Strength training and the lack of it at the college level Strength training and the lack of it at the college level

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Thread: Strength training and the lack of it at the college level

  1. #1
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    Default Strength training and the lack of it at the college level

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    I emailed Stef about this. I am posting an email from a young athlete Diego and I had the pleasure to train this past summer for five weeks. She is a swimmer, a junior this year and she came to us for strength training after her coach told her she needed to be stronger. Makes sense to me. So we put her on a novice SS program. And she got stronger. She is back at school and frustrated and pissed because, well,...her email says it all. My question is.....what advice can I give her? She will be back with us in December when she is on break...until then????

    Hi Emily,
    I wanted to wait to respond until I had a good grasp on our team lifts this year. My dad mentioned that he told you about some of it, but now that we are into "real" lifting I figured I should update you.
    First off, the school's normal gym, where I have been lifting on the weekends, has one (somewhat strange) squat rack and a ton of really bad bench racks. (they're too narrow and squishy and I either have the bar way too low when racked, or way too high.) And there are no bumper plates for deadlifting. So I've been making do, but it's a lot less structured than I would like. I have been going once a week, and my poor squat is back to around 120 because everything we are doing in our team "lifts" has been actively working against strength building, but I'll get to that next. My deadlift is around 155 right now, and bench is (I think) 75. So those are pretty good, and press is hard but I can do the men's bar so I can at least somewhat practice it. I'm just upset about the squats.
    So team lifts we have been doing a lot of "conditioning" work. We generally do a short warm up, a rotation of three exercises (lunges or squats, overhead or bench press, pullups or the incline pull up things) and then go outside. Usually we run sprints, or walk up and down the bleachers, or do lots of planking and then exercises with a crate holding some weights. So all the "strength training" we just did kind of goes out the window as we get yet another cardio workout, in addition to the 2 hours in the evening we get from swimming. The part that kills me is that the days we do this, the guys team does a bench press set -- with the bar, not dumbbells --, deadlifts, and pull ups, which is basically everything I want to do but am not allowed. The excuse the coach makes is that the guys team is smaller and has less freshmen, so it's easier to get them all up to speed quickly. But that doesn't explain the fact that we have never done benching with the bar, or deadlifts.
    I have talked to my head coach extensively about how I want to maintain my strength, and the lifting coach a little bit, but neither seem to understand what I want. The lifting coach has told me I can come in for extra days if I want, and my head coach just told me to keep lifting on Sundays. But all I really want is the freedom to lift on my own and not have to run shuttle runs anymore!
    We squatted with the bar for the first time on Tuesday, which was nice but we only spent like 20 minutes there (so not enough rest in between sets) and there were no warmup sets. Just 4 sets of 6 squats at whatever weight you felt like. On the upside, the freshman I was sharing a rack with had the best squat of all of the freshmen, once I was done with her... I think I'm going to offer to all of them if they want help I can work with them this weekend. The only problem is we aren't really doing it enough to matter.
    Sorry for the long email, I'm just getting fed up with the lifting coach and his program here and I figured you would understand. And also I figured it was about time for an update.
    Let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions for things I can do to make it better.

  2. #2
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    I know all about it: http://www.t-nation.com/training/cur...f-sc-coaching/

    I'm sorry for her situation. We're doing what we can, me and you.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilygiza's lifter
    The part that kills me is that the days we do this, the guys team does a bench press set -- with the bar, not dumbbells --, deadlifts, and pull ups, which is basically everything I want to do but am not allowed. The excuse the coach makes is that the guys team is smaller and has less freshmen, so it's easier to get them all up to speed quickly. But that doesn't explain the fact that we have never done benching with the bar, or deadlifts.
    Most of what Rip's talked about with shitty S&C coaches has been ignorance. But this is sexism, plain and simple. This study told us,

    "Compared with coaches of male athletes, coaches of female athletes were less likely to know the credentials of their strength coaches, and they were less likely to use certified coaches to plan and implement their strength and conditioning programs. [...] Compared with their female counterparts, male athletes were more likely to have required training, participate in strength training year round, and train using more sessions per week."

    No-one in her team is a guy, so the coach just doesn't give a fuck. Sorry.

    Oh and here is the full article I referred to.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2014
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    Swimming S&C is a tough battle to fight at the collegiate level.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2014
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    The swim world lives in absolute terror of venturing outside the mainstream of standard practice. I've seen so much of it with my High School aged daughter that I had to develop an elevator speech to describe it: Swim coaches believe if you lose, it's because the competition did more yards at 70% pace than you. If you find out the winner did far fewer yards than you, she's a genetic freak. If you find out she trains for strength with weights, she won despite all that extra muscle and power.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2014
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    Baltimore
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    I forgot to mention that I had, of course, read your article Rip, before I got her email. ;( So I knew exactly what was going on....just wasn't sure if there was any advice I could give her to better her situation. I am guessing...not. Wait till she gets home and comes back to us.

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