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Old 05-30-2009, 08:34 AM   #20
Jamie Crichton
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 38
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Kettlebells are for geeks.

David, some interesting counterpoints! Regarding the intramuscular coordination thing, I did say that any complex lifts would provide improvements in physical ability without needing to be at the limits of strength. A more simple analogy would be learning to fire your glutes properly. This will increase your deadlift, sprint etc, without needing to move crazy weights.

Learning to move properly, with complex movements executed with attention to technique, will instill more efficient motor patterns that benefit sports without needing to shift massive weights. The reason I think the olympic lifts, or rather, barbell lifts, are good for this purpose is the barbell is the easiest way to shift weight. By removing additional challenges such as the awkward shape of strongman objects, you learn to move in the right way without added distraction.

However, I think that this last point is less important in the scheme of things. Doing your triple extension well, whatever way you choose to express it, is going to be beneficial even if you aren't moving huge weights. It can be strongman, olympic lifting or whatever. But it needs to be performed right, regardless of which lift you choose.

As for your second point, I think this is getting into the debate over specificity of movements for sports. In short, my take on this is that it is less important to consider specifics of movements and more important to consider what they have in common, ie, triple extension. This should be trained without worrying how closely it replicates events in a game.

Triple extension can be trained in an environment (a lift) that replicates the 'ideal' if you like - full explosive extension, body in the right position at every stage to most efficiently perform the movement, etc. This may not occur on the sports field but is worth striving for in the gym. Training it properly makes the likelihood of it occuring on the sports field more likely. If you just dive in, getting your athletes to haul up heavy weight anyhow, then they may get stronger, but they're still going to move wrong and I think this will lead to reduced efficiency and performance.

So I think the lift chosen should fulfill two criteria: it should have a core movement in common with that seen in the sport, and it should imitate as closely as possible the 'ideal' of this common movement, not necessarily as close as possible to how the movement will be performed in the sport itself.

As for Westside, I know the DE method is not the be-all and end-all of their approach. But if you read stuff by Simmons, Tate, Wendler or whoever, they do rate it highly, both for getting stronger, but also for learning to do the movements - ie coordination. Learning to do the movements properly makes you stronger, which is what I'm trying to get at, I think.

I hope that all makes sense. This is a great debate by the way! I hope everyone benefits from it as much as I am.
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