Strengthwork

The Strengthwork starts with the footwork, ballwork, and poolwork and is taken to another level with the custom accelerating isokinetic machines and plyometric strength machines.

Starting strength, accelerating strength, maximal strength, rate of force development, deceleration strength, explosive reactive strength, relative strength, and absolute strength are all addressed in the complete strength system offered by SSL.

Conventional strength systems are obsessed with the ability to move maximal weight load in an unlimited amount of time. I am focused on athletes ability to produce force and power in a very small amount of time. The basis for this program is that all muscles and tendons are elastic in nature and therefore their ability to accelerate and produce force is determined by their stretch speed and the ability to store elastic energy and heat in the muscle/tendon comlplex.

Muscles lengthen eccentrically and then contract concentrically to produce force. The elastic strength capabilities of the muscle complex determines the level of athleticism that can be achieved. Specifically, SSL focuses on the ability to store and use elastic energy and heat as the power source for athletic strength. As a muscle lengthens, elastic energy and heat are stored in the lengthening muscle and tendon. The slower it lengthens, the more the elastic energy and heat dissipates and is lost as an energy and power source.

The basic contention is that all plyometric movements such as running and jumping are preceded by a very fast eccentric stretching that is not inhibited by excessive weight load that all conventional weight training systems deliver. Elite athletic movements are synonymous with grace and fluid movement and not excessive muscle tension which actually inhibits muscle contraction speed and velocity. The ability to produce athletic power is due to the extremely quick eccentric to concentric change over speed of the muscles. This ability is fundamental to all athletic movements such as running, throwing, jumping, hitting etc. This reactive ability is imperative to delivering elite athletic performance.

So how do we accomplish this? Foundational strength is established using accelerating isokinetic devices that eliminate the chance of injury and yet provide the fastest strength gain, greatest neural stimulation and allow for joint specific sport functional movement patterns to be reinforced. The importance of training the correct neural patterns to fire the correct muscle sequence cannot be overemphasized. It takes thousands of hours to master elite athletic movements that do not succumb to the pressure of the moment as they are literally ingrained as a conditioned reflex.

Muscles in plyometric movements act as agonists, synergists, or antagonists. In simple terms they fire, support firing or completely relax so as not to inhibit firing. It is the correct patterning of these muscle sequences that leads to elite athletic performance. A conventional squat improperly loads the heel to avoid patella tendon damage putting undue stress on the spine and quadriceps and therefore trains the wrong muscle sequence used in running, jumping and lateral movement. The force produced in these movements is located in the forefront of the foot which initiates a completely different muscle firing sequence than does the heel.  The strength training modality used by SSL attempts to perfectly mirror the functional movements of the limbs as they are used in running, jumping, lateral movement, throwing, hitting, kicking and any other movement that sport demands.

Power is trained through custom plyometric devices that truly train explosive strength as they reinforce the elastic strength capabilities of the athlete by improving the eccentric to concentric changeover speed. The free moving arm of the device allows us to train all modalities of strength and not just absolute strength prescribed by conventional methods. Plyometric strength training has long been known as the fastest strength gain but there are very few methods that can be routinely used without hurting the athlete. This system achieves this through control of the weight load and focus on speed of movement as opposed to maximal load. It also allows for all types of strength training, eccentric, concentric and isometric in a functional movement pattern and no conventional system does that.