Strength and Conditioning Takeaways for This Week: 17-23 September 2017

Blogging has taken a back seat for me this week unfortunately due to other work commitments, but that hasn’t stopped me going through some interesting podcasts on the road and reading some articles during some downtime. Here’s to what I’ve learned this week!

1. Single-Leg Training Does NOT Replace the Big Compound, Bilateral Lifts.
I was recently reading an argument about whether single-leg training can just be performed without having to worry about doing bilateral work. The truth is, the forces achieved by doing bilateral training are much closer to that seen in the competitive environment than the forces produced with single leg training, even though most sports are played on the single-leg. Single-leg training is great as an accessory exercise to bring up weak points athletes may face, as well as improve motor learning and neuromuscular control, but loading up a single leg will never replicate the weight that can be used on two legs.
Cutting back on heavy bilateral loading may be important during the in-season phase, because squatting 180-220kg whilst in season is quite taxing on the neuromuscular system. Therefore, loading up heavy on the unilateral exercises may reduce the spinal loading and fatigue outcomes, but it is still important to keep the bilateral exercise around and not completely cut it.
Remember – If you’re losing strength, you’re losing speed, power, and the ability to resist injury.

READ: Incorporate Single-Leg Training for Maximum Performance

2. Weak Athletes Can Still be Fast!
Not long ago I was having a conversation with an athlete who asked me why some athletes are super weak, but also very fast.
Being strong does help but it is not the be all and end all to speed, super skinny athletes tend to have some decent speed about them because:

– The ability to move quickly is about overcoming your own bodyweight, couple that with a good fast-twitch fibre makeup and low bodyfat percentage and you’ll probably be pretty fast.
– A tonne of these ‘quick’ athletes have done some track work when they were younger, so they have got some decent sprinting mechanics. The ability to move from point a to point b as fast as possible is about being efficient, if athlete A moves with more efficiency than athlete B, they will probably get to the end quicker.

However just because those athletes are fast, doesn’t mean they can’t get faster! If we look at the force-velocity curve, being able to shift the strength, power, and speed portions of the curve to the right will elicit greater gains in speed, and overall physical performance. So don’t just be satisfied with what you’ve got, you can always get faster, and in sports, SPEED KILLS.

Notable Resources for the Week

The CVASP Podcast: Cory Schlesinger
Cory talks about how he implements small, yet frequent, training dosages to his basketball players, and talks about the importance of how that frequent stimulus keeps his guys on the court and firing! This was a great and informative listen with some very different ideas.

Pacey Performance Podcast: Eric Cressey
As most weeks, I’ve got another Eric Cressey reference in here. This podcast was jam packed with some great nuggets where Eric talked about assessing, and dealing with the shoulder. I’m sure you’ll take something out of this one!

Using Olympic Style Weightlifting – A Perspective
This is a great read from Vern Gambetta who is one of the best minds in the industry. Vern talks about his view on how weightlifting and their derivatives are best implemented in to a strength and conditioning program for athletes.

Repeated-Sprint Athletes: Energy Systems & Training
If you deal with athletes who participate in a repeated-sprint sport, which is probably most of us, this is the article for you. Eric Oetter goes in to detail about how the energy systems interact, and provides some applied examples of how to implement the theory.


Let me know what you thought of this article, share it with friends and comment below.

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