Is max strength important

It was meant to be a small joke given how long the study was, and how complex it looked. Not saying I didnt understand it btw…

but putting the joke aside, I’m pretty sure glen mills and steve franno dont sit down to read these studies either.

and how many people in the world have as much talent as bolt?

Often the top coaching intuition and scientific research go hand in hand.

Exactly. Top coaches will have either:-
A - learned from Tons of readings and practicing what they learned till they get it right
B - Done an “apprenticeship” of sorts with another Top level coach
Combined A and B

And have access to top athletes.

Hi Sady,

This isn’t directed towards you as your short post doesn’t really say much about where you are coming from.

I disagree that top coaches need to have automatic access to top athletes to ply their trade. I can think of numerous domestic and international coaches that have been successful both performance wise and within the coaching community, purely through the development of their own athletes. Sometimes they will lose those athletes, but before too long they have developed another.

A comment from one particular coach exemplifies this for me: I expressed by sympathy for him as his star athlete (whom he had developed from scratch) had just unexpectedly switched coaches after numerous successful seasons. His only reply was: “Yeah it’s disappointing. You get this but you know me; I’ll just have to create another one”. Although he hasn’t done so yet (this is only a couple of years ago), his record leads me in no doubt that it’s only a matter of time.

I don’t think it is quite so simplified. Having been exposed to many top level coaches I can honestly say that while these factors may exist and may be important to some degree, they are by no means the only manner in which they learn coaching skills. Some bring skills from other areas, others simply have a good eye and innate intuition for the sport while some apply their own experience from competition.

I am not fussed coaching anymore or disagreeing with what you have said but too often an individual is given the tag “top coach” when all they have is a level that an athlete has to be at to be coached by them. Some deserve the tag, some don’t.

I can remember a mother asking a top coach at a regional competition if he would coach her daughter, the usual was said about meeting a qualifying standard, when I coached the kid I asked her to say her mother was her coach. Later that day the same girl broke region records in 100m, 200m & 400m and was approached by the same coach asking her if she would like to train with him. Quote ““You missed your chance buddy””.

I recently put a proposal to the local organising committee re a competition for coaches. The LOC would place unattached athletes with a coach for say 3 months, after that 3 months the athlete would be evaluated then passed to another coach for 3 months then revaluated. The athlete after 6 months could then be passed on to a top coach if they so wish.

I think you could imagine the answer, it was bordering on funny.

I think the main difference in what we are thinking comes down to differing definitions for “Top Coach”, I’d reserve my judgement in labeling a coach “top” even if they had developed standout athlete, until they were able to develop another. Sometimes talent outshines a bad coach, so long as their methods are relatively benign.

It’s funny how in our sport young athletes tend to regress after a change in coaches (even if the new coach is a good coach). Swimming has a model whereby the athlete will be “passed up” the chain of coaches as they get older and develop. Even removing the personal dimension (which granted is not realistic) I don’t think this would work in sprinting. It seems as though sprinters are so idiosyncratic and differences in performance o fine that, aside from the odd exception, a change will nearly inevitably lead to a decline in performance. Even if the transition is smooth and amicable, there is sooo much information and specific experience that gets lost in the transfer that the new coach faces an overwhelmingly steep learning curve and high expectations.

Oh Boy, this thread has gone off topic…

Wouldn’t those charts need to be adapted based on training age and muscle fiber predominance? I see a lot of powerlifters who have high benches, but can do nowhere near their chart numbers for 3 or 5 reps. Just massively explosive guys. I agree with the fact that regardless of your sport, weights are only one tool to make you better. If Max strength is in place, time would be better served developing qualities such as flex and elasticity, depending on athletes. I used to always have my athletes setting records in the weight room constantly, but it wasn’t improving other qualities much. I train mostly football and hockey, so the need for flat out high end speed like RB34 is reduced. That being said, Charlie told me plain and simple, “all qualities can’t go up at the same time continously”.

In terms of RM charts, this is a topic that has come up before. There are several charts, some based on controlled scientific studies, others on informal observation of a number of lifters, and most charts are in close agreement. If you read between the lines, some studies use untrained individuals, others use experienced lifters, so you need to be aware of that.

Most represent typical athletes with at least some weight room experience and are based on the ‘mode’ or ‘mean’ number that athletes performed to failure. Not everyone hits the exact number on the chart for a specific RM percentage. Some get less, some get more. Most probably fall very close to the number on the chart.

I am 49 and I know I can normally get right on the number, and can often exceed the number by one rep, although I don’t test this very often. I use a slow eccentric in training and may have more strength endurance than a lifter that always uses a fast eccentric.

I work with a 21 year old powerlifter that benches 805 with a shirt, and high 500’s raw, and a 24 year old powerlifter that benches high 400’s shirted and 375 raw and both can meet or exceed the charts, again I think because of using very slow eccentrics in training.

Charlie has alluded to the fact that Ben could exceed the charts probably because Ben possessed a very high degree of strength endurance.

The charts aren’t perfect, and everyone should have a good feel for how may reps they usually do at a given weight, but the charts are a good place to start and are fairly accurate (within 1 rep) for most lifters that do not possess either very high or very low strength endurance.

Topic: how important is max strength for short sprinters.

If it was top of the list wouldn’t powerlifters be the fastest sprinters with body builders down the list somewhat, I would suggest it is the other way around. Strength (weight room) is only one of the many skills a successful sprinter would use.

Is max strength important? Define important. I can’t think of any successful sprint group that prioritizes max strength. Not CF, not Franno, not Tellez, not Pfaff, not John Smith. They all will use elements of max strength schemes but it never takes precedence over speed. If you add up the weeks that could be considered true max strength work it is very few.

As fogelson always points out not many sprinters are insanely strong. They are strong and explosive but rarely anything freaky. Mo squatted over 400 deep, benched what 340-350. Powell does a triple with either 275 or 245 on bench cant really tell but it is tough. Powell on the same vid does stepups with maybe 225. Ato had strength similar to Mo. Donovan had a good clean. Bruny was strong. None were on the freak side but a lot were strong but much of it not unattainable for a lot of other slower athletes.

Personally sprinting and plyo has increased my power clean as much as anything. I have a higher power clean at a lower bodyweihht using a lot less weight volume than when I weightlifted only.

What about football guys who do tons of max strength and explosive strength work and still manage 6.7’s in the 60 with very little track work?

do you know that the MS and ES work has helped them? or does the weight training just coexist with their speed.

Also, Are they running on the football field?

Yes I do know because I have there offseason workouts.

so you don’t have them do any speed work? and they are still getting faster. Basically a pure power lifting workout-- that (in)directly has increased their speed.

i could see a program completely dedicated to strength for football during the winter and spring. And then decrease the volume of MS work into the summer and by fall very little MS work all the while increasing the speed work.

Im not sure why a coach would neglect speed work for any longer. Im interested to hear your thoughts.

I haven’t seen many football strength programs but the ones I have seen don’t have as much max strength as most would think but have a lot of hypertrophy work, at least as much as max strength. The one at my local uni is more burnout teamwork type of program nothing like James program.

Also depends on what you define as max strength 85% and up, 90% and up…

It’s not the norm for a baller to come off of their football strength program and run a 10.6, the guys here that play football and run track will be doing the track program anytime they would have an opportunity to run a 10.6 100. But it is the norm for sprinters to not lift a ton of max strength.

I meant to mention you in that first post because I have read where you have said the same thing as fogelson. So I know you agree.

The problem I see with a lot of universities programs is that you very rarely have time to work with your athletes for more than a couple of months if at all as a private S&C coach. I send kids away to college faster and stronger than 2 years later which is confounding to say the least. You can peak a kid for the season and some idiot just wrecks the kid in some form of “hell week” within a few weeks. I harken back to the moron at CMU who made my kids START their lower body work with 50x3x315 squats. Followed by 10 sets of thirty band squats. Enough said. In my experience, MAX strength much more important in football than any other sport. I have seen great skill guys who can run like deer but can’t hand fight a jam by CB. Block periodization is a great system if you have more control over the process, but I find I need to push more of the qualities in a conjugate type of method to be effective in limited off season.