Get Strong

Rocking It At Rockford

The Rockford Rams

If you watched High School football in the late 1990's in the State of Michigan you would remember a Belding High School running back namd Brent Cummings. He led his team to a State Championship scored 85 touchdowns before he left school and ended his career playing football for the University of Michigan. Not only was Coach Cummings a great athlete, he designed a special weight room to engage and develop the student-athletes.

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The Pendulum Rack System

The room also includes Pendulum Glute/Ham Machines, Pendulum Hip Presses and Pendulum 5-Way Neck Machines

 

The Thundering Herd

Marshall University the Thundering Herd

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Topics: Pendulum Hip Press

Who Is The Strongest Strength Coach In The World?

Vernon Smith is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has had been a part of 28 Championships, which include 2 National Championships in Football and 2 National Championships in Women's Basketball. Vernon has had an amazing career coaching, but there is something more amazing.... and that is his strength. Vernon Smith squats and deadlifts over 900, benches over 600 and can power clean 500 pounds.

These numbers require pause, yet are really only a reflection into Vernon's ability to move weight. Recently he visited the Pendulum factory in Clare, Michigan. Like all who love training he did not want to miss a weight lifting session as well as was motivated to train on the Pendulum equipment.

Understanding Coach Smith was strong, we took photos so others could get an idea how powerful this man really is. Hopefully the images and the following explanation will give you an idea about one of the strongest men on this planet.

Vernon doesn't use a lifting belt, wraps or a suit. He didn't ask for or require a spotter. The whole workout he did at Rogers Athletic was as casual as if you were to go to the gym with some friends and enjoy their company while you trained and socialized. This statement is important as it reflects how easily he lifts enormous weights without giving his best effort.

Vernon started with a warm-up of some rather large weights (around 400 and 500 pounds) then filled the bar with all the plates he could which was a little over 600 pounds. He easily did a set of 5 repetition deep squats pausing the last movement as if the weight was a little light and he needed to get more out of the set.  Vernon did not breath hard or have to sit down he just unloaded the bar and asked to try the Pendulum Seated Squat Pro. The Seated Squat Pro ended up loaded to 720 pounds where he did a couple sets of 10 with two legs and then some work using one leg at a time.

Following this Coach Smith went to the Pendulum Hip Press, which ended up loaded with the same 720 pounds and he performed two sets of two reps each at a pace of out on a 15 count back on a 30 count to get a real feel for the machine and what it offered.

Now as Vernon Smith casually talked he loaded the Pendulum Squat Pro tried it (800, 900,1000) and kept trying and adding plates until it was set at 1,260 pounds in which he did two sets of 3.

Because Vernon worked out with 600 on the Bench Press the previous day he just lightly trained on the Vertical Chest Press and some of the other Pendulum upper torso machines.

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Someone somewhere may be as strong or stronger than Coach Smith - someone somewhere, some place, maybe!

 

Topics: Pendulum Seated Squat, Announcements, Pendulum Rack System, Pendulum Hip Press, Pendulum Squat Pro, Pendulum Vertical Chest Press, Muscular Strength, World's Strongest Man

The Pendulum Challenge

The latest studies show that women are approximately 52% as strong as men in their upper body and 66% as strong in their lower bodies.  A women having less strength in their upper torso in general is because they tend to have a lower proportion of their lean tissue distributed there. The differences in muscular strength in equally trained men and women is almost entirely accounted for by the difference in muscle size. 

This year at the Collegiate Strength Coaches Association, strength coaches competed against one another for $500.00. The event was deemed the Pendulum Challenge. Because the challenge included both men and women the performance guidelines were set based on the above factors of body weight and gender.

The winner of the  Pendulum Challenge at the National Conference and $500.00 cash was Northwestern University's Taylor Hynes. She performed an incredible total of 109 strict reps on the Pendulum 3-way Row, Seated Squat, and Shoulder/Incline. Taylor can be seen surrounded by members of the Pendulum Staff after her impressive victory. 

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Topics: Pendulum Seated Squat, Announcements, Pendulum Shoulder/Incline, Success, Pendulum 3 Way Row

Top-load The Pendulum Squat Pro

There are seminars, videos, articles, lectures and book chapters all dedicated to methods for strengthening the hips, core and changing one's range of motion so that a trainee can perform a barbell squat into and out of the low position.

Utilization of the the Pendulum Squat Pro requires none of the above knowledge of techniques and limited or no coaching to solve the aforementioned issues.  An athlete simply 'top loads' the Pendulum Squat Pro and begins the exercise.  Each athlete will immediately find themselves in a low position with excellent posture.  All users will find their form is almost exactly what any Olympic or Powerlifting Coach would desire his athlete to be in. The lifter will quickly develop the desired musculature that often takes years of coaching to enhance.

If you really want to Get Strong the number one way to squat is the Pendulum Squat Pro!

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Topics: Pendulum Squat Pro

Start From Neutral

When training neck flexion start the exercise from neutral. In the neutral position the machine will be providing tension before the exercise begins. This means the lifter will have to push the face pad forward several inches and hold it with good posture before initiating the rep. Once in the fully flexed position of the repetition the lifter should always pause to recruit as much tissue as possible. While holding the movement paused in a fully contracted position all available fibers become active. 

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Below is Darl Bauer Assistant Director of Strength and Coaching of the West Virginia Mountaineers. Each athlete is in a neutral contracted position awaiting Coach Bauer's exercise initiation command. 

Neutral to Pause to Get Strong.

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Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training

The University Of South Florida

The University of South Florida adds Pendulum to Get Strong.

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Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pit Shark, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum Hip Press

The Blind Side

Research regarding neck training in athletics comes from many fields.  Whiplash is a common unwanted occurrence in sport. Whiplash refers to a series of neck injuries caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck, whereby the head and neck suddenly accelerate and are “whipped” back with deceleration. This action can cause damage to the supporting muscles, ligaments and other connective tissues in the neck and upper back. In athletics the term is often referred to as 'blind-sided', that is a hit on the athletic field while being vulnerable and unprotected. 

Neck injuries in athletics transpire, yet are slight compared with what occurs while we are moving daily through life.  The National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that there are 5.25 million traffic accidents in United States each year with 2.9 million suffering light or severe injuries. When you total up auto, sport, work, falls, etc. it is estimated there are at least 3 million new cases of whiplash per year - understandably much of the known research on neck trauma is unrelated to sport yet very applicable to it.

It is known in the automotive world of science that rear-end collisions typically cause more cervical spine damage than frontal or side collisions. An interesting 2015 study, "Analysis of Neck Muscles at a Simulated Rear-end Impact in Healthy Subjects."  found that "A high force capacity of anterior neck muscles has preventive value to reduce the consequences of whiplash accidents." Knowing this as a coach it makes perfect sense that by strengthening these muscle we can protect the athlete from the 'blind-side'.

Make sure neck training is an integral part of your sports program and is as important as any other exercise that you do........... for safety on and off the field of play.

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Train the anterior neck muscles when Geting Strong.

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training

The Dumbbell And The Utility Bench

Using the Adjustable Utility Bench

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Dumbbells come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Using heavy dumbbells to Get Strong is not without its issues, whether it be getting the weight into a starting position, safely pressing the weight (especially the last few reps) or lowering heavy dumbbells to the floor upon completion of a movement. Carrying and returning hefty loads to the storage rack and even spotting can become problematic. Grab a pair of 200 pound dumbbells and the above statements will be telling.

The following is a way to lighten the load and get more out of the dumbbell bench press and the adjustable utility bench.

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Start with the dumbbells on the adjustable bench in the flat position. Call this position level one. The goal is to achieve 10 reps. Each rep must be paused at the top of the movement and the weight descended under control.

Upon completion of the 10th repetition the bench should be quickly adjusted to the next setting which is a slight incline.  Get 10 more reps immediately at this new adjustment which is called level two.

The rule is simple, four levels and 40 reps. The object is to achieve 10-10-10-10 continuous repetitions, quickly changing bench press positions and beginning each first rep of the set at a selected 'timed interval'. Example: selected 'timed interval' is 30 seconds...upon completion of the first level the lifter has 30 seconds to set the dumbbells down change the bench height and begin the next set of repetitions.  

Once the 10-10-10-10 rule is matched, raise the weight the following workout. 

It should be obvious that the weight of the dumbbells to be utilized is much lower than one would use if they were doing a dumbbell bench press staying only at the first level.

There are many strategies that can be used after executing a desired 10-10-10-10 sequence. Whether it be starting the sequence in a reverse order first level 4 then 3-2-1 or adding levels (1-2-3-5 skipping level 4).  You may even decide to change level sequences (ie. 4-2-4-1) or start or finish a sequence with a seated dumbbell press (seated press-4-3-1)..... (1-2-3-seated press). You can also adjust the time you are allowed to switch levels and begin the next 10 rep set. Example: Start the 10-10-10-10 routine with 40 seconds rest when the rule is matched change the rest interval to 35 seconds with the same weight.

The definition of utility is "the state of being useful, profitable or beneficial"  Get the most out of your 'utility bench' to Get Strong.

Topics: Muscular Strength, Pendulum Utility Bench

Up-To-Date

The following are a list of references on the importance of training the head, neck and jaw. Great information and great reasons to Get Strong.

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Sports Health. 2017 Mar/Apr;9(2):168-173. Epub 2016 Nov 15. Sex Differences in Anthropometrics and Heading Kinematics Among Division I Soccer Athletes. Bretzin, Mansell, Tierney, McDevitt.

Sports Med. 2016 Feb 9. [Epub ahead of print] Neck Muscular Strength, Training, Performance and Sport Injury Risk: A Review. Hrysomallis.

Am J Sports Med. 2014 Mar;42(3):566-76. Epub 2014 Jan 31. Effect of neck muscle strength and anticipatory cervical muscle activation on the kinematic response of the head to impulsive loads. Eckner JT1, Oh YK, Joshi MS, Richardson JK, Ashton-Miller JA.

Sports Med. 2016 May 3. [Epub ahead of print] Minimizing Head Acceleration in Soccer: A Review of the Literature. Caccese, Kaminski.

Am J Sports Med. 1979 Jul-Aug;7(4):231-3.Neck motion in the high school football player. Observations and suggestions for diminishing stresses on the neck. Pearl AJ, Mayer PW.

J Prim Prev. 2014 Neck strength: a protective factor reducing risk for concussion in high school sports. Collins CL, Fletcher EN, Fields SK, Kluchurosky L, Rohrkemper MK, Comstock RD, Cantu RC.

Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2014 Feb;26(1):33-40. Epub 2013 Oct 2.The relationship between impact force, neck strength, and neurocognitive performance in soccer heading in adolescent females. Gutierrez GM1, Conte C, Lightbourne K.

Sports Health. 2013 Jul;5(4):320-6. Neck strength imbalance correlates with increased head acceleration in soccer heading

Laryngorhinootologie. 2015 Jul 17. [Epub ahead of print] [Electromyographic Analysis of Neck Muscles at a Simulated Rear-end Impact in Healthy Subjects]. [Article in German] Raven , Volk GF, Stadler J, Graßme, Anders , Guntinas-Lichius.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print] Acute Lower Extremity Injury Rates Increase following Concussion in College Athletes. Lynall RC, Mauntel TC, Padua DA, Mihalik JP. 

Cortical hypoexcitability persists beyond the symptomatic phase of a concussion. Powers KC, Cinelli ME, Kalmar JM

Am J Sports Med. 2016 Mar;44(3):742-7.  Epub 2016 Jan 19. Concussion Increases Odds of Sustaining a Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Injury After Return to Play Among Collegiate Athletes.

Sean Gregory, Neck Strength Predicts Concussion Risk, Study Says Time Sports 02.21.2013.

Robert Nash, Angus Barnett, Sally Burrows, Warren Andrews, Brendyn Appleby, Can a specific neck strengthening routine reduce cervical spine injuries in a Men’s Professional Rugby union team? A retrospective analysis Journal of Sports Medicine  2013 12,542-550

Paul Steinbach Sports Injury Expert Dawn Comstock Talks Concussion Prevention Athletic Business; Apr 2013, Vol. 37 Issue 4, p11

Beeman SM, Kemper AR, Madigan ML, Duma SM Effects of bracing on human kinematics in low-speed frontal sled tests. Ann Biomed Eng. 2011 Dec;39(12):2998-3010

Bose D, Crandall JR., Influence of active muscle contribution on the injury response of restrained car occupants. Ann Adv Automot Med. 2008 Oct; 52:61-72.

Vaccaro AR, Klein GR, Ciccoti M, Pfaff WL, Moulton MJ, Hilibrand AJ Watkins Return to play criteria for the athlete with cervical spine injuries resulting in stinger and transient quadriplegia/paresis.Spine J. 2002 Sep-Oct;2(5):351-6.

Anita N. Vasavada, Barry W. Peterson, Scott L. Delp, Three-dimensional spatial tuning of neck muscle activation in humans Exp Brain Res (2002) 147:437–448.

Thomas J. Roberts and Emanuel Azizi The series-elastic shock absorber: tendons attenuate muscle power during eccentric actions, Journal of Applied Physiology August 1, 2010 vol. 109 no. 2 396-404.

Armstrong B, McNair P, Taylor D., Head and neck position sense. Sports Med. 2008; 38(2):101-17. 

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2017 Apr 13. Neck strength and self-reported neck dysfunction: what is the impact of a season of rugby union? Salmon, Sullivan, Handcock, Rehrer, Niven.

J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Mar 13. Can Neck Strength be Measured Using a Single Maximal Contraction in a Simulated Contact Position? Salmon, Handcock, John Sullivan, Reherer, Niven.

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Announcements, Muscular Strength