Apr 10, 2002

Various Topics

April 10 "There never were in the world, two opinions alike. Their most universal quality is diversity." Michel De Montaigne

Mystery Guest: Day 2


(So far we only have 5 correct guesses..come on guys this is easy!) Just like last week we present a Mystery Guest. If you think you know who this pioneer in strength training is drop us a guess, via the contact form, and our correct winners with be posted on Friday. Good Luck!

This week's guest was one of the first people hired on the NFL's newest franchise, he was hired even before the head coach!

He "spent the previous 19 seasons [as the head strength and conditioning coach] with the Washington Redskins where served as an integral part of three Super Bowl champions, four NFC champions and five NFC East champions."

"This coach is known as a leader in his field. He has written several books and served as a fitness columnist for the Washington Post."

"Prior to his stint with the Redskins, he spent five years as the strength coach at Penn State. The Nittnay Lions won their first national championship after his last season. Before arriving at Penn State, he served as the strength coach at Army from 1974-77."

His tenure in the NFL has produced several head strength and conditioning coaches who have worked with him. Steve Wetzel, last week's mystery guest, recognizes this man as one of his biggest inspirations.
**Note** Much of this bio was taken from another website which will be recognized on Friday, as we don't want to just give away the answer now do we?

Dear StrongerAthletes.com: Various Topics


Over the past week we have been kept really busy with comments and questions from several Olympic lift coaches. These guys run successful programs and they are genuinely concerned about the profession of strength training. We think that by posting these comments and our responses that our readers can benefit from our discourse. Ken Mannie, Head Strength Coach at Michigan State University, informed us that he thinks this element of our website is very benefitial to others. We think so too.

Both of the coaches presented below have been very open-minded while making their arguments. We hope they have gotten as much from our discussions as we have. It is important to keep in mind that we will not respond to flaming e-mails. Our purpose is to present a philosophy on strength training not bash others. We welcome comments and questions either for or against our positions but we will not respond to those who cannot have a professional conversation.

In the following letters some of the major topics addressed are frequent ones such as developing power vs expressing power, safety, and principle of specificity. However, both of our e-mail writers use the term HIT and refer to Arthur Jones. It should be noted that StrongerAthletes.com has never used the the term HIT referring to High Intensity Training. HIT has a large following but it is not a uniform, come in a box recipe that many coaches are used to, such as the BFS program, which many high school coaches use and are comfortable with. For example, there are factions of HIT strength programs that preach very slow movements and other that preach anywhere from 1 to 3 working sets. Some preach free weights others machine weights. Believe it or not some HIT programs use olympic lifts! So please be careful not to stereo-type training programs from what you may have heard at gyms or read in magazines.

In regards to Arthur Jones, although we have never mentioned him he is a great credit to the field of strength and conditioning. His early work in the 1970's helped to pave the way for modern training practices and present day coaches should recognize him for his trailblazing efforts regardless if they agree with him or not. Others such as Boyd Eply, Nebraska's Strength and Conditioning coach served a similar role in the "early days". It is not our place to be critical of these men's efforts only to take what they have given us and continue.

Due to the length of these e-mails we have placed the links below for you to read at your leisure as opposed to 1 long posting.

Coach Burk responds to our last Dear StrongerAthletes.com from April 5, 2002.
Burk writes, "Where can I get scientific evidence that training in a slow controlled manner develops power? How do you go about testing power? Besides anecdotal evidence and an example of a single instance from a doctor, what studies have shown increased risk of injury with olympic lifts? Where can I find these studies (medical journal...)".... [Read More...]    Coach Rody answers Burk, "In regards to our thoughts on power please read our Expressing vs. Developing Power article as well as other articles related to power. There is a fundamental difference between Expressing and Developing Power. In order to effectively train the type IIb fast twitch muscle fiber. The athlete most train with heavy weight. If momentum occurs during the repetition, the muscle tension is released. "... [Read More...]

Coach Rusty Whitt, Strength & Conditioning coach at Sam Houston State describes his role as a collegiate strength coach that uses Olympic lifts.
Whitt writes, "First of all, I have worked with Olympic athletes, Division III, Division II and 1. I work at a small college and find myself having to develop athletes, more so than a Michigan State or a Stanford. You have to agree that the stronger, more flexible, more powerful, more mature and coordinated players out of high school will get to the higher collegiate levels. ".... [Read More...]    Coach Rody answers Whitt, "Please understand that the purpose of our website is not to be closed minded in fact what we really want to do is get many coaches who look down their nose at "... [Read More...]

Coach Whitt, continues the discussion.
Whitt writes, "We use sport specific drills AND weight lifting exercises to teach sport skills. why not do both, if you see progress, if you have a system that works? One can complement the other.".... [Read More...]    Coach Rody answers Whitt, "First of all, we respect your opinion. We all have our beliefs and opinions and can learn from each other. The sites purpose is to share ideas and thoughts like you have done but also to educate coaches on what we believe is the safest, most productive and efficient approach to training for athletes to use to prepare them for their prospective sport. We believe Olympic lifting and Powerlifting are not necessary. "... [Read More...]

Coach Whitt, counters with a pretty good point about our Mission Statement.
Whitt writes, "I must say a website dedicated to "debunking" the philosophy of Olympic lifting is a bit odd.".... [Read More...]    Coach Rody answers Whitt, "[**Note** When we wrote the mission statement back in December we really went around about using the term "debunk". Coach Whitt brought us back to that point and we have decided to"... [Read More...]

Coach Whitt continues the exchange.
Whitt writes, "Obviously we have differing opinions because of our different experiences as coaches. I have never had an athlete develop a injury on the platform that has impaired their performance. ".... [Read More...]    Coach Rody answers Whitt, "You are fortunate not to have any injuries in your weight training program. I have found that many athletes do not tell their coach if their back hurts after performing a power clean for fear of what the coach may think of them."... [Read More...]

StrongerAthletes.com regrets no longer having the full dialog to this exchange.  We are currently trying to find it.

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