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Western Michigan University Pendulum Rack System

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Nov 6, 2013 8:10:00 PM

The Western Michigan University Broncos install the Pendulum Rack System.

Western Michigan Pendulum Power Racks

Pendulum Power Rack System Western Michigan

WMU Weight Room

The Pendulum Rack System

WMU Dumbbells

Pendulum Bench

The Broncos Pendulum Utility Bench

Western Michigan Pit Sharks

The Pit Shark Belt Squat

Glute Ham Western Michigan University

Pendulum Glute Ham

Pendulum Glute-Ham

Pendulum Neck Machines WMU

Pendulum 4-Way Head and Neck Machines

Topics: Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum Rack System, Announcements Broncos, Strength

Weighted Chin-ups

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Feb 13, 2013 8:37:00 PM

Clip the Pit Shark on the Rogers Pendulum Rack and do weighted chin-ups, weighted dips and belt squats. 

Pit Shark Chin

Photo Courtesy of Hard Pressed Chicago

Weighted chins on the Pendulum Power Rack is a great way to Get Strong.

Topics: The Squat, Announcements, Success, Strength, Muscular Strength

Train The Head

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Apr 1, 2012 8:36:00 PM

To Rehabilitate You Must Target The Area That Was Injured                                                                                                                                                  

Whiplash can occur in automobiles, athletics, falling, etc.  I don't think anyone will argue that you can hurt yourself in many many ways.  In contact sports whiplash is commonplace.

Once whiplash occurs the process in returning to activity is what counts.  Once a muscle atrophies due to injury and disuse we cannot assume it will heal and return to normal strength.

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Recently a study looked at healthy individuals versus victims of various whiplash-associated disorders.  The criterion was that the previously injured person was at least 6 months post injury and still experienced discomfort.  The scientist used functional magnetic resonance imaging.  They studied the muscular activity patterns of various tasks in three distinct muscles.  Two of the deep flexor muscles of the head, the longus colli and longus capitis and they studied the powerful flexor of the cervical spine the sternocleidomastoid.

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Progressively overloading the musculature that flexes the head has never been addressed in our fitness culture until recently.  This movement is called cranio-cervical flexion.  What researchers found was that the injured people in their study displayed less muscle activity in the deep flexor muscles of the cervical spine during different tasks. This was occurring more than a half year post trauma and subjects still experienced associated pains with their disorder.

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To progressively overload the deep flexors, the Pendulum 4 or 5 Way neck machines through its innovative cam will target this area.  Once the cam is adjusted an individual simply begins training the head flexors.  Cranio-cervical flexion isolates the longus colli and longus capitis and rectus capitis anterior.

The sternocleidomastoid, a superficial cervdescribe the imageical flexor muscle can be trained utilizing a basic 4 Way Neck Machine exercise.  But the sternocleidomastoid is not a prime mover of the cranio-cervical spine and is more suited for assisting in flexing the lower cervical spine.  It has been found that previously injured patients will use a strategy to use the sternocleidomastoid to move the neck post injury.

To return to normal strength and normal function in this head region, once cleared to exercise by a professional, train all the associated musculature as effectively as possible. The Pendulum Neck Machine Series are the only neck machines that target the muscles that move the head ,as well as, the cervical spine.  Train the head and train the neck muscles to Get Strong.

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Topics: Muscular Growth, Neck training, Strength

Increasing Your Combine Reps

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Feb 26, 2012 1:08:00 PM

Training For Repetition Endurance On The Bench Press                                             

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Begin 5 Weeks Before The Test


Warm up

Bench Press 3 sets of 5 reps, you must get a total of 15 reps... achieving 5,4,3 means the lifter is 3 down and must remain at the bench with the same weight until 3 additional reps are achieved to total 15.

Finish Mondays program with as many reps as can be done with the weight you are trying to build endurance with i.e. 225 pounds...185 pounds...135 pounds


Building the endurance in the arms

Chin-ups - as many great reps as possible pausing at the top for a 1 count with the chin over the bar.  The lowering phase should take longer then the raising phase of each repetition.

Dips - as many dips as possible pausing at the top of each repetition for a full 1 count.  The lowering phase should take longer than the raising phase.

Biceps - a standing barbell curl with a pause at the top.  The barbell curl should be done immediately following dips.  15-20 repetitions.

Triceps - A standing tricep pressdown.  The starting weight is a weight the athlete can do 12 repetitions with and fail on the 12th rep.  The athlete then remains at the machine without reducing the weight until he achieves 20 reps with great form. Quickly begin the slow chin.  

Slow Chin - Starting at the top of the chin up bar the athlete lowers himself as slow as humanly possible. Every inch counts.... 1 rep  ... record your time and quickly begin the slow dip.

Slow Dip - Starting at the top of the dipping exercise the athlete lowers himself as slow as possible...... 1 rep.

Bench Press  x  225 pounds or the selected weight 20 reps more than the total number of reps that you are trying to achieve on the test.  If your goal is 25 reps stay on the bench and do sets of maximal reps until you achieve 45 reps total even if it means doing sets of 1.  Each set is to be as many reps that can possibly be done.


Warm up 

Your first set is your combine set.

Then Bench Press x 225 pounds or your combine selected weight 20 reps more than the total number reps than you are trying to achieve on the test.




Topics: Muscular Growth, Strength

It Is Not What You Know

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Dec 14, 2011 9:05:00 PM

It Is What They Know                                                                                                

describe the imageIn 1979 Dan Riley introduced Manual Resistance to America at the National Strength Coaches Convention.  More importantly Dan demonstrated to exercise physiology researchers that muscular strength and functional abilities could be enhanced significantly without the use of barbells or machines utilizing manual techniques.

Dan coached at West Point, Penn State with the Washington Redskins and also with the Houston Texans.  He is an important force in the strength training community, he will speak at the Michigan State Strength and Conditioning clinic run by Ken Mannie this coming February you don't want to miss it.


Many strength coaches know the rules of manual resistance and are proficient in teaching it yet it must be constantly reviewed.  In coaching it is not what you know it is what the athletes know.

To run a manual resistance program every single athlete must be able to recite the rules as well as the coach, administer and perform the exercises with tremendous skill, effort and proficiency.  Constant review several times per year for the entire team as well as periodic individual instruction is the hallmark of manual training. 


The Rules Of Manual Resistance That Each Coach And Athlete Must Know

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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

Topics: Muscular Growth, Success, Strength