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10.16.2009

Intense Training “Good or Evil”

Power Squat Pro Machine

There is no doubt that we have all heard some horrific story of an accident in the weight room. I have seen accidents in my gym that make me queezy just thinking about them.

Whenever something like this happens, the questions fly and fingers point from all corners. Who was to blame, why did this happen, and could this have been prevented?

The other comment I get is that we are pushing our athletes to hard, to intensely in the weight room setting them up for injuries. I agree that it would be much safer to sit on the couch with a bag of chips and risk nothing, but then again how do you train for a sport where the athlete must be willing to lay it all on the line to emerge victorious.

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

Our bodies adapt to the stresses that are imposed on them. We adapt to muscular tension by increases in strength, and or muscular development. To create an increase in an athletes strength, we must impose a stress that is beyond homeostasis, or what the body deems acceptable and natural. The stress imposed must be significant enough to create a chemical response that will illicit a biological change resulting in muscular growth. The dance then is how much is needed to trigger the need to change, v.s. how much is too much that we cannot recover.

My sweet wife is my greatest encourager and she is always giving me these cute little sayings her folks told her. Here is one of my favorites, “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” Now I am certain there must have been a coach in the family tree somewhere back there. We all know that anything extraordinary in life will follow extra ordinary efforts. Now after over thirty years of strength training and power lifting, I am still trying to find the right blend of training that is hard enough to illicit change, but not enough to cause overtraining and injury.

There are some amazing strength coaches out there who accel in this precarious dance.

    • How do you know when you are training hard enough?
    • How much is too much and what are the signs?
    • How do you bring out in an athlete what they can’t by themselves?
    • How can intense effort be administered safely?
    • Alternate methods for training to failure?
    • Is training to failure even necessary?

Any thoughts you would like to share on this would be greatly appreciated.

Push On – Be Strong

Tyler Hobson

Photo Courtesy of Kathy Leistner

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