Sunday, December 27, 2020

Power/Mass Bodybuilding - Jerry Brainum (1999333.45)

The increase of intensity inherent in a correctly designed weight-training program is what distinguishes bodybuilding from calisthenics and most forms of aerobics. Yet many bodybuilders fall into a patter of exercise that's more akin to calisthenics than to bodybuilding. Unless you provide an overload of some kind, your muscles will remain as they are.   
Professional actors, who are warned not to let their muscles get too big, keep them "toned" by using lighter weights and higher repetitions. Many bodybuilders train the same way, wondering why their gains come slowly or not at all.
Overload isn't necessarily limited to increase in poundages. If you use the same weight as you used in your previous workout but add a rep or two, you overload the muscle. Even reducing the rest between sets constitutes an increase in training intensity and thus an increase in training overload conducive to growth. 
It stands to reason, then, that if you want to make consistent gains, you simply cannot become complacent in your training. Even so, there are several problems that can arise with this system. Since heavy weights take their toll on the recovery process, some people advise a high-intensity technique based on performing only one set of each exercise to failure. The difficulty here is that recovery is relative. Some people can handle a greater volume of exercise than others, and for them one set may not be enough. Also, you've got to hit the target every time because you've only got one set in which to do it. When you do multiple sets, usually at least one set accomplishes the goal of stimulating the muscle.
All things considered, a stronger muscle is generally a bigger muscle. Skeptics may point to many powerlifters and weightlifters who are undoubtedly strong but who show little evidence of the extreme muscle size common in top-level bodybuilders. For example, Fred Hatfield formerly held the world squat record, yet his thigh development pales in comparison to that of elite bodybuilders like Kevin Levrone and Paul DeMayo. 
The reason for this involves the different training styles of bodybuilding and powerlifting. To train for maximum lifts, powerlifters usually perform multiple sets of low repetitions with occasional one-rep maximum lifts. In contrast, bodybuilding programs include a combination of high, low, and medium reps.
The low-rep programs that powerlifters use develop some muscle, but they also condition neural mechanisms and connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments. Because of their more varied patterns of repetitions, exercises and sets, bodybuilding programs build other aspects of the muscle, such as increased glycogen deposition and sarcolemma, that promote a greater degree of hypertrophy, or growth.
To get bigger McMuscles, you must focus on the muscle fibers that account for the greatest degree of hypertrophy. These are the fast-twitch Type 2B fibers, and they're activated in a specific recruitment pattern. In essence, your brain senses the degree of stress applied to a muscle and activates only the number of fibers you need to complete a movement. Low-intensity exercises, such as aerobics and working out with light weights, activate mostly slow-twitch, or Type 1 and Type 2A fibers. To get the size-building 2B fibers, you need to "cut to the chase" by lifting heavier weights.
As any experienced bodybuilder will confirm, however, lifting heavy all the time increases your chances of injury. It's not the muscles that cave in under the load but the joints and ligaments. One way around this is to use the currently popular technique of periodization or cycle training. 
With cycle training you divide your long-term training into periods that emphasize different muscle aspects and frequently alternate phases of heavy and light workouts. For example, you might have a hypertrophy phase, where for two to three months you use medium-heavy weights for 8-10 reps per set. Then later in the cycle you might do another phase, a heavy-training period that emphasizes reps in the 4-6 range. This is the one most often ignored by bodybuilders.
The question then becomes, "Why not combine the best of both worlds? Why not build the strength of a powerlifter coupled with the muscular size of a bodybuilder." Combining the two training approaches allows you to build strength and size simultaneously. You don't need to train as heavy as a powerlifter, but you must use enough weight to build the strength needed to activate those deep-lying Type 2B fibers that produce muscular size increases. How to do this is the essence of power/mass bodybuilding.
To get the most benefit from power/mass bodybuilding, you need to keep a training log in which you note all the exercises, weights and reps of each workout. The goal is to increase either the weight or the reps at every - or at least every other - session.
Recuperation is also important in power/mass bodybuilding. If you overtrain, you won't get stronger, and you progress will cease abruptly. Again, the question of how much training constitutes overtraining is relative. Some lifters can use a three days a week, one on/one day off split and make rapid gains. Others, particularly intermediates who've been training for two years or less, will probably respond better to a four day a week split, working each muscle group twice. 
The core of a power/mass program involves starting each muscle group with a compound, multi-joint basic exercise. These movements include the following: 
 - Bench press
 - Squat
 - Barbell Row
 - Barbell Curl
 - Overhead Press
You follow each compound exercise with one or more isolation movements, such as flyes for chest, laterals for shoulders, seated cable rows for back, etc. The key here is that you go as heavy as possible for 4 to 6 reps in the compound exercises and you do them first in the bodypart routines.
Two other good technique to use in power/mass bodybuilding are forced reps and negatives. Actually, either method by itself has limited value, but if you combine the two techniques you get a whole different animal. Let's say you just completed a set of six reps of heavy bench presses. Your training partner helps you pump out another three reps but makes you really work at it, and at the top of each rep he lets go so that you can lower the bar completely on your own. You resist, taking at least four seconds to lower the weight. This guarantees increased training intensity and makes those stubborn  Type 2B fibers stand at attention. 
To prevent injuries use a pyramid rep scheme on your heavy, compound lifts. For example, do 5 sets of bench presses in a rep pattern of 15, 8, 6, 4, 3. Start out with a light warmup set, then add weight on each subsequent set. You can attempt maximum singles once in a while, but be aware that singles increase the chance of injuries while adding little muscular development, relative to slightly higher reps. 
On the isolation movements do 3-4 sets per exercise, 8-12 reps per set. Use strict form and concentrate on the full range of motion. A specific EXAMPLE of a power/mass routine is detailed below.
One advantage of this type of training, besides developing muscular strength and size, is that you build more permanent muscles. In other words, if you miss a few workouts you won't shrink like a cotton shirt that's been washed in hot water. Bodybuilders who use "pump" routines often find that their gains are ephemeral; they never build the deep muscle elements that make for lasting gains.
Again, the key to this type of training is OVERLOAD. You must constantly try to gradually increase either the weight or the reps, particularly in the first compound exercise for each bodypart.
Sample Power/Mass Split Layout
Squat - 5 x 15, 8, 6, 4, 3
Leg Extension - 4 x 10
Hack Squat - 3 x 8
Stiff-Legged Deadlift - 3 x 15, 10, 8
Leg Curl - 3 x 10
Seated Calf Raise - 3 x 8-12
Donkey Calf Raise - 3 x 12-20
Standing Calf Raise - 3 x 12-20
Bench Press - 5 x 15, 8, 6. 4. 3
Incline Flye - 4 x 10
Flat Flye - 3 x 8
Dips - 3 x 12, 10, 8
Pushdown - 3 x 8-10
Pulldown - 5 x 15, 8, 6, 4, 3
Pullover - 3 x 8-10
Seated Cable Row - 5 x 15, 8, 6, 4, 3
Rear Delt Machine (or free weight sub) - 3 x 8-10 

Press Behind Neck - 5 x 15, 8, 6, 4, 3
Lateral Raise - 3 x 8-10
One-Arm Cable Lateral - 2 x 8-10

Barbell Curl - 3 x 12, 10, 8
Concentration Curl - 3 x 8-10

Crunch - 3 x 12-20
Hanging Knee-ups - 3 x max reps.

Enjoy Your Lifting!


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The One Hand Snatch - David P. Willoughby (1946)



Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed
Thank You! 
A little more here:
Ron Walker doing a 180 One Hand Snatch at the 47 second mark here:
One of the oldest, most interesting, and most popular of lifts is the One Hand Snatch. Although during recent years the three Olympic lifts (Two Hands Press, Two Hands Snatch, and Two Hands Clean and Jerk) have crowded the one-hand lifts into the background, it is well to remember that such time-honored lifts as the Bent Press, the One Hand Clean and Jerk, and the One Hand Snatch each has its unique and special value as an athletic feast and as a body developer. Therefore, the lifting enthusiast desirous of becoming a good all-around performer and of attaining all-around strength and development, will practice all the better known lifts and feats rather than simply the three competition lifts now in vogue. 
For the benefit of those not thoroughly familiar with the technique of the One Hand Snatch, its performance is as follows.
Standing over the barbell (the One Hand Snatch is customarily performed with a barbell, although a dumbbell may be used), space the feet equidistant from the center of the handle and bending at the knees, hips, and back. Grasp the bar in the exact center, and - assuming that the lift is being made with the right hand - place the left hand just above the left knee. When perfectly "set" and ready to lift, straighten the body and legs simultaneously, press down hard on the left knee with the left hand, and pull the bar upward and backward as high as you can. Put every ounce of your strength and speed into the effort. 

As the bell reaches shoulder level and its momentum slows down, dip under it by bending the knees to the extent necessary to "fix" the weight on a straight arm. The bell securely held in balance, bring the body as erect as possible and hold the weight overhead for several seconds. Naturally, throughout the lift, you should keep your eye on the bell so as to preserve the balance.

When smoothly and correctly performed the several aforementioned stages of the Snatch all merge into one, and the bell is taken from the ground to overhead seemingly in a single continuous movement. Preparatory to lowering the weight, shift it overhead into both hands, then lower it to the shoulders and down as in a two hand lift.
In performing a Snatch, the bell must be raised overhead without pressing or pushing to get the arm straight at the finish. That is, the lift must be accomplished by the power of the initial pull, plus the extent to which the lifter is able to dip and get his arm straight after that pull is fully exhausted. With a light weight, the pull may be sufficient to carry the bell all the way to arm's length overhead without need of a dip. With a heavy weight, however, the lifter may have to squat clear down on his heels in order to get under the bell with a straight arm.
Some of the old-time heavyweight strongmen were so huge and bulky that in making a lift to the shoulders or overhead they either could not or did not dip under the weight. Accordingly, in the various "quick" lifts, they either got the weight all the way up by the  power of the initial pull, or not at all. And since, in the various quick lifts, the rules allow the performer to dip under the weight to any desired extent (provided no part of the body other than the feet comes into contact with the ground), it follows that the record holders in the Snatch, Swing, One and Two Hands Clean, etc, are not the 300-pound giants, but rather such athletes as combine great strength with speed, skill, and gymnastic ability.
The best performers in the One Hand Snatch have been principally French and German lifters. A generation ago, before lifting standards were so high as now, it was considered a very exceptional feat for a lifter to snatch with one hand a bell as heavy as himself. Quite a number of lightweight and middleweight strongmen came to be able to snatch with one arm more than their bodyweight, but the number of heavyweights who could do likewise was, and remains, very small. It should be added, however, that strength being in proportion to muscular cross-section and nerve stimulation rather than to gross bodyweight, it becomes a much more meritorious feat for a heavyweight strongman to snatch his bodyweight than for a lightweight. 
Perhaps one of the first athletes to attain a high standard of excellence in this lift was a German professional named Simon Bauer, who in or about the year 1890, and at a bodyweight of 141 lbs., did a a Right Hand Snatch of 163.34 lbs. - or more than 24 pounds more than his own weight!
Some of the old-time strongmen in the light bodyweight classes who excelled at the One Hand Snatch were Otto Arco (Poland), who at a bodyweight of 138 lbs. snatched 136.32; Max Sick (Germany), who at 147 lbs. is credited with a snatch of 165; Josef Whur (Germany), who at 138 lbs. did 145.5; Emil Kliment (Austria), who at 130 lbs. did 141.53; R.G. Shorthouse, a professional of Australia, who at 136.25 lbs. did 151.25; and Edward Aston (England), who at 161 lbs. did 184. 
Arco, at 137 lbs., also snatched 137.12 pounds with his left hand, and was probably one of the first to snatch his bodyweight with either hand. Aston was capable of 162 lbs. in the Left Hand Snatch. Monte Saldo, another British professional, in a contest with the English lifter Carquest, did a Left Hand Snatch of 144.5 lbs. at a bodyweight of `32. This was in 1911.
Probably one of the first heavyweight strongmen to snatch more than his bodyweight was the famous George Hackenschmidt, who on April 27, 1898, at a bodyweight of 190 lbs., snatched with his right hand 197.31 lbs. Although Pierre Bonnes, the French lifter, snatched 198.41 lbs. unofficially, a short time afterwards, Hackenschmidt's lift remained the amateur world record until August 1904, when Heinrich Schneidereidt, a top-notch German lifter, increased it to 200.17 lbs. Then, in May 1910, the celebrated French lifter, Louis Vasseur . . . 

. . . raised it to 200.17 lbs. 
The record returned to Germany in November 1912, when Heinrich Rondi snatched the tremendous amount of 219.9 lbs., and it remained in that country until the summer of 1925, when the redoubtable French champion, Charles Rigoulot, set the present amateur world record of 222.66 lbs. 

Limited space forbids more than a brief mention of some of the many athletes who have made notable records in the One Hand Snatch. Perhaps twenty different strongmen have snatched 200 lbs. or more with one hand. Judged either absolutely by poundage, or in relation to the lifter's muscular size, the best One Hand Snatch on record is Charles Rigoulot's lift of 256.83 lbs. (right hand), which he made in Paris in the spring of 1930, and as a professional. His bodyweight at the time was 225 lbs. Next in merit is the Left Hand Snatch of 181.88 lbs. made by Franz Schweiger, the German lifter, at a bodyweight of 142 lbs. Third is the English lifter Ronald Walker's Left Hand Snatch of 215 lbs. made at a bodyweight of about 200 lbs. Fourth is the Left Hand Snatch of Alfred Neuland, of Estonia, of 181.88 lbs. at a bodyweight of 149.75 lbs. This was made in the 1924 Olympic Games at Paris. Fifth in merit is the Left Hand Snatch of Andreas Stadler, of Vienna, who snatched 159.83 lbs. while weighing 130. Sixth is the Right Hand Snatch of the wonderful lightweight, Hans Haas, of Vienna, who lifted 194 lbs. at a bodyweight of 150. So far as I know, the relatively best One Hand Snatch made by an American lifter is that of Mario Cerratani, of Los Angeles, who in May 1932 did 167.5 lbs. with his right hand at a bodyweight of 148 lbs.
Besides the regular one hand snatches made on barbells of appropriate design with regulation-sized handles (about one inch in diameter), many lifts of high merit have been made on barbells, and dumbbells, with thick handles. Such lifts, accordingly, were primarily feats of grip strength. For example, John Marx, the old-time Luxembourg strongman, did a Right Hand Snatch of 154.32 lbs. on a barbell the handle of which was 70 millimeters (2.75 inches) in diameter. Louis Cyr, the huge C42anadian Hercules, snatched with both right and left hands a solid, cumbersome barbell of 188.5 lbs., which had a handle about 1.5 inches thick. The world-famous Arthur Saxon, who though he usually weighed only around 200 lbs., had exceedingly large hands, snatched 206.13 lbs. on a bar 42 millimeters (1.65 inches) in diameter. He also snatched 237 lbs. to shoulder-height and finished the lift overhead with a quick bent press. The giant French strongman Apollon (Louis Uni), snatched with his right hand 176.36 lbs., made up of four 44-lb. rectangular ringweights, the ring of each weight being hooked by a single finger.
Now for a few final pointers as to technique in the One Hand Snatch. While it is true that certain strongmen have made creditable records in the lift without employing much of a dip to get under the weight, it stands to reason that the maximum poundage can be attained only when the performer combines the highest possible pull with the lowest possible dip, using maximum speed in both. The dip may be performed either with both feet flat on the ground - in which case they remain unmoved throughout the lift - or with the heel of one foot raised, as shown in the accompanying illustration. In the latter style it is usually best, in a Right Hand Snatch, to take a short step forward with the right foot, placing it flat on the ground, and to raise the heel of the left foot, although some first-class performers do just the reverse. A third style, in which the legs need not be bent so much, is to employ a full side bend, this method being especially suited to those skilled at the Bent Press. However, the bend must be accomplished quickly, by dropping, and not making the lift simply a rapidly-performed Bent Press. Once the arm is gotten straight under the weight - whatever the style of dip used - the body should be brought immediately to the erect finishing position.
In commencing a One Hand Snatch, the lifter may either fix his grip on the bar deliberately, or "dive" for the weight. The latter is usually the better procedure, as it enables the lifter to get the quickest possible pull on the weight - this being a sort of "rebound" to the erect position. With a heavy weight it is customary to "lock" the grip by wrapping or hooking the middle finger over the thumb. With practice, this "thumb-lock" can be secured even in the split-second afforded in the "diving" style. Its application is limited, of course, to bars of small diameter.  
For best results, the barbell should be loaded with plates of small diameter; and the bar should turn freely inside the plates or sleeves. The exact center of the bar should be marked with chalk - or better, taped - so that the performer need waste no strength testing the weight.
A good way to a acquire the right form in this lift is to take a fairly light barbell and repeat the pull-up (to eye level) several times in succession, lowering the bell each time until it is just off the ground. Again, one should hold the same bell at arm's length overhead, and with the bell in this position lower the body a number of times into the low, dipping position. Finally, combine the pull and the dip and repeat the entire lift five or six times without letting the weight touch the floor. Don't try for a record any oftener than once a month.
The One Hand Snatch is a wonderful all-around body-builder, and a supreme developer of the trapezius muscles which form the slope between the neck and the tips of the shoulders. To be proportionately capable in this lift, a man should snatch with his right (or stronger) arm about 60% of what he can raise in the Two Hands Clean and Jerk with barbell. That is, if you can clean and jerk with two hands 200 lbs., you should snatch with one hand about 119 lbs; and if you c an clean and jerk 300 lbs., you should snatch with one hand about 179 lbs., and so on. (See my article, Weightlifting Records and Their Merits, in the April-May 1945 [p 12] number of this magazine [Your Physique].
Since the One Hand Snatch has not been used in international competition for over ten years, present-day lifters, with few exceptions, are not nearly so proficient in this lift as in the three two-hand Olympic lifts. But it may safely be said that no lifter can be considered a real all-around performer until he can do a respectable poundage in this style - and b y this we mean at least 56% of what he can  raise in the Two Hands Clean and Jerk. So let's see some real records created in the good old One Hand Snatch . . . 
Enjoy Your Lifting!


Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Pendulum Has Swung - Joseph M. Horrigan (1990)

 Joseph Horrigan's work with the film industry:
The Iron Game has been around for quite some time. Nowadays weight training is so popular that those of you who are new to it may find it difficult to believe that just 25 years ago (1965) most athletes were not permitted to incorporate it into their training. The popular theory was that lifting weights would slow athletes down or make them "muscle-bound." 
Unfortunately, as with many things in life that come from one extreme, the pendulum has swung back the other way, and as is generally the case, neither extreme was the correct approach. As a result many athletes today are made to weight train on an injured area too quickly. 
This article on that that growing problem is specifically aimed at athletes, trainers, physical therapists, coaches, managers, team owners and even physicians.
Over the past several years at the Soft Tissue Research Center we have noticed an increasing number of athletes, including professionals, who are suffering complications from attempting to strengthen an injured area too soon. There are a variety of sources and reasons for this. In some cases the athletes may have put too much pressure on themselves to get back to the starting lineup, fearing that if they don't rehabilitate the injury, they won't be able to play and thus will not be paid. 
More commonly, however, the therapists, trainers and/or strength and conditioning coaches have received a tremendous amount of pressure from their head coaches, managers and team owners to return the athlete to action so that the team can have the best starting lineup. If we add the element that the therapist may not have firsthand experience in proper weight training, especially in a clinical setting, we have a disaster waiting to happen.
The best possible scenario, unfortunately, is that the player will not return to action. The worst case is a lifelong disability that will be there long after the upper management, coaches, therapists, media, crowds and paychecks are gone.
I have asked a number of out patients and also a few of our coaches for their comments to help illustrate how just how common this problem is. Most of these men are veterans of their sport.

George McPhee, formerly of the New Jersey Devils, experienced two major injuries while he was playing pro hockey - a shoulder separation and an adductor strain ("groin pull"). He was "checked" (hit) again against the boards by an opposing player, and the impact was against his hips and legs. The onset of pain was immediate.  

George's "rehabilitation" began a few days later and consisted of adductor (inner thigh) training with light weights.The prescription was that he would have to be able to perform 3 sets of 10 reps before he would be allowed to play. There was pressure from the coaching staff, who would be watching the therapy session. Needless to say, the workout was very painful.

George spent nearly two years trying to rehabilitate his injury before he retired in 1989. His was a complicated injury, and retirement may have been the only real alternative, but two years of less-than-optimum therapy was difficult to overcome. We were able to significantly reduce his pain, but not enough to withstand the rigors of hockey.
According to 13-year hockey veteran Ron Duguay, "I have seen much of this same attitude about rehabilitation . . . both from the coaches and from the trainers. They don't believe in rest. It's push, push . . . not realizing the importance of relaxing the body and the mind. The goal becomes to strengthen the muscle instead of rehabilitating it. They should let the body do its own work." 
Brian Holloway, a former offensive tackle for the New England Patriots and L.A. Raiders, is an eight-year NFL veteran with All-Pro honors and was a team representative in the NFL Players Union. He has received numerous injuries during his career and has a great deal of insight into the psychological and physical reasons for high-risk sports injuries.
"Inherent in the makeup of an athlete is the ability to do the extraordinary. Successful athletes and great victories are always when the odds are so heavily weighted against you and there is no margin of error. These moments are the most intoxicating in sports . . . there is no time when time seems so significant.
"Every athlete knows what this is like and has felt the exhilaration. Perception to reality is very distorted at this point; there is nothing more important than championing the moment. The shooting adrenaline allows the body to withstand enormous amounts of stress and pain.
"The body keeps tabs though. With every hit, collision, tackle and cut the body gives way. Great care and interest has been taken in conditioning and rehabilitation, and this practice indeed made a difference in training and building the muscles; but there is little you can do to repair the damage to the structure, the foundation of the body - joints, ligaments, bones . . . I've learned that you cannot stop the erosion, only contain the eventual for a while - the inevitable pain and discomfort." 
Brian offers a perceptive profile of the typical coach, who may be inclined to rush training of a player's injury. 
"In my football career of four years at Stanford University and eight years of professional football I went through eight coaching staff changes . . . I've learned that it takes a special type of person to be a coach. The hours are the longest of any profession I know; the pay is generally not that good. You work seven days a week during the season, six days in the off-season, and you are fortunate to get a week vacation each year. You spend very little time at home and rarely see your family. Dinner is had at the training table or in the office . . . practice preparation goes well into the night.

"Anyone who starts down the road of being a coach must resign himself to the fact that he will not be able to do much else in life. He is gaining no job skills or employable characteristics, and he is not associating with others to branch out to other possibilities. He lives in a very closed world, very detached from the sensibilities of society.
"He can be relatively assured that he will be fired, replaced or resign within two to three years. His success is determined by the team performance as well as the performance of the individuals that he is coaching and the temperaments of the management, athletic director and alumni. One word describes his precarious lifestyle: 'desperate.' "

These two points that Brian addressed - the athletes' distorted perception of reality and the fact that coaches live in a detached world - may be the catalysts for many muscle tears, sprains and strains; so much tendinitis, bursitis and post-surgical rehabilitation may not be completed successfully in what are for the health care staff high-stress situations.
Jim Johnson of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been an avid weight trainer for years, as evidenced by his 330-pound bench press. "Weightlifting is important to me," Jim stated. "I performed weight training to rehabilitate my own knee as soon as I could."
Explaining the he had designed the rehab program for his knee himself, Jim added, "I believe that my body tells me. Pain should make you stop until the pain subsides. Today pro sports means 'X dollars for X games.' We try to get back after an injury as soon as possible. Most of the time they use sense and will take an extra week to get over the injury, considering the investment in the player; but sometimes the 'as soon as possible' approach can cause problems. The position and the player can be the key in rehab. Mario Lemieux would not be rushed to play." 
The specific investment may, in fact, reveal preferential treatment for one individual over another based on the player's salary and revenue generation. Such a policy is not intentionally malicious, but it is simply a fiscal priority for the team.
That is what professional sports teams are all about; the team and finance, not the individual. It is for this reason that athletes must assume the responsibility for overseeing the type of rehabilitation they get and, consequently, what happens to their career. This applies to college and high school athletes (and their parents) as well. 
Art Still, a defensive end with the Buffalo Baloney and a 12-year veteran with multiple All-Pro honors, feels that the Bills have a slower approach to rehabilitation than some of the other teams. In addition, he observed, "The times and the money have changed. Football and basketball may be different from some of the other sports because of the large salaries. The players are too much of an investment today to rush rehab."
A team's investment in a player can be a conflict of interest in itself. According to dean Kennedy of the Buffalo Baloney Sabers, "It's a business, not just before a game. Maybe it was like that before, and I was naive. So many guys have great potential in the junior leagues, and the management burns them out in five years . . . 
"Every guy in the game wants to have the respect of his fellow players. Who can play in pain is an issue. Some players will say that they can play, and the team knows they shouldn't be playing. One friend of mine had a severe neck and head injury. The coaches asked if he could play, and he is so tough that he said, 'Yeah, I can play.' He had no business being on the ice." 
Remember that the therapist and trainers, as well as the coaches and even the physicians, are under excessive pressure to perform too; their work is in the sports section of every newspaper in country whether the athlete is able to play or not.
Another example of an athlete in pain is one that we have all been reading about for several years - Mike Marshall, who was recently traded by the L.A. Dodgers to the New York Mets. For at least two years the Los Angeles Times has reported on the strengthening exercises Marshall has been performing to help his low-back problem. Mike Marshall is not a patient of ours, and I have not had the opportunity to review all of his data Considering that he more or less plays professional baseball part-time and is in such excruciating pain, one would think that two years of strengthening exercises would have had a more significant effect. Yet Marshall returns to play, and his injury suffers another setback. It is a tragedy to see a talented player with such drive go through this.
"Sometimes coaches don't believe you," Ron Duguay explained. "The coaches and players question your heart and character." 
Heart and character should only be questioned after the injury is rehabilitated and then strengthened, not when it has never been addressed properly or is chronically reinjured. This relates directly to Brian Holloway's comments regarding the players' distorted perception and the coach's closed world.
Ken Baumgartner of the New York Islanders suggested that a rookie's idealism can cause him to train in such volume, without thought of possible injurious effects. "We just thought that the more training we did of any kind, the better," he said. Perhaps this line of thinking precedes the excessive and sometimes unjustified confidence in harmful rehabilitation practices.
I can site two further examples of hockey stars who requested to remain anonymous. One was a recent first-round draft choice. He injured his left knee at the point of the quadriceps insertion and was diagnosed as having Osgood-Schlatter disease (a pulling away of the bone at the quadriceps insertion that normally occurs in youth). This diagnosis was possible, although not likely. At the Soft Tissue Canter we felt that tendinitis was definitely a factor.

This player had missed half of last season due to his injury, and his rehab had primarily consisted of explosively performed leg extensions at maximum output on a Cybex-type unit - exactly what he should not have been doing for either diagnosis. We restructured his exercise program and treated his knee, and he is playing hockey now.
My other example is a rising superstar who sprained his ankle in a unique manner during the 1989 Stanley Cup playoffs. His strengthening rehab was to perform isometric movements of his ankle and and foot against the wall, and his ankle had not yet recovered when he started these exercises. That was the extent of his therapy.

The player subsequently came to the Soft Tissue Center, and his ankle was treated properly. He voiced a question that I found alarming. "Strengthening an area is great," he said, "but shouldn't I get over the injury first?" 

It is a sad commentary when an NHL All-Star is being treated by his team physician and a question like that has to be asked.

NFL veteran Pete Koch reiterated the recurring theme. "I've seen some mistakes in college and in the pros where athletes were rushed to the field too soon," he related. "Athletes are being given xylocaine in a game . . . like that is supposed to be a substitute for a player. The common denominator is money. In the pros it is easy to see the money, but college football generates revenue on that level too." 

The inclusion of college sports in this discussion is well-taken. Two top college tennis players (names and schools must be withheld due to NCAA rules of eligibility) prove the point. One had an elbow injury, and the other had a rotator cuff injury. Both were placed on a strengthening program, both had been on the program for one year, and both had missed one year of play when they came to the Soft Tissue Center.

The strengthening rehab hadn't worked for two reasons: First, the injuries were never resolved and then the weight training continually aggravated them; and second, the exercises chosen were biomechanically incorrect. Again, a familiar theme. Both are now representing their school in tournaments.
 Finally . . . a single hat that covers ALL your athletic team idolizing! 
Now, with just one cap you can let the whole world know that you too
love "the sports."

According to Bob Ward, strength and conditioning coach of the Dallas Cowboys, his team considers two aspects of any rehabilitation: the knowledge/science aspect and the art aspect. Proper rehab is the combination of both.  

"We have an aggressive rehab program here; however, some people [not with the Cowboys organization] have exaggerated the idea of work," coach Ward said. "Factors that must be monitored include pain, lack of progress and boredom. I am the conditioning coach on and off the field, so I can monitor their patterns. If a ballplayer had a shoulder injury, he may have favored his shoulder. He needs to be retrained because of the residual overhang of the nervous system. If these criteria can be read right, it is more powerful than any instrument. No one can tell you the progress of your own body better than you can - if you listen to it."

"Doc" Kreis, Ph.D., strength and conditioning coach at Middle Tennessee State University, takes a hard line on the "too much too soon" approach - and the coach's role: "To lose an athlete at the pro level is nonsense. They must be watched over hours, days and weeks. The coach must be with the athletes and see them as much as he can

"A veterinarian friend of mine always said, 'My patients can't talk to me and tell me what hurts, so I have to watch the nature of the animal.' If he can watch the nature of an animal that can't talk, then there is no excuse for training a painful, injured area on an athlete. The coach would have to be blind not to look.
"The mental aspect and the lack of progress must be watched. Some of these coaches and trainers don't have the exposure or the knowledge, and too many have an ego problem with a 'cure it all' attitude . . . I have talked to at least 20 physical therapists across the country since you brought this to my attention about this new trend and they all have noticed the same changes."
As Brian Holloway observed, "Athletes will play when injured because they want to. Athletes will play play when injured because in the unspoken truths of the game . . . they have to. They are playing the sport and competing on this level because they've demonstrated the ability to do the unnatural . . . 'to keep charging despite the sting of the blades.' 

"It was called courage and toughness at the time; guts maybe too. In time it will be called foolish, irresponsible and stupid. I am saying to myself . . . how did it happen so fast?"

It is my hope that the athletes begin to accept more responsibility for their rehabilitation and health and that the health care providers begin to find the direction they have lost. Don't lose everything you have worked, lived and dreamed for by subjecting yourself to erroneous thinking or even borderline neglectful rehabilitation. Your superstar abilities are something that you were born with. Your ability to return to action after an injury rests largely in someone else's ability, in someone else's hands. You may not be in the best available hands. 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

And this film . . . 
I did. 
 Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood. 
In my view, this is Mads Mikkelson's greatest role to date.


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