Get Strong

Hip Training

There is not a football coach that doesn't stress the importance of hips.  Terms such has 'roll your hips', 'turn your hips', 'good hips' grace the language of athletic staffs.  When Tyler Hobson built the Pendulum Hip Press it became the first and only leg press designed specifically to target an area that was difficult to strengthen with a barbell squat. 

Boston College Hip Presses

Pendulum Hip Press

BC Hip Press

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Pendulum Strength Hip Press

Get The Hips Strong

Topics: Strength Training, Success, Pendulum Hip Press, Tyler Hobson

Out Squatting The Squat

Squatting Without Balancing The Bar                                                                                                                        

describe the imageTyler Hobson grew up in Anchorage, Alaska.  His experiences, education and his participation in competitive powerlifting led him to become the inventor of Pendulum Strength.  He now lives in Conroe, Texas and continues to design the world's finest exercise machines.  Tyler explains, how he likes tension.

It has been over 30 years since I began my obsession with strength training and developing the "tools of the trade".  I have had the honor and privilege to work with some of our nations greatest strength trainers and exercise physiologists to develop new and unique exercise equipment.

In my many visits with exercise scientists and strength trainers I learned the importance of muscular tension or load on the tissue to cause growth.  As a former competitive powerlifter I wanted to build a device that out squatted the squat.  From my many meetings with experts I learned that if you didn't have to balance you could push a greater load.

balance1Bench pressing with dumbbells is more difficult than benching with an Olympic bar though the weight is exactly the same.  Dumbbells are more difficult to balance.  Bench pressing 200 pounds with a bar is much different then bench pressing 200 pounds with a 100 pound dumbbell in each hand.

Balance increases the requirements of antagonist, agonist, fixaters and synergists working together to stabilize, as well as, push the load.  This means you can apply more tension to an object when you do not have to balance it.

balanceBalancing a bar reduces the tension of the targeted musculature.  Neurally, the brain is involved maintaining the stability of the object, as well as, lifting it.  The brain has a lot going on.  This is rather a simple construct as every coach teaches their athletes that lifting heavy loads requires absolute focus.  If your brain is trying to 'multitask' you will apply less force to the targeted muscles.

The triggering mechanism for muscular growth is load or tension.   Load and tension are the same words to the molecular mechanoreceptors that trigger protein synthesis.  So, I built a device that keeps tension optimal.

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The Pendulum Squat Pro was designed to allow you to squat with the exact form as a barbell squat with the removal of the balance issue.  When you use the Pendulum Squat Pro you immediately understand that squatting with a barbell is easier on your legs.

squat

To make things more extreme, I added a floating yoke to keep the muscles loaded as the leverage was changing.  The tension is incredible.

When you train on the Pendulum Squat Pro I promise you, you will rethink the barbell squat.  This will cause a lot of tension about your thoughts on squatting with barbells.... so much so.... you will need to Get Strong about how you view exercise.

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Topics: Strength Training, Pendulum Squat Pro, Tyler Hobson

Free Weights vs. Strength Machines

I have been asked on several occasions the timeless question, "Which is better, free weights or strength machines?"  To me that is like asking, what is better a Corvette convertible or a Ford F350 Dually? If I wanted to feel the wind blasting across my bald head, I would say Corvette. If my wife wants me to haul garden mulch, I think I will go with the truck.  Now that may seem like an exaggerated example, but is it?

I recently had a rather lively debate with a fantastic strength coach from a top D1 school. We, of course, were discussing the Brute Power Rack squatadvantages of the free weight squats over the Pendulum Power Squat Pro machine. The argument was, there was no possible way any strength machine could even come close to matching the strength benefits found in the traditional free weight back squat. Now I have a love for power lifting as a sport and have squatted on more than one occasion, but as an equipment designer I have encountered many athletes that for many different reasons who are unable to free weight squat. Many of these same athletes are not only now able to squat in comfort on the Power Squat Pro, but with amazing strength gains. In the strength training world our goal is to make a stronger athletes who will be able to perform in their sport more effectively and with a greater degree of safety. Find the most effective tool for the job and use it! (You know that's what your dad would say.)

This morning I had a call from Coach Tommy Moffitt, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Champion LSU Tigers. He is using the new Pendulum Power Squat Pro to supplement the free weight squats. He said it was amazing that he now has several athletes that were previously unable to squat, squatting perfectly on the Power Squat Pro with impressive gains. Coach Moffitt is a coach who has learned that a stronger healthier athlete can be groomed into a better football player. The tools he chooses align with the goals he sets, STRONGER MORE CONDITIONED PLAYERS.

Warriors and athletes have been strength training for thousands of years to improve their odds on the field of competition. Be open minded to explore the options available to you, and look for solutions that can safely accelerate your gains and move you closer to your next victory.

Push On - Be Strong

Tyler J. Hobson

Topics: Tyler Hobson

Intense Training “Good or Evil”

There is no doubt that we have all heard some horrific story of an accident in the weight room. I have seen accidents in my gym that make me queezy just thinking about them.

Whenever something like this happens, the questions fly and fingers point from all corners. Who was to blame, why did this happen, and could this have been prevented?Power Squat Pro Machine

The other comment I get is that we are pushing our athletes to hard, to intensely in the weight room setting them up for injuries. I agree that it would be much safer to sit on the couch with a bag of chips and risk nothing, but then again how do you train for a sport where the athlete must be willing to lay it all on the line to emerge victorious.

"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got."  

Our bodies adapt to the stresses that are imposed on them. We adapt to muscular tension by increases in strength, and or muscular development. To create an increase in an athletes strength, we must impose a stress that is beyond homeostasis, or what the body deems acceptable and natural. The stress imposed must be significant enough to create a chemical response that will illicit a biological change resulting in muscular growth. The dance then is how much is needed to trigger the need to change, v.s. how much is too much that we cannot recover.

 

My sweet wife is my greatest encourager and she is always giving me these cute little sayings her folks told her. Here is one of my favorites, "If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got." Now I am certain there must have been a coach in the family tree somewhere back there. We all know that anything extraordinary in life will follow extra ordinary efforts. Now after over thirty years of strength training and power lifting, I am still trying to find the right blend of training that is hard enough to illicit change, but not enough to cause overtraining and injury.

 

There are some amazing strength coaches out there who accel in this precarious dance.

  • - How do you know when you are training hard enough?
  • - How much is too much and what are the signs?
  • - How do you bring out in an athlete what they can't by themselves?
  • - How can intense effort be administered safely?
  • - Alternate methods for training to failure?
  • - Is training to failure even necessary?

Any thoughts you would like to share on this would be greatly appreciated.

Push On - Be Strong    

Tyler Hobson

Photo Courtesy of Kathy Leistner

Topics: Tyler Hobson

Strength Training to Create Stronger Athletes

On my last road trip I met many high school level coaches that do not have the benefit of having a professional strength coach on their staff. One coach in particular approached me with his frustrations; he had been trying to bulk up his players in the off season, but with all of the agility and running they were doing many players were actually losing weight with strength gains that were far from impressive.

I forwarded this to my friend Mickey Marotti, Director of Strength and Conditioning at University of Florida. Now Coach Marotti knows what it takes to create a strong athletic football player. Coach Marotti has played a critical role for the Championships enjoyed at such prestigious programs as University of Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame and of course he was played a role in the last two championships with Florida.

Coach Marotti-

"First of all they must MAKE TIME to strength train. The other thing is they must eat and hydrate to elicit a positive response. If they were to strength train maybe in the morning and then do the running and agility in the afternoon, they will probably see some good results. They should also make sure they are training hard. If they don't train hard, it does not really matter. I hope this helps."

Address the Weakness in Your Strength Training Program

I have had the privilege of attending several of Coach Marotti's strength clinics and I must say "be there!" You "will" learn and your team "will" benefit. In just a few words Coach Marotti has pointed out a few critical weaknesses in many programs.  Prioritize and address the weakness in your program. Put that weakness first, and attack it with purpose. If it is strength you need, there is no point in dragging your players into the weight room after two hours of running drills they will not be able to perform to the best of their abilities.

While we are discussing strength training lets define it as a structured protocol with measurable and progressive challenges specifically targeted to increase an athletes muscular output. I am probably going to open up a big can of worms here, but understand that just because someone is "working" it does not necessarily mean they are strength training. I once observed a team barrel rolling down a hillside then running back up the hill. It was obviously hard work, after 30 minutes in the hot Texas sun, those boys were really sweating and cursing, but it was "not" strength training. The presence of sweat and busy bodies is a great display of work, which is great, but it is not strength training.

Strength training should be a structured full body program of progressive resistance that can be measured and quantified over time. Just because we have a bunch of kids running a circuit in the weight room, does not mean we are strength training. If Johnny is capable of leg pressing 600 lbs for 20 reps, but is given 30 seconds to run to the leg press station that is loaded with 250 lbs, then the whistle blows signifying his time to start his twenty explosive reps before running to the next station, Johnny is not challenging his body to elicit any adaptive response to the challenge at hand. It sounds farfetched, but I have observed the above example hundreds of times.

Outline your Weightlifting Program and Set Benchmarks

Outline your program with several key benchmarks over a specific period of time. The benchmarks are in place to monitor and adjust for success. Establish baselines for each athlete at the beginning of your program, you must know where you are before you can know where to go. Training Hard will involve a level of effort that will force the body to adapt to the stress because the workload is hard and uncomfortable. We adapt to discomfort and stress, callouses on the hands are not created with lotiBench Presson! Intensity and effort is not rocket science, if an athlete performs 12 reps with a weight that he can do 20 reps that is not intense. Intense is watching an athlete grind out twelve reps then having his partner slightly touch the bar for the last half of a rep so he can finish just one more.

The key to success here is going to be the monitoring, or documenting your program. Some coaches do it with computer centers and strength software. Others have kids record in journals that they carry on clipboards. Still others might use index cards that are kept in the athletes file box.

Share your thoughts with me on how your school is creating stronger athletes. Any creative ways to monitor the programs would be awesome.

Let's get these kids strong, and keep them healthy!!

Press On - Be Strong

Tyler Hobson

Topics: Tyler Hobson