View Full Version : Nice Thomas White quote

09-08-2009, 04:18 PM
I've always felt that strength gains via neural adaptations don't help sports, your hops or speed, but muscle gains in the right place do. Neural adaptations and rate coding gains are movement and skill specific, while muscle gains are general

This statement backs it up a bit

T White is now a on the Ravens in the NFL FYI - they're a HIT team according to him :)

Listen I've done it all: Westside, Gayle Hatch program, true ME work on bench and squat 2x a week, Poliquin, APRE, exotic Christian T type stuff in the weight room, etc. At the end of the day it doesn't need to be rocket science. Practice your sport/activity as the primary stimulus, then go to the weight room and push your self with work in the 70-80% range. Don't chase numbers in the weight room, this is coming from a guy who has squatted 540 and done nearly as much on the deadlift, it is a fruitless endeavor (ego aside). True ME work doesn't have a place in the training of a team sport athlete or sprinter. From my experience all you are doing is getting better at lifting heavy weights, at the possible expense of your joints and tendons! Remember that the weight room is a means to an end!

Another thing I have found to hold true is Charlie's (Charlie Francis) old standby: If it looks right, it flies right.

I can tell you that the guys with big glutes and hamstrings were always the fastest but not always the strongest, even pound for pound. My former teammates David Gettis comes to mind, built like TO at 6'3 220 with massive hamstrings and glutes but would often get out squatted by guys with much smaller muscles. But on the field he would blow all of them away, ran a 45.x 400m in high school and could jump out of the gym as well, he and I used to do dunk contests and it would draw a little crowd.

Basically he was a very strong guy who didn't express it very well in a squat rack but did where it actually counted!

I think most people would be better off chasing larger muscles in the weight room rather than numbers, strap a few lbs. muscle on your glutes and hamstrings and I guarantee you'll be a better athlete.

Here's another anecdote that will make Colin smile:
A good friend of mine used to work exclusively with reps above 6 (mostly 8-10), aside from an occasional heavy triple on the bench. He played D1 ball with me and was a terror on special teams. His primary philosophy was "max effort" which to him meant going to near failure on his sets of 8-10 and his bread and butter was 3x10 on the bench with a very heavy weight and 4x8 on the squat, only adding weight when he was able to complete all the reps in every set. At the time (2005 or so) I thought his program was poor in comparison to something as "cutting edge" as Westside but now looking back he was maximally activating his fibers and working them in that state (the core tenet of DC, rest-pause, Myo-reps). The result was benching over 400, squatting over 500, cleaning 353, having a 36'' CMJ and running a 4.45 despite rarely running outside of off-season. This was all at 6'3 215 and 6% BF.

Spring of 2008, he quit football after breaking his wrist pretty badly, he really devoted himself to working hard in the weight room and becoming absolutely freaky. He used split training but made sure he hit the bench and squat 2x a week. He did no plyometrics or running during this period but admittedly did use a popular OTC "supplement" by CEL. At the end of the training phase, 6-8 weeks, he was absolutely huge, 226-228 and leaner and more vascular with glutes and hamstrings that were gigantic. But the real surprise came when he returned from a workout and asked me to measure his vertical because he felt like he could fly. At this point I still believed in the "all show, no go" philosophy and figured that all the weight gain and lack of specific work would leave him well below his best CMJ. I was wrong.....

He jumped 39'', 3 inches better than he ever did while training full time as a D1 college football player with OL's, plyos, etc. He also did so while being heavier than ever.

That really opened my eyes and brought things full circle to the value of muscle in the right places. Many of you have come to a similar conclusion.

Practice your sport -> Build more muscle in the primary muscles

09-08-2009, 10:39 PM
Well, I certainly agree that 'chasing numbers in the weight room' is pretty silly for athletes that already have a solid foundation of strength - what that looks like numbers-wise will depend on the sport and the individual however.

09-13-2009, 12:12 PM
We've always known about the law of diminishing returns when it comes to weights. There comes a point when improving your squat is no longer helping your game, just your... squat.

But it sounds like this guy is all for hypertrophy vs. neural adaption, or max effort work (at least, as much as the two can be separated -- its impossible to do one without the other just about). On this I have to disagree. As persuasive as his anecdotes must be, they're just that - anecdotes. They're not science, and although they can often be revealing, more often they're misleading. You can never determine if these guys are the best in spite of their training or because of it--one of the reasons why sport science is so finicky. For every one guy like this I'm willing to be you'll find 10 dudes who've made awesome progress in their sport using westside or something that follows a similar philosophy. What about all the anecdotes of players who trained at defrancos or westside and added inches to their vertical, dropped time off their 40? Not only do these coaches have the sheer VOLUME of success stories, and very the loosely controlled "studies" done by louie or defranco, but they have the ground research behind their methods that started it all.

Anyways, while this is interesting, its not that shocking to me. Its not like bands, chains, and the conjugate method came along and football players as a whole all of a sudden started getting stronger and faster.