Context – Context – Context


Robert Brown sent me the following email: “I do have a question regarding your thoughts on some on the Vertimax for training the female athletes ages 14 – 18 yrs old? Next, it appears most of your Olympic lifting is performed with dumbbells. Is there any particular reason for the method? Are you against Barbell exercises for those lifts?” I really try to stay away from evaluating products or equipment on the blog so I will keep my comments very general. The Vertimax is a good tool, but for the money, especially with that age of athlete there is so much more that needs to and must be done to improve jumping. In short look at the context of the people you are training, first teach them good jumping and landing mechanics. Then take them through a systematic plyometric progression when the emphasis is on quality and intensity, not volume. Then if you think you still need it then go to technology.

I am not against Olympic lifting with a bar, but my basic reason is quite simple in many situations I work there is not enough time to spend four to six weeks teaching technique with the bar. I must get them training. The dumbbell will accommodate to the person, the bar will not. I can achieve real good pulling technique within one or two sessions and then be on my way training and producing results. Once again context – if I were working with heavy throwers or American Football then in order to achieve sufficient overload relative to their mass I would use a bar. In other sports, especially sports like basketball where body proportions mitigate against using a bar I can achieve the desired results with dumbbells. You can go heavy with dumbbells! Also remember the purpose you are using Olympic Lifts is to develop explosive power. Olympic lifts with dumbbells, kettlebells and sandbags allow me to achieve maximum power production by releasing the implement.
Discuss entry

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


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
RT @GreatestQuotes: Your aspirations are your possibilities. - Samuel Johnson - 4 years ago
Vern Gambetta

Latest posts by Vern Gambetta (see all)