Mr. Platehead


In some ways it would be so easy if it was just about teaching the Olympic lifts and centering training on those two lifts and derivative movements. So simple, yet oh so boring, but beyond boring it would be flat out wrong, it is a narrow perspective on training in general and strength training in particular. Olympic lifting movements are part of a bigger picture, but what we have going is a sheep walking phenomenon where this is preached as the “way’ by certifying organizations. I expected to be taught the Olympic lifts when I went through the USA Weightlifting Level One certification. I was there not to be a weight lifting coach but to learn any technical nuances and better progressions. I did it and we had to show a degree of proficiency in the lifts and progressions to be certified (I abhor that term, it always reminds of certifying beef). The USWF course proved useful, it helped me to do a better job of teaching pulling technique, although I must admit I have not taught pulling with a bar since the course. I include pulling and shrugging movements frequently through each microcycle in strength training, but with other modes aside from a bar. This reflects the sports and individuals I am working with, one size does not fit all.

Strength is not the only biomotor quality and there are many ways to develop strength and power. The key is to understand the spectrum demands of the sport, not just the strength demands, and then to chose appropriate training methods to address those demands. What is happening now is that we are certifying one trick ponies who fit one mode of training to every athlete they work with regardless of the applicability. They are so narrow in their perspective that they do not know what they don’t know. To get a feeling for that perspective try watching a game through the hole in an Olympic weight plate- it definitely narrows your perspective. That is what is happening.
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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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