all of you who stopped by to visit, especially Coach Inforzato, Head Football Coach at Richfield High School, MN. Coach shared with us stories of his team's success and their transition from traditional training to non-olympic, controlled movement training. Over the next few weeks we will share some of the great information that we heard at the clinic.

 

New Coaching Resources

At the 2002 Strength & Science Seminar StrongerAthletes.com intoduced our new resources for strength coaches and athletes. We now offer a video suppliment to our Coach's Manual that explaines in detail some of the finer points of the StrongerAthletes.com Training Program. Also just released is the Opposing Viewpoints: Traditional vs Non-Olympic Training video. For more information on these products please See Our New Products.

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