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Published by Thomas Aquinas 33

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Published by: Thomas Aquinas 33 on Nov 09, 2013
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Coach G: What is your Philosophy, Part 2
elitefts™ Sunday Edition
Last article, we focused on your mission statement and program philosophy. I hope those of you whostarted writing your own “blueprint for success” got a sharper image in mind and on paper of what you andyour program is all about. Remember: there are no wrong answers in this venture. It is only wrong if you are nottrue to your program and what you believe in as coach day-in and day-out. Anything else is cheating. Again, thisis about you and what you do. It is not about what you think you should do or be writing about. Hopefully your mission statement is complete—clear for both you and everyone associated with your program. I know thatyour program philosophy will take some time to write. In turn, the longer you have it and the more we cover, themore you will add and subtract things from it…from now until you retire.Right now, however, we should be done with the mission statement and the program philosophy. (Remember,it’s always a work in progress). In this next section, I want to start breaking down the various building blocks ostrength and conditioning. Strength training, agility work, speed work, conditioning, etc. are all things we doevery day, but have you ever asked yourself why we do them? How or why did we pick these exercises over anyof the others? Why cleans over the leg press? Why 110s over 40s? These are questions that you have theanswers to, you just have not looked at them in detail. I will start with strength training first. This is the way Ibreak it down, and again, it is not right or wrong—just my version. You may be 100% different than me, andthat is cool. Some guys can wear boxers, others briefs. Just be honest and be true with yourself, and reallylook into and research your program in order to come out with your final product.
Strength Training
The goal of our strength training program is to develop optimal muscular strength and power. Strength is thefoundation of all other trained components (power, speed, agility). Proper strength training has two goals: 1)performance enhancement and 2) injury prevention. It must be done in a physiologically sound, safe,purposeful, and productive way. There aren’t any secrets or shortcuts for achieving maximum strength gains. A
physiologically sound
 program is one that includes in its design the fundamental principles of training thecorrect energy system, using the correct rest ratio, and maximizing recovery with proper nutrition and sleepingguidelines. A
safe program
 is designed, first and foremost, with the execution of properly performed repetitions. Our emphasis for our beginners is focused on how the repetition is performed rather than how much weight islifted. Every effort should be made to minimize biomechanical loading (bouncing, recoiling) on muscles, joints,and connective tissue and to maximize muscular tension. Each repetition should be lifted under control in adeliberate fashion. We also begin to work on the athlete’s work capacity and body composition. A
purposeful program
 is one with a training protocol that has a systematic plan of increasingresistance/repetitions that will produce results. Once exercise technique is performed to our satisfaction, theweights begin to increase and the player must perform all the reps prescribed in that workout withoutassistance. This is where athletes are introduced to both mental and physical pressure. Loads, work capacity,lean body mass, and the number of movement patterns increase.
productive program
 is one that is designed with the athlete’s best interest in mind. The athlete’s inner driveis to be successful, and he is willing to pay the price no matter what it takes to succeed on the field. Theprogram is designed to include the latest research, personal trials, team experiences, and common sense. Our goal is to help the athletes achieve their optimal strength potential both in the weight room and on the playingfield.Our strength training philosophy incorporates all components of strength training and is not particular to acertain genre. We go with what works and we get rid of what doesn’t. We believe that all divisions of strengthtraining (powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, strongman) have their place and are valuable when used correctly. Itis also our belief that combining the various styles provides maximal stimulation to the athlete, while keepingthe athlete from becoming overtrained, bored, or stale. It makes all weight training sessions a positive, rather than a negative, experience for our athletes.
Strength and Conditioning Program Design
Types of Strength Training
Weightlifting (Olympic movements)BodybuildingGeneral conditioningRehabilitationPowerliftingMetabolic (Strongman training)Strength training
Progressive Overload
Super-normal stressors should be progressively applied and adequate restoration needs to be allowed inorder to improve fitness. The quality of both workload and recovery has priority over quantity, and it isoptimized via cyclic increase in training intensity and decrease in volume.
 As fitness improves, adaptation becomes increasingly specific to the imposed demands. Generalized tasksshould be progressively replaced with specialized ones that dynamically correspond to the biomechanical,coordinative, and metabolic demands of the sport. The exercise menu should be prioritized such that the mostfunctional movements (i.e., those yielding the greatest training/learning effects) are emphasized. Learning andtraining effects are optimized by making tasks progressively more challenging to control, direct, and stabilize(where appropriate), as well as by increasing workload.
The same method(s) and/or techniques(s) elicit(s) unique responses in each athlete due to geneticdifferences, training status, and environmental factors.
Exercise Selection
Provide a full range of motionFacilitate eccentric and concentric muscle actionsFocus on multiple joints/muscle groups working together in coordinationFocus on leg-initiated exercisesProvide all types of strength (specific to the demands of the sport)Train movements specific to the sport being trained

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