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S&C UnderGround >> Transfer


1/9/03 1:36 PM
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gurnet
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Edited: 09-Jan-03
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vermonter, Would you post the workout one you finish designing it? I would like to see what you developed. Thanks
1/9/03 7:10 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 09-Jan-03
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I'm thinking that i'll do some individual testing to see what each person needs to work on. Some people will already be powerful and need more endurance, or the other way around. If most everyone on here takes the info given and concludes that strength and endurance to a point should be worked on in the gym (maybe even 50/50 skill vs conditioning). Once that point is achieved, one would maintain and work almost entirely on skill. For example, lets say we determine that a max bench (or close grip in my case) of 150% of one's body weight is ideal in the sense of pressing power. We decide that greater then 150% on that particular movement would be time wasted for the purposes of increased general athleticism and improvement of one's chances winning a grappling match/mma event (given that one's opponent may only be able to manage a pressing force of 100% or less). Now, once the athlete reaches this level further max power training and a greater 1RM in this motion would be time and energy better spent elswhere. However, muscular endurance is an important trait in grappling as well. The athlete could then maintain the 1RM and work on endurance, say, with pushups. The athlete would work up to a certain number of pushups in a certain amount of time (again as decided by us as a group, unless a better example is available). At this point the agreed upon amount of both power and endurance for the mma athlete would be achieved and maintained and much more effort could be put into skill training itself. This seems to me to be a very reasonable, and possibly effective, way to train for mma. However, i think the lines of communication should still be open. Perhaps geoff, peter, and others feel that the bench press/pushups has NO carry over at all and would be a complete waste of time. If this is so, then i would like to know, but if we are in general agreement that a certain level of power/endurance could have beneficial results when worked on in the gym, then i think developing a rough guidline would be useful. Maybe 1.5XBW on bench, rows, pullups, dips. 1XBW on OH press, armpit raises (a personal fav) 2XBW on deads and squats. These are just examples. Also, is there an ideal way for people who train in the gym for those who arent training at the moment? I feel that there are quite a few of those people here, and this information may benefit them as well. Gurnet: You got it man. -doug-
1/9/03 7:31 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 09-Jan-03 07:55 PM
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I just read the intro in one of the pages of Geoff's link. It would seem in general agreement with what i've posted above, stating that with elite and mature athletes any type of cross training has no measurable benefit. However, in young athletes, or beginning athletes, the opposite is true, and that general level should be achieved to ensure peak athleticism. This means to me that if we decide some general levels of power and endurance to take one to the top of what one needs as benefitial for one's sport, and then maintaining that level, we can really generate some tests for all athletes in the sport to help put them at their peaks as athletes. I think this should include power, muscular endurance, anarobic endurance, flexibility, etc. and with some easy tests that the good folks who frequent this page, as well as the athletes i (and others) train could do to determine possible weaknesses in their general fitness. I can EASILY see those with great amounts of power lacking in the endurance department, and those with great endurance lacking in the strength department. Let's shine a spotlight on these holes. We must take care to be moderate in our approach, however. Having a deadlift of 350% of one's bodyweight probably has little advantage over 200% of one's bodyweight (if any for the intermediate level athlete even). I know there are some boys on here that can move some serious weight, but we have to be realistic in our approach, using what we know about the sport combined with what we know about the science of training to come up with some accurate numbers. I want to thank everyone again for contributing their time and interest into this thread. -doug-
1/10/03 4:34 AM
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peterfield
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Edited: 10-Jan-03
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Doug-I think that most of the studies argue pretty much against the notion of transfer of strength but obviously you may take issue with the design methodology of the studies so that it may not be possible to establish a definitive view. While I cannot avoid anecdote I will offer anecdote based on my observation of grappling and strength training all of which you have no doubt previously read. However long term observation of others on the mat may offer a bit more than simply recounting some intensely personal experience. 1.In roughly equal sized and skilled individuals there is no significant strength difference on the mat between those who weight train and those who do not. 2. There is a significant difference in strength based on size. This does of course hold true for all sports which require strength from olympic lifting to boxing. 3. Those who olympic lift appear to be no more explosive on the mat than those who do not. 4. It is fanciful to think that any strength or conditioning regime will result in physical superiority over the opposition when engaging in decent level competition. A few more anecdotes-not based on personal observation-that you will have to take into consideration in framing your workouts: 1. Grip specialists say that not only is there no carry over between the different types of grip strength but that the precise motion required by the CoC gripper can only be trained on that device or a device that exactly simulates it 2. John Brzenk the arm wrestling champion is adamant that the specific strength required to apply force across the table can only be acquired by specific training in arm wrestling. 3. No amount of general strength training will enable you to achieve the strength positions of Olympic gymnasts. You already know my unifying theory in respect of the above: If you are already practised in applying force in movements on the mat via your existing muscle mass the ability to lift more weight without the addition of more mass will add little more to your on the mat strength. As always feel free to disagree!Observations please rather than personal anecdote.
1/10/03 9:58 AM
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vermonter
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Edited: 10-Jan-03
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Peter, I dont disagree at all with the studies that i've seen thus far. The ones i posted were mostle about fine motor skills, and they were skills that the people didn't practice much (at least as far as i could tell), and the transfer results were almost entirely positive. The young lady i spoke to yesterday made the point that the transfer would likely only be benefitial to a point of skill. Beyond that, time is wasted. What little i've had time to read of Geoff's posted studies, it seems that they show that in novice or young athletes, transfer is positive. In mature and elite athletes, transfer is either nutral or negative. If transfer of gym skill to mat skill is nutral, in my mind that is the same as negative considering that energy could have been used improving skill. This would indicate to me that at some point during one's athleticism it is wise to reduce all gym time to merely maintenance. I don't think any of us here are elite grapplers, but semantics being what they are, some may argue that. Given that, we all may need to improve. The big question is: HOW? Does gym time do it, or ill only mat time make you better? The studies seem to indicate positively in favor of BOTH to become elite. Once elite, the studies HEAVILY favor pure skill work and "sport specific" movements. Now point by point response: 1. I agree with this point for the most part. Again though, it is VERY difficult to say, and i've faced and seen plenty of same sized individuals who seem to have either an endurance or power edge, but Where this comes from could be anyone's guess. The studies seem to be inclined that, at lower levels of skill, those advantages come from time spent in the gym. But, in general i do agree that within a given weight class, strength advantage doesnt vary a great deal regardless of time spent in the gym. It may be significant enough at lower levels of skill to mean victory however. 2. I agree with this, again, in general. Most heavy grapplers who dont train in the gym, even those whos weight seems to only be extra body fat, still seem to have greater strength on the mat then their lighter, gym trained counterparts. 3. I have two highly experienced coaches (who are also accomplished wrestlers) who would disagree. I, however, am inclined to agree, and i don't do much in terms of oly lifts myself because i feel that any potential benefit doesnt outway the potential harm i may do to myself (as i am highly experienced in those lifts), or my students. 4. Again, "decent level" i take to mean as one gets to highly skilled levels. The studies certainly support your point here. The idea i have here, however, is that the gym time spent when NOT yet at those skill levels may help GET you there faster, and may allow you to dominate your opposition. The studies seem to support that point as well. My biggest question here, is "where is the cut-off point?" At what point are you conditioned enough in general that you merely have to maintain, and your grappling would be enough. A good answer to this question would be to test elite grapplers who dont train in the gym on their max lifts and their max pushup numbers, etc. Of course provided that they dont do any of the excersises you test them on. If you get a general feel for where they are at in terms of power, endurance, and explosiveness, then you can train younger, less elite athletes to those levels as well. If we can agree on this, then i propose that we DEVELOP these guidlines for all grappling/mma athletes, and then test ourselves to see where we are. Keep in mind that i have a host of college aged athletes of varying skill levels to test these ideas on, and soon i'll have a group of high school aged athletes as well. From first timers, to champions. So lets keep these great ideas flowing! -doug-
1/10/03 12:08 PM
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Geoff Langdale
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Edited: 10-Jan-03
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Doug, great posts. Definitely helping to get this thread back towards practical issues. I have never stated that these lifts have no carry over. I merely believe that, beyond a certain point, neural improvements dominate and that these neural improvements seem to have very limited transfer. Approaches like Westside's conjugate periodization may surmount this effect, incidentally (they certainly seem to work pretty well for PL but I don't know enough about them to know how they work for more varied sports). However, for the moment, it seems to me that the improvements from strength training that are structural (hypertrophy, body composition and so on) are far more important to athletic performance than neural improvements. I really have no idea about whether there might be transfer of local muscular endurance to grappling tasks. This might in fact be more promising than trying to turn the quest for maximal grappling explosiveness into the quest for a 700 squat. I really don't know. I, too have had thoughts very much along these lines (trying to work out the "point of diminishing returns"). It may be too difficult, however, to set strength standards of the sort that you mention. Strength standards have a tendency to penalize or reward certain configurations of limb length. If I participated in an exercise program with fixed strength standards, I would become an overworked bencher and a lazy-as-hell deadlifter (which is not to say my deadlift is stellar right now, but it's certainly a lift that I've had no problems developing as compared to squat/bench). Simple bodyweight distribution also massively influences some standards - e.g. dips and chins. However, I think the basic idea is sound. I would be more inclined to set strength standards based on what each athlete is capable of. I know that sounds like real "Care Bears, let's run in ability groups now, love-and-peace" crap, but I think tracking someone's performance over several well-defined workout phases will tell you far more about what they're capable of than multiplying their BW or LBW by some numbers. That is, perhaps everyone should concentrate on hypertrophy and maximal strength for a year (or 2, or 3), then maintain it 6 months or 3 months or whatever out of a year (not necessarily all at once), and whereever that lands them, is going to be a far more appropriate level than some arbitary strength standard. I don't think testing elite athletes who don't train lifts on those lifts will get you very accurate results at all. If it were possible to calculate my "bench press without neural 'learning' involved" (!), then by all means I could do a comparison with Royce Gracie (does he still not weight train?) or some other well-advertised non-weight trainer. But the fact is, any normal person who bench presses for 6 months is going to have a huge neural advantage (specific to benching) over an elite athlete who doesn't bench. Any such standards would, in my opinion, be far too soft.
1/10/03 2:14 PM
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peterfield
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Edited: 10-Jan-03
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Doug-I am a little disappointed that so few seem to think that this discussion is important or that they have have anything to contribute. Be that as it may, let me come back to you on your points. 1. Yes, I'll go along with your refinement of my point. In inexperienced individuals off the mat training will be more significant. 2. We agree. 3. I do not come from anti Olympic lifting perspective. I spent a year out of grappling, training seriously in olympic lifting and it is a very enjoyable activity. However, I do not think that the lifters as a group had a general explosive capacity or that the grapplers who do use the olympic lifts are any more explosive as a group than those who perform bicep curls and tricep extensions. I know what your wrestling coaches feel but looking across the board from club to world championship level performers I have not seen the alleged benefit.I wish it were otherwise. None of this means that the lifts should not be used for other purposes- I merely make an observation about "exposiveness". 4. Again I'll accept your refinement of my point. As to when enough is enough, the answer is when strength and conditioning no longer become an issue on the mat. Unfortunately, due to inherent differences in physical capacity this for some may be never. Life is unfair and strength and conditioning will not conjure up a magical transformational as much as we might hope otherwise.
1/10/03 3:42 PM
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vermonter
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Peter, I most certainly agree that i wish more would contribute, especially ali, JR, Jon, Lee, Paladin, Fish, buddhadev, and the list goes on. There are so many great recources on this site, which is part of what makes it so great. I understand that time is an issue for people so i hope they are at least reading it! Geoff, As far as the strength standards go, i was looking at it from the opposite side you are. For some reason my upper body pulling motions are far stronger and easier to develop then my upper body pressing motions, much the same as your deadlift vs. your bench. My point here is, regardless of any advantage you have in the deadlift category, your bench may need to be improved to meet a strength standard. Let's say you DL twice your bodyweight but can only bench 120% of your bodyweight. If we have set standards, here using the hypothetical ones from above, you've already achieved the DL goal and need to improve on your bench. Now, regardless of why you are better at dl then bench (long arms compared to leg length as i recall) your dl is at the standard, and merely needs to be maintained. This allows for more time, energy, and probably most importantly RECOVERY for improving on your bench press which sub-standard, again regardless of reason. The limb length disadvantage in your arms for upper body pressing may now be effectively brought to a stalemate against someone with shorter arms, who previously had an advantage to you, in general terms. He probably now has a preexisting disadvantage to you in total body pulling (DL), and any deficiencies due to body proportions will have been reduced. From my point of view, possible standards may point out and eliminate weakness, not necessarily simply reward certain bodytypes. I expect the standards would be reasonably reachable by most. I certainly am not at most of the standards i set above, but then again that goes to show my glaring power weakness and my overemphasis on endurance. I know the testing of elite non-lifting athletes was a bit silly. I never considered that it would actually occur or truelly tell us anything significant. Just thought id throw it out there ;) -doug-
1/10/03 6:15 PM
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Geoff Langdale
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Edited: 10-Jan-03
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Doug: Actually, you failed to read my mind and intuit what I really meant, rather than what I wrote. Shame on you! What I _should_ have written, to go with my critique of fixed poundage standards for lifting, would have run something like: I have a stronger deadlift (relatively speaking, at least) because my arms are quite long (I think they're long relative to my torso). I have a weaker bench (again for limb length reasons). However, these are not necessarily indicative of the athletic situations where I might want to use either a total-body pull (say, loosely, an arm-bar on huge-bicepped monster) or upper-body push (pushing someone off me). In these cases my deadlift will "overstate" my strength (because having long limbs might not really give me a leverage advantage - it's not like I have to pull the monster-guys arm a certain distance off the floor) and the bench will "understate" my strength (because all I need to do is clear enough inches to work an escape - not push the guy on top of me to my comparatively long lockout). My body type advantages and disadvantages on lifts will not map 1:1 onto athletic movements. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. More briefly: having long arms doesn't make me better at all "total-body pull" movements, it makes me better at deadlifts. Similarly, it doesn't make me worse at all "upper-body push" movements, it makes me worse at benching. Strength standards will capture the latter half of each equation. As for your alleged over-emphasis on endurance, I suspect that in reality most people have an over-emphasis on 1RM strength and power. I wouldn't worry much.
1/16/03 12:11 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 16-Jan-03
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Sorry again for the lateness of my reply. Work is busy when the students arrive back from vacation. Point taken Geoff. As far as setting standards goes, i think a method should be determined while we have some momentum on this thread. I know that many people emphasize 1RM and many people also emphasize endurance (think of all the scrapper fans). What i would like to do is set a standard for both to work toward and then maintain to ensure the highest athletic potential. We could use the T-score method, which many university football teams utilize, but again that would have the same problem as any standard setting. I don't think someone should get a low power score due to a certain unavoidable disadvantage in a certain lift or two. How about this then: We determine an average range of limb length vs. hieght. Now, if one falls within this range his deadlift 1RM should (using the hypothetical scores above) be at about 200%BW. Now, if his arm length is longer then he should add 25% to that total (in addition to subtracting 25% from max bench, and possibly dips and OH press). If his leg length is shorter he should also add another 25% to the score (in addition to adding 25% to the sqaut?). His adjusted scores, for this individual would be a DL of 250%BW, and a bench of 125%BW. Would not this system adjust for the variables? A good test for the bench vs. chest girth would be to lower an empty bar to your chest with about a shoulder width grip. If your elbows are at 90 degrees then you have an advantage. If your elbows are at less of a degree and well below your chest level then you are at a disadvantage. I havent the foggiest as to what would be acceptable endurance scores. -doug-
8/20/04 12:31 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 20-Aug-04
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ttt
8/20/04 12:57 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 20-Aug-04
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Hmmm.... i really DIDNT understand what geoff was talking about at the time. ;) -doug-
8/20/04 6:28 PM
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Gary238
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Edited: 20-Aug-04
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Good thread. I definitely believe that there's a point of diminishing returns for limit strength contributing to fighting effectiveness. That is, a 600lb raw bench isn't much better than a 400lb raw bench in a fight, but it sure does take a lot more training time to achieve. A fighter really needs good strength along many dimensions. You need limit strength, explosive power, and local muscular endurance. That doesn't even touch cardio or skill work. Given that, I think that it's clearly counter-productive for a fighter to devote the training time required to be really world class along any single dimension. The time you spent moving your raw bench from 400 to 600 could certainly have been spent in other ways that would allow you to kick more ass. The same would be true of moving from 150 to 300 pushups in a single set. I like Doug's idea of setting some benchmarks for "good enough" strength for fighters. I think that the numbers will depend on the timeline, though, and also vary by individual. This thread actually helped me quite a bit in setting my own priorities in training. I don't do any skill work right now, because I really can't take the time away from home / work. I decided that it made most sense to get big, then strong at that size, and then powerful at that limit strength. I work endurance alongside those goals. I don't have any evidence, even anecdotal, that this is the right aproach, so take that with a big grain of salt. Seems to me that this will get me the most ass-kicking ability for my training time, though. I get bigger until my gains start to drop off (80-20 rule), then I work on getting stronger until my gains start to drop off (80-20 again), and then I work on being explosive. I'm not following a bodybuilding program for size, by any stretch, but my main goal is hypertrophy. I think that (size -- ass kicking) transfer is stronger than (limit strenght at the same size -- ass kicking) transfer. I dunno. It's all pretty complicated, and hard evidence is hard to come by. It's important to convince yourself that you have a good plan, though, so that you don't lose motivation and stop doing anything. I'd be interested to hear what the newer members think about the transfer of the various sorts of gym performance to mat/cage/street performance.
8/20/04 10:09 PM
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snigglefish
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Edited: 20-Aug-04
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This is a pretty profound thread. For many who read this forum these answers determine whether 95% of whats posted on the S&C forum are even worth reading...i.e. "are low reps better than mid reps for grappling".... Challenges a lot of assumptions....and puts into question the wisdom of lifting weights at all given you are taking training and recovery time you could be spending training in ones sport. Keep posting big brains of the S&C!
8/21/04 6:05 PM
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Gary238
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Edited: 21-Aug-04
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I guess everyone agrees with my big, rambling post, or they'd be here telling me wny I'm wrong. That's nice :) It really is a pretty fundamental question... I'd love to hear some more thoughts. I guess while I'm here I'll throw out my opinion that combat athletes should be doing lots of hard work for neck, grip, and abs. They're smaller muscle groups that recover quickly, so working them doesn't interfere with skill work much. They're also really important in a fight.
8/21/04 8:05 PM
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VBrown
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Edited: 21-Aug-04
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Unfortunaly I loaned out my "Supertraining" book, but the basic gist that I got from one chapter was that the novice and intermediate player of whatever sport gains great value from complex training to expose their nervous system to a wide array of possiblilites and modes of usage. But as the athlete becomes more advanced, it becomes more and more useful to do more specific training to the task at hand. ie. 1) build muscle, and soft tissue strength 2) expose the nervous system to all forms of power/endurance development 3) then refine the specifics skills for the task at hand and pare away the less useful tasks. Thus the whole "periodization" thing. There becomes a certain point where there is enough tissue/muscle there to do the task at the right speed and any more becomes a hinderance. I must stop loaning out my good books. dammit. Vince
8/24/04 10:52 AM
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Taku
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I think two differnt things are happening here. There is obviously a skill component to a wrestling shoot and working to improve that skill directly should help improve its execution. There is also a strength component to almost any athletic endevour. Increasing strength in general can have a carry over to the skills on a broad based level. More horsepower = faster, more explosive shot etc. I have seen this with my own athletes on many occasions. I have for instance trained college soccer players and noted increased sprinting speeds after increasing strength while doing no specific sprint skill work. In other words I added muscle to the athletes but they did no specific sprint drills, stride length, stride frequency, arm drive, S.A.Q. etc. They got stronger, they got faster, it was that easy. TAKU.
8/24/04 12:47 PM
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Gary238
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Edited: 24-Aug-04
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I agree, certainly, that both skill and strength are prerequisites to most athletic endeavor. The interesting question, in my eyes anyway, is when it becomes more productive to replace strength work with skill work. The original debate on the thread centered primarily around neural gains in the gym, where an athlete (who is already fairly strong) has increased his limit strength without hypertrophy. The (thin) evidence seems to suggest that it won't help your soccer players apreciably to move their squat from 400 to 500 lbs, so they'd be better off doing skill work and just maintaining the 400. I don't think anyone here is arguing that the same is true of moving their max squat from 100 to 300 lbs. So the question is how we find the sweet spot to get maximum results from the training time available. It'd be interesting to hear from coach Hale, who's done a lot of thinking about how to construct the best strenght/agility program for football players.
3/21/06 2:07 AM
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Stephan Kesting
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Grapplearts Grappling
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3/21/06 2:41 AM
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salyer36
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Edited: 21-Mar-06
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very interesting thread. Vermoneter i have a couple of questions. so basically you would have some one simply work on limit strength to reach the numbers you suggested (such as 1 rep max in bench press 1.5 times bw) before they did any other lifting to supplement skill training? I remeber you saying you trained kenny florian. did you apply any of these ideas to his training? how does he train? sorry if if you have already answered these ?'s. again, very interesting thread.
3/21/06 5:29 AM
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androushka
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For My threads.
3/21/06 8:52 PM
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Adam Singer
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Edited: 21-Mar-06
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for mythreads as well
3/21/06 9:38 PM
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vermonter
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Salyer, Its hard to say. For an athlete now i would get a feel for their strengths and weaknesses, and then hammer out what needs help with. I think more often the need is with endurance, which i didn't have much of an understanding of back then. As far as Kenny goes, i train him with many of the basic principles of the ideas that were laid out in this thread, yes. -doug-
3/22/06 12:43 PM
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sprhodes
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Edited: 22-Mar-06 12:48 PM
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There is a really interesting book that I started reading a while back that, IIRC, cites some studies vis-a-vis transfer. When I get home from work I'll dig it out and see if there is anything interesting there to contribute to this thread.
3/29/06 1:17 PM
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Buddhadev
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Edited: 29-Mar-06 01:19 PM
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I wish we still also had the original thread on this topic where peterfield and I had that great discussion. But this thread here has resolved most of the main points anyway. There was a period of a like a year where this would come up every couple weeks...lol

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