Get Ready for More Post-Olympic Foolishness

Swimmers flipping tires, sprinters on the leg press? I think the Olympics may set training back ten years. Sadly the media loves “catchy clips”. I saw a swimmer tonight toss a keg ( seriously, I saw it), flip tires, and do ropes. Not sure I would do any of that with any of my athletes, much less an Olympian but who knows. Later I got an email from a friend who saw a clip of Usain Bolt on a leg press. Another exercise I had hoped was dead and buried. Oh well, get ready for clients to come in tomorrow wit the “why don’t we do ____”. I for one will be glad when these games are over.

14 Responses to “Get Ready for More Post-Olympic Foolishness”

  1. Jim Reeves Says:

    Chris, great answer. I whole heartily agree.

    Mike, I have for a long time told athletes I will not be the answer for the elite to make to the NHL. As an example, a player I worked with won the Rocket Richard trophy one year, the first year after I worked with him. This player was always going to be a dominant player at the NHL level, and I don’t look as his success in his second through fifth year in the league as a product of my work. I just steered the ship so to speak, he did the on-ice work which led to the personal success.

    I think most other top rated prospects are likely going to play some games in the NHL, the story of their careers may be written differently if they did not have the proper development program in-place at that time, but they still will have had games at that level. But the difference in that in-game success can change based on the program they choose to participate in.

    I know of one athlete who our facility was treating for some post surgical work that reported his Olympic lift based program had him train two days a week where he didn’t perform any exercises unless he was on a 4’X8′ platform. He never moved off the platform the entire time he had resistance in his hands. No lateral work in his program, Olympic lifts and sprint training only if he left the gym and hit the track. You tell me a lateral based sport like hockey can be performed by athletes who do no lateral training, everything vertical or track based? Come on, give your head a shake.

    Needless to say this franchise player has had his best years early in his career, prior to working in this environment. This was a franchise player, can’t miss prospect, goal scoring, play making center who all of a sudden had a lot of injuries and sub-par seasons to answer for during the prime of his career. Was he the best player on his team? You could debate that, he was probably top 2 or 3 at all times in his career. But you probably wouldn’t have had that debate if he had chosen a better method of preparing himself during the summer.

    The impact a good program for pro players can provide is two-fold: First, In that second tier of elite athletes, can you as a strength coach get a Sam Gagner, Matt Duschene or a John Taveres to be a Sedin, St. Louis or a Toews? Can you take the elite prospect and allow them to develop into a dominant veteran? A good game here and there does not make a career and that is the difference for may of these can’t miss prospects who just fizzle out or don’t become the player they were expected to develop into. On a decent program with good direction and planning, the second tier athlete here can have big time success in their career. Drop the ball and they may not be today’s news for long.

    The second group of athletes who can benefit from proper training techniques are those players who have to fight tooth and nail to make it to the professional level and keep fighting every day to stay there their entire career. Those are the players I have a huge impact on, because without a proper program, they could easily train themselves out of the league. They have “elite” genes, but are the ones without the “super elite” genes, if you get my drift. They are good, but they are a dime a dozen, and it becomes a numbers game for these ones. Right place at the right time is a big factor in their success.


  2. mboyle1959 Says:

    Wow, that is bad.

  3. Did you catch any of the yahoo videos of olympic athletes training methods? Out of the dozen or so athletes I’d say maybe 2 of them were acceptable. Jeremy Wariner was even quoted as saying something along the lines of it’s ok that he eats fast food all the time because he has been doing it so long his body has adapted to it….

    I’m not sure if his training video was better or worse…

  4. mboyle1959 Says:

    Jim- I guess our job is to hopefully provide common sense. I think the biggest drawbacks are actually well intentioned parents who put these kids in a tournament every weekend.

  5. Jim Reeves Says:

    Had a junior hockey player in on the weekend for testing, reported spraining his ankle running through a river as part of his conditioning. Water was at mid thigh, rock bottom, couldn’t see bottom clearly = rolled ankle. Mike, I think the limiting factor in your equation is it needs to be (genetics X’s environment) divided by the inverse of their common sense = likelyhood of success.

    There’s a lot of them who just don’t understand why they missed the boat when time has passed them by. Bad choices and habits can kill a kid’s shot at making something of themselves if they don’t train correctly and maximize those windows of opportunity.

  6. I think the variable that is often missed is “Class Distinction.” Olympic and professional athletes are genetically predisposed to be gifted in their sport or competition and are therefore in a different class than every other person.

    Most of these athletes came out of the box this way, just add water and stir. That genetically gifted sprinter will be a gifted sprinter despite poor training, coaching, nutrition, environment, education and background.
    It matters very little that Ryan Lochte, from the look of the video clips, chose to incorporate the crap training protocols of CrossFit with his ropes, chains, tire flips and cleans because he can compete with the best of the best on his worst day. Michael Phelps took 4th in an Olympic event he didn’t even bother training for.

    The difference for these athletes is whether or not they want to win. Genetics gets him in the circle of superior swimmers, but winning against others with similar genetic capacity requires more than just add water and stir. What we are seeing with Lochte up to this point supports what I have said. He said this was his time and he came in with expectations of winning it all – even bragging about his CrossFit like training that no other swimmer does.
    So far he’s not winning and it’s turning out to be a very different experience than he had planned.

    The problem is that the public does not understand this “Class Distinction.” They don’t understand that while these Olympic athletes will be superior regardless of what they do, you will not. Using ropes, chains, flipping tires and learning how to poorly execute cleans and snatches will not make you a superior athlete or necessarily help you reach your fitness objectives.

  7. mboyle1959 Says:

    It’s funny, as much I love books like Talent Code, Genius in All of Us etc. I think genetics plays a role. I think the thoughts from Genius in All of US make sense. It is not genetics or environment, it’s genetics X’s environment that is the big key.

  8. Jakob Richloow Says:

    I think we´ve all seen enough clips of elite athletes in the weightroom doing stuff that makes me think it was prescribed by 10 year old articles in “Mans Health”. What makes it even more interesting though is how these atletes manage to perform on top levels despite sub-par strength training.

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