The Science of Specificity - Presentation

Through the grapevine I heard that Loren Chiu (USC), Dr. John Garhammer (California State University - Long Beach) and Dr. Brian Schilling (University of Memphis) presented some interesting research on the topic of sport specificity at the last NSCA Conference in Las Vegas. Loren Chiu was generous enough to send me their powerpoint presentation.

Basically, the research supports conventional lifting techniques and sprint training, while putting a number of nails in the coffin for SAQ (speed-agility-quickness) programs (often referred to as “Stupid and Questionable”).

Take a look at the presentation (download below) and let me know what you think. Some slides are self explanatory, while others may require more background info (maybe someone who attended the presentation could fill us in a bit).

The Science of Specificity - PDF File

Thanks to Loren Chiu for providing us with their presentation. Keep up the good research!

Thanks for the access to this information!

AMEN! Some skill work can be done to patch issues up though but I am thrilled with this ppt/pdf file.

Good stuff. Nice and to the point. Did anyone see these presentations?

The only thing that made me cringe is that in their slide they using a quasi-static approach to analyze biomechanics. (e.g. Sum forces = 0 instead of Sum forces = mass*accelleration). I assume that they include dynamic inertia in their analysis, but that slide is like nails on a chalkboard for me. :slight_smile:

Classification of the Means
By James Smith

In regards to strength training for sport; many comparisons and arguments have been initiated in reference to the Olympic weight lifts and their derivatives and the power lifts and their derivatives. Such debates are futile and
often commenced by individuals who lack a fundamental understanding of the transference of various types of exercise to sports form.
First, all means (exercises) must be classified as general, general specific, or specific.
General means qualify as those which do not directly assist in perfecting or developing sport
skill; but rather, serve to develop general physical qualities such as general work capacity, muscle cross-section, increased bone density, connective tissue strength, flexibility/mobility, etc.

General Specific means qualify as those which match the energy system demands (speed of muscle contraction, duration of effort, etc) of the sport skill and some or all of the active musculature yet do not match the amplitude
and direction of the sport skill.
Specific means qualify as those which exactly match the amplitude and direction of the sport skill and, correspondingly, develop the special work capacity and have a direct effect on the development of sport skill.

Following are some examples of various means and their classification relative to different sporting disciplines:
American Football (Linemen)
• General- Olympic lifts, power lifts, any other lift performed with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells , etc
• General Specific- pushing or pulling a weighted
implement (e.g. sled, tire, special training apparatus,etc) for 4-10 second repetitions
• Specific- one on one contests against an opponent for4-10 second repetitions

It’s from the NSCA so worthless :smiley:

I know that there is a division within the NSCA membership - SAQ balance-board, physioball, functional training freaks (no bias here!) vs. the conventional strength training coaches (weightlifting, plyos, sprints, med-balls, good planning). So this presentation must have created a bit of controversy.