27 Jan Advances in Strength Training
by Dr. Matt Fontaine There is so much misinformation out there concerning health and fitness, especially when it comes to strength training. One must look to the experts and seek their guidance on what are the current best practices in any given field. One of the top strength coaches, Michael Boyle has over 25 years experience and has been responsible for many an athlete and collegiate team success. Michael Boyle is one of the foremost experts in the fields of Strength and Conditioning, Performance Enhancement and general fitness. He currently spends his time lecturing, teaching, training and writing. His website strengthcoach.com hosts a ton of great information relative to strength training and performance enhancement. In his recent program Functional StrengthCoach 3.0 coach Boyle highlighted some basic patterns currently being utilized by himself and other top experts in the strength and conditioning field. When considering developing a strength training program, there are many options. Traditional body building split routines like chest and tris, bi’s and back, legs and shoulders are being replaced by the top coaches in collegiate and professional sports in favor of a more “functional” approach. The word functional is somewhat overused. Any movement of the body can be labeled “functional” if it serves the purpose of movement. But what has happened lately in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation and strength and conditioning, is a switch in paradigms. Experts in these areas are now looking at how the body moves as a whole system and they are developing corrective exercise programs and strength training programs around these movements. It is a matter of training smarter to optimize human performance. Traditional weight machines and even body building workouts attempt to isolate muscles as if they actually functioned that way. The reality is all our body’s muscle are connected in some way via the fascia and our movements are the result of coordinated, synchronous muscle activity. Liken it to a muscial symphony, all the different instruments play an integral role in producing the overall musical outcome. As such, when devising a strength training program to optimize human performance and movement, coach Boyle states we have the following 7 movements to chose from: Knee dominant lifts-squats and variations of the squat Hip dominant lifts-SLRDL(single leg romanian deadlift), SB leg curls, deadlift Vertical pull lifts-chin ups, pull ups, X Pulldowns Horizontal Pull lifts-rows, inverted rows, TRX inverted rows Horizontal Push lifts-Bench Press, Close-Grip Bench Press, SB Dumbell Press Vertical Push lifts-overhead press Rotary/ rotary stability/ diagonal Movement- chops, anti-rotation core exercises like planks, anti-rotation cable press etc. When approaching exercise selection, Coach Boyle states: Think about giving the joint what it needs. Needs design workouts- determine what are the goals of training. Forget what you think you know, ask yourself “whats the mechanism?” Organize patterns. Go for the maximum bang foor the buck Have a purpose, know why you are doing what you are doing. Don’t believe everything you read. Special thanks to coach Michael Boyle for all his great work in the field of strength and conditioning and for all the great education he has offered as a pioneer in the S & C world.