Random Thoughts: March Edition

Another month, another post on some random thoughts that have been going through my head. Some of these thoughts come from books that I am reading, podcasts I have been listening to or working day to day in the weight room and coaching athletes.


  1. In my eyes there are a lot of benefits to a Close Grip Hang Snatch compared to a regular wider grip. It is clearly more shoulder friendly. You also are forced to use less weight because you have to move the bar further, which falls into the Charlie Weingroff ‘lowest system load’ thought process. I also think with the hands closer together the athlete has to generate more force and velocity to move the bar slightly further then they would with the regular grip. This isn’t to say the wide grip version of the lift doesn’t have benefits, I just think there are a lot of benefits to the close grip.
  2. When we learn about muscles actions in our exercise science programs we learn that there are 3 types of actions; concentric, eccentric and isometric. Yet when we develop strength training programs we spend the vast majority of our time development only concentric contractions…not sure that makes a ton of sense to me.
  3. Stimulate don’t annihilate. In my opinion there is zero reason to perform a ton of sets of a specific exercise and would be better off spending that time doing other movements, developing a more well rounded athlete. We rarely perform more then 3 sets of a particular exercise and continue to gains in both power and strength. This is without a doubt a clear example of less being more.
  4. Aerobic conditioning: Volume 1st, Intensity 2nd. Anaerobic conditioning: Intensity 1st, Volume 2nd.
  5. A lot of the injury issues we deal with, whether it is in the weight room or on the field/court/ice etc, is due to a lack of recovery.
  6. Make the weight room an enjoyable place – you’ll get more out of an athlete or athletes that enjoy the training process.
  7. Strength coaches always talk about the importance of developing powerful triple extension in trying to develop more powerful athletes, which I don’t disagree with…is there anything that trains that better/more specifically then a Trap Bar Jump Squat?
  8. One thing I have added to our strength programs are yielding and long duration isometrics (~30-60 seconds) in the early stages of the off-season to help correct poor posture from the sporting season, improve the ability to learn how to get into correct positions, and help develop the resistance within the muscle to learn how to adapt to more difficult strength training that will be coming – and I really enjoyed how our athletes have adapted to it.
  9. When you have athletes that are already relatively strong, eccentric work is a really safe and effective way to get people really, really strong and help them when it comes to injury prevention/reduction.
  10. Want to get more out of each athlete? Connect with them on a personal level, care about them. Make them feel safe around you, able to both fail and succeed. Give them specific and honest feedback on their performance, holding them to a high standard.

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