Have you ever sat down and really thought about whether or not you should use Olympic lifts in your training? Joining me on the show today are a few of the Rebel coaches, Ryan Patrick, Lance Goyke and Keiran Halton. The crew and I chose a very controversial topic to discuss this week: should you be Olympic lifting in your training? Why or why not? In no way do we not appreciate Olympic lifts; they definitely have their place and provide such a strong lineage in our industry. We just believe there are far better and safer options you can choose while still getting the outcome you want.
We dive into the episode stating the populations we believe NEED Olympic lifts: those who are Olympic lifters, those who compete in CrossFit, those who genuinely enjoy Olympic lifts and have specific goals, and those who are college bound athletes whose programs will utilize these types of lifts. We discuss a handful of tools you can use to ensure your athletes’ see progress that also benefits their long-term development.
The crew then shares some examples of ways to generate power without Olympic lifts: resistance sprints, kettlebell swings, kettlebell cleans and kettlebell snatches. We talk all things Eastern Bloc, survival of the fittest, the overextension patterns, the use of carry variations, and power with the heavy versus the power with the light. Listen in to hear how you can become a more powerful athlete with maximum outcome and lower levels of complexity.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- [03:12] The populations that NEED Olympic lifts
- [06:55] Preparing high school athletes for college
- [09:01] Maximum outcome with lower levels of complexity
- [10:52] Utilizing VBT
- [11:41] Other options for generating power
- [13:15] Addressing force absorbance
- [21:19] Eastern Bloc and survival of the fittest
- [24:10] The overextension pattern
- [27:55] Olympic lifting alternatives
- [29:55] The strongman realm
- [33:01] The use of carry variations
- [38:15] Power with the heavy versus power with the light
- [41:00] Challenges with chasing more force
- [42:13] Repeatability
James Cerbie: So, we are here today. We have the entire crew on board, minus Ryan L’Ecuyer, because he’s having some computer difficulties. Sounds like he has an electric matchbox car that just won’t stop running it. So he’s opted out of the call for good reason. Otherwise, the four of us are here and we want to pick up on a post we made on Instagram a couple of weeks back regarding Olympic lifting so that we can hopefully unpack that argument further.
One, I think Instagram arguments are dumb. It’s not a good place to actually share thoughts and express opinions. Everything’s too short. So let’s actually just talk our way through this big question of should you Olympic lift. I want to preface this by saying I can totally appreciate why the Olympic lifts are positioned the way they are. They have such a strong lineage. And our industry, like so much of the development of a strength conditioning culture over time, can be traced back to the early Olympic lifting days, the Soviets powerlifting to be thrown in that conversation.
The Populations that NEED Olympic Lifting
Right. Those are kind of like the grandfathers of our evolution. But I think we need to take a very critical look at the Olympic lifts in terms of what outcome are they providing. It is it’s something that people actually need to be doing. And so I’ll start with this statement, which is I think that there are only three populations that need to do Olympic lifts, need being a very important word, their population number one, Olympic lifters. Obviously, it is their sport.
So, they have to do it. CrossFitters, also part of their sport. You have to do it. And the only other population out, including that is if you’re just a person who’s like, hey, I like doing these, they’re fun. I have specific goals around. I would love to clean two hundred and fifty pounds, whatever it is. Right, then sure you do it because that’s a specific goal for you outside of those three people.
I personally don’t think anybody needs to touch them, so I will just round table this year and see if anybody has any other thoughts, if there are any populations I left out, or are we generally in agreement that I’m not going to go in order and how I see it on the screen. So we’ll go. Ryan, Patrick, Lance, Keiran.
Ryan Patrick: I’m pretty much on board with you, James, I the only one that I might add that needs to do it are my kids who are college bound athletes who are going to programs that utilize them because I want my kids to show up over prepared. But if I had my way and with many of the athletes that I work with, I do we don’t really use them their time intensive in terms of building the skill set to get as much out of those lists as possible.
Preparing High School Athletes for College
And I think there are plenty of other power training methods that function to create those adaptations as good or better. You know, it’s I hate the terminology is strength, speed, speed, strength. But I just think of it as power with heavy loads, power with light loads, and with the advent of all the technology, the way that we can get our hands on it. Now, there are plenty of VBT methods that we can use to create those adaptations, much more specifically than just cleaning a barbell, because most coaches can’t really see how fast it’s moving.
It’s still percentage based training that can fluctuate day to day depending on how an athlete’s feeling. Then there’s the technical component, what kind of changes they’re going to make. So we end up just chasing load on the bar, which may not be the most useful thing for an athlete and kind of getting away from what we really want to accomplish. So, you know, it’s if you want to learn it, if it’s something that you really enjoy, I think in that case for sure.
But does it really complete the pieces of an athletic development program? I don’t think so.
James Cerbie: Yeah, a few things there that we will definitely circle back to, so I kind of noted it over here, Lance.
Lance Goyke: Oh, gotcha. OK, I’m totally with you. I wouldn’t have thought of it, but because I don’t train those people. But, Ryan, you’re absolutely right. You’ve got to prepare somebody, over prepare somebody for whatever in the most loving way crap they’re going to be thrown in their next program because you don’t know what to expect. Some people are surprisingly good and then some people are surprisingly bad. And I mean that with love. They’re probably very nice people.
Your qualifier, James, of the term need is the most important thing, because that’s the only way we can actually talk about this. But you’re totally right. If you’re going to do them, then you need to practice them because they take a lot of work. If you’re not going to do them or you’re not interested in them. There are plenty of other ways to accomplish any sort of power training that you might want to do. Mmhmm.
James Cerbie: Yep, Keiran.
Keiran Halton: Yeah, obviously on the same page and to Ryan’s point, like being in the high school setting, the three big goals right is like performance injury reduction and getting them ready for college because it’s probably going to be a shit show when they get there. So I football coach is very big on getting the guys ready for college. I think it’s great. We’re looking ahead for a lot of the guys are going to go on to play D1 football, so.
Probably the only time of the year that I’ll regularly have some version of the Olympic list is for football season because again, like you guys are saying, those guys have to have it down and it’s not like they’re going to get any more break down in college. It just kind of like set the bars out, go. We’re moving on to the next thing. So if we can give them a little extra a couple extra years of practice with that.
So, they’re actually prepared when they step into the college weight room. That’s great. But outside of that, those are the only guys that I really worked out in with.
James Cerbie: Yeah, I think that’s an important point and one I didn’t consider because I think if we were to look at this in a perfect world scenario and we were going to send our athletes, for example, high school athlete to college and we knew they were going to do the type of training that we believe in, which probably wouldn’t involve Olympic lifts.
And I wouldn’t have to prepare them to go through that meat grinder. But I do think that that’s a really important addition that I, I did not think of. So, Ryan Patrick, one of the things you started to get to, which is where we’re going to go next in this conversation is OK, need being the important word here, like Olympic lifting is not part of your sport, seeing as it’s not part of your sport, then you’re doing that Olympic lift because you want it to deliver some type of physiologic outcome and change.
Maximum Outcome with Lower Levels of Complexity
And the outcome or change your chasing is power development, power development in the sagittal plane, plain and simple. And I always like to think of this kind of on a like a quadrant X y axis where we have four quadrants. So on the Y axis, if I were to put outcome with like the top of the Y axis being the biggest, most positive outcome, I can generate the bottom of that y axis being a negative outcome. Then on the x axis type of complexity, the far right being highly complex, the far left being low complexity.
Most times I’m trying to position myself in the top left quadrant. I want something that’s getting me maximal outcome with lower levels of complexity. And the weight room with the type of training we’re doing now, they’re obviously going to be times where I want to enforce that complexity, but that’s more like the speed, the agility, the reaction that sport. Right. But if we’re thinking I just want to develop power, I need to get power output improved for this athlete who’s sitting in front of me and I’m looking top left quadrant, the first place my mind goes is not Olympic lifts.
They’re highly complex, highly technical. They take a really long time to learn to do well. Plus, most people move like complete and utter ass. And like, if you can’t bend over and pick up a weight off the floor, you have no right trying to do an Olympic lift. So we already know we have so many movement problems coming in. And so when we think about this objectively, this is the outcome. I want I want to improve power output.
Power is the lovechild of force and velocity. OK, what other options do I have? I have sprints, jumps and throws, bread and butter options. If I want to use lifting, then I’m going to go velocity based training with a squat, a bench and or deadlift. And I’m probably not going to touch a straight bar safety bar or transformer bar on the squat. Maybe if you like the Cadillac bar or a Swiss bar for the bench and I’ll probably track bar on the deadlift.
Right. And then we can also bring in maybe some of that dynamic effort method, Louis Simmons style West Side stuff as well. I know the tie and Tony Giuliana’s book is really good in this realm. I highly recommend the read. I’ve had a tie on twice. Now, if you haven’t bought and read it, do it. It’s like ten. What is it, Lance? Twenty bucks.
Lance Goyke: Twenty bucks.
James Cerbie: That’s twenty bucks. You’re going to spend phenomenal book. Right? And I think it really helps provide context to this conversation in terms of the tactics and strategies that you need to be using. Should be using. OK, but that’s where my mind goes. I’m thinking utilize the velocity based training. We have these big three patterns just choose a variation of that pattern that your athlete can actually do. Well, we had a comment on the post involving powerlifting and its like, yeah, if you’re talking about the three competitive lifts and powerlifting with a straight bar, if you don’t compete in powerlifting, you probably don’t ever need to touch them, like use different bars.
If we’re thinking about them as patterns, though, I think the patterns are essential. Right. We need big bi lateral movement so we can actually move a lot of force and generate velocity. With that being what it is, I’m going to pass this back to you, Ryan Patrick, as you kind of started going down this path, since we don’t necessarily need the Olympic lifts to generate power, we have these other options. So maybe if you want to dove in a little bit and we’ve done a whole episode on velocity based training.
Right. But maybe dive in and talk about how you’re utilizing that with your athletes, that you get in on a daily, weekly basis.
Other Options for Generating Power
Ryan Patrick: Yeah, so, I mean, kind of jumping in with some of the stuff he said to, you have to realize, like for an athlete, power is going to be very contextual to. Right. We’re in a bilateral stance. We have a perfectly cylindrical way that we’re trying to lift in a vertical play like that’s not sport, sports is chaotic sport is unpredictable. There’s reaction. You know, some of my athletes, they’re going to be producing force from positions we don’t practice.
And so we have to allow them those affordance or the ability to produce power from a number of different ways. So, you know, I’ll kind of start with my younger athletes. Most of them are just force deficient, so their power tends to get better just by nature of building their strength, building their maximum strength. I’m not saying we max out, but their ability to just build a bigger engine for a lot of the early trainings. That’s one of the best ways that you can get that power output that you’re looking for.
I can’t really they don’t make mufflers for a Prius or a smart car, like it’s just not something that’s out there. So I don’t worry about fine tuning. I want to make sure I’ve seen some terrible cars as well as I should. I shouldn’t talk too much, actually, you know, because I’m Cincinnati. I’m a big Ochocinco fan. And apparently he’s got a smart car that he says does one fifty. So this shows how much I mean, but anyway, the addressing can these athletes adequately absorb force?
So, are they able to actually break down and manage those loads? If they’re not able to have that eccentric strength, they’re going to have real issues producing force anyway. They’re going to be really slow in the turnaround of cuts. They’re just going to not really have great control of their body as they try to change direction. So, you know, athletic development program early on is very simple. I mean, it’s strength training. And then we’re teaching them how to produce plant angles in their cuts, how they can adequately put force into the ground.
So, super simple stuff now is we get to some of our athletes who have had a lot of time with us or we get our college athletes coming home or a professional guys force production is not an issue. And I’ve seen some negative ROI on that of trying to chase power with the heavy loads, chasing max weights. And so in those instances, we’re constantly chasing the ability to shorten ground contact time to be explosive, to be more elastic. And that’s extremely challenging because one of the things that they have to be able to do, if you want to be faster, it’s the person who can manage the decreasing ground contact time.
If I go up and weight on my Olympic lifts, which are still supposed to be fast or I add weight to a deadlift, I have infinite time to move that and it’s going to begin to move slower. The more weight that I add, sport is happening in reverse, the faster an athlete gets. They have to change how quickly they’re applying that force. And so it starts to become interference for what we’re really going after. So we still lift those guys, but we don’t really chase top speed the way that we do.
We are working constantly on tissue quality because the tendons, all the soft tissues become very stiff and rigid as you constantly work those plyometric, as you’re making those quick round contact times because they have to store and release that energy a little bit faster. And we’re just working on the mechanics, giving them access to maybe ranges of motion that have become locked up just as a result of doing what they’re doing. So, you know, that’s kind of the way to compare the two sides of it.
And obviously, our intermediate athletes are somewhere in between that. And we’re always looking at the athlete. You know, some are just naturally going to be your guerrillas who are naturally great at high forces, slower speeds, and some are just naturally springy. And those athletes have some individual needs as well.
James Cerbie: Yeah, absolutely. I think like a good visual. I’ve always liked what you’re talking about in terms of the time component of absorbing forest and eating and turn it back around. I’ve always like that visual from Cal Dietz’s, Triphase, the training of the V right. And understanding like I’m trying to essentially close that V. I want a smaller angle, not a larger angle, the ability to absorb large amounts of force rapidly and then to turn it right back around.
And I think an important point you just made is there are so many other things that we need to work on in this power realm, as you mentioned, because power in a sport doesn’t happen like and this nice, beautiful realm where I step on a platform and I have this bar and I don’t have to worry about some two hundred and fifty pound dude coming like clean my clock out of nowhere. It happens in a very dynamic, ever changing variable state.
And it’s like you look at athletes and it’s like your plank angles are terrible. You’re not good at absorbing force. Like we can get this long list of things. It’s like there are so many things, even if the Olympic lifts brought something to the table that got me a physiologic outcome, I couldn’t get someplace else. There are so many other things that I would want to put in place first that don’t involve spending time on that one highly complex, highly technical movement.
So I think that’s really big. Lance, I would love to hear some of your thoughts in this realm, because I know that at IFS you had the opportunity to spend a lot of time around the great and powerful Majestic Rufus. It was a phenomenal Olympic lifting coach. And I also know that the Saturday lunches, which I miss dearly, are a phenomenal place. I’m sure that you’ve had plenty of conversations around this topic, but when you start thinking power development for an athlete, where is it that your brain starts going in terms of like these are the things I want to try to layer on for this person to be really successful?
Lance Goyke: Well, quick plug Rufus would be great to have on this.
James Cerbie: I just thought that the fact that we need to get we need to get rough on here.
Lance Goyke: You could probably ask him on his new podcast, Smoothies with Rufus. Make sure you Google that one. The logo is so good you got to see.
James Cerbie: Actually I did see this in a tropical Hawaiian shirt, right.
Ryan Patrick: It was like a Tommy Bahama shirt.
Lance Goyke: Right. He’s got a great zoom background and everything for it. It’s very good. So Rufus might disagree with us in some respects, but not that great.
James Cerbie: That would be a good opinion to bring in. So I can definitely I’ll reach out to Rufus about coming on because he has way more experience and Olympic lifting realm than all of us combined. So it would be good to bring that opinion on.
The Eastern Bloc and Survival of the Fittest
Lance Goyke: Well, so the tool of Olympic lifting is different for him because he’s got so many reps coaching it that it becomes more effective. I have a similar standpoint on PRI. It’s like maybe you shouldn’t use Postural Restoration Institute techniques because they are very complicated. But I’ve done over a dozen courses, so I’m going to use it because it works for me. You know, it’s where my strengths lie. So I think you should think about it that way. I think it’s important.
It’s important to learn new stuff. But what people need to realize is that if you won, Olympic lifting is only one aspect of power. Ryan was talking about it a little bit, but that strength, speed, speed, strength thing, it’s really hard to get to speed strength with Olympic lifting stuff unless you’re really throwing the bar above you and not letting it land on you. You know, that’s how I barbell is now on the ball. Yeah, exactly.
Or a kettlebell because I guess they were designed for that too. So if you want power, Olympic lifting is hardly going to give it to you. It’s only going to give you a half of it at best, you know. But the issue with Olympic lifting, if you’re completely new to it, you read it online, you saw that it’s supposed to be good for you and you decided you need to start doing it. The amount of hours it takes to it doesn’t take very long to develop power with Olympic lifts.
They’re kind of simple in the respect of the activity. I’m throwing the bar above my head, basically. Right. Not literally throwing for people. Medical disclaimer, talk to your doctor before doing exercise. But to do that with lessening of the negative effects that you get from all the Olympic lifting stuff like it’s really hard not to overextend your back when you’re doing an Olympic lift. And part of that is the velocity. Part of that is the force.
And part of that is just it’s complicated. There’s a lot of stuff. You got a time at just the right time and that keeps the bar from drifting away from you and it keeps you pushing your forces directly through the bar upward. Right. So if I’m going to take my time and I’m going to learn this stuff, what am I getting rid of? What can I not do now? Because I’m spending all my time learning this complicated movement, which is a good movement.
And it would be the world would be a better place if everyone knew how to do them safely, you know, not safely, but like effectively. Yes, competently, effectively, without having negative side effects. But you miss out on literally years of training depending on when you start. Right. One of the things that Rufus would always tell us is you mentioned it earlier, James, that Olympic lifts started kind of in like the Eastern Bloc. Right.
Years and years ago, everyone was doing them and those teams were beating everyone. So it makes sense that we would want to do it. But what you don’t understand is that those countries were set up in a different way than our country is set up now. And they would start doing those lifts when they were like five years old and. They would do them for two years with a stick and they wouldn’t be able to use any weights, and when you do something that many times, you become really good at it or you get hurt so frequently that they give up on you, you know, and those are two real outcomes to that.
So if you’ve been doing it all your life, then absolutely use it. It’s going to be an effective tool for you. But if you’re twenty six years old and you want to start making some more power, well, maybe work on some box jumps first and some med ball work before you throw the bar into your chin, ask me how I know.
James Cerbie: We had a kid at our high school on the football team that chipped his teeth. Oh, because we were just doing like just a high poll. So we weren’t actually finishing the clean, but he was a freak out so he could do a back flip in full pads, like total freak. He’s probably like three fifteen on and he just goes jam and just like so smokes his chin, chipped the piss out of his teeth. I was like dude.
But I think that that point about the Eastern Bloc is really good because I think in two realms, one, let’s consider the initial sample size. These people did not have a choice what they could or could not do. They basically said, hey, you’re going to go be funnelled into our athletic development program because that’s what we see you being the most successful. You don’t get a choice. You’re going to go here. And then, like you said, you have two years of drilling with a wooden DABOLL from the time they’re five or six years old.
So we have an outrageous amount of competency built by the time that we’re getting them to an age where we actually want to start training them. So, like, cool. This is a valuable tool. Or option two in that realm is where we look at the Soviets. If you look at the like the Bulgarians, everyone talks. All the Bulgarian method was so awesome. It’s like, well, it’s just survival of the fittest. Like to the nth degree, it’s like, hey, we’re going to take a thousand people.
We’re all going to put you into this program. And whichever of you actually survive this outrageous, like stress bomb and come out the other end, you’re the genetically chosen few who are going to be unbelievable what we’re doing. The rest of you are probably going to end up in a graveyard someplace, not literally. Right. But it’s like you’re just going to be trashed. But they didn’t care because they didn’t need that many people. They only needed X number of people to go compete at the Olympics and win.
Another point there, we talk about this overextension pattern and we should do probably a podcast on this. Right. But we when we think about what the average presentation is, we see walking through the door, we have people that cannot control the position of a rib cage in a pelvis. That’s the simplest way I can state it. We have a rib cage that is essentially flaring forward, externally rotating. We have a pelvis that’s rolling forward, dumping water out the front of the bucket unanimously across the board.
Everyone I see struggles managing and controlling this position. They’re already extended. They don’t know how to get out of it, etc.. So then giving them an Olympic lift is not going to help me figure out how to better manage that. I’m just going to probably exacerbate that problem. And then it’s like, oh, I wonder why athletes keep getting hurt. Right? And it’s like, huh, maybe we should.
Yeah, go ahead, Lance.
Lance Goyke: So what I’ve seen a lot in people who listen to the rebel performance radio podcast and come into our inner circle training our one on one coaching here. The types of training that those people like to do is a lot like Olympic lifting. It’s really heavy. It’s really bilateral. It’s a really predictable it’s like Ryan said. Right. It’s a vertical force. You know, I’m just pushing the bar up. And that could be a bench press.
I could be the squad that could be that left. It’s all the same stuff. Yeah. I don’t know if we can sway on this. Yeah, you can. If you want to build power, but you frequently have those issues, I would go out on a limb to say you are going to be unsuccessful with Olympic lifts if you are not familiar with them already and maybe even if you are familiar with them already, because it’s just more of what you already have.
Right? It’s hitting my mike. It’s more of what I’m getting really animated about. It’s just more of squats, bench and deadlift. It’s just more heavy. It’s just more breath holding. It’s just more rigid. It’s just more stability. It’s just less mobility. It’s just less fluidity. It’s just less regeneration. And so if those are the things that are frequently stopping you from getting you where you want to go, which is like the types of people who come to me for training, then you probably need something that looks a lot different than what you’ve been doing.
James Cerbie: Yeah, take these digitalize monsters that only do the same stuff. It’s like the amazing what happens. We’re not going to name any names, but I’ve gotten a few emails and texts from a handful of your one on one client, like thank you so much for connecting me with Lance. Like it’s so different than what I’ve been doing. But I feel amazing. My performance is doing better. It’s like they finally had this major light bulb moment at some point in the process of like, oh.
There’s a different way I don’t have to just bang my head against the wall doing the same exact things like I can worry about expansion and compression and maybe, you know, dabble with the frontal or transverse plane and not just be a wooden four by four. But, yes, I would piggyback on that. All right, Keiran, let’s roll this over to you, because long time athlete yourself, you went through the college meat grinder like I did.
You have tons of high school athletes that you’re working with on a daily, weekly basis right now. How do you think about approaching this for them?
Keiran Halton: Yeah, the tricky part I find with where I have a little more autonomy coaching, like with my private clients, a ton of the rebel people versus being in the high school setting, which is a fun challenge. And it’s just fun being in a different environment, but it’s kind of dictated by a lot of other people. So they’re sending a lot of constraints. So I think first and foremost, I have to take the direction that I’m being given.
Otherwise, they’ll stop coming. So, for example, like the football coach wants the guys Olympic lifting, but with that, he gives me a little bit of leeway. Right. So as long as we’re doing something that looks similar, I’m trying to find stuff that’ll give them a feel of Olympic lifting. That’s another thing, too. Like they all want to do it, but. If I can better manage the positions like we were talking about so they look less like me getting a low back and more actual like triple extension force production, all that stuff, great.
So I’m just trying to make it as idiot proof as possible, because to your point, they all move like shit. They’re all seeing whoever they’re seeing during the summer. And then I just get everybody from a million different schools or different trainers or coaches. So we’re trying to get everybody on the same page as quick as possible so that I think, you know, we’ve talked about philosophy based training, which I can finally start playing around with the guys with.
We have some bush for them. I think we have a lot of the other things. But I think I just picked up some of the opti bars from Perform Better, which is basically the open bar thing with the movable handles. So at least they can get just a little more of like the fixed position and get a little more angle. Hopefully they can maintain position a little bit better, but they still put the bar up. They don’t even have the front bracket at this point, which I have like three kids out of like one hundred who confront put.
Olympic Lifting Alternatives
So, at least they can kind of get there. And we did just pick up some rogue strong and sandbags, which I’m sure we’ll talk more about other alternatives. But I find that a lot of strong man movements being and when I work with my private clients, we work out a strong management. So I’ve been able to pick those guys brains a lot. And I find that that is a great alternative to get the triple extension. But I mean, like physically a sandbagger stone on your gut, it’s really hard to overextend with that.
So trying to find idiot proof ways within the constraints that are placed on me that makes everybody happy. And I think those are two really good ways to accomplish that.
James Cerbie: Yeah, I think the strongman realm is a really good place to look because it’s fun. Well, that was a comment, so we got a lot on the Instagram post is like, well, my athletes just think it’s fun. You know, I totally get that you want to get by. And as your coach, they need to be having fun. If not having fun, they’re not going to work hard for you. But I have yet to give athletes.
Jumping, throwing some strong man variations and have them not have a phenomenal time doing it. Get a little competition, cooking with it, et cetera. Right. So let’s since we’re on that topic, let’s dove into that strong man realm as maybe some other potential options. Like I think that sandbag is a great one because we get a bear hug around it. So I’m getting that kind of post on your weight shift and driving ribs back. It is almost literally impossible to extend when you’re hugging something.
So when you’re doing that, will you go over the shoulder or are you just essentially trying to go up like over a bar? Where are you taking the straw man sandbag?
Keiran Halton: I think I would probably over the shoulder at first, just as a really simple entry point. I think eventually I would like to load forward over something, because I think when they do finish over the shoulder, sometimes you can get obviously you’re going to extend there a little bit more as opposed to, I think, loading over the bar. It kind of promotes a little bit of a better stack even as you finish it. I kind of don’t trust the guys around something that might pop out like we have platforms.
I might more readily do that, but yeah, probably over the shoulder at first. And then if we can feel confident with it, probably start passing over the bar or eventually build some platforms where they could just really easy load it up and pull it right back off.
James Cerbie: Awesome. Ryan. Patrick, this is what I just thought of this around the strong man topic. Do you think there’s any room in this power conversation for moving events?
Ryan Patrick: Like loaded carries, yeah.
James Cerbie: Probably not, but I mean, it is another way of trying to think if that’s something that can be brought to the table, right? Because when I think of it, I’m like, OK, we’re going to do Sprint Variations, we’re going to talk. So we’re bringing to the top end speed. You have so many throwing variations at your disposal, so many. And they do a phenomenal job and they’re actually going to get you out of just vertical force reduction.
And I can in force and pretty much every direction I want. Mm hmm. And then I have jumping options, all of which I think are my bread and butter when I’m thinking, how am I going to generate power? And then the PBT stuff we’ve talked about is huge because that’s where I’m actually going to go to get more force because there’s other options. It could be more velocity. I can only get so much force out of those movements.
But I was just it was just a thought that popped in my head here. Since we’re on strike now.
The Use of Carry Variations
Ryan Patrick: It depends. I don’t know if I would totally classify it as like power per say. But, you know, one of the conversations I had with somebody is, OK, I’ve got a couple of guys in who play football.
One is a lineman and other one’s a running back. And I need to make sure that my running back has more options in terms of how he can move. I’m probably not going to use as many compressive carries with him and lock him in. But if I’ve got an offensive lineman, I don’t really want him to turn. I just need him to have enough mobility so he can train and not get injured. So in that case, something like a loaded carry, I think can provide a lot of utility.
What are your thoughts?
James Cerbie: It’s good to see you thinking.
Lance Goyke: Yeah, I’m trying to try to form good words for this, it’s in that perspective the loaded carry to be if I sit back and I dissect it, I’m like, OK, this is pretty much an isometric. I’m not really developing force, like even when I start walking, developing a little bit, but then I’m just maintaining my momentum as best I can. So a loaded carry in that sense is it might not be a power development tool necessarily or directly, but it’s very useful for the alignment.
The alignment then treats it as an accessory exercise so that he can demonstrate his power feel.
James Cerbie: Yeah, I think to your point there, it’s almost it’s less about force production as much as it is like absorption and resistance against force. Because there’s like some minimal amount of force protection, I need to move forward, but I’ve always liked about the Kerry variations, is it? It is more athletic. It gets people moving. It’s people moving under load. And it’s like every time I have a foot strike, I’m going to do, like, either a farmer’s carry or yoke carry.
Every foot strike is a mini opportunity of having to figure out how to get on that foot in space and time and stabilize on that foot with increased load and then project myself to my following foot. Right. It says I’m taking gait and I’m assuming it way down and I’m decreasing the range of motion, essentially like the variability of gait and making it smaller. But I’m putting way more load and force on top of it and seeing if you can then control it and move it.
And so, yeah, I think in our live in conversation, maybe that that makes sense as something that’s more. As you said, Lance, expressing what they’re going to be able to do. More game type feel.
Lance Goyke: When I think about a loaded carry, I think about minimal and correct me if I’m wrong, any of you guys, because I haven’t done a whole lot of them because I hate them. We can talk about that another time, I guess.
But a loaded question to me is rigidity through the torso and just enough mobility through the pelvis and lumbar spine to move a little bit. So for a lineman, you know, you want rigidity through the torso and you want just enough mobility through the lower body so that you can get an advantage on someone.
James Cerbie: Yeah, yeah, I like it.
Ryan Patrick: I think you’re touching on it, Lance, but I think a lot of that has to do with load. You know, if I’m doing a suitcase carry and I have got a moderate load, I can get some arm swing and kind of create that rotation around the fixed arm, open some things back up. But then, you know, you’ve seen it where people get way too much and it’s like that opposite arm, just kind of splints out to the side.
They get the next town and the I mean, they’re almost hobbling through it. So, you know, in that case, it’s, you know, if the sport is move as much weight as far as possible or as fast as possible, it makes a lot of sense. But in any other context, I’m like, what’s the what is the result that I’m actually trying to get by doing this much weight? But to circle back to the power conversation and maybe some developing athletes, I mean, some of them just don’t develop the necessary rigidity to produce enough force.
And I think in that context can be very useful.
James Cerbie: One hundred percent agree. I mean, I think like a useful tool in this power realm is to just use the force velocity curve to your advantage. Right, and I think if we’re going to state this and make it as simple as possible, you can take jumps, Sprint throws, and I can place them along a force velocity curve. I have some jumps that will be more force biased. I have some in the middle and the middle. That’s more actual sport bodyweight activity than I think there’ll be more velocity biased.
And I can work people up and down that curve with those variations. It could be as simple as just saying, OK, I’m going to do a rotational med ball, throw phase one, I’m going to use a heavyweight phase two and we need a medium weight phase three. I’m going to use a lightweight. I’ve moved down the force velocity curve. You can do a similar thing with sprinting or jumping, right? If I do a seated jump, I’m taking away any form of elasticity that’s going be a force bias jump the opposite end of the spectrum.
I want chase more velocity bias jumping. Maybe I’ll give you a depth jump. I’ll have you come off of something. I’m going to try to actually take that reactivity to the max and really get a big stretch reflex. I don’t know if enough people really think through, just like working up and down the force velocity curve with all these other options, because you have so many tools in this realm.
Power with the Heavy Versus Power with the Light
Keiran Halton: Yeah, I know, like to follow that up, like one of the things that coaches and like our realm or whatever, always free trade, just like jump, sprint, throw that old take care of the Olympic lifts. Right. I think for the most part, that’s very true. But then to Ryan Patrick’s earlier point of like your power with heavy versus your power with a light category. Right. That’s probably taking away the power with the heavy and replacing with the power with the light.
We were talking about taking the force away for side, away from that force velocity curve to the other specific kind of strategies I really like with the high school kids and myself personally is like the resistance sprints and the trackpad jumps are like, resist the jumps, because then they have, like, that sense of like I’m still using weight, like manly, tough guy, whatever, you know. And there’s been a lot of research to back that up.
Like the Marines, you know, like resistance sprints, like should be one hundred percent of your best time or whatever or like, you know, I know like my boys kind of extrapolate that out to like the track bar jumps, taking it down to like 70, 80%. But I mean, I’ve been on a program from Ryan Patrick where he had me taken my jump. I’m like a high thirty. Even now I’m still a high thirty inch vertical guy, like thirty eight, thirty nine.
And I mean, I had like 250 pounds on the track bar and he was taking me all the way down to like the seven or eight inch vertical that, you know what I mean. And I felt great after that. No low back. Right. Like I was jumping really high through that training block that you had me doing that. And that’s not like wussy weight with a trap r jump, you know what I mean? And obviously the technique comes into play.
But really, like for the guys that want to develop power and especially in the four side where they’re like, oh, you know, sprinting, jumping, whatever, just add a little bit of appropriate load to that. And it’s a great training effect and that’s super fun. I love that training block.
Lance Goyke: Yeah, I want to jump in on that too, because JB Marine stuff. I mean, if you look at athletes, you know, the end game. Above all, I want my athletes to be fast. I still think ascending levels of competition, higher levels of sport. The game is faster.
James Cerbie: Speeds are fast. To me, everything just becomes about velocity.
Ryan Patrick: One hundred percent. So, you know, this is what kind of makes my head a little bit is the sub light sprinters and the elite guys. And when they really look at this stuff, they’re total force output is pretty similar, but it’s the orientation of that force and how they’re able to apply it that really makes the difference. And so I think when we’re in weight rooms and maybe we don’t have access to some of these tools, we kind of resort to things that we can track and manage.
Challenges with Chasing More Force
And I know I’ve been seduced by putting more weight on the bar because it’s something I can measure and see and my athlete can connect that to progress. And the end of the day, my athletes want to work hard. They want to feel like they’re making progress. And, you know, how do you like oh, that’s a better projection angle on your sprint. Well, down the road, whatever. So I think having some of these tools and being able to show athletes the changes they’re seeing in realms that are not just force related, it’s probably beneficial to their long term development because at some point, like chasing more force is just it’s a fool’s errand.
You know, you have to really learn how to do that. But being able to ramp your nervous system up that high for repeated efforts is sometimes hard because that kind of fatigue, I think, feels differently than, say, a trap or jump where it’s like you can feel that push and the effort just because the weight necessitates that level of tension. So it’s just something I constantly think about, about how do I give these athletes what they want and feeling like they’re working hard.
And to Keiran’s point, I think the resistance sprints are phenomenal. We have an extra genie, which is like the diet ten eighty sprint to. But I love it. But we use that a ton and it really cleans up the mechanics for us because it’s going to slow them down. It’s going to force them to find that horizontal orientation of force, to get the shin drop that we need for them to accelerate. So, you know, it’s just it’s tough.
But just an area I think is really interesting, too.
James Cerbie: One thing you mentioned there that we hadn’t touched on yet, we won’t go down this rabbit hole because it’s a whole another realm in of itself, but. You mentioned repeatability, which is something we haven’t even got to yet, right? It’s like, OK, let’s say that I now have the ability to generate enough power. Can you repeat it? Because it’s like, oh, that’s a beautiful four or five forty. But on three you’re running a five, six.
That does me no good. And so that’s a whole another layer. This conversation of I think it’s like, how are we spending our time? And that comes back to us. Olympic lifting the complexity concept is like, OK, let’s get this power output. Let’s figure out this appropriate marriage of how much forces athlete need, how much velocity they need. Awesome. Now let’s figure out how we can actually get them to repeat that over and over and over and over again.
Right. Unless your job is just to run one sprint and then you’re done. Right. But none of the people that we train are going to be in that category. It’s like, OK, I need to be able to generate force and power and then I want to be able to do it again and again and again and again and again. And it’s like, OK, well, it’s going to take time for us to teach you how to do that.
Lance Goyke: Ryan said this earlier and I wanted to reiterate it, but if your goal is to be able to do these and like you said, in a repeatable fashion to where you can actually train power out of them, you need to simplify the complexity to yourself. You need to be proficient in the movement. And the best way to start that is you start on that force side of the curve, you know, just say, hey, do this as fast as you can and maybe you’ll get lucky because that’s not a repeatable way to do it.
Well, but have sharp teeth or for me, it was my chin twice. And it’s so bad that it’s like a it’s like playing hockey and getting hit and falling on your head. It’s just like that actually with learning the stuff. You have to start in the forest side of the continuum. The minimum of the forest side of the continuum is can I do an RD out? And so if you want to prepare yourself to be able to do these lifts later on in your life, like do those basics.
And that’s why that comment about saying a power lifter, it should never power lift or do squat bench. It is different because. Yep, Olympic lifts are a combination of all those fundamental movements. But everybody needs you know, you don’t need to if you look at the most extreme parts of disease, like you can live without legs, you know, but if you got legs, you should probably learn how to whinge.
James Cerbie: I think that’s going to bring us a good closing point here, because I will just piggyback on that thought of an already. All right. Let’s think of the requisite things that have to take place in order for you to do an Olympic lift. Well, I can tell you without a doubt that very few people can even whinge. Well, I think a well done RDL, like a really well done RDL is one of the hardest things to do. I think it’s substantially harder than a really good squat, in my opinion, like a really good article where you get abs and hamstrings and I’m not getting a massive erector pump is incredibly difficult to execute well.
So it’s like I see all these videos posted of athletes doing Olympic lifts. I just cringe because, my God, this is a disaster. This is a train wreck. Like there’s all over the place. It’s just like this stuff here. And they catch like and I’m just like, what are we accomplishing? They can’t even. RDL, why are they doing this?
You just described like 90 percent of my way or we’re working on it.
Yeah. I mean, OK, OK, beautiful. Well, I feel like we’ve probably done a pretty good job in this topic. Is there anything else that we want to hit on here, closing points from anybody, anything that you want to say before we wrap this? Because I feel pretty good with where we are. It’s like if you want to Olympic lift litmus test, go to an RDL. If you feel all abs and hamstrings, you have a beautiful RDL, then, yeah.
Let’s start moving in that direction. If it’s something you really want to do.
Keiran Halton: I’ll leave a cliffhanger. I think I can teach somebody to kettlebell, swing clean and snatch much faster than the Olympic lifts. And if it’s done well, it’s a decent amount of power.
OK, yeah. Lots of options.
James Cerbie: Lance. Anything feel good about it.
Lance Goyke: Stop trying to overcomplicate things. Make sure you’re really good at the basics.
James Cerbie: No one likes the basics. They’re not sexy, but they work. All right. Fantastic. Thanks to an MP. I hope that you enjoyed this. We have any thoughts, comments? I don’t think that you can comment on a podcast per say, but you can just go to the website, drop us a line and be happy to talk about this more. I understand it’s not the norm. And the strength conditioning room hopefully turn it into an Instagram post.
I’m ready to fight anyone on the Internet.
Keiran Halton: Got to go back and comment on the original Olympic classic post on the rubble. True.
James Cerbie: True. That be another way to sum up this conversation. I’ll let you guys do it because I don’t comment back on Instagram.
Keiran Halton: Just take me. I’ll get it.
James Cerbie: I’ll just decide you to and we can roll from there. But yeah. Have a great week, everybody. Thank you, team. Thanks for jumping in.
Ryan Patrick: Thanks, guys.
Lance Goyke: Thanks, guys.
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