Pick Your Poison

TAGS: muscle, football, Sports Training, sports, speed, conditioning, athlete, Ability, sports injuries, injury prevention, Elitefts Info Pages, training

Key-Points to Look For:

1. Superior Alternatives to Olympic Lifts for Athletes
2. Training Effects and Correspondence Determination
3. Neuro-Dynamic Functional Efficiency
4. Deficiency Determination Guidelines
5. Rapidity of Result Possibility
6. Balancing of System Programming
7. Lower Body Power Development
8. Auxometronics Solution (AMT)
9. The Five Minute Vertical Jump Cure
10. Reactive Jump Analysis, Various Methods
11. Staying on Course to Performance Achievement
12. Weighing Frictional versus Elastic Control

This article is all about you, as a unique individual, training for your goals and based on your needs. Far too many infect their careers with poisonous programming; whereas, others choose to concentrate on techniques that give them the edge in the long run, in effect, communicating a cancerous-curse over those who fail to keep up.

Some careers are ended in the same way that a lot of training goals are left at a stand still- buying into the hype that is void a respectable return. Some make these blunders willingly (ignorance, stubbornness); but for most, the poison that kills performance is found in what is said to be all the right places. Just look at television, they make a killing by herding in flocks of people by the millions and then pawning them a big, saucy chunk of sugar-n-sparkle covered horseshit. Now, even though we can’t dictate exactly what information is taken in by the inquiring minds of these industrious athletes, we can help them make better decisions regarding money expenditure on what is supposedly the next best thing. Hell, we can even do better than that! We can donate our proportionate share to global-humanity by helping these fools wise-up. Essentially, we can teach them the difference between trivial things, like knowing the difference between a camel’s hump and the donkey punch, to more complex material, such as calculating the volumetric ratio of blood-per-unit-sauce that was circulating in Stallone’s system during the filming of Rocky IV. But, of course, it would be more beneficial to all of you if we directed these topics towards you and your training goals.

Our other option as a training community is to all buy a Gazelle-Freestyle and take on Tony Little as our international deity. But if you think about it, that would just be way too much work. Could you imagine hand crafting a bobble-head version of the hyper-harpy with a voice-matched, timer-activated speaker-inset that said; I sweat pure adrenaline!- so that you can set it on your mantle to prey? Yeah, me neither! Besides, your Denise Austin and Charles Poliquin dolls would be pissed!

But for those of you who are tired of chasing your performance-tails, be warned, there are better ways. You, too, can be faster than a cracked-up unicorn; powerful enough to skip baseball’s like rocks along McCovey Cove “just like Barry”; strong enough to finally pull that rolled-up Supertraining book out of your ass; and big enough to actually get a full write up- in some trendy newsstand bodybuilding magazine- strictly on The Curvature of (your name)’s Butt Cheeks (or whatever your personal goals are). That’s right; for those of you who have realized that common knowledge isn’t the cure; for those of you who are dizzy from the spin that media puts on everything in the training world. For those of you who are unabashed to pursue greater knowledge, this following information will help all of you balance out some of your options a bit better for next time’s purposes. Consider the following information to be like an all expenses-paid trip to train under the scrupulous-scrutiny of Dave Tate and Louie Simmons as they happily murder your sorry soul to oblivion for two solid weeks- that’s right, boys, it just can’t get any better!

It has been said that a great discovery is meaningless unless you can explain it on a napkin to a cocktail waitress. And, so, that will be my goal with this article: to water it down without losing any sweetness. In the end, if nothing else, you will have the ability to (1) pick the poison that may very well kill your sporting career or (2) take on the challenges of the powerful-anecdote. The third option would be to maintain that drunken-spin you’ve put on your sporting career, even though you know that always ends up with landing flat on your ass. The choice is yours!

Poison for Power: Olympic Lifting, For Sport?

Now before I get swarms of hate mail from all of you platform-pushers out there, let me justify my reasoning. It’s not that I am unaware of the enormity of spin-off movements that have surfaced from the Olympic Lifts, it is just that I see absolutely no reason to integrate such trash when so many other street-sweeping options are available. I also know that you’ve heard it before; “If you aren’t competing in the Olympic lifts then there is no reason to train them, let alone learn them.” But consider that statement for a second. Furthermore, let me re-iterate that there are far more, superior ways to develop speed, power, strength, and/or size- period.

Let’s reciprocate the thinking here for a second. Let’s say that a swimmer and his best buddy, who happens to compete in Olympic lifting, are training for the Olympic Games. Would you think twice if I told you that the swimmer was incorporating Olympic lifts in his preparation to be a faster swimmer? What about if I told you that the Olympic lifter was relying solely on in-pool work, would you be shocked and maybe even a little confused? In either case, I would be livid.

The Rationale of Correspondence-Effects

There are a number of phenomena found in sport- known simply by their varied degrees of correlations- that help us in program with confidence. It’s kind of like the punishment system you had when you were little. If your parents spotted you on the porch of their house getting fellatio by the college chick that lives next door as you kicked back on the swing petting a cat, you would probably get grounded by both your parents. Both were anticipated to be upset; thus, two predictable responses yield double correspondence (DC). However, if your parents saw you on the porch while you were just getting sexual favors performed to you then only your mom would be willing to punish you; and, actually, your dad would grow closer to you since the he has been trying to get the neighbor in his own pants ever since she turned of-age (both responses separate, yet predictable: single correspondence (SC)). Single correspondence would also result if your parents found you on the porch with just the cat. Your dad, being allergic to felines or just an angry old man, would pull out his 12-guage and, later, cook some Mexican burritos for dinner- with extra tender chicken.

A more practical example would involve the pissed-sensation that you experience after you claim rights on the Hammer Strength Press machine for six straight weeks and then, upon returning to barbell bench presses, you realize that any sports team that invests in leverage machines is throwing their pennies away. That, my friends, lacks a correspondence-carryover since the positive effects were void upon returning back to the control exercise; thus, a ZC (Zero Correspondence) is found. One last note: in comparison of two training strategies, you will commonly find that the effects will only travel on a one-lane highway. That is, an increase in performance on the barbell bench press will automatically warrant an increase in Hammer Strength pressing ability, but the reciprocation of these positive effects is not. The goal is to find double to multiple of these crossover-correspondence effects so that you may constantly reap gains from training (no plateau!). Many of you new to my methods of administration can email me to find the best route for you, and learn more about CC effects pertinent to you and your training goals (DB@SchnellFitness.com).

You probably wonder if I even remember why I set out on this article-writing escapade to begin with since I may seem to be about a hemisphere off course; but don’t worry, we have finally reached our first destination. Olympic lifts will do absolutely squat to raise performance in a large multitude of sports, if they are fully relied on to do so. This isn’t stating that it is best to couple Olympic lifts with more functional inclined movements, whatsoever. I am clearly stating that if a modality, movement, or method of training does not enhance the sport movement all by itself (i.e. without the help of other training modes) then it is completely useless at this point in time in the trainees career. The last part of that sentence is critical; don’t make the mistake of being too quick to dump something because it didn’t work at a specific moment because it may very well be the tool that will get you past the bigger obstacle in the near future.

Now, we are at a crossroads of such, it may seem. You are probably now wondering how I can be so certain that Olympic movements are inappropriate for the majority of sports training purposes if I also advocate keeping as many training management tools in your shed as possible. First off, it takes way too long to learn how to perform the movements properly. This should wave red flags everywhere, in terms of correspondence carryovers, and that should be enough to keep you from administering such work. Remember, there would not have to be such a drastic learning phase if there is a Correspondence to the training movement and the end product in the first place. If your are still unsure what I mean, train exclusively on Olympic lifts and a rotation of their variants for a few months and see where that leaves your sporting growth. Like I said before, Zero-Correspondence is a terrible thing to be involved in, for much more than just the lack of performance growth, too- injuries come to mind as another.

There are two main reasons why Olympic lifting athletes are prone to such a high risk of injury. Number 1: they are neglecting to pay attention to Neuro-Dynamic (ND) details; such as the character of tension-onset, the proportionate growth of friction and elastic elements, etc. Number 2: even if proper management and application is given to
ND, there is still poor supervision leading to poor technique. Spinal stabilization and postural demand, coordination of ND elements, proper joint configuration and/or warm-up to absorb the imposing forces upon the catch phase of the movement are all common injury driving perpetuates.

There is a lot of talk about sporting results that stem from Olympic training. Vertical jump is a big reason for implementing this training structure but it always falls short. As you will see, the amazing-ness of training effects is relative. Some consider 6 inches to be tremendous improvement in vertical jump; others, like my athletes, know that anything less than 18% improvement in a days work is sub-par. To us, that is the standard from which successful means may be compared; amazing is anything over 23% in five minutes. This will never be experienced in Olympic training. Furthermore, it is never appropriate to substantiate one’s claim of results with an athlete of pre-standing development. This is why I commonly refer to percent-return over current state of development- it is more accurate towards the precise magnitude of growth that an athlete found. Otherwise it comes down to an argument over the chicken versus the egg; not to mention that it is more respectful to raise someone’s forty-yard dash time 1.50 seconds than 0.15 seconds, even if the latter athlete ends-up being faster than the first in absolute terms. Rate and magnitude of improvement are commonly run-from when most coach’s talk about results, and for this precise reason of it being easier to brag about a Gold Medal instead.

Look out for the results that Charlie Francis is able to produce with Marion Jones. We already know that she is fast; that is fact, what we don’t know is the margin of improvement that he and she will produce, together. This is in no way a shot at either one of them, it is just a way for me to establish my point. Anyone can market a great athlete into his or her gym, but the training process was only successful if a large return is found- and this goes for any athlete at any level. I should also note that Charlie usually has enough tact to sway from name throwing- and his and Marion’s relationship is evident of this.

Clearing the Confusion

I know that many rest the direction of their results in the dictating-hands of finding that special exercise. The thought is that if you are weak in a movement than you should assume that it is holding your performance back in other movements. I see it much differently, and the power of perception is critical for performance gains.

An athlete that is relatively slow on a high speed treadmill, compared to his counterparts, should not assume that he needs to train on such a device to raise his ground speed. In fact, many athletes will find that this translation will actually hurt (decrease) their ground speed. This isn’t a blanket expression, either. It actually is all governed by a simple principle that involves taking a deeper look at the situation. The real question that should be asked is, “Why are you performing poorly under those conditions?” Just as a runner can rely on frictional dominate speed, others can rely on elastic dominant. Sure one is preferred over the other given specific conditions. This is why coaches and athletes should take on a more balanced approach of effects-manipulation, living in the gray area (programmed appropriately between the absolutes for your concerns), versus striving for absolutes, black versus white. It is more appropriate to state, “Barbell Squats helped “X” athlete jump higher BECAUSE he was lacking frictional transference of results based upon ND findings THAN Barbell squats are the cure to all athletic needs. This may also be a projection; “Y” athlete needs to engage in AN-1 Frictional Dominant movements under Fatigue-Toleration conditions because (plausible explanation based on training/experimentation findings, individual specific).” Otherwise, you will always be confused as to why “A” athlete increased strength when “B” athlete decreased strength on the same system; it must be Neuro-Dynamically specific to the athlete, based on THEIR demands/deficiencies, not just the quantitative analysis of a movement in an end unto itself.

Let’s say it DID work, if you don’t know WHY than you have really gained NOTHING for the FUTURE! If you spin, you will fall!

So, locate the underlying deficiency (Neuro-Dynamic Efficiency) and you will be able to perpetuate growth much further into your future sporting endeavors. It is like cooking; you can keep mixing ingredients together and sometimes you will hit and sometimes you will miss, but the goal in training is to know why you hit or miss- this is how you produce long-standing results. Anyone can get it right some of the time, but in today’s fierce competitions, and especially if you entered this world with inferior athletic traits, you must eliminate future errors early on in your training career. This is done via specific ND deficiency location. Trust me on this one, any drunken Scottish chap in a kilt can dance the jig, but not all of them even know where to start when their sober.

Want more power?

Available Anecdote: Auxometronics (AMT) Training for Lower Body Power

The Five Minute Vertical Jump Solution

One must first understand what a house is made of before he/she can build one. Olympic lifting stresses the elastic elements of the motor complex (tendons, fascia, etc). There is need for frictional (cross-bridge elements) development to aid in acceleration, as well as absorption upon transition. The critical stage, reason for positive training effects, is strongly dependant upon the character of force realized proximal the catch phase of the movements. This phase makes the movements elastic-dominant, as well as clarifies purpose for administration.

Be warned: there are superior means to develop elastic dominant movement, especially under power-product movements of brief duration- as Olympic lifts are defined. AMT is one such available method. The power enhancement received from the specialized AMT application outlined below may extend to advance much more development than just jumping ability, too (track starts; squat poundage; etc).

Auxometronics is a method that I established out of necessity to expedite lower body power development. The pre-requisite for administering such an application is primarily frictional strength, so as to prevent injury, but it is also crucial to have moderate- to high- pre-elastic development. The athlete must also master force absorption criteria before experimenting with such application; including proper NDE conditioning. (Contact me for more information!)

The application of AMT that I will cover in this article is an extension of a reactive-jump; in which I feel most trainees are familiar with already. The spin involves attaching band/spring resistance, which is less than 53%(at full extension) of your bodyweight. The athlete should attach these bands to a weightlifting belt around his/her waist, whilst standing on a box that is 100-120% of their maximal vertical jump (basing this judgment off of reactive jump height, electronically measured, but this is not absolutely necessary). The loose ends of the bands are anchored by a foot of each of the two coaches- pulled out and away from the box at a length equal the tension needed.

At this point, an Over Speed plyometric/Reactive (OSP) method is coupled with a Contrast Method (CM) to produce an alarming effect. The CM is achieved when the coach’s release the bands from underneath their feet just as the athlete makes ground contact. This happens very fast, since the athlete rapidly reverses moment force and propels himself upwards, as high as possible, into a vertical jump- ground contact should be as rapid as possible (anything exceeding 0.33 seconds on the first session warrants the cessation of the application for the day).
The observation/testing may be done on a reactive pad that is capable of electronically measuring jump height, or by a simple belt-tape vertical jump device that anchors the measuring tape/rope through and instrument on the floor. The vertical jump capacity of the athlete should be tested prior to engaging in AMT application, and then every third to fifth jump there after (with rest intervals between jumps being open-ended- for the athlete to decide- but there is a mandatory 4 minute rest interval between AMT and control jump scores). This procedure should be repeated until the desired fatigue (%) is found in commensuration with the athlete’s frequency scale.

AMT work should precede all other work for the day; the athlete must be fresh and be in a state of pre-elastic conditioning (associating warm-up).

The Proof is always in the Pudding (rapidity of results) 

The proof is always in the pudding, and the rapidity of return is always associated with reliability of the recipe!

Athletes of any qualification will see a return of at least 18% in their first run with AMT work for vertical jump enhancement. If they do not, it was due to poor administration or failure to meet the list of pre-requisites. This method has also been used, in conjunction with other methods, to produce hundreds of pounds of improvements in squat poundages with dozens of advanced athletes (I am talking 635 lb raw squat to 855 lbs raw in under 60 days! (Only 5 sessions!)).

The reasons for this devastating return in performance are fruitful. However, instead of throwing superfluous science your way, I will opt to explain it in terms that we can all understand. Virtually anyone that was taken from this earth and placed on the moon could jump clear over an 18-wheel truck. The reason that we can achieve this is not completely applicable to earth since it is the same reason why we stay afloat- gravity (manipulations in gravitational forces). However, the speed of the bands create an augmented intra-neural-perception of the gravitational forces, the required response necessary to support and overcome this action upon ground contact, so a heightened arousal is found. The release of the bands at contact is critical since this action won’t remove the intra-sensations that our system has experienced- which is good since output will be appropriate to warrant the results that you are looking for. If the bands weren’t removed as anchored then the training effect would be lost since elastic-driven acceleration will be lost at toe-off, due to the band resistance, and frictional components will be brought in to assist movement. This is not advantageous for those seeking power via elastic function since frictional elements have been found to interfere with movement efficiency when programmed wrongfully, or manipulated in the short-term inappropriately (such as the effect that leaving the bands anchored would produce; i.e. loss in power production).

Note: the after effect isn’t present during the repetition in which bands were utilized. In fact, the results are transferred back to free-movement, thus only 3-5 rep groupings, which should be carried out in groupings about half as great as the AMT’s (this could be 3 with AMT followed by 2 with bodyweight). You will also notice that the results will grow rapidly until the drop off margin is found. It is hard to walk away when personal records are getting shattered so fast, sometimes, but that is what coaches are for. And, as expected, the results will be even greater upon returning the next training day- adhering to the frequency scale. We have seen an average 4.5% growth-carryover to the next session from the new personal best, not the previous, that was found from the five minute vertical jump solution (i.e. the results not only stick but are enhanced through the restoration process).

Sizing It Up

There is a major difference between the various applications of reactive jumps, and I will address some of those issues now. Before AMT, the athlete manipulated either drop-height or load (ex. athlete wears weight vest). Early findings clearly showed that an increase in drop-height was far superior to an increase in load; and AMT only extends these findings to the next level. The frictional involvement with loaded applications held back full power production as stated earlier; and this is due to the athletes preceding ND strengths, resultant from conventional strength training. Reactive jumps in which height was stressed over load resulted in much greater improvements (percent improvement varied per individual, based upon his/her deficiencies at the time) than loaded jumps. AMT was able to magnify the positive influences of this previous work, with the end product being nothing short of spectacular (I once had one of my high jumpers offer me 20 thousand dollars to keep this training secret discrete- and even though I didn’t take the money, I kept my promise of secrecy for nearly two decades).

Final Thoughts

I was fighting off road conditions the other day in my car; one of those hectic rainy days that make driving with a blind-fold seem like child’s play. You know, the only thing that you can see clearly is your own reflection in the rear-view, so you almost always resort to counting nose hairs since you can’t see a damn thing anyways. There was a truck in front of me kicking up a fury of haze that clouded all remaining visibility I had at the time. My windshield wipers gladly added to the chaos, smearing a glazed-soot that covered my front window. I decided that I had two options at this point: press on like a true soldier; or tuck my tail like a wounded puppy and cower on the side of the road. I hastily decided to roll down my driver’s side window and stick my head out like one of those retarded Hollywood types. And that is when it struck me- this is what it must feel like to be stuck with a valiant passion- and glaring deadline- somewhere shy of your ultimate destination.

I had already let myself get strapped in line with the rest of the crowd. I already managed to completely ignore the otherwise persisting annoyance of the wipers on my front glass. I deliberately made the decision to let my stubborn side dominate by following on the ass of the truck in front of me-which blurred all clarity of vision that I once had. At some point, I lost complete sense of direction that ended up leaving me miles off course when conditions cleared.

Sometimes it is best to step out of line for a second and consider where you are, what you are doing, and where you really are going. Not all the time- it’s not like you will see me doing an infomercial for motivational tapes any time in the near or distant future- but just some of the time. Just pull over, re-evaluate your course, re-consider your plan of action, and then either choose an alternate strategy or get back in line with the rest of them.

It’s like this: a bunch of you pretty-boy Americans now have to put the boy band CD’s in the shoe box with the rest of your trendy items that ended up being not as cool as the media made them out to be. Like your box of Billy Banks tapes, Sweatin’ with the Oldies; or, in that other box with your Chia Pet head that looks like Webster when you mature it.

Sometimes, I think we can all agree to follow not the path that is tread before us, but make our own path and leave a trail.

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