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Old 05-29-2009, 02:17 PM   #11
Dave Van Skike
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Arien,

I'm not sure the safety of Oly lifts or "hating" is what the author is talking about.....

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However, how often are these lifts performed properly in a high school group setting or even a college one? Not very often. The risk of injury is high, and the amount of weight lifted is often a fraction of what the athlete could use in some of the traditional power movements
This comes close, but inherently unsafe isn't really the question. Lifting heavy things over your head is inheretly unsafe when compared to not lifitng them.... but that's not relevant.

Innefficiency seems to be the quesiton.....for football.... keep this in mind. We're talking about athletes, (not CF'ers) who need to economize their efforts towards a specific goal.

Maybe a more interesting question is, if you had limited time to get an athlete prepared for a strength endurance sport like a football (think linebacker, or blocking fullback) which woudl be better,

having that athlete devote 3-4 hours a week to doing the doing the power versions of the olympic lifts soemwhat poorly, wherein they are stuck at a 300 pound power clean


vs.

moving a variety of larger than body size objects explosively in a sort of full body anyhow, (which is what SM really devolves to once it's heavy) ?


I don't know the answer, I can certainly see where SM is easier to bring a ton of aggression and very little technique and still progress. It's easy to see an athlete go from say from moving a 500 pound tire and a 200 pound stone to moving a 1000 pound tire and a 300 pound stone over the course of a summer off season. Certainly with anything, you can get injured doing that.

On the other hand, maybe a summer of doing medium heavy power cleans and power snatches, progressing from an ugly 240 power clean to a nice looking 265 clean might be better? I kind of doubt it but I could see how that might work. That's still a lot of triple extension going on.

I'm sure there are good football coaches with experience trying both methods but I'm not sure the answer is intuitive. I think the best argument for the former is here...

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Triple extension of the hips, knees, and ankles trains a football player to put maximal force into the ground in a shorter period of time. Is the best way to train this triple extension with a barbell or variously shaped Strongman objects? Football opponents move and are all shaped differently, making Strongman training more relevant. If done in a team setting, Strongman training gives athletes a chance to compete and gives coaches a chance to coach as they would in a game without having to break down every small detail.

Technique is important and needs to be coached in Strongman training. However, it is much simpler than teaching proper Olympic lifting technique to an average athlete
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:41 PM   #12
Arien Malec
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I've got no issue with the notion that lifting odd implements explosively may be an effective way to train football players. I've got no issue arguing on the merits that SM is a better training modality (sorry) for football than oly lifting.

I've got an issue saying, for example:

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Olympic lifts can be tedious and take years to execute properly. Eastern block Olympic lifters, routinely the best in the sport, begin training as early as age five. With technique being a critical component, most high school kids learning to Olympic lift correctly must start off using just the bar or a broomstick. They never develop any strength or explosive power.
Which is absolute BS. Lifting odd objects well may be a much better approach than oly lifting with poor technique, but the reverse is true as well, and lifting either with crappy technique is a good ticket to injury.

I have no experience in training football players, so I have little to add to this discussion, except for calling BS on obviously stupid arguments.
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:56 PM   #13
Dave Van Skike
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His wording is a shade unfair but in terms of context what's the comparison? How much applicable strength is being developed by a 200 pound kid power cleaning 225 with shit form? There are pleny of people who are dedicated adherents to the olympic lifts who may never put more than 315 on the bar. I don't know the answer but it seems fair to question whether the time put into for the value returned is worth it. As a sideline, don't make huge assumptions about the amount of technique in involved in flipping tires and pushing a sled or liaoding a keg..it's fairly open as to what works but there is a very real chance of getting injured either way.

For me, I'm a self taught weight lifter, in the gym probably barely as strong as an low average college football linebacker (that's cheating, one of my current training partners is a D2 linebacker, so I have bit of sense of how strong he adn his teamates are) From that expierience of little or no coaching, I have a clear sense of the amount of effort and the amount of payback I got when I trained the Oly movements very steadily. Obviusly, technique was a huge giant limitation...and one that probably wouldn't go away without devoting near exclusive attention to those lifts. For those that compete in them, this is perfectly reasonble and probably very enjoyable, even cerebral. but for those without acess to good coaching, I'm not sure they're gettign much out of it...I' don't know, I certainly didn't.

Conversely, I've seen huge gains in overall strength using lower skill movements explosivley because I can actually train these movements heavy. So in my expirement of one, this economy argument has some merit.
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:26 PM   #14
Arien Malec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
As a sideline, don't make huge assumptions about the amount of technique in involved in flipping tires and pushing a sled or liaoding a keg..it's fairly open as to what works but there is a very real chance of getting injured either way.
I totally agree, and that's probably the biggest piece of BS I was calling: stating that oly lifting is inherently unsafe without buckets of technique training but that you can approach SM odd objects and lift the hell out of them with maximum aggressiveness and little training is just foolish.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:27 PM   #15
Dave Van Skike
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Originally Posted by Arien Malec View Post
I totally agree, and that's probably the biggest piece of BS I was calling: stating that oly lifting is inherently unsafe without buckets of technique training but that you can approach SM odd objects and lift the hell out of them with maximum aggressiveness and little training is just foolish.
well, don't get too sidetracked, I don't think it was anyone's intent to pick on Oly lifting as inherently dangerous. Honestly, I think I've hurt myself equally on both btu I try to do everything with maximum foolishness and no technical ability.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:57 AM   #16
Jamie Crichton
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You can still see improvements in physical ability with any lifts without needing to be at the limits of your strength. The intra- and intermuscular coordination that more complex lifts develop will benefit running, tackling and other movements without needing to be at some arbitrarily defined heavy weight. If you take that argument to it's logical conclusion you end up saying that the best thing for sports would be training on isolation machines, making the only limiting factor how much force one muscle can generate. It's not realistic. Just learning how to 'triple extend', even with not much weight, is going to be beneficial particularly to younger athletes who need to develop proprioception and coordination.

Also, the olympic lifts are not so much about getting strong as getting fast; developing force as quickly as possible. This does not need to make use of maximal weights; far from it. Look at Westside - 50-60% of raw max as fast as possible. You don't need to use 90+% of what your body is capable of to develop some athletic qualities.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:08 AM   #17
Dave Van Skike
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Some interesting points Jamie. A couple things I still don't get

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You can still see improvements in physical ability with any lifts without needing to be at the limits of your strength. The intra- and intermuscular coordination that more complex lifts develop will benefit running, tackling and other movements without needing to be at some arbitrarily defined heavy weight.
how? why is this intramuscular coordination of moving a barbell quickly better than moving a sandbag quickly? why would one and not the other teach me run faster? jump higher etc?


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If you take that argument to it's logical conclusion you end up saying that the best thing for sports would be training on isolation machines, making the only limiting factor how much force one muscle can generate. It's not realistic.

that's not a logical conclusion that flows from the idea that moving large and weighty objects, (barbells or kegs) is useful for football sport. taken in reverse, if the goal is to increase someone's ability to violently extend their body against a heavy load (another person) why would you ever want to make this drill more technical or specific to an implement?

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Also, the olympic lifts are not so much about getting strong as getting fast; developing force as quickly as possible. This does not need to make use of maximal weights; far from it. Look at Westside - 50-60% of raw max as fast as possible. You don't need to use 90+% of what your body is capable of to develop some athletic qualities.

certainly no one would disagree that you can't get strong using submax weights.
but a couple things here that don't click. Weightfiting is absolutley about getting stronger, more powerful and lifting increasingly heavy weights, while speed may be the key quality, it's not the whole picture.

my understanding about is that westside uses a "speed day" alongside a maximum effort day in a given week..A lot of people have argued and continue to argue whether the speed day is really just a "technique day" an active recovery day or, as with most people just becomes another type of ME day with accomodating resistance. there are also many good lifters at westside who don't use the DE or speed day at all. the idea is that DE is part of an overall approach that for a lot of lifters uses a huge amount and variety of assistence lifts. it's not the whole appraoch and on balance, it's not even 50% of the approach.

i guess the question here is why would a barbell be the right choice to teach triple extension, and more specifically, why wouldn't a less technical movement be even better given the time constraints?
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:41 AM   #18
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You guys are totally forgetting kettlebells... :-P
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:26 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
You guys are totally forgetting kettlebells... :-P
touche'
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:34 AM   #20
Jamie Crichton
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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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