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Hold The Line

General George S. Patton said, “You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.”               


rope a dopeMike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time.  He explains, to achieve your goals sometimes you must ‘hold the line.’

As a young man in boot camp we had some very spirited and very competitve tug-of-war contests. Your mission as a soldier was to win.  I loved the competition and the emotion of the event. As a new strength and conditioning coach I wanted to try tug-of-war with our football team in the off-season.

‘Risk reward’ is always at issue and my fear of ankle sprains was warrented.  I had seen a few in our lively military competitions.  I needed to devise away the athlete could pull the rope and not roll an ankle.

describe the imageWhat is interesting is that competitive rope pulling has actually generated data on how hard people can pull against a minimally movable load.  A peak force for a strong and heavy man may reach about 140 pounds with a sustainable force of about 70 pounds.

I figured with a few reasonable rules and a tired athlete before rope pulling began, I could make the exercise safe.  A fresh untrained athlete or a coach could be the spotter if I could get that initial sustainable pulling power down to about 35 pounds or less.

My strategy was this – first one athlete went through their workout with their last exercises being the grip, such as the Pendulum Gripper followed by the wrist roller.  Immediately after recording the grip work the athlete was sent out the door for a 200 yard sandbag farmers walk. 

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The athletes returned to 100 feet of rope lying on the ground.  A line was drawn on the floor that said, ‘Hold The Line‘.  Their feet could not cross it.  They were to remain in the designated area as they pulled.  Fatigued from training and their hands and traps fried from the grueling 200 yard walk, they immediatly began the one man tug-of-war.

The drill was simple… pile all the rope in front of you in a timely manner.

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Am I recommending someone do this……..I am just telling you what I did and apologizing to those I did it to. 

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Closed And Open Chain

Open kinetic chain exercises of the lower limb are movements, where the distal segment is unloaded and free to move. The opposite is true of closed kinetic chain exercises, whereby  there is enough resistance to prohibit free motion.

Closed kinetic chain exercises are movements such as squats, Pendulum Squat Pro, leg presses and lunges, while open chain exercises are actions like leg curls, leg extensions and the Pendulum Reverse Glute Ham.

The kinetic chain can be understood as interrelated joints and body parts working with one another during motion. This creates a chain of events that affects the movement of neighboring joints and segments.

The advantage of open chain movements is that they tend to be better at isolating muscle and often are selected for specific rehabilitation and used to accentuate performance. While closed chain movements in general would be classified as more functional and closely approximating movements that are used in sport and daily life.

Pendulum Reverse Glute Ham Machine

Open Chain Reverse Glute Ham

Pendulum Power Squat Pro

Closed Chain Pendulum Power Squat Pro

Pendulum Power Squat Pro XT

Closed Chain Pendulum Power Squat Pro XT

Arkansas Baseball Weight Room
arkansas weight room
arkansas weight room
arkansas weight room
arkansas weight room
arkansas weight room
2-for-2 Method

Some trainers, coaches and athletes use what is called the 2-for-2 Method for increasing training load. The rule is if the trainee can perform two or more repetitions over one’s ‘repetition goal’ in the last set of an exercise, for two consecutive workouts, the weight is added for that particular exercise the next training session.

Bench Rep