More Heresy


The original post was not or is not intended as a diatribe against Olympic lifting, rather it is a plea for sanity and common sense in exercise selection and application. Dan posted this comment that I think requires further comment: “Though, the catch is valuable as it trains deceleration and control of bodyweight + bar.” This is another example of drinking the Kool-Aid that is the party line that no one seems to be willing to question. THINK! There are so many safer ways to train deceleration. It also begs the obvious question – Deceleration of what? The bar – great I need to decelerate the bar if I am a weight lifter other wise where do I decelerate in that pattern of movement. I always think in terms of risk and return. That is too high a risk move, especially when fatigued for the commensurate return. Also forearm length and overall arm length dictate some of the ability to properly catch and rack the weight. Where is this taken into consideration in most programs? If you want to work on eccentric loading (deceleration) in a similar pattern it is safer to do a medicine ball throw up against a wall. Believe me on the subsequent catch you will get good high eccentric loads. I use this in season with volleyball quite often, it is much easier to teach and safer. In summary I want to restate my general philosophy in regard to strength training – A sound strength training program must include pulling , pushing, squatting and rotational and derivatives of those movements in a all planes of motion with a variety of resistance modes.

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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.
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Vern Gambetta

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