Today’s post is an excellent guestblog by Rob Panariello. I won’t introduce Rob as I’ve interviewed him in the past and posted a couple of guestblogs from him in the past year or two. This is an important topic for strength coaches, and I really love how Rob blends together science and anecdotes which demonstrates good critical thinking and decision making methodology.
Considerations in Athletic Performance Enhancement Training: How Much Strength Do Our Athletes Need?
Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS
Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Professional Athletic Performance Center
New York, New York
Throughout my 30-year career in in the fields of Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Performance Training, I have spent thousands of hours in conversation with many good friends and mentors in the Strength and Conditioning profession. In a specific conversation that occurred in 2009 with renowned NFL and Hall of Fame Strength Coach Johnny Parker, he expressed his concern upon reading a newspaper article reporting an 800-pound squat performance by a collegiate football player. Coach Parker’s concern was the necessity of such a high intensity squat lift as a strength requirement for the game of football and is the risk of such a high intensity squat performance worth the reward? Certainly extremely high intensity loads are necessary in the sports of Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting, as the level of athletic achievement during these competitions is based upon the successful weightlifting performance of the heaviest loads possible. In regard to athletes who are not competitive weightlifters, but are utilizing weightlifting to enhance athleticism, is such a high intensity squat, as the previously mentioned 800-pound performance, necessary for an athlete such as a football, basketball, or baseball player?