Category Archives: Strength Training

Functional strength gains by leg pressing?

The following article is a guest post from Chris Beardsley, who writes the monthly Strength & Conditioning Research Review service with me:

Some popular strength coaches have claimed that the leg press does not build “functional strength”.

Functional strength refers to basic movements that we all need to perform on a daily basis, like getting out of a chair, climbing up and down stairs, and walking across town. It can also refer to athletic performance measures, like vertical jump height, horizontal jump distance, and short-distance sprinting ability.

Since a small number of research studies have actually investigated whether leg press training leads to improvements in such tests of real-world muscular function, we can put these claims to the test.

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10 Things All Beginning Lifters Should Know

arnold-schwarzenegger

Every experienced lifter out there can remember the first time they moseyed into the weightroom, full of fear, confusion, and insecurity. Though most of us make it past these initial stages, some lifters never do. Some lifters quit training, mostly because they don’t understand it. If only there was a seasoned lifter at every gym who could talk to beginners and educate them on what things are important and what things aren’t very important. Below are the more common sources of confusion and misunderstanding that newcomers to resistance training share.

1. The Exercises Become Easier Over Time

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Threat and Performance: Central Governors

Ferrari

Threat and Performance: Central Governors
By Todd Hargrove

Imagine getting the keys to a Ferrari. You like speed, so you floor it to see what’s under the hood.

After a few seconds of acceleration, you notice your mom is in the passenger seat telling you to slow down.

You’re all grown up now, so you tell Mom to chill out, blast the radio, and continue your quest for speed. But for some reason the car won’t go past 65. Then you notice Mom has her foot on a brake that has ultimate control over the car’s velocity. Whenever she thinks you’re driving too fast, she uses the brake to slow you down.

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The Overhead Shoulder Rotation Quandary

The Overhead Shoulder Rotation Quandary
by Derrick Blanton

One thing I noticed very early on in my training journey is that people move and lift stuff differently. Even the top lifters in the world rarely do it exactly the same way. I find myself constantly making mental notes on different lifting strategies.

As you might imagine, I also spend a ton of time studying the coaching techniques, rationales, and cues of the most prominent names in S&C; and then trying to tie it all together with my “in the trenches” observations and firsthand experiences.

Every now and again, I see a disconnect between the “right way” to do a lift, and effective “real world” expressions of loaded movement. Of course, then I obsessively go about trying to figure out the root of the discrepancy!

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