Welcome to our home on the web, where we will share with you the latest knowledge, theories and practical experiences behind the ‘World of Strength & Conditioning’, including the optimization of human performance in sport. Our mission is simple: update our readers with the most cutting-edge research and continue to contribute valuable insights to the expanding field of sport science.
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision”
Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi, Georges-St-Pierre, Drew Brees, Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee. What do all of these superstar-athletes have in common?
First off, they’ve each dominated their respective sport during their career, in the case of Michael Jordan, the word “dominate” was pretty much his middle name. What else? They are, or were, some of the fittest athletes on the planet and countless stories allude to this fact. For example, Ali once said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” Inspiring right? What about Andre Agassi? In a sport like tennis where players aren’t known to ‘lift heavy’, Agassi’s book “Open” explains how hiring former UCLA Strength & Conditioning Coach Gil Reyes, was one of the most, (if not the most important factor) during his comeback to the top of the tennis rankings.
These iconic figures have had a huge impact on me as a sports fan, former athlete, Strength & Conditioning coach and a sports science enthusiast. Growing up, I looked up to athletes who took their training seriously, recognizing that they achieved greatness through countless hours of physical preparation.
Steps to Improvement
My interest in human performance led me into the field of sport science and earned me a M.Sc. in Strength & Conditioning. Over the years, it has been a number of experienced S&C coaches, researchers and pioneers of the sport science world that have guided me towards a better understanding of human performance.They’ve also helped me understand how professionals like Michael Jordan could attain such great feats of athleticism (while making it look so easy).
My Heroes in Sport Science
Today, experts like Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, Joel Jamieson, Charlie Weingroff and Glenn Pendlay are all well-known coaches currently developing some of the best athletes in the World and each of them use scientific evidence as the cornerstone to their programming. Not to say that anecdotal experiences aren’t worthwhile, but these guys know that the basics are the same across the board. How you use the principles, now that’s a different story altogether!
Although these experts, along with a host of others, have top-notch insight, I always find myself revisiting some older publications; these include Mel Siff’s ‘Supertraining’, Yuri Verkhoshansky’s ‘Special Strength Training’, Vladimir Zatiorsky’s ‘Science and Practice of Strength Training’, Louie Simmons’ ‘Westside Method”, Mark Rippetoe’s ‘Starting Strength’ and Mike Stone’s ‘Principles and Practice of Resistance Training. Some of these texts are more simplified than others but what they all possess is a framework for planning and organizing training programs for elite athletes. Rippetoe, someone I admire because of his straight to the point attitude and his ability to simplify complex theories, states in his text ‘Practical Programming’ that ‘the ability to effectively design, organize and implement training programs is an ABSOLUTE requirement for success in all areas of exercise’.
Sport Science and Technology
Simmons, known for developing some of the World’s strongest powerlifters, claimed that sport scientists and engineers will one day work together; I’m guessing he was alluding to the ability of engineers to bridge the gaps between technology and science. This is where my involvement with PUSH comes into play..
I have been fortunate enough to stumble upon some of the brightest young talents in this realm and I am both excited and intrigued to what we can collectively accomplish. Engineers have visions, and this means that I don’t have to hold back with my demands. When I ask our team at PUSH if can we do X or Y, the answer is often ‘probably’. This is when the wheels start spinning and the magic happens.
Today, we are in our prototype stage and working with some incredible minds on board to test our device with some of the world’s top athletes. Not to mention, in the next six months, four academic institutions will aim to publish validation and reliability studies of our device against force platforms, the gold standard in the field.
Questions PUSH will address along the way:
- How much strength is needed?
- What does power actually mean and how can we optimize training loads to work in the appropriate power ranges?
- Why do coaches always talk about bar speed?
- What is the value of velocity?
- What direction is research heading?
With the advent of technology, researchers and coaches are more concerned now than they ever have been in the past, about the ability to quantify training.
Our aim is to disseminate the most current scientific evidence and present it in a practical manner. Hopefully, this will lead to more opportunities to interact with coaches and experts in the field. We also plan to discuss the latest research findings and determine:
A) If the research finding is applicable in sport specific settings. If so, how can they be incorporated into these settings?
B) Are these findings effective in improving human performance at the most elite levels.
We plan to break down some key concepts by looking at the Force-Velocity-Power curves. Specifically, we’ll discuss the theories associated with these curves and how they have been/can be applied into the organization of training.