From Russia With Love


For those joining us late in this discussion in regards to the use of the olympic lifts, The Thinker, has shared facts and opinions regarding the olympic lifts. What I liked about The Thinker is that he joined us and was polite on the discussion board and addressed all that he could in his spare time. The Thinker is a great addition to our forums as he places a lot of effort into sharing his opinion on training and he posts reflect this. I have a lot of similar beliefs but the differences are important enough to share with the readers. Again thank you James for joining us.

We did loose some focus as the thread got longer and it was clear that another series of blog posts could address things in regards to sports performance and lifting options. The Thinker addressed how there examples of athletes that have done very well without lifts at all, making arguments of specific use moot since nearly everything works. Unfortunately he did not address the facts that the top .01 percent of elite athletes don’t share the same rules to the majority of athletes, as often drugs are involved while also using the best genetics in the history of mankind to be models of what should work for less talented. So sharing the fact that Carl Lewis was world class in the 100m dash does show that the use of sprints and plyos are great options for Carl and Tom Tellez but that is not useful for those that don’t run 11+ meters per second, have no need for increased body mass such as football (intensive tempo isn’t going to help lineman much), don’t have 80m tracks, and have athletes above 200lbs that might not have the jumping skill set and abilities to look like Werner Gunthor. Then when I hear:

Throwers do not have to perform the weightlifts and Throwers do not have to perform the powerlifts

I then demand examples of the past of this working with specific world class shot-putters. This statement may be possible but not likely as I know the programs of the top ten in the world of all time and every world class medalist from 1983.

In summary The Thinker believes that olympic lifting is not necessary for world class performance in absolute events like those in Track and Field or even combine like tests. Speaking of combine and pro day results, perhaps the Thinker could share his results for us to see the effects of American football with athletes that he worked on this board for us to observe 4.3s n the 40, 38 inch verticals from his methods. Since everything is general I am sure we will see superior russian influenced results. I need evidence. Some other points I don’t agree with:

The Thinker shares about the amount of motor unit involvement med ball throws has but he never shares how it’s done in the weight room. Also what type of power development are we getting when he is the first to state the need for load when he talks about the olympic lifts? So when one is learning to use the olympic lifts at perhaps 60 kilos that is not transferring much because it’s too light he finds it ok to throw 6 kilo balls because it’s faster? I use medicine ball throws as a way to help with the entire demands of contractile power (not just the force velocity curve) but heavy olympic lifts will trump that mechanism and medicine balls can be done with those that are using the weightlifts.

Speed work transfers but how many non sprinters should use flying 30m runs to develop power? Obviously we are not going to see the entire pitching staff do flying 10s but doing acceleration work will not help max power. Jump squats are of use but the data shows that the jump is quad dominant and those that jump such as basketball may find it to be contra-indicative. We must remember our programs may be great but the sport coach may have a different agenda such as extra conditioning for toughness. Heavier or out of shape athletes will find speed work more risky.

More plyos is great on paper but like speed work they come with a price. Anyone in track and field that works with a triple jumper knows that it’s not easy to keep the people healthy when they do an event that most athletes will get injured doing 6 times in one meet. Medball throws, jump squats, and back squats, and more speed work isn’t going to cut it.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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