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...
Strength Training - Character Building
In-Season - Off-Season - This Free Issue covers it all!
The BFS Total Program is a comprehensive system with one goal. To help young people be the best they can be in athletics, in academics, and in life. In this issue of BFS Magazine we have assembled articles for the archives to help you get started!
Because The Total Program is a broad system it can appear intimidating to new users, however at its core it is about incremental improvement over time. Implementing this program has proven over 40 years that this simple idea teaches valuable life skills from goal setting to personal responsibility. Coaching the Total Program in PE or athletics gets easier every week because students and athletes WANT to improve and through diligent record keeping seeing themselves improving, week in and week out.
Flexibility, agility, strength and teamwork training can happen in the timeframe of high school schedules, BFS has been doing it for 40 years. Let us show you how. Start with this free issue of BFS Magazine and see what championship results could be on your horizon!
40 Years Strong In 1979 Bob Rowbotham joined the Bigger Faster Stronger team as a clinician, and eventually took over the company as president and later CEO. Although there have been many advances in the fields of athletic and physical fitness since BFS headquarters opened its doors, the principles BFS was founded on have not changed. Coach Rowbotham has made certain of that.
“The BFS program originated from working with world-class track and field athletes, athletes who often displayed exceptional levels of strength, power, and explosiveness,” says Rowbotham. “When the company started, the only athletes who were using the weight room were football players and the throwers in track and field. Consequently, BFS was perceived to be a football program, it’s taken a long time change that perception.”
Committed to Athletics and PE Rowbotham and his staff spread the word about BFS by attending conventions for state and national physical education organizations, such as SHAPE America. The appeal of BFS grew as sports coaches, strength coaches, and physical education instructors saw the benefit of working together in a unified program. Rowbotham says that the BFS principles have been verified by scientific research, such as the superiority of the hex bar deadlift over the straight bar deadlift.
WRSC Certification “Our certifications started in 2005 because of the concern about safety and liability in the school environment, and because weight training was becoming more popular with athletes in other sports and students involved in physical education classes. These topics would be better addressed in a specific seminar for those administrating the program, rather than a general clinic for both coaches and athletes.”
School System “One of the biggest challenges is in the structure of the circumulum. We don’t have the physical requirements for physical education that we had 20 years ago. Based upon our experience, when the weight room is set up correctly, weight training becomes one of the most popular classes in the PE curriculum. Schools that have developed an elective program in conjunction with the athletic team environment is where BFS has grown the most.”
Multi Sport Athletes Because the competitive sports environment is so much higher today, Rowbotham believes it’s especially important for athletes to be involved in the weight room. “Coaches, athletes, and parents understand that now. They also understand that strength is just one component of developing the total athlete. Strength training, in conjunction with other aspects of conditioning, presented in a format that produces progressive gains over time that can be measured objectively, is key to the success of BFS.”
Six Absolutes. “The Six Absolutes improves the quality of coaching by ensuring that everyone is on the same page in their use of terminology teaching optimal technique, not just in the weight room but also during sports performance. It also creates a repetitive educational environment, making for a more efficient teaching environment. This is especially important when working with large groups of athletes.”
“BFS started in the competitive athletic environment, but it has evolved into much more than that. We are concerned about the well-being of all young people, even those who do not participate in sports. One of our mottos is that BFS is about “Coaches Helping Coaches,” and that’s true. But the bottom line is that what we do is about helping kids.”
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.
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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
In the BFS program, the power snatch is considered an advanced auxiliary exercise that can be used in place of the power clean. Both exercises develop the same muscles and increase power, and in fact improving your ability in one lift with improve your performance in the other. The power snatch, however, offers several advantages over the power clean and other types of explosive lifts.
Power is the ability to display strength quickly, and can be defined by the formula Force x Distance ÷ Time. Because relatively lighter weights are used, the power output for a power snatch is higher than a power clean. In fact, the second pull of the snatch produces five times the power output of back squats and deadlifts. Squats and deadlifts are essential to a total athletic development program, but in terms of developing power, the Olympic lifting movements are superior.
One of the advantages of the power snatch over the power clean is that some athletes, often due to the relationship of the upper arm to the lower, have a difficult time racking the bar on the shoulders. The power snatch catch position circumvents this problem as the bar is held overhead. Also, straps can be used on the power snatch to reinforce the grip – they should never be used on the clean as they can cause injury.
Next, because a wider grip is used in the power snatch, the athlete must bend their knees more and as such begin the lift from a lower starting position than the clean. As such, the legs move through a greater range of motion than the clean...
The Basics Help Timpview Win! “The BFS core lifts are the most important exercises for football: power cleans, squats, deadlifts, and bench presses,” Cary Whittingham
The Whittingham family knows football!
Fred Whittingham was a coach for the Los Angeles Rams from 1982-1991, his son Kyle is the head football coach for the University of Utah Utes, and Kyle’s younger brother Cary is the head coach for the Timpview High School Thunderbirds in Provo, Utah. This is Cary’s story.
Cary played linebacker at Brigham Young University from 1981-1985, earning a National Championship title in 1984, and played for the Los Angeles Rams in 1987. His accomplishments as a high school coach are equally impressive. Since he took over as head coach at Timpview High in 2012, the Thunderbirds have won three consecutive 4A state championships.
One of four high schools in the Provo School District, Timpview High School serves approximately 2,000 students in grades 9 through 12. It lies in the beautiful, mountainous valley of central Utah. As a graduate of Provo High School and BYU, Cary was familiar with the football environment in Provo and this no doubt led to a smooth transition into the head coaching position.
In the state championship game the Thunderbirds were facing an undefeated Roy High School, a team that won their semifinal game by a score of 39-0. The Royals shocked the Thunderbirds in the first half by holding them scoreless and giving up only 14 yards rushing. The last time the Thunderbirds didn’t score in the first half of a game was in 2007, a string of 103 straight games. However, thanks to its stubborn defense, the Thunderbirds were only down by seven, 0-7.
Timpview’s motto is, “Trust yourself, trust your team and trust your coaches,” and that turned out to be good advice in the second half. Cary and his staff were able to make the necessary adjustments, beginning with a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Britain Covey to Jordan Espinoza in the third to tie the game. The momentum continued to shift to the Thunderbirds as this was followed by a 70-yard punt return by Will Watanabe for a score. The Thunderbirds scored twice more and kept the Royals out of the end zone the entire second half to achieve a 28-7
With all the combined football knowledge in the Whittingham family you might think that Cary has learned many secrets to gridiron success. Not so. Cary says that among the keys to success in high school football are hard work, monitoring, and accountability. “You have to be sure the work is happening,” says Cary. And although he has the inside track on what his brother Kyle is doing with the Utes, he says that many of the offensive and defensive schemes used at that level are too advanced to implement at the high school level. Likewise, Cary sticks with the basics in his strength and conditioning program.
“The BFS core lifts are the most important exercises for football: power cleans, squats, Hex bar deadlifts, and bench presses,” says Cary. His program also includes plyometrics, medicine ball training, ladders, and the dot drill. As for auxiliary exercises, one of his favorites is the Turkish get-up, which he believes is a valuable exercise for developing core strength.
Although some parents believe that year-round specialization increases the odds of a high school athlete moving to the next level, Cary encourages his football players to participate in multiple sports. He believes that playing multiple sports teaches athletes how to compete. “Learning to complete carries over to the football field.” Such a philosophy has helped Timpview win state championships in both girls and boys sports; in fact, in the fall of 2013 Timpview teams won state championships in golf, football, volleyball and girls tennis.
Cary believes in year-round strength training, including in-season. The Timpview High School administration supports this training philosophy by scheduling weight training classes during the school day so as not to interfere with after school sports training and competition. In the summer, Cary and his staff supervises morning workouts in the weight room to ensure his athletes are ready for the upcoming sports year.
Asked what advice he would give to aspiring coaches, Cary replied, “Get a teaching certificate, because -- at least in Utah -- there is little money in coaching. Your career as a high school coach is going to be teaching. Beyond that, you need exposure to football – nothing replaces putting on a helmet and playing the game.” Cary also insists that he is happy with his current career choice and has no aspirations of coaching at the college or professional level.
Looking towards next year, Coach Cary Whittingham has the challenge of replacing his quarterback, but says that he has “a good core of talented kids coming back.” As for the record books, Timpview won four consecutive state championships from 2006 to 2010. Based on what we’ve seen from the Thunderbirds these past three years, the odds of breaking that mark are in their favor.
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.
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!
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