Get Strong

Getting A Leg Up On Leg Extensions

The short arc knee extension is a partial leg movement that has been used for decades to target the vastus medialis oblique. This oft-spoken muscle, located above the inside of the knee cap, in rehabilitation has earned the byname 'VMO'.

The VMO is important in keeping the knee cap tracking correctly. During a knee extension the quadricep muscles are all active. From a 15"-0" arc, the VMO has about 56% more electrical activity. It is important in exercising to target the last 15" of movement. This is done by making sure you fully extend the legs and pause them at the top of a knee extension. Post injury the vastus medialis oblique atrophies noticeably and quickly - attending to the final degrees of motion hastens recovery.

The Pendulum Leg Extension machine has 'SET' - Set Extension Technology - which allows for VMO range limiting. When training, one simply adjusts the range limiter to it's last setting and the short arc movement can be prioritized. 

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Topics: Pendulum Leg Extension, Muscular Strength

Read The Manual Before You Begin

Important Manual Resistance Considerations:

  • When training manually all athletes must understand the rules of performing each repetition properly. The rules of Manual Resistance must be reviewed regularly!
  • The athlete should not only be capable of performing an exercise but have the ability to teach, as well as administer the exercise to others. 
  • Once an athlete understands how to execute manual resistance it demands the same effort and motivation as if trying to improve on a bench, squat, clean or any other strength training exercise.
  • When training manually to progressively overload it requires a strength measurement to track progress.  Taking a circumference, body composition and other physiological variables allows the coach and athlete to monitor results.
  • Remember when training the head and neck manually athletes should have clean hands especially during flu season.

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Manual Resistance Rules

1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure. 

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Topics: Strength Training, Muscular Strength, Manual Resistance

Strength, Conditioning And Fitness Club

Lock Haven University is located on 200 acres in central Pennsylvania along the Susquehanna river. They are noted for teacher preparation and are strong in sciences, business and the humanities. They have over 130 clubs that provide the students with numerous experiences.

The Lock Haven University's Strength, Conditioning and Fitness Club recently arrived in Clare, Michigan to gain understanding of fitness manufacturing, weight room design and to become acquainted with the Pendulum exercise equipment. 

A great group, a great learning experience and a great day! Ask about bringing your strength team to Clare.

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Topics: Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Announcements, Pendulum Gripper, Strength Training, Pendulum Shoulder/Incline, Pendulum Rack System, Muscular Strength, Pendulum Power Stack

March To Minnesota

THE SCIENCE AND APPLICATION OF STRENGTH TRAINING

FOR HEALTH & HUMAN PERFORMANCE

 

March 9 & 10th, 2018

DAY ONE

Times and events for both days are subject to change

4:30 – 5:45pm Registration/Check-in

5:30 – 5:45pm Welcome and Introduction

5:45 – 6:45pm Keynote Presentation 1: Ted Dreisigner Ph.D. Isolated Strengthening of the Low Back as a Strategy for the Prevention and Clinical Management of Chronic Low Back Pain

6:45 – 7:30pm Special Topics Presentation: A Fireside Chat with Jim Flanagan

7:45 – 8:30pm Special Topics Presentation: Brandon Jonker Results and Application of the Repetition Duration Study; Comparing 30-30-30, 10-10, and 2-4 and Training Demonstration with James Fisher Ph.D.

8:30 – 10:30pm Social at Beacon

We invite all attendees to join for food and drink at Beacon (located in the hotel). Note: Drinks and food are an additional cost and are not provided.

DAY TWO

Early Morning Workouts at the Downtown Minneapolis Location – More information to come

9:00 – 10:00am Keynote Presentation 2: Luke Carlson The Philosophy, Strategy, and Tactics that Drive Business Growth.

10:15 – 11:15am Keynote Presentation 3: Mike Gittleson Stretching is Not What We Thought it Was (and the Lost Body Part)

11:15 – 11:45am Special Topics and Tactics: Discover Strength Staff

11:45 – 12:30 Lunch (provided with registration)

12:30 – 1:30pm Keynote Presentation 4: Rob Morton Understanding Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy: Protein Metabolism and Resistance Training

1:45 – 2:45pm Keynote Presentation 5: Michelle Segar Ph.D

3:00 – 4:00pm Keynote Presentation 6: James Fisher Ph.D Heterogeneity, Periodization and the Strength-Endurance Continuum

 https://www.resistanceexerciseconference.com/

 

Pendulum Hip Press

Pendulum Hip Presses

Topics: Muscular Growth, Strength Training, Pendulum Hip Press, Pendulum 3 Way Row, Strength, Muscular Strength

How Much Can You Press?

For the first three quarters of the 20th century if you wanted to inquire about a young man's strength the question was - "How much can you press?".  The overhead press was a relatively simple way to compare strength between individuals as it required little instruction. Simply pick a weight off the floor or walk up to a power rack and push it over your head if you wanted to see who was stronger than whom.

Initially, for maximum development and comparative results the press was performed in a strict 'military style'; hence it's name the 'military press'. The lifter was to keep a military posture with straight legs and back, locked knees while pressing the weight overhead. This kept the stress of the load on the shoulders. In 1928 because of it's popularity, the overhead movement become one of the three movements in weightlifting competition in the Olympics. 

Competitions, coaching, seeking an edge, along with the worldwide desire for countries to win caused the lift to lose it's militray form as lifters used every means and technique to circumvent the rules to place the weight overhead. Lean-back techniques, grip spacing, a slight hitching movement with ones' knees and the exercise turned into a quick push-press to accelerate and move rather than lift weight. Forgiveness in rules and the excessive body bend began to become acceptable. In 1972 the overhead press could no longer fairly be judged and was removed from Olympic competition.

In the 1960's Powerlifting, which required less skill became more and more prevalent. Those who had spent their time military pressing as part of their training, rather than bench pressing quickly found when they converted to the bench press exercise they were extremely strong even though they had never performed a bench press exercise in training.

The trainees that remained and continued as Olympic lifters, even though the overhead press was eliminated from competition, still found it necessary to continue the use of the overhead press in their training in order to excel in the clean and jerk.  

Rogers Athletic recognized the value of this shoulder exercise and developed the Pendulum Shoulder/Incline. The machine takes away the leverage advantages that athletes use to push rather than truly press weight overhead. And just as importantly the Pendulum Shoulder/Incline is constructed to ensure the lifters humerus is rotated properly during the movement making it a truly effective deltoid developer.

To build extremely powerful shoulder muscles and Get Strong choose this machine from Pendulum. It answers the question, "How much can you press?". 

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Topics: Pendulum Shoulder/Incline, Muscular Strength

Foam Rolling?

In the past year two articles were published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy about foam rolling and performance. Foam rolling is a self- administered technique often used to increase range of motion and is found to be part of many weight room and pre-activity rituals.

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Researchers examined the effect of  foam rolling during the inter-set rest period during sets of knee extensions while training. In both studies when foam rolling the quadricep or foam rolling the hamstrings between exercise bouts, the process decreased maximum repetition performance compared to the control groups. Based on these results there are implications in foam rolling prescription for rehabilitation and for athletic populations. 

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Foam rolling does effect the fascia surrounding the musculature - how, when and why this exercise tool is added to a program must be well thought out to Get Strong.

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Topics: Strength Training, Muscular Strength

The Rules Of Manual Resistance

Important Manual Resistance Considerations:

  • When training manually all athletes must understand the rules of performing each repetition properly.
  • The athlete should not only be capable of performing an exercise but have the ability to teach, as well as administer the exercise to others. 
  • Once an athlete understands how to execute manual resistance it demands the same effort and motivation as if trying to improve on a bench, squat, clean or any other strength training exercise.
  • When training manually to progressively overload it requires a strength measurement to track progress.  Taking a circumference, body composition and other physiological variables allows the coach and athlete to monitor results.
  • Remember when training the head and neck manually athletes should have clean hands especially during flu season.
  • The rules of Manual Resistance must be reviewed regularly! 

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The Rules of Manual Resistance

1). If you use Manual Resistance make sure you and your spotter know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

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Topics: Muscular Growth, Strength Training, Muscular Strength, Manual Resistance

Don't Drop Drop-sets From Your Program

In April of this year the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness published - Effects of drop set resistance training on acute stress indicators and long-term muscle hypertrophy and strength. The findings were..."Superior muscle gains might be achieved with a single set of DS (drop set) compared to 3 sets of conventional RT (resistance training), probably due to higher stress experienced in the DS protocol."

Drop-sets are done in numerous ways, in general it is a simple technique whereby you perform a set of an exercise and then reduce or 'drop' the weight and continue for more repetitions with less poundage or greater leverage. 

There are many many methods how drop-sets are accomplished; stripping of weight from a barbell, quickly grabbing lighter and lighter dumbbells, changing pin settings on selectorized machines, continually changing grip or stance during an exercise, changing the range of motion and more.

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The Pendulum 'Set Extension Technology" is an ideal training method especially for in-season reduced training time and obtaining the desired results in a shorter interval. With an athletes normal weight, the spotter simply changes range of motion once the athlete cannot finish a repetition. All Pendulum strength machines with their 'S.E.T. Extension System' are made to simply and quickly change the length of movement. A Drop-set on the Pendulum strength equipment is an easy and efficient way to Get Strong.

Call or 'drop-in' at the Pendulum showroom in Clare, Michigan to find out about or try out the Rogers Athlete strength equipment.

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Topics: Strength Training, Pendulum 3 Way Row, Muscular Strength

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 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