August Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

Hi fitness folks! Do you know the answer to the August strength & conditioning research review questions? If not, you ought to subscribe to our research review service. HERE is the link in case you’re not yet subscribed.

August’s PDF will be sent out on Thursday so make sure you’re subscribed if you want to receive it. We also have back issues available for purchase HERE. If you’re new to S&C Research, you might wish to buy the last few and get caught up, or buy our Background Product to build a good foundation. Below is the list of questions we tackle in our review this month.

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On “Creating Torque” by Screwing the Feet Into the Ground


Lately, there have been many experts suggesting that for optimal squatting and conventional deadlifting performance, one should purposefully create torque by screwing one’s feet into the ground. Kelly Starrett and Mark Bell are two proponents of this.

I’d like to discuss my thoughts on this topic, but before I do I want to mention that I have tremendous respect for Kelly and Mark, so this is nothing personal.

And also before I get started, let me briefly touch upon torque for those who need a brush-up on their biomechanics.

What is Torque? 

If I push against a wall, I exert force against that wall. I also exert force into the ground. Force is a vector quantity because it must contain a direction. I can also push against a wrench. However, since there’s a pivot, the force creates torque about that pivot. Torque is turning force, and can be thought of as linear force’s rotational analog. While force is usually measured in Newtons, torque is usually measured in Newton-meters, which you can think of as the amount of force exerted perpendicularly to the wrench one meter away from the pivot (which one be one long-ass wrench but hopefully you get the point). Torque is sometimes reported in pound-inches to make it more “American-friendly,” but the point is that it’s dependent on both the magnitude and distance away from the pivot of force production.

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Fitness is Not Religion or Politics, and there are Many Ways to Construct a Good Training Program

Most lifters start working out to look and feel better. Along the way, they get sucked into one of the numerous fitness cults out there and turn into annoying fitness snobs.

No matter what anyone tells you, many roads lead to Rome. There are many ways to see great results in the gym.

Chances are the person whose physique you envy so badly doesn’t train harder than you. He or she simply eats better than you and is more consistent.

As long as you’re consistently getting stronger in the primary movement patterns, revving up the metabolism, and taxing the major muscles, then you’re achieving a great workout.

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Heavy Sled Towing Trumps Light Sled Towing for Acceleration

Every once in a while a study comes along and alters my understanding of biomechanics and sports science. Effects of weighted sled towing with heavy versus light load on sprint acceleration ability by Kawamori et al. was published ahead of print earlier this year in March. It’s an excellent study that supports what many strength coaches have been saying for quite some time (and refutes what many track & field coaches have been saying) – that heavier sled towing is effective in improving acceleration ability. In the past, many T&F coaches believed that using sled loads of greater than 10% of bodymass (or loads that reduced speed by greater than 10%) would alter sprint mechanics too much and negatively impact speed.

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