Okay, I know that I mentioned in an earlier blog post that there is some pretty questionable stuff going on in conditioning programs across the U.S. I just had to post a few of the things that I had heard about in the past few days. Let's just call these "Things that made me go HUH?!"
- High Rep Olympic lifting - This came from a friend of mine who is an asst. at a high profile college program (no, I'm not going to say where...). The new head strength coach over there has the athletes doing "Hypertrophy sets" of Olympic lifts like cleans and snatches. First off, the purpose of the Olympic lifts IS NOT hypertrophy! Sure, you can get hypertrophy in certain bodyparts from training with them but, in general, the primary purpose is the development of explosive power . Doing 3 sets of 10-12 reps on power cleans are not only counter-productive to your power development, it is flat-out dangerous simply due to the fact that these are technical lifts.
- Telling your softball athletes to go run 3.5 miles - I saw this in the programming of a big-time school on the east coast. 2, 3, and 3.5 mile runs interspersed with 45 min. steady state jogs as part of their 'conditioning'. First off, softball is an explosive sport thus making its athletes EXPLOSIVE in nature. What do you get when you tell an explosive, short burst athlete to run 3.5 miles? Well, I like to call it 'the survival shuffle'....we've all seen it, the painful, nearly walking pace, survival inspired thing these athletes call 'jogging'. On top of this, it does nothing for their performance and/or their conditioning for the sport's demands. The first thing that came to mind when I imagined MY softball athletes 'running' 3.5 miles? GOOD ONE!
- Spending 2 hours in the weightroom - Saw this one at another pretty darn big and SUCCESSFUL volleyball program in the midwest. I have to say it again, if you are spending 2 hours in a weightroom one of the following things is happening: a) you are performing a ton of sets of useless, single-joint exercises or b) You are training only the essential 'important' lifts but are taking naps between your sets/exercises. This particular program I read fell into 'a'.....tons of sets of just about every single exercise you could think of (including two types of calf raises, ugh.). Get in and out of the weightroom folks... Quality-Quality-Quality!
- Training primarily linear speed with football players with little to no change of direction - Okay, this is the same program that I talk about in #1. It baffles me that a sport that is about 2% linear and 98% chaotic in nature gives so much attention to teaching and improving how these athletes run STRAIGHT. I will admit that I train linear speed more than 2% of the time with my kids....I would say it's closer to 5-10%. I estimate that we will go out and train linear speed once every 10-20 speed sessions. The next time I hear another football coach say "I'm gonna send Jimmy to the track coach so that he gets faster for next season" I may go postal.
Alright, I guess this was more of a rant than a blog...hmmm, I guess that's what blogs are for though right?!