by Jim Steel
I am a college strength coach, and I am struggling. I am struggling with the state of strength training today. Whether it is training athletes or training the general population, there are a few basic tenets – commandments if you will – that have been thrown out the door and been replaced by soft workouts. I have gone back and forth with myself about either honestly expressing my opinions about the whole damn thing or holding it all in and risking a stroke. I believe that I have held this in long enough. So here goes: the truth as I see it.
Jim is certainly preaching to the converted on this website. I hope his Op finds a wider audience.
I never realized my alma mater had such a badass as strength coach.. a 2000+ total, it sounds like they are in very good hands. I have to believe after reading the article that Jim is a major reason behind last year's football title.
hell yeah, the Bataan Death March occured in my country!
Living in a globo-gym I'm happy that the majority spend their time flexing their elbows and watching tv on a cardio machine but it's surprises me that athletics has fallen prey to this silliness.
Results tend to speak for themselves. It makes one ask the question, Are athletes performing well in their sports despite poor strength training? OR Even more sacriligeous Is strength training relevant to sports performance?
I personally like being strong but I've always been a crappy athlete with little or no talent. My observation is that talented athletes are often talented despite their training practices.
Still I like to squat and it doesn't take much talent so I'm pretty safe in a power rack.
Another great article. I hope it finds its way onto the desks of a lot of folks who'd benefit from reading it.
Amazing article, very well said. A lot can be said for hammering the basics and getting strong. Unfortunately that means that you have to work hard, which means people don't want to do it (as mentioned in the article, we are becoming a very weak society - physically and mentally), and it's tough to make a profit on barbells and plates. Like Jim said, "cardio" machines are big business and generate a lot of revenue, whereas big tires to flip and hills to sprint are free, no "guru's" can get rich off the basics. It's like the supplement industry, fortunes can't be made off milk and coffee, so protein powders and "pre-workout" formulas are created to jack up the price.
Unfortunately many in our business are hung up on the profit motive, and it's tough to sell "squat, drink milk, and work hard." I think this passage says it all:
"I mean, herein lies the answer to what this multibillion dollar strength
“industry” claims to be searching for in a nutshell: get strong with a barbell and hard work."
The problem is they don't want to find that answer, because you can't get rich off it.
That was a great read - thanks.
oh man, amazing article.
i hope that jim actually reads this and will post on this site because it will be amazing to have a college strength coach from a big-time university give advice/help here.
jim, do you really think that coaches shouldn't give as much water in practice(i'm a football player my self, at high school)? or are you just saying that to show how wimpy today's programs are?
me and john sheaffer came to this conclusion(for football development in the late off season):
lifts(starting strength) + hills and car pushes for conditioning + speed work + a bit of agility drills = kickass football player.
maybe even in that order.
before our spring game i didn't do any football stuff (drills and what not) on my own, and i didn't condition. yet i had 3 sacks against the best offensive line in our league. just goes to show that strength has the upper hand on EVERYTHING.
great article, we want more of these, WE NEED MORE OF THESE!