Natural Strength

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In yesterday Sarasota paper there was a very interesting article about a 71 deputy sheriff who can bench press 410 pounds. That is really amazing. It is even more amazing to see the guy’s picture; he looks like he is about fifty. He works out two or three times a week, but said that most of his strength was “natural.” In the next sentence he tells about starting in a circus balancing act when he was five years old with his brother. They continued the act until he was fifty. The act consisted of balancing his weight and his brother while standing on his head! (Sarasota was the home of many circus performers when Ringling Brothers was headquartered here) Immediately I thought of what a great foundation in structural and supporting strength this gave him. He is right, his strength was natural, and it was developed by strengthening ligaments, tendons and synergistic muscles that now enable him to bench press 410 pounds. This just served to reinforce a lesson that I learned the hard way. To lift heavy, you must prepare to lift heavy. That preparation is a logical progression from body weight gravitational loading to allow the body to adapt over time. Those of you that work with middle school and high school athletes should heed this lesson. Spend two years getting them ready to lift heavy and they will lift real heavy! If you start lifting heavy right away (young athletes can do it) you will pay the price later. The price will be injuries and a plateau in gains.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta

@coachgambetta

Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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