Kaylee Gittleson ran hurdles for Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. The team won three out of four Division I State Championships during her four years. Kaylee was told by her dad to write about training from her perspective on the Rogers Blog.
FROM THE COACH’S DAUGHTER
My Dad was a Strength Coach for 30 years. We literally live in a gym with furniture.
I ran track for the most successful track program in the history of our state. Our strength training program wasn’t complex, we had a bunch of machines and some dumbbells that we were assigned to lift on at school. Once a week my father would strength train me at home and do similar exercises. I figured he was doing it just to be mean.
In high school physical education classes, I listened to lectures about core and ground base training. I was told to develop core strength to transfer power from my hips to my shoulders or transfer power from the ground through the trunk to my upper extremities. In physical science I learned that force was instantaneous and my teacher told me there wasn’t a ‘transfer’, so to speak, going on. The development of force from the ground up was more in line with the successive summation of the levers involved.
I also learned in PE how to train on physioballs and do total body strengthening, which they called functional exercise.
As a matter of fact, we have a big Swiss ball on the porch that my father uses as a foot rest while drinking his morning coffee.
I decided to ask my father about ground base and functional training. I was curious because it was the opposite of the way I trained.
“Get your muscles strong… Use your brain to develop your skill… Your body will function well… make no mistake about it”…..he said
My father took me to his library and had me read from his thick Neurophsiology text book. It said that under the control of the brain’s central nervous system, skeletal muscles can learn to contract in a specific order with great precision.
I went back to my Phys Ed notes. The notes indicated the fundamental premise of the effectiveness of core training, and functional training for that matter, is that there are muscles in the human body which need multi-joint strength training exercises to properly activate and coordinate them.
My father stopped me and handed me a Neuromechanics book that said nope to my PE class. Each muscle force causes reactive forces throughout the body affecting all other muscles. The brain’s central nervous system coordinates the musculature. Strength training is just strength training.
Well, the conversation continued and then abruptly stopped as Sunday night football was on. As I sort of watched I saw offensive tackle Jake Long, of the Miami Dolphins, playing. I knew Jake. The announcers were saying how he was ‘all this’ and ‘great that’, while my dad was saying the two time All Pro, 1st player taken in the draft, was too heavy and couldn’t move. That’s typical dad.
My father trained Jake on the same machines I used growing up and as I watched him play he looked… pretty ‘athletic’ to me.
I guess there are a lot of ways to GET STRONG.
My dad says, “Do not contact me.” So I can’t address your comments.