Strength, Speed and Athletic Wisdom

June 28, 2011

In this video you'll see a trainer coaching a young man in an exercise that, given the way the kid is doing it, potentially presents very high forces to his joints and other structures and provides next to no meaningful load to his muscles. The weight the boy is using is somewhat light for demo purposes but even still, it's not very safe.

I especially like at 1:38 into the video where the coach says "You gotta watch the lower back on the release." What the H-E-double toothpicks does that mean? How is this kid supposed to watch his lower back?

Most of what this coach is saying is just meaningless mumbo-jumbo and vagueness. When I see training like this it makes my skin crawl.

The idea behind this type of lifting is that in order to be fast on the playing field, we need to lift weights fast to build fast muscles. I've blogged on this issue many times before like this one. The idea is entirely false.

This is the kind of training that one could say is under good control with good form:

Slow controlled high intensity effort by a youngun.'

A Face Book friend presented this article on strength training and athleticism and I thought I'd share it. For those of you who think that athletes, young or old, require explosive movements, put your thinking cap on and read slowly.

The article does a good job of dispelling a lot of the myths that surround the "train fast to be fast" idea. You have no idea how many emails and messages I get from Cross Fit folks and others who proclaim that you need to move rapidly or explosively as you would in real life running away from a hungry tiger or dashing towards a bunny for a late night snack. The one that kills me the most is that training with weights slowly will make you slow. Oy vey.

Yes, it took me 2.6 hours to type that last sentence. The slow rep grip and finger/forearm training I do is really putting a cramp in my blogging skills.

And let us not forget these old adages:

"Slow and steady wins the race."

"Speed kills."