The Two-Factor Model of Sports Performance | Mark Rippetoe The Two-Factor Model of Sports Performance | Mark Rippetoe

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Thread: The Two-Factor Model of Sports Performance | Mark Rippetoe

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    Default The Two-Factor Model of Sports Performance | Mark Rippetoe

    by Mark Rippetoe

    *The role of strength in athletics has been discussed quite a bit by us, and never enough by anybody else...But strength is not the only component of athletic performance. This essay will explore the essence of preparation for an athletic performance, and will propose a new paradigm for the process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    by Mark Rippetoe

    *The role of strength in athletics has been discussed quite a bit by us, and never enough by anybody else...But strength is not the only component of athletic performance. This essay will explore the essence of preparation for an athletic performance, and will propose a new paradigm for the process.

    Read article
    While you reprise many of your maxims throughout this article and it is a reasonably demanding read, it still amazes me how lucid it is. And how real sports "training " and "fitness" professionals are so alienated from it.

    I played varsity soccer in (D1) college and competitive golf most of my life. I would have been a lot better off had I understood these principles, despite the clear differences in performance for these sports.

    Fortunately, I am still alive to receive the message that Dr Sullivan has so deftly transformed, regarding the nature of aging as a competition sport, albeit one you can't "win". As such, I can still get stronger, but no more soccer, and possibly a prolonged dalliance with golf.

    that my coaches never suggested, ever, that I should touch a bar or plate, was almost criminal. However, I guess it being soccer, perhaps less of an issue.

    Fortunately, sex, drugs, and rock and roll sustained me through those horrible college years.

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    Thanks, a very good read and nicely written, will be book marked.

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    Mark, thanks for the article.

    My son -- now finishing up college after one year of college soccer and a 5-year stint in the 82nd Airborne -- played high level youth soccer growing up. Some guys he played with, and against, have gone on to be professional players, and players on the US and Canadian national teams. By the time these kids were 14-15 years old, you knew who had the physical gifts to be a very good to great player. As Rip as pointed out elsewhere, it's almost exclusively genetics -- for soccer players, it's fast twitch muscles, loose hips, very quick feet, and exceptional coordination. I'll never forget the first time the kids on his team were skipping rope -- most everybody strugged at first, but the best player on the team, who became a Division 1 standout, youth national team player, and Major League Soccer player, started skipping rope like a professonal boxer after about a minute. Oh well.

    There are tons of you tube videos of top level professional soccer players working out. But the reality is that they are physical freaks. That's not to say they don't work out hard -- they do. Their endurance levels are tremendous. But just take a look at these pics of Cristiano Ronaldo's vertical leaps in the course of games.

    Who has the highest vertical jump in football (soccer)? Is that ever measured? - Quora

    Any questions?

    Top level soccer players do lift weights today, though they didn't do so in the past. Today, though, the training regimes at all levels of the game are what you would expect. Balance drills (the half ball is the rage), ladder drills, treadmills, various body weight exercises, machines, treadmills, bikes, martial arts training. Yoga is another rage -- Manchester United has a full time yoga teacher. They are strong -- they are young, they eat right, have no body fat, and can run all day. The basic soccer skills -- ball striking, dribbling, juggling, chesting, heading -- were all imprited by the time they were 14 or so. Those skills get better due to additional practice and the athletic gifts that are God-given. And success in soccer, if you have physical gifts, requires incredible dedication. I know of one player who was very gifted, but simply didn't work hard. He could have been a pro. He's now fat and playing in a Saturday league.

    Starting Strength would help the great players, clearly, but in fact they kinda don't need a progression program given who they are genetically. The typical stuff -- body weight exercises, box jumps, kettlebells -- keeps them reasonably strong and fit.

    Where it would really help it is for someone like my son -- a pretty good Divison 1 or 2 soccer player who could never be a professional given his tighter hips, not as quick feet, and more slow twitch fibers than fast. It would have maxed out his ability athletically, but the ceiling is what it is, and it's always going to be lower that his future MLS teammate.

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    A few gaps I have a hard time getting away from…

    Like many of your articles, this one is well written and as noted by the poster above, captures many of your core maxims. Thinking through the application of this logic and its strength philosophy in various contexts is helpful, and also enjoyable to see it all come together. I especially like the connection of training strength in an efficient manner that moves the needle demonstrably, but not in a way that interferes with the motor patterns that are directly tied to the skill of the performance sport of choice (i.e. not using the heavy baseball).

    And while I’m a huge proponent of almost all of Starting Strength's doctrine, I struggle with two topics:
    1) If feels like it is too critical of the use of bodyweight activities/exercises in the context of “Training.” I get it that there is nothing better at improving a sport like Soccer than by, playing & practicing soccer. I also get it that too much focus on silly soccer-like exercises become motor distractions vs. enablers, and not necessarily worth the time given the uplift one receives from playing and from strength development. It just feels like there is a happy medium where small supplementation with simple, mindless exercises like ladders, box jumps, plyo’s even various kettlebell movements give an athlete a way to push their performance boundaries in fringe movement patterns that one does not receive from prime movements, while also not having to be so mentally “on” as when actively playing a game of soccer.

    Game play (or even ball practice) might lead to unpreventable injury. Game play always requires concentration. Play may lead to underutilized exertion due to play dynamics. Reasonably appropriate bodyweight movements can be tacked on to increase volume in a calculated, predictable, and unique manner that promotes hyper compensation, while also not overly taxing the athlete’s mental burden. Such physical stresses would be more difficult to realize via play and highly sport specific activities, and also not quite the same training effect as received through core movement strength development (say getting closer to a metabolic threshold only seen through play toward the end of a hard tournament).

    2) I just feel that the quiver of Starting Strength’s core movements has one glaring gap related to supinated lifting strength. Not a SS newb… Of course pulling off the floor develops many of those muscular systems. And yes, power cleans handle activation of arm contraction, but only in the pronated position, and only in an explosive, plyometric fashion (weight floating for a chunk of the contraction cycle). Will the athlete improve his supinated lifting strength, you bet. Do I feel it’s maximized? No…

    And I’m well aware of suggestions to supplement chins as a way to better develop the bicep, but it seems such references are always in the context of the cosmetics of the arm rather than the functional, controlled lifting strength of the athlete. I don’t know about others, but I don’t always grab things off the floor with a pronated grip and a power position hip jump.

    It’s not so much that this is unsolvable, it’s just I hear so many tout the starting strength core movements as being the de facto standard, giving a maximal cross section and coverage for all strength needs. Here’s another interesting article (albeit not as well written) contrasting Training vs Practice across the stages of development. Once again, the author replays the merits of the 5 core movements: “Yes. Five movements. Strength development in the squat, press, deadlift, bench press, and clean is a lifetime endeavor. For athletic training purposes, these exercises will have the greatest impact for the longest time.”

    I think “the five” are darn close to the ultimate selection of strength movements. For me, however, it just feels like chins, vertical pulls, or maybe even barbell curls should be mandatory vs an afterthought…the five should be six. I also like the idea of building strength with the body supported from above vs firmly planted on the ground or a bench. If I think of functional strength as so well represented from the other five, I also think about the ability to have stable strength and control while hanging; to be able to activate a lift applying shoulder stability, lat power, and bicep strength. Whether climbing through a window, scaling a rock face, or picking something up, such strength has overlap of course, but is still fundamentally different than the pulling and pressing movements of the current core movements. Lacking such a focus as a "first class" element of the core doctrine seems like a gap to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aphipps View Post
    It just feels like there is a happy medium where small supplementation with simple, mindless exercises like ladders, box jumps, plyo’s even various kettlebell movements give an athlete a way to push their performance boundaries in fringe movement patterns that one does not receive from prime movements, while also not having to be so mentally “on” as when actively playing a game of soccer.
    How exactly do mindless exercises give an athlete a way to increase performance?

    Game play (or even ball practice) might lead to unpreventable injury. Game play always requires concentration. Play may lead to underutilized exertion due to play dynamics. Reasonably appropriate bodyweight movements can be tacked on to increase volume in a calculated, predictable, and unique manner that promotes hyper compensation, while also not overly taxing the athlete’s mental burden. Such physical stresses would be more difficult to realize via play and highly sport specific activities, and also not quite the same training effect as received through core movement strength development (say getting closer to a metabolic threshold only seen through play toward the end of a hard tournament).
    You feel that the "mental burden" of playing soccer doesn't need to be trained for?

    I just feel that the quiver of Starting Strength’s core movements has one glaring gap related to supinated lifting strength. Not a SS newb… Of course pulling off the floor develops many of those muscular systems. And yes, power cleans handle activation of arm contraction, but only in the pronated position, and only in an explosive, plyometric fashion (weight floating for a chunk of the contraction cycle). Will the athlete improve his supinated lifting strength, you bet. Do I feel it’s maximized? No…
    I just feel like thinking is better than feeling here. Do you actually think that taking a deadlift from 185 to 405 somehow leaves untrained some aspect of the grip because one of the hands is not used in a supine position during the movement pattern? Why?

    And I’m well aware of suggestions to supplement chins as a way to better develop the bicep, but it seems such references are always in the context of the cosmetics of the arm rather than the functional, controlled lifting strength of the athlete. I don’t know about others, but I don’t always grab things off the floor with a pronated grip and a power position hip jump.
    I just feel like you missed 100% of the whole entire point of this article, which is the fact that the development of physiologic adaptations like strength and endurance are not dependent on the precise movement patterns in which they are developed in order to be expressed in a performance.

    For me, however, it just feels like chins, vertical pulls, or maybe even barbell curls should be mandatory vs an afterthought…the five should be six. I also like the idea of building strength with the body supported from above vs firmly planted on the ground or a bench. If I think of functional strength as so well represented from the other five, I also think about the ability to have stable strength and control while hanging; to be able to activate a lift applying shoulder stability, lat power, and bicep strength. Whether climbing through a window, scaling a rock face, or picking something up, such strength has overlap of course, but is still fundamentally different than the pulling and pressing movements of the current core movements. Lacking such a focus as a "first class" element of the core doctrine seems like a gap to me.
    Feel less, think more.

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    Keeping the two topics separate:

    Body Weight

    I may have seemed more critical of the SS way than intended. I’m on board with the need to have a foundation of strength and an orientation to sports specificity. Of course one needs to train their mental toughness via game play. I’m just saying that rather than abject exclusion and ridicule, and all other points of the article withstanding, there’s a small, supplemental place for body weight movements in the realm of Training.

    To play this out in an example: Assume that SS is the foundation. Assume the athlete has added hundreds to his squat and dead and excelled in strength off season. This has served him a good deal. They are now on a strength maintenance cycle in season and have completed strength training 2x plus had ball practice with active, mentally challenging scrimmages 3x this week. Today, half the team is out due to some out of town event and hard play isn’t feasible. This athlete is close to their weekly maximum for overall load so they need to dose carefully. They could sacrifice some sleep to drive across town to play, they could go home to do heavy deads and presses?…Or maybe they could do 60 min of focused body weight work to grab supplemental training. …Something they can easily complete, recover from, and not sacrifice mental stress or loss of sleep; but definitely harder and more meaningful than just kicking goal shots. Clearly it’s not their only option, but I purport that body weight activity can be a valid option—and maybe even the better option—given the right circumstances.

    Expanding the Core Movements
    Yes. I was being lazy to respond on this topic in this article in that it’s not totally related. I fully concede that physiological adaptation is transferable. Separately I was critiquing the comprehensiveness of the foundational strength movements. Given that it’s the basis for the strength one wants to transfer, wouldn’t they want it to be as well rounded as possible? “The 5” will absolutely generate shoulder stability, grip strength and all around strength, including arm contraction (supinated or pronated)… I still contend that the balance of the athlete’s strength development isn’t quite on point. So I can double, triple, maybe even quadruple my squat and dead numbers, but my barbell curl only increases by 50% because I can’t get the bar past 80 degrees in a slow and controlled curl? I can squat the house, but struggle to put a toddler on my ankles and get my chin with body and toddler in tow over the bar?
    I said it "feels" lacking as I’m not an expert in exercise science and don’t plan on running a study. I’d be curious to know what a study would show… If one did strict SS, would they have proportional strength on controlled bicep contraction movements as compared to other highly trained athletes? In other words, do they develop transferable strength in the most balanced way possible?

    (btw, thanks for the reply)

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    Quote Originally Posted by aphipps View Post

    To play this out in an example: Assume that SS is the foundation. Assume the athlete has added hundreds to his squat and dead and excelled in strength off season. This has served him a good deal. They are now on a strength maintenance cycle in season and have completed strength training 2x plus had ball practice with active, mentally challenging scrimmages 3x this week. Today, half the team is out due to some out of town event and hard play isn’t feasible. This athlete is close to their weekly maximum for overall load so they need to dose carefully. They could sacrifice some sleep to drive across town to play, they could go home to do heavy deads and presses?…Or maybe they could do 60 min of focused body weight work to grab supplemental training. …Something they can easily complete, recover from, and not sacrifice mental stress or loss of sleep; but definitely harder and more meaningful than just kicking goal shots. Clearly it’s not their only option, but I purport that body weight activity can be a valid option—and maybe even the better option—given the right circumstances.
    And what specifically does this accomplish? Specifically.

    I still contend that the balance of the athlete’s strength development isn’t quite on point. So I can double, triple, maybe even quadruple my squat and dead numbers, but my barbell curl only increases by 50% because I can’t get the bar past 80 degrees in a slow and controlled curl? I can squat the house, but struggle to put a toddler on my ankles and get my chin with body and toddler in tow over the bar?
    You have no experience with doubling your squat, do you? Why are you posting about things you know absolutely nothing about?

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