Auxiliary lifts are special exercise that are sport specific and help prevent common injuries. One auxiliary exercise that BFS has been promoting for the past four decades is the lat pulldown, which may seem odd as most coaches would consider it a bodybuilding or general fitness exercise. Some even believe that it's a harmful exercise that may cause injury. Let's look at the facts.
"The lats are the only muscle that connects the arms to the lower body. This anatomical uniqueness has many implications to athletic performance."
As far as biomechanics, the movements that occur when you pull the bar down are as follows: Elbow flexion, Shoulder adduction and horizontal abduction, and scapulae retraction and downward rotation. When you return the bar to the start, your movements change to the following: elbow extension, shoulder abduction and horizontal adduction, and scapulae protraction and upward rotation.
Most sports don't require climbing, so why are lats important? First, the lats are the only muscle that connects the arms to the lower body. This anatomical uniqueness has many implications to athletic performance. If you want to throw a baseball faster, hit a golf ball harder, or swim with more power, you need to train your lats...
With over 41 years in the business, BFS has established itself as the leader in athletic and physical fitness training. We've not only shared our message through our magazine, website, and social media outlets, but our clinicians have given nearly 20,000 hands-on total program clinics, coaching certifications, and character education seminars. Despite this exposure, there are a few unique aspects of BFS that many people may not know about. Here are five of them:
NO Fad or quick fix Plyometrics have been an essential part of the BFS Total Program since it's inception. Plyometrics have proved to be vital to championship programs across the country for 40 years!
Plyometrics is a powerful tool for athletic training, in the middle school and high school environment, the most practical and effective form of plyometric training is box jumps.
Box jumping bridges the gap between strength and power. Being able to squat 400 pounds (181 kilograms) is great, but that alone does not ensure explosive power. Box jumping can help the muscular system contract more quickly and with greater force.
To properly run a plyometric box jumping program, coaches should have access to boxes of various heights. Whereas the standard plyometric box for high school athletes is 20 inches, for middle school athletes, heavier athletes and athletes at a lower skill level it's best to start them on 10- inch Readiness boxes.
Coaches looking to improve the speed, power and jumping ability of their athletes should consider investing in some plyometric boxes and performing a progressive program of box jumping. When plyometrics is used correctly and consistently, it is an extremely effective training method that only takes a few minutes week. It's a win-win workout!
Whether you need to store bars, kettlebells, bumpers or plates BFS has a solution for you. Keeping your weight room clean and organized is one of the most important things you can do to make you training safe and effective. Take advantage of this amazing sale to take your weight room to the next level!
Every weight room needs to be kept organized for optimal results! BFS can help! Every STORAGE RACK we sell at 25% off! Use discount code 1216WRS25
MADE IN THE USA BARS, PLYO BOXES
AND AGILTY EQUIPMENT ON SALE in December
Speed and Strength is a vital component in any athletic endeavor and we assembled a Special Speed and Strength Collection of products including 3 models of Glute Ham Developers, squat racks, bars, agility ladders, dot drill pads and much more.
All 20% Off Speed! Use discount code 1116WESP
BFS is proud to work with great young leaders from Maryland and Utah
In the first week of November BFS hosted our Leadership Program which exposes top students and athletes to real world applications of leadership. Coach Kyle Fiat and Athletic Director Rich Reed from Dulaney High School in Maryland, accompanied four leaders from the Lion's Lacrosse program to Salt Lake City to learn from top coaches and researchers in the world athletics.
During this amazing visit the young men were treated to a visit with the Utah Jazz Director of Sports Science Mark McKown. McKown is a 19 year veteran of the Jazz where he is continually learning new ways to bring his athletes and organization to their full potential. McKown's implementation of applied sports science makes the Jazz one of the NBA's most progressive franchises.
Learning from leaders at the highest level of their fields made this weekend a program that will have a lasting impact on these growing leaders.
BFS is working hard to bring new and exciting services and trainings to all our valued schools and customers. Stay tuned to this newsletter and www.biggerfasterstronger.com to learn more about all new Speed and Agility Camps coming in 2017.
Bring BFS In-Service Certification into your school this year and make a difference - Call 800-628-9737 to learn how to get started on your championship journey.
BFS launches even more help to protect your school and empower your programs with weight room consulting in 2017.
READ ARTICLES ON CHAMPIONSHIP WEIGHT ROOMS IN THE FREE BFS MAGAZINES HERE
With 20% Off our commercial grade Varsity line every budget can outfit a complete weight room or augment an existing room with the commercial grade equipment needed to excel!
20% Offuse discount code 1116WEVA
Speed is a vital component in any athletic endeavor and we assembled a Special Speed and Agility Collection of products including 3 models of Glute Ham Developers, squat racks, bars, agility ladders, dot drill pads and much more.
All 20% Off! use discount code 1116WESP
Up Front from the editor:
It’s been said that the number of sports medicine clinics in the US is growing at such a fast pace that by the year 2019 they will all be connected by a giant walkway. That’s a joke. What’s not a joke is seeing a large number of athletes disappearing from high school athletes to specialize in a single sport.
While is true that to achieve the highest levels in most sports, early specializing often does more harm than good for most young athletes. First, most young kids don’t know what sport they have the most potential to excel in at the highest level, or what sport they will enjoy the most.
A father who played baseball may put their son in Little League, but perhaps this young athlete has poor hand-eye coordination yet has the physical gifts to be an exceptional middle-distance runner or cyclist? Likewise, a mother was distance runner may encourage her daughter to (literally) follow in her footsteps, but perhaps this young person is gifted with fast-twitch fibers and would be better off in gymnastics or basketball? Only by exposing children to a variety of sports will they be able to determine which sports are best suited for them.
Read the full article in this month's FREE BFS Magazine - Download Here
Kim Goss, MS Editor in Chief, BFS magazine
There is no shortage of social media outlets that promise you the best athletic training system for young athletes. There are good programs, and there are some that are…well, not so good. What separates BFS from all of them is our 40-year history of success. That’s right – four decades!
Dr. Greg Shepard founded BFS in 1976, and his vision has been carried on by CEO Bob Rowbotham and his son, BFS President John Rowbotham. Joining them are a team of clinicians that include certified teachers and active coaches. These clinicians know the difference between the type of optimal training used by Olympians and professional athletes, and the reality of working in the school environment with multi-sport athletes.
The mission of Bigger Faster Stronger is to encourage positive changes in the lives of young people, and it does this through a three-tiered approach to meet the needs of athletes, coaches and school administrators.
For athletes and physical education students, we offer seminars and clinics on character education and athletic fitness training. For coaches and physical educators, we offer certification programs and continuing education materials that teach how to increase the safety and effectiveness of their sports and physical education programs through the concept of unification. For administrators and gym owners responsible for making equipment-purchasing decisions, we offer the highest-quality exercise equipment that fits any budget along with a knowledgeable sales staff to take them facilities from concept to completion.
One key to our long-term success is our emphasis on unification. Unification is the concept that all high school and middle school athletes will adhere to the same basic training philosophy. This means that all athletes, from football players to basketball players to swimmers, perform the same core weight training exercises, the same speed and agility exercises, and the same flexibility and plyometric exercises. Such organization improves athletic performance and reduces teaching time, as well as preventing many administrative hassles and personality conflicts.
One aspect of unification is our promotion of Six Absolutes, which are training principles that are amazingly effective in teaching perfect technique not only in the weightroom but also in any sport. One reason the BFS Six Absolutes are so effective is that they encourage all coaches to use the same terminology when teaching weight training and sport skills.
Another important part of our organization is the BFS Readiness Program. This is a complete strength and conditioning system designed for those who are not yet ready to engage in weight training programs performed by more physically mature athletes. The focus of the BFS Readiness Program is on developing perfect technique in all the basic components of athletic fitness, giving athletes a head start when they graduate to the BFS Total Program.
To help young people fulfill their potential in all areas of their life, BFS offers a character education program called Be an 11. This program is designed to inspire student-athletes to set worthy goals, both athletic and personal, and then help them develop action plans to achieve those goals. Along the way, they learn about the importance of making positive choices, maintaining their self- respect, and being team players and role models for others.
In the world of social networking, since 1980 Bigger Faster Stronger has been the official magazine of our company. A bimonthly, full-color print publication, BFS is full of inspirational success stories, advice from top coaches and sport scientists, and the latest information on liability and safety. BFS also has an outstanding website that answers all your questions about our programs and athletic training equipment, and also provides a link to the BFS Online Learning Center for the latest in multimedia education for strength and athletic fitness training.
For strength training, athletes need free weights: power racks, benches, barbells, and dumbbells. For speed, must-haves included plyometric boxes, pulling sleds, and systems for measuring speed and jumping ability. At first, our single line of equipment was enough, as the focus was on providing high school coaches with quality equipment at the lowest price. Later, we expanded our products to serve the needs of all athletic and physical fitness programs. We have our highest quality D1 line, our heavy duty Elite line, the functional Varsity line, our bold Absolute Oval line, and most recently our BXI line that includes the racks, rigs and strongman training accessories to accommodate the popular “boot camp” workouts.
There’s a vast number of strength and conditioning programs available currently, and coaches no doubt will be exposed to many more programs during their careers. But with its proven track record that spans four decades, BFS stands apart as the leading company in helping young athletes succeed.
Heavy-duty equipment designed with your wallet in mind
At the high school level building winning programs in multiple sports requires a commitment to basic, heavy-duty weight training – and that means heavy-duty benches, squat racks, and free weight equipment. As a “made in the USA” manufacturer, for the past 38 years BFS has focused on making heavy-duty equipment that fits every budget. To do this, our manufacturing process has evolved to include four complete lines of equipment in a variety of steel gauges: Varsity, Elite, Absolute and D1.
The D1 line is top-of-the-line equipment, suitable for the best college, professional, and commercial weightrooms. Organizations with big budgets are looking for, premium D1 features such as chrome plating, pegs for band-resistance exercise, bench docking systems, and swivel handle chin-up attachments. One practical advantage of this highly versatile equipment is that athletes can perform a greater variety of exercises. On the esthetic side, a weightroom full of attractive equipment at the D1 level is a selling point often used by college or even high school recruiters to attract enrollees.
Because the D-1 line doesn’t fit into the typical high school budget, the most popular choices are the BFS Varsity and Elite lines. To see the differences between the Varsity and Elite lines, let’s take the power rack as an example.
The basic power rack is a rectangular structure with four vertical posts at the corners to increase its strength (as such, this type of rack is often referred to as a cage). This design is important because these units are often used for exercises that use a considerable amount of weight, such as box squats and partial deadlifts. Adjustable bar catches are located between the posts so users can perform partial movements; they can also be used as safety catches so users can perform lifts such as bench presses without fear of the weight dropping on them, of course, BFS recommends spotters when performing squats and bench presses.
The Varsity line consists of solid, 11 gauge no-frills equipment. In contrast, the Elite line’s 7 gauge, 8-foot power rack is a foot taller than the Varsity Squat cage and has four more inches of workspace; both lines feature weight holders to reduce the need for independent weight trees. For a high school with 400 students the Varsity rack will more than meet the needs of its athletes – and we can say this with confidence, as over 1,000 schools have purchased equipment from our Varsity line.
While the basic power rack remains a great tool for athletes, as the strength and conditioning field evolved, BFS developed additional variations of the power rack in both our Varsity and Elite lines to fulfill the needs of our customers. One such variation is the half rack.
The half rack has a smaller footprint than the traditional power rack, and as such can be easily combined with an 8-foot lifting platform to enable athletes to perform exercises such as power cleans and deadlifts. Let’s look at one of our most popular units: the Elite half rack with platform. This unit contains a 6- by 8-foot weightlifting platform for performing power cleans and deadlifts, and a vertical half rack for squats and overhead presses. Further, with an adjustable bench placed within the rack, users can perform bench presses and incline bench presses. Because all these lifts can be performed at the same station, athletes don’t have to deal with weightroom bottlenecks.
Many other configurations of these units are available, such as the dual Elite half rack with two platforms (or with none). With their efficiency and versatility, half racks are among our best sellers. To get serious about training, invest in equipment that has been proven to get the job done. Whether you choose the equipment that meets your needs best from our Varsity, Elite, or D1 line, these are the tools that make a championship weight room.
How BFS has been helping athletes succeed since 1976
“New” is one of the most powerful words in sales, but at BFS we believe our success is founded on the opposite quality: longevity. BFS has been in business for 38 years, and our continual growth comes from understanding the needs of our customers and finding effective ways to improve our customer service and keep our prices down. This is our story.
BFS began in 1976 when Dr. Greg Shepard found there was a huge demand among coaches to learn about his training system, the BFS Total Program. Three years later Coach Shepard recruited Bob Rowbotham, who recently became CEO after Shepard’s retirement. Their leadership and the talents of our BFS clinicians – certified teachers with impressive coaching résumés – have built a coaching history that includes over 10,000 BFS clinics and countless state championships. But that’s only one aspect of the company.
From his very first clinic Shepard concluded that coaches needed a training system that would enable athletes to fulfill their physical potential, along with the right tools for the job. He knew he could provide it by getting into the equipment manufacturing business. For strength training, athletes needed free weights: power racks, benches, barbells, and dumbbells. For speed, must-haves included plyometric boxes, pulling sleds, and systems for measuring speed and jumping ability. At first, one line of equipment was enough, as the focus was on providing high school coaches with quality equipment they could afford.
The initial manufacturing business Shepard started in the heart of Salt Lake City was small, but with rapid growth he soon expanded into two facilities: a manufacturing plant in a nearby industrial center, and a large warehouse that also served as company headquarters. John Rowbotham, Bob Rowbotham’s son, eventually took over warehouse operations and, upon Shepard’s retirement, assumed the duties of president.
Having its own production facility gave BFS complete control over quality control and equipment design, including the means to make custom equipment as needed. Quality control was a particularly thorny issue for companies that manufactured their equipment in China and other countries due to the use of inferior steel that affected the quality and safety of their equipment – in fact, many of their product recalls of barbells, dumbbells, and other exercise equipment made national headlines and cost their companies millions in lost revenue, along with the confidence of their customers.
It was also gratifying to BFS to manufacture equipment in the United States with US workers. In contrast, customers of our competitors that had their equipment manufactured in China and other countries often endured long delays while waiting for their purchases to be shipped to the US. Because BFS stocked its own warehouse with a large inventory of equipment, large orders outfitting complete gyms to BFS standards could be filled and shipped within 24 to 48 hours. Custom orders took a bit longer, of course, but few of our competitors could match our speed on special orders. As a bonus, because of the large volume of sales across the country, we could place multiple orders on one truck and thus avoid having to pass on large shipping costs to our customers.
With any manufacturing business there come challenges, and about a decade ago exercise equipment manufacturers were having difficulty getting steel – at any price. It wasn’t that US steel companies were decreasing their production, but that they were fulfilling orders from China and other countries that were willing to pay top dollar. BFS was fortunate to have developed solid, long-term relationships with many US steel manufacturers that could fulfill our needs, but other companies were not so fortunate and found they could not stay in business. The steel crisis eventually passed, but as a safeguard BFS built a 5,000-square-foot storage facility to stockpile steel, enabling us to fill our orders and also keep our prices down.
BFS started with one line of equipment, but our manufacturing business eventually expanded to four complete lines: Varsity, Elite, and D1. Although we can certainly outfit complete weightrooms, BFS recognizes that most schools can only afford to add or replace a few pieces of equipment each year. We believed it was important that all our equipment have the same basic design so that each additional piece of equipment would provide a consistent look, which is not possible when a weightroom is outfitted with equipment from several manufacturers. As for quality, BFS uses 11-gauge steel – which is the industry standard – as well as 7-gauge steel for units with independent posts that require additional support. BFS now offers full 7-gauge options in the D1 and Elite options for the most demanding environments!
The D1 line is our top-of-the-line equipment, suitable for the best college, professional, and commercial weightrooms. Organizations with substantial budgets are opting for premium D1 features such as chrome plating, pegs for band-resistance exercise, bench docking systems, and swivel-handle chin-up attachments.
This year we added one more equipment line: The BFS Absolute Line. This unique line of equipment was made possible by the purchase of a “bender,” a manufacturing device that molds steel into V and U shapes. Because benders cost $200,000 new, few of our competitors can afford them, thus limiting their design capabilities.
As BFS nears its 40th anniversary, we take great pride in producing the highest quality US-made products with value pricing. As a coach Dr. Greg Shepard always taught his athletes to “dream the biggest dream,” and that guiding philosophy has taken BFS from its humble roots to its current position as an industry leader.
A look at the new science behind partial movements
In the early days of the Iron Game, bodybuilders trained hard on strength lifts such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press. Chuck Sipes, winner of the IFBB Mr. Universe in 1960, had massive muscles that enabled him to bench press 570 pounds and lift 250 pounds in the barbell curl. Sipes was a proponent of heavy partial movements, believing that their primary benefit is to increase tendon strength. That’s only one aspect of what partial movements can do for you.
Heavy partial movements disinhibit the nervous system so you can lift heavier weights. Here’s why. The Golgi tendon organ (GTO) is located in the junction between a tendon and a muscle, and works as a receptor that gives the nervous system feedback about tension and stretching of the muscle. For example, during an arm wrestling match, you often see a point in which the weaker opponent appears to suddenly give up when their arm is slammed to the table after several seconds of all-out effort. What is happening is that the GTO senses excessive tension and shuts down the muscle to protect it from injury.
When lifters perform heavy supports, such as by attempting a weight heavier than they can squat and holding it at the start position, or simply doing heavy partial movements, this exceeds the shutdown threshold of the Golgi tendon organ and the muscles shut down.
To train the muscles to lift heavier loads, partial-range-of-motion training has become popular, particularly among powerlifters and strongman athletes. It’s possible to take advantage of this training effect by alternating sets of heavy supports with full-range exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Another method is to simply finish off regular exercises with several sets of heavy supports or partial-range exercises. An example of a partial-range exercise you can do for the upper body is a towel bench press (a bench press performed with a rolled-up towel or a towel bench pad); for the lower body, a box squat.
The box squat is a squat variation that is usually performed as the first exercise on Monday in the BFS off-season program or as the first exercise on Thursday in the in-season workout. Although box squats put the legs through less of a range of motion than is involved in conventional squats used in the BFS program, they allow you to use considerably more weight and thus help disinhibit the nervous system.
Another benefit of being able to lift more weight doing box squats is that the exercise can be more sport specific. For example, volleyball players can benefit from partial-range squats because these movements overload the range of motion typically required of these athletes’ legs in their sport. (This finding is from Science and Practice of Strength Training by Russian sport scientist Vladimir Zatsiorsky, one of the leading researchers in the field of strength and conditioning).
In recent years box squats have been embraced by the powerlifting community and even some strength coaches at the college level. While some critics of the box squat contend that it is dangerous, Dr. Greg Motley disagrees. Motley is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in arthroscopy, sports medicine, and joint replacement at Southeastern Sports Medicine in Asheville, North Carolina. Motley’s athletic experience includes playing strong safety at the Division I level, resulting in six surgeries and two degenerated disks. To test the success of his subsequent rehab, Motley performed box squats and says that if anyone would know if the box squat caused increased pressure on the lumbar spine, it would be him.
Not only did Dr. Motley perform the exercise with no pain, he ended up endorsing the exercise. He says, “I went up pretty heavy that day, a lot heavier than I thought I could go – and I hadn’t squatted in 10 or 12 years. “I think it’s critical with the box squat – with all squats – that you have good technique and alert spotters. That being said, I think the box squat is a very, very good exercise.”
One additional benefit of the box squat is that it enables athletes to recover quickly from the exercise. Based upon the feedback from coaches, an athlete can box squat heavy the day before an athletic competition without causing fatigue that could decrease athletic fitness and thus performance. In fact, at BFS we’ve found that athletes usually perform better! However, we need to emphasize that the box squat does not replace the parallel squat.
BFS has been promoting the box squat as a core lift for nearly four decades. This lift has earned its place because it’s a great way to increase overall leg strength and to prepare for optimal performance at competition time. The old-time Iron Game athletes got this one right!
Made in America at a sensible price
Starting at Only $1,195
Varsity Half Racks and Doublesided Half Racks are redesigned with a fully enclosed frame. External plate racks and expandable design for easy future upgrade to the Power Clean Platform
BFS is proud to announce advancements across the board with every line of equipment redesigned to fit your weight room and your budget.
The BFS VARSITY LINE is the complete solution for your budget. Racks, benches, platforms - all the equipment you need to run a complete weight room.
Half Rack - Double Sided Half Rack- Full Cage - Power Clean Platform - Multi-Angle Bench -Varsity Olympic and Incline benches, and many more options!
Every order of BFS Varsity equipment SHIPS FREE
with qualifying order of over $3000
Call 800-628-9737 for shipping deals or to order your free 2015 catalog
Visit www.biggerfasterstronger.com to view entire line of Made in America weight room equipment.
November Weight Room Opportunity!The BXI line of modular racks, rigs and compact weight room storage is a mainstay for box style boot camp programs and start up gyms. However we have noticed that it is also gaining traction in more traditional weight rooms due to it unparalleled versatility and customization options.
Is the BXI Line right for you? Call us at 800-628-9737 and find out!
For November the entire BXI line is 20% OFF Use online Discount Code: 1114WEBX1
Phone Order Special:
Order over $2500 in BXI and the Shipping is Free Too
Call Kelly or Kam here at the BFS Home Office to get started today
FOR 20% OFF USE DISCOUNT CODE 1114WESP1 AT CHECKOUT.