Determinants of Strength Performance Part 3

So last week’s discussion of the Stretch Shorten Cycle and strength performance got a little bit away from me which is why I had to add a third part to this series. But I will wrap up today, first by looking at the contribution of neural factors to strength performance before trying to summarize the series.

Determinants of Strength Performance Part 2

Although it kind of fits in with the impact of muscular factors on strength performance, I want to discuss the stretch shorten cycle (SSC) separately. This refers to a situation where a muscle is first stretched (an eccentric muscle contraction) before shortening (a concentric muscle action); there is also a brief isometric muscle action where the muscle doesn’t change length in-between the two. When this happens, a greater amount of force is generated than would occur otherwise and this improve strength performance.

Determinants of Strength Performance Part 1

Now, if you want to get technical, you can define different kinds of strength. What is often measured in the lab is isometric strength using some kind of tensiometer (that will give you force output in Newtons, not the Fig kind, or whatever the units are) but in practical sense most will be more concerned with how much weight they are lifting in some gym movement.

What is Sprint Training

Done properly, true sprint training takes hours to complete. It’s not only not as time efficient as low intensity work, it’s less time efficient as you spend up to twice as long to accomplish exactly jack shit in terms of total work. The most moderate low intensity workouts burns more calories and weights are what will build any muscularity.

Some Less Well Known Weider Principles

So I know I was originally supposed to finish off the sprinter versus marathoner series today but then it dawned on me that it’s been one year since I wrote perhaps my most inspired training article where I gave away the Ultimate Training Secret of the Illuminatty (for which I am now in constant danger of repercussions). And that means that I need to do a followup (inasmuch as I can ever follow that bit of brilliance). So today I present you with some less well known Weider Principles.

The Sprinter Versus Endurance Athlete…Again

But fundamentally basic cardiovascular training isn’t the same as endurance performance training which makes that particularly comparison dumb as hell. Similarly neither is the type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that usually comes along with this stupid comparison actual sprint training in the first place. And that’s where I’ll finish up next week.

Train Like an Athlete to Look Like an Athlete

In any case, I’m going to start today by addressing one of those trite phrases that gets thrown around from time to time in the fitness arena. I’ve looked at one of these before, in an admittedly tongue in cheek way (get it?) but this article is actually serious. Specifically the phrase I want to look at is the one that makes up the title of this piece: Train Like an Athlete to Look Like an Athlete.

Do Drugs Only Help a Little?

So in addition to any direct effects drugs have, the very concrete fact is that without them, guys can’t even get to the top levels in the first place. The training isn’t survivable or recoverable without them to begin with; the recovery and benefits is insurmountable. Hell, it’s usually been felt that most athletes top out in progress after about year 3…unless they start using drugs. They allow you to move past any upper genetic limit that might exist and without them; you hit a performance wall you won’t ever get past without them.

Squats Hormones and Growth

Now, the general argument for the whole squats/lower body training and growth has to do with the hormonal effect. This was an idea that came around in the 80’s and has kept going since then. And not only did it provide what I consider a red herring for training for the past 4 decades but showed how not to do science. Researchers had observed that, generally speaking, bodybuilders of the day were bigger than powerlifters. We might debate this but let’s roll with it.

Changing Technique Part 3

A factor that I think is often forgotten is the impact of training age and goals in the choice of whether or not to even consider changing someone’s technique. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, training age refers to how many years someone has been training and this is in contrast to biological age which is who old someone is. A 24 year old who has been training since they were 4 has a training age of 20 years; 24 year old who has been training since they were 22 has a training age of 2 years.

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