Collegiate Strength and Conditioning

Georgia strength coach talking “64 guys clean over 300 with 2 over 400”

Oregon state:


I was going through the roster and found that the players run electronic 40 yard times. lemichael james is tied for the fastest running back on the team with a 4.69. He runs FAT 10.52. Would be interested in what exactly the elctronic timing system used.



“We have 60 guys powercleaning over 300, I asked the guy from Mississippi, the strength coach, How many do you guys have cleaning over 300, THERE THE COTTONBOWL CHAMPS told me they have 30, 30?. we have 64”. -Dave Van Halanger -

I guess the guys at Mississippi are developing football players not powercleaners.

The last time I used our electronic timing system (Brower Speed Trap 2) I set it up such that I started the machine manually by hand and the finish was automatic timing gates.

I triggered the start based upon the first movement my eye captured as I was standing right next to the runners (didn’t need to be at the finish because of the timing gates).

Obviously the gates can be cheated if they happen to be triggered by a hand crossing the beam prior to the body so keep that in mind.

Using the set up I mentioned (on field turf with football spikes) the fastest player I’ve timed so far was 4.55 (this was almost two years ago). This same player averages 4.25-4.31 when timed covering 40yd on the same surface with a stop watch (depending on who’s timing him).

I use 3 point with touch pad (hand on pad)(athlete has to pause with hand back and one on pad for a count of 2). I also film the starts so no one can bitch!

I also have a 145 pound WHL hockey player who can hang clean 300 lbs. Its only benaficial if it improves speed and power on field or ice!

Interesting indeed. Sure there is more to winning games than weight room numbers, but ya gotta assume that team A with much better weight room numbers than team B is better off. Although, he doesn’t mention anything about the squat, dead lift, 40 yard dash times, etc. Clean could be the only thing they are better than Ole Miss at :rolleyes: who knows

also, didn’t we establish that it isn’t the exact amount of weight being lifted, but rather the improvement and the stimulus it provides for the athlete? Thats enough to negate his “stats” right there…

whether or not cleans transfer is not what gets me, but the fact that he thinks 60 players can clean over 300…i just dont believe it

I don’t believe that for a second either.

I saw DVH at the 1997 NSCA football conference in Orlando. During his talk he was standing in front of the crowd with a huge video screen behind him. On the screen was footage playing with his guys at FSU training in the weight room.

He goes on to say how important the teaching and insistence of proper technique is to training his team etc. Meanwhile, the footage behind him shows guys with horrible technique on various exercises including bench presses bounced off chests with butts 6-8 inches off of the bench. I saw a lot of strength coaches looking at each other, with some saying “WTF”. I also heard comments like “he can’t be serious” half-expecting that he was going to reveal a punchline considering the content of his talk and improper technique displayed by his guys. He never mentioned it at all. It was then I realized that this guy gets the cream of the crop in terms of talent to work with and can train them in about any fashion (not exactly but probably not far off either) and they will still be successful.

While what I witnessed might not be an indictment of the overall program, his talk combined with that video was ridiculous.

Mr Halanger, Are you listening?.

Interesting indeed. Sure there is more to winning games than weight room numbers, but ya gotta assume that team A with much better weight room numbers than team B is better off.

Well no, Mississippi are the Cottonbowl champs.

Let Dave worry about increasing numbers & let Missi worry about Championships.

Lets see what Georgia can do next year.

is that the culture of most collegiate S&C programs is based on weight room performance. The lifts are only markers to see if things are progressing. As for the legitimacy of that many 300 lb cleaners, I doubt it. I have some strong athletes and probably 3 clean over 300 lbs. They routinely go in as some of the strongest freshmen in their respective classes and only 3 clean 300+. I think there is a certain pressure to inflate numbers, proving the coach is doing his job. It’s like a certain former WVU coach saying Owen Schmidtt cleaned 535. I want to see that feat on youtube. If it really happened, somebody taped it. The kid from Hillsdale in the NFL cleaned 400 lbs on youtube and it was sloppy as hell.

From a WVU faculty member on another thread I posted that Schmitt’s numbers were from a predicted max from 325/335 from multiple reps with much intra-set recovery.

I do recall that post. I am sometimes blown away by the outlandish claims. I may be against the norm, but to me you must hit one rep max for me to say someone can lift x amount. I have seem very little in the way of injuries doing such over the past 15 years. It may be more like 95% because I always go to the conservative side for attempts.

I completely agree. In order to be able to say you did something you have to do that number and not use a predicted max. In my opinion, it’s no different than using controls for sprints. You might be able to predict fairly closely what someone can do for a 100m/200m via fly 30m, 60m blocks, standing long jumps etc. etc. but until you actually do so, it’s ONLY a prediction.

The only time I think a predicted max can be useful is to set up a future training cycle but then it would need to be for 5 or fewer reps and not 325/335 for 10+ reps done as a long cluster with 30+ seconds between reps.

Agrred on all points. If I were going to use a 5 rep lift as an indicator, I would say “Player X benched 335 lbs for 5 reps” not somehow extrapolate those numbers into a predicted max. In my experience, the closer to 100% max, the less predictable. I see a lot of guys who can do 335 x 5 bench, yet can’t do 360lbs. Charts say he should do roughly 15 lbs higher. I think a lot of it becomes psychological. I see guys completely change the lift due to it being “heavy”. Set up look hesitant, eccentric bar speed slows, etc. Just a general lack of confidence overall. I think confidence plays a huge role in max reps. It’s kind of carries over to field of play. They feel like they are unstoppable in weight room and that attitude generally carries out to the field as well.

For sure, the confidence issue plays a huge part in the training and the competing. Just having “been there before” for many athletes is enough to be successful in subsequent attempts at lifts, jumps, throws, or simply playing the sport.

I agree on the point you make about ridiculous claims of lifts, performances. Those claims are almost more about the out of control ego of a strength coach who needs to show the world what his training can result in-even if the results are not at all accurate.

It does not matter if the numbers are lifts, 40’s, vertical jumps etc. Being able to claim some numbers (especially if they are not real marks)
does not make one a better coach or their program more effective but some coaches believe that.

It’s unfortunate, though, that people outside of the those progams hear of those inflated marks and assume that coach a must be better than coach b. They hear he has more guys that bench this weight or clean this weight or run sub 4.4 40’s when the marks are self reported by the coach with no way to tell how accurate the marks are/how stringent the testing to get these marks were.

I moved to the high school setting a couple of years ago. Previously, the team had been hand timed for their 40s. First thing I did was order a speed trap II. Our school would probably equate to a top AAA or mediocre 4A school in the US. Using the touch pad and electronic finish, all of the ‘4.6x’ hand timed guys immediately went into the high 4.8x to 4.9x category running on a mondo surface with flats or spikes.

Our team speed is no where what you would see at most top US schools (we’re a 750 student catholic boys school with mainly white/asian population). I usually get a couple in the 4.8x, and 5-6 in the 4.9x category. The remainder of the starters are in the low 5.0x-5.2x category.

Players complained at first, but now have accepted the stats and understand the reality of the situation.

Fastest time I have had this year prior to the start of training was a 6’2" soccer player who ran a 4.76 the other day.

I’ve used James’ hand time start method, and the times are usually close, or about 0.05-0.1 seconds faster at most if I miss the timing.

I’ve been down to visit Oregon State and know a number of guys from Brian Miller’s crew. A number of his GAs compete in Olympic lifting, and he runs a really solid crew with good technique from his athletes.

The results I had when I coached at the high school level were very similar to yours (using the speed trap with touch pad on synthetic track with spikes) although I did have 4 guys who were sub 4.7 and my population at the time was almost 100% rural Caucasian.

My players, and head coach, actually fully adopted the system and became proud of the fact that their times were much closer to being the truth and soon viewed stop watch times as science fiction.

I have guys in D I, II, III, and juco in all sports (football included) and they all tell me how there coaches all want the WEIGHT ROOM numbers to be certain numbers. I told my head coach (high school) dont worry about the numbers (ala buddy & james at pitt) just make sure it tranfers to the field (exercise wise).
Also does anybody use the Patented FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT SCREEN that is so popular now? I havent met or talked to a collegiate S&C coach or Athletic Trainer that does. Honestly I seriously think its overhyped.
Please share your thoughts.


Yes, I must admit, I actually use the FMS with most of our teams. While it takes some time to implement, I believe it has helped our program in the last 2 years that I have used it. I understand that talented coaches can identify some of the movement pattern issues that athletes have simply by watching them play, but I do not see all of our sports teams in action on a regular basis…

How did we use it? After running the teams through the screen, I created 7-8 different categories of “pre-hab” movement groups that the players are sorted into. They work on correcting their individual movements and imbalances, before doing the main training portion of the day…

I’d also like to second James’ thoughts on the Brower Speed Trap. I time our 10’s/20’s/40’s and shuttles with it. We use the touch pad to start, and the gates at the finish. In 4 years, we’ve only had a handful of athletes in the 4.6 range - and these kids were ready to cry, believing they run 4.4’s;)

Here’s an evaluation tool that Al Vermeil uses.