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Developing Real Core Strength 2007-11-21 *** I'm confident that almost all readers of the PDA newsletter are interested

i n developing strength by moving big iron, big rocks, big implements, 'big whatev er'. But have you ever thought about moving some big weights with the middle of your body? I mean real strict, real heavy sit-ups; holding a 150 pound dumbbell high on your chest - actually holding it just under your throat (and keeping it there) - while you raise up to push your elbows into your thighs and hold that p osition for a slow 'one thousand and one' count. Then to slowly lower yourself b ack to the floor using your abs - where you take a big breath just like you woul d a PR squat attempt before knocking off rep number 2 of a truly gut-wrenching s et of 10. What I have just described is one exercise that ***I have been practicing, and t eaching for a majority of the 33 years that I have been under the iron. It blows away anything that can be performed on one of those cute little stability balls for thousands of reps (and of course 'feeling the burn') when it comes to build ing real strength in the middle of the body. And if you want the ability to get a 200-pound Atlas stone overhead, or rise up from the bottom of a squat with 500 pounds you are going to need real strength 'in the middle'. Think about this for a minute. If you have been performing your core strengtheni ng work for many, many reps - why? Probably because you have been mistakenly tau ght, read, or heard that the abs need to be trained for 'lots of reps'. Because the muscles of the abdominals are made up of a different fiber composition (more slow-twitch) than that of the quads for instance - well this is just flat-out w rong. How can I make such a bold statement? Experience. Think about how you define strength for a minute. Not a complicated college phys iology text definition. I want a 'from the trenches' definition. It's how much weight you can lift - period. Now before all you exercise fizz maj ors get your shorts twisted I know that you can define strength in a number of w ays. But what I want to do is to point out that absolute strength (one rep stren gth) carries over to all other qualities of strength - even endurance strength. And the reverse - endurance strength - like that which is developed with the "fe el the burn by doing 500 reps on the cute ball routine, doesn't carry-over when you have 400 pounds on your back. *** Let me run with this example for a minute to make my point. *** Endurance strength is the ability to perform an activity for a long duration and maintain initial strength abilities - like a marathon runner. Do you realiz e that the winning marathon runner is the one who produces the most average forc e per foot contact throughout 26 miles? How do you increase the potential for mo re force production? Increase strength - absolute strength. I know you're thinki ng: "Wait a minute John, you're telling me that if a marathon runner increases h is one-rep max on the squat he will run faster? How?" Because the marathoner wil l then have the neurological ability to profuse more force. Now to get this new strength/force to work for him, he will have to practice running - running very far. The bottom line is that performing strength training that increases you abs olute maximum strength is one of the best ways to improve your endurance activit y. Track coaches have become aware of this. They now have their 'distance runner s' work on sprinting as they realize that it is one of the fastest ways to impro ve their VO2 max which makes the distance work easier. HOME | ABOUT JOHN | ARTICLES LIBRARY | RSRM BOOK | TECHNIQUE VIDEOS | TESTIMONIA LS | PHILOSOPHY