Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday Training

Haven't been training too frequently over the last 5 weeks. I've probably averaged one to two workouts with weight per week and alot more sprinting. My POWER is definitely better, able to snatch and jerk heavier bells and sprint faster, however; my maximal strength is low. Very strange experience. As my bodyweight has gotten lighter my power has increased, but my maximal strength, like heavy presses, deads, pull ups has decreased.

Here is the Question? At this stage in my career does it really matter?Should I be more concerned about my RFD (rate of force development) in power movements like snatches, swings, jerks, swings and of course sprinting? Or Should I still try and get my maximal strength up in the DL, presses, Rows, Lunges, and Pull ups. I feel the answer is a little of both.


Training today:

A-1 Front Lunges 5 x 5 (2 x 20kg)
A-2 Double Snatches 5 x 5 (2 x 20kg)

B-1 100lb. MB Shouldering 3/3 x sets
C-1 Prone Swiss Ball Reverse Push Away (forearms on bench) 6 x 3 sets

That was it.


Mark Reifkind said...


once you get to a certain level of absolute strength trying to get above it hits diminishing returns, unless of course that is your primary mission.

speed strength training also develops a decent amount of absolute as well as strength speed although it would take a few sessions in order to be able to demonstrate it strongly again.It wouldnt ake long to come back.

my point is if your main goal is sprinting training the ballistic kb lifts and other dynamic training as well as SOME high tension lifts will help run faster than a new press max.

when you are already pretty strong a little tension goes a long way it seems. especially when you are in a sport than demands speed.



Tom Shook, RKC said...

Franz, in expanding on your post from earlier and your question, I agree with what Rif is saying. Its almost as if limit strength is a base for your power. For sprinting, being explosive and having a high rate of force development is more important, IMO, but you have to have reasonably good strength in order to make appreciable gains in power.
For a pretty de-conditioned person, power will increase alongside limit strength for a long time, but for an elite level person such as yourself, it takes a little more specific work (e.g. ballistics) to really bring the explosive power to the next level and its hard to be maximally tense when you are exploding for all your worth...just my way of thinking out loud..great post and question.

Mark Reifkind said...

I think that for sprinters and athletes like that that require the ability to relax the muscle after an intense contraction toomuch high tension work can mess you up by getting inthe way of the muscles ability to relax after the max contraction. For example look at most powerlifters that have been at it a long time. waaay too much total body tension to be mobile or move fast.

OL'er on the other hand get banged up but stay so loose to get into their deep positions as well as th shoudler flexibility in the overhead.

the lack of significant eccentrics is the difference I think.

also, even creating force with little more than bodyweight( sprinting, gymnastics) still creates ALOT of force( look at the hypertrophy from gymnasts) albeit probaby more functional mass.

SO the kb ballistic work will probably give you most of the limit strength youneed to continue developing as a sprinter.

at the very top levels all bets are off though as it's so individual.

I also think the single kb work will be heaven for your lumbar spine.

Franz Snideman said...


great input brother. I totally agree with you about excess muscle tension because I have experienced the lack of mobility and fluid motion from only a couple years of heavy liftings. Can't even imagine what decades of PL would do to someone(although pulling big weights off the floor is fun!)A supple relaxed muscle is more effective in sprinting than a spasmed overly tense muscle. When you sprint you do not run in co-contraction. Like you said, there is a constant interplay between firing of the agonist and antagonist muscle groups. Single KB lifts are a must!!!! I still love my presses, pull ups, SL deadlifts and lunges. And the odd lfting gives me a type of full body resilience unlike other types of training.

thanks for the input. Considering my former strength levels and that I genetically am an ectomorph who is not naturally blessed with a strong hormonal system size and strength, I feel my strength levels are decent at this stage of my career. The balisitc lifts seem to be helping me more at this time, although years ago I would have told you otherwise.

Pete Diaz, RKC said...

Wow! Alot of great discussions going on in this post.


I am going to give you my two cents on the question you stated, "At this stage in my career, does it really matter?" (And by no means do I have the knowledge that Rif and Tom have, this is more of a different approach)

My way of responding to your question is with a question. (My approach is thinking of a survival mentality, not an athletic direction.) Do you have the speed to run away or run towards to save a loved one if necessary? Do you have the strength to create resistance to overcome agression that is directed to you and/or your loved ones?

My training, by nature of my job, has been focused on having the skills to have the strength, power, and resliency to withstand the rigors of the job/streets, and protect my loved ones. Even though I am in the training unit now, I still think along those lines.

I believe a little of both RFD and Max. strength are desirable. Pound for pound, you are one strong and powerful individual especially when compared to the rest of the American population. Your range of functional mobility is outstanding.

I am curious, and I hope this does not come across the wrong way, but do you feel the need for some "dragons to slay"? I know for myself, I am happier when I am trying to reach a goal than the week after I reached my goal.


Franz Snideman said...

Thanks for the response Pete!

Yes, I do have some DRAGONS to slay. One of them is to beat my previous PR in the 100M dash of 10.72. Give me a 10.6 and I will be thrilled. Now granted I haven't ran that fast since the 99' but a 32 years of age I feel stronger and wiser than I was back then. The only difference is that I have alot more family and career commitments that will keep me from training as often I did then. But I still feel totally capable of beating that time of 10.72.

I too want to be able to protect my loved ones if something were to happen and you bring up a good point of the nature of reality versus goals. My goal is to run fast, but practically speaking I still want to be strong enough to withsands whatever chaotic environment or event that comes my way.

An approach that includes both power and strength are truly necessary ( and that's basically what I'm doing now). Thanks again for the input, awesome stuff to get together and talk about these things!