Dear StrongerAthletes.com: Stance on BFS
We received this e-mail from Coach Nolan Pettis this week. He wants to know how we feel about the Bigger Faster Stronger training program that is popular with many high school coaches. This also seems to be an area of interest for local coaches here in Missouri, as it has been a popular topic on the local message board.
Do you think that 'Bigger Faster Stronger' is a good strength training program? Also, is your one set to failure program good for increasing size as well as strength?
Nolan Pettis, Track Coach
First, I would like to make it plain that we have nothing against BFS or what they are doing for coaches and athletes. I think they do a great job promoting character issues that are so important when it comes to working with young people.
I used BFS with my former football team. We brought them in to do a clinic and they did an outstanding job getting the kids excited about strength training.
Since that time I was introduced to a philosophy that: 1) I have found to be safer in terms of eliminating the quick lifts, power clean, that is a cornerstone of the BFS program. 2) I have found more efficient in terms of eliminating the multiple sets required by the BFS periodization philosophy. I remember the heavy week called for as many as 5 sets. I have come to learn that 1 set is just as efficient in recruiting muscle fibers and building strength as multiple sets.
Many people are put off by the way BFS markets their product but I personally think they do a wonderful job promoting high school athletics and training. In short, I simply have found a training philosophy that I am more comfortable using with my athletes.
Where I may disagree with BFS's "Bulgarian Secrets" I think they are right on with their leadership development and character development programs. The people that I worked with from BFS are wonderful people and great coaches.
As far as size vs strength... everything I have read indicates that size is more genetic than anything else. Assuming one is following the overload principle their muscles will get bigger. Much of what you hear about lifting for high reps to do this or high weight to do that.. tone this or get cut etc... fall more under the urban myth catagory than it does strength science. I will try and get some more information about this topic to you.
Hope that helps.
We are going to be in New Orleans January 5-8 for the American Football Coaches Association National Convention, (as coaches, not sponsors). If any of our readers are planning on attending we would love to visit with you.
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