Strength Performance Network

November 2011 Blog Posts (19)

Fire in Babylon - A Documentary

Last night I watched “Fire in Babylon” an excellent documentary film. To call this a documentary about the great West Indies cricket team of the 1970's and 80's does not do it justice. It is a classic example of sport as metaphor and also a window into society. In the West Indies in the 1960’s the former British colonies where all achieving their independence from Britain, it was a time of social and political ferment,…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 29, 2011 at 8:58am — No Comments

Up for discussion, why barbell squat jumps are rarely used in America?

I hope to get some discussion going on this point. 

One of my customers posted a video on youtube (I just posted it on the SPN video area) of a pro volleyball player using the Myotest for the squat power profile.  The application is being used as intended, truly measure peak power to have the specific training zones (load & bar speed) for speed/strength and strength/speed training.  But, key point, do a true explosive movement (squat jump) not some other variation where the…


Added by Scott Damman on November 28, 2011 at 12:39pm — 1 Comment


The goal is to put drills or exercises into a context to optimize their effectiveness by choosing the correct drill to use at the correct time and place in the overall training program. To do this consider using the following evaluative criteria:

Why are you doing the drill? Is it just a time filler or does…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 21, 2011 at 8:43am — No Comments

Core Duration vs. Core Intensity

     One topic came to mind when it comes to core training, specifically how we choose the duration of the exercise vs. making the exercise more difficult to elicit a training effect.  One of the players was filling me on what they did with a past team at camp which sounded to me to be somewhat counterproductive.  A few of them chimed in and said that that was the exact same thing they were doing as well.  What am I talking about?  Holding planks for endless minutes.  Now,  I am actually…


Added by Matt Siniscalchi on November 19, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments


Strongman If in doubt add a load and slow the movement down! If a ten-kilo weight vest is good for weighted sprints then a thirty-kilo vest is obviously three times as good. Why? Adding load is very quantifiable; it makes it easy to measure progress. Adding load slows movement down and makes it easier to…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 16, 2011 at 8:32am — No Comments

Various Ankle Mobility Exercises

     When taking a bottoms up approach to assessing or observing the way people move, the first thing that comes to mind is the ankle.  One of the major mobility restrictions is ankle mobility, or lack of ankle dorsiflexion (with the heel in contact with the ground).  In order to squat, run, lunge, & jump effectively, an athlete needs a good amount of ankle dorsiflexion and without it, compensation will occur somewhere up the kinetic chain.  There are many compensations to look for such…


Added by Matt Siniscalchi on November 15, 2011 at 5:20pm — No Comments


Work is a four-letter word. Some people avoid it and other are consumed by it. Anyone can work, but can you translate work into results (performance)? You can if you start with a clear vision of the end result you want to achieve and then delineate the steps necessary to achieve that result. Recognize then that it is a process that systematically masters those steps. It is a process that takes time because training is…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 15, 2011 at 7:27am — No Comments


Avoid the use of confusing jargon in coaching and presentations to other coaches. I personally am not impressed with someone who is trying to show off their knowledge, because they are actually showing their ignorance. In coaching and speaking we need to remember the focus is on Man-scratching-his-head the athletes and…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 14, 2011 at 7:38am — No Comments

Burning the Holiday Turkey:

Burning the Holiday Turkey: The average American gains 7-10 pounds durning the Holidays. Can you blame anyone with all of that great food around? With family and friends around, going to your local gym might seem hard to come by. Here is a great way to try something new that’s perfect to start burning that weight off. No weights are required, just some hard work and dedication to start the New Year off right.   

Total body workout                                                      …


Added by Jacob "Hollywood" Howell on November 13, 2011 at 8:05pm — No Comments

The Movement Symphony

It is easy and convenient to take a reductionist, mechanistic viewpoint that separates the body into parts and systems. We are continually  bombarded with this type of reductionism. The problem and it is a big problem is the failure to recognize that for the body to execute movement, whether it is a sustained endurance activity, explosive…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 11, 2011 at 7:24am — No Comments

Simplicity - It's not Complicated

Simplicity is needed in a world that we have made needlessly complicated. Look for the obvious. You will be surprised when you realize how much you can see by looking. Step back and look at the connections and links, see how they coordinate. Think of the essence of what we are trying to do as coaches – help the athlete to discover and explore…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 10, 2011 at 7:34am — No Comments

WaveLoad for Back Squat

Just complete my second week trying a waveload for the squat.  My weights went up by 20 to 30 pounds from week 1 to week 2.  Here's how my numbers......I will keep all posted as I really like this training protocol and want to see how much of an increase in my squat I can get in a month.


Week 2

265 x 3

285 x 2

305 x 1

275 x 3

295 x 2

315 x 1

285 x 3

305 x 2

325 x 1


Week 1

255 x 3



Added by David Lawrence on November 9, 2011 at 1:07pm — 8 Comments

Proprioception - Use it don't abuse it!

Ultimately the glue that binds movements together is proprioception. I like to think of it as lending quality to the movements we are using in training. Proprioception is awareness of joint position derived from feedback in the sense receptors in the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It is a highly trainable quality that we tend to take for granted. It is almost too simple.…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 9, 2011 at 10:44am — No Comments

Strength You Can Use

Certainly strength and its various permutations is a key performance factor. The question is how big a performance factor is it and how do you develop strength you can use in the particular sport? I have been struggling with this issue for 42 years of coaching and before that ten more years as an athlete. At various times I have over emphasized it and at other times I short changed it.…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 8, 2011 at 7:44am — 2 Comments


Quality is an often-used word in coaching. It is common to hear statements like “quality effort” or  “quality session training.” I had not really thought about the definition of quality much until last week when Wolfgang Ritzdorf, professor at Deutsche Sporthochschule, Köln, spoke about the need to improve the quality of training. He defined quality as a percent of perfect, in contrast to intensity that is a percent of 100.… Continue

Added by Vern Gambetta on November 7, 2011 at 7:23am — No Comments

Training - The Big Picture

Training and the adaptation to training is a cumulative process. No one workout or training method that will make the difference, but the total of all the training components blended into training over the long term is what determines the ultimate training adaptation. In fact training is synergistic so that in reality the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is why it is so important to plan and recognize…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 6, 2011 at 8:44am — No Comments

The Technical Model

Yesterday’s post on Frank Dick’s seven principles for high performance underscored the need to establish a sound technical model as a basis for later performance excellence. That being said and understood it is important to emphasize that the technique fit the athlete. Too often coaches have one technical model that they try to impose upon all athletes. In building the technical model start with the physical and…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 3, 2011 at 8:25am — No Comments

Frank Dick’s Seven Step High Performance Model

This model is elegant in it’s simplicity, yet as complex as it needs to be in application. I was first introduced to the elements of this model years ago in an article Frank had written. Back then it was four steps:

Basic Technical Model…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 2, 2011 at 8:10am — No Comments

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