Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Strong for what You Need

I love this anecdote:
One of my strength coaching colleagues told me that in the early ’70s during a press conference prior to a Russia versus US wrestling competition, it was brought up that the American wrestler in the 165-pound bodyweight class could bench press 365 pounds – quite a remarkable accomplishment in that time period, especially for a non-powerlifter. And consider that athletes were not using the elaborate equipment they have access to today that can add literally hundreds of pounds to a raw performance. The Russian counterpart responded by producing two pairs of pliers and proceeded to squeeze them so hard that they snapped! After the match, the defeated US wrestler commented that when the Russian grabbed his arms, he felt as if they were locked in a vise grip and that he immediately began to lose sensation in his arms and hands. Again, the US wrestler was certainly much stronger than the Russian from a weightlifting standpoint, but the Russian had achieved a remarkable degree of functional strength for his sport.
It's from this article on thick bar training from Charles Poliquin. I like the anecdote better than the article.

No comments: