What I Would do as a Strength Coach Building an Anerobic Demon

I get the opportunity to see a lot of horrible crap in a lot of gyms across my area. You name it from jumping split squats for clients that can't do a jumping jack, to overhead squat long jumps, quarter squats with knees caved in, to "weight loss" clients first exercise being bicep curls, to large groups of people sacrificing healthy joint saving technique to get a better time or an RX weight. There's so much more that's too numerous to mention and people blindly throw money away as a "professional" with an under armor shirt and cut arms looks on. But what really gets me is the local high school, collegiate and travel team coaches that have young men and women do tremendously stupid exercises for reasons that they can't explain. These people should know better. I have seen football players, soccer players, basketball players, softball and baseball players running miles as warmups, as conditioning, and worse of all because of poor performance.


If I were a strength coach for any of the above mentioned sports I would develop what I call an "Anerobic Demon". Trust me I am not cool enough or have a good enough imagination to come up with such a cool name myself, I stole it and I don't from where. All of the above mentioned sports require quick sudden bursts of not long drawn out runs. For instance the average amount of action in a NFL game is only 10 minutes and you could imagine that number is even less in high school and collegiate games. So again I ask why should athletes be running miles? Punishment for poor performance? That makes sense let's beat up a poor performing athlete even more. Is it because they need to be able to last an hour of play? Still I call BS, since the average amount of live action is so small.

What would I do?

I would train these athletes to be explosive and raise that threshold as the off season went on. This would involve proper squatting variations (i.e, box squats, belt squats....). I feel that many of today's up and coming athletes have been too specialized in their perspective sports working sport specific technique and dismissing lagging muscle groups. I would work the posterior chain in every workout at various intensities. One of the most common injuries in female athletics is a torn ACL and this is often attributed to being quadriceps dominant and having little to no hamstring strength. I would work sprints at different distances nothing more that 30 yards really working on the ten to 15 yard sprint. I would spend time working on the "first step" of the explosive run. Total distances of the sprint work wouldn't be measured in miles. Understanding that the CNS can only handle so much stimuli the amount of sprints would depend on the returns we are getting. I would not teach the olympic lifts they are way to complicated to get the benefit from them and this is from a former competitor and current coach. I would stress a good mobility warmup, work on mechanics then progress into explosive calethstinics. It's a simple recipe that I could elaborate more on for weeks but this is a quick article. I leave you with one question. Why do we still have coaches running the crap out of our athletes?