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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 11-07-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
Chris Mason
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DE or Speed Training

Dynamic effort (DE), or speed training within the confines of strength training is a bit misunderstood by some. DE training with Westside and other similar templates trains what is called strength speed. Strength speed is the essentially the ability to move heavy loads quickly. Speed strength with which it is often confused is more about an extremely fast rate of force development and explosive power. You can envision it being on display with plyometrics and the like.

Westside DE training always incorporates accommodating resistance with bands being the most often used form. Barbell load percentages are kept relatively low, from 40-60% depending on the exercise and its place in a cycle or wave, but the accommodating resistance adds roughly another 25% at peak, so the total load is as high as 85% which is why such exercise works strength speed (speed strength is trained with very light loads).

The reason you want to build your strength speed is because it will allow you to increase your absolute strength. By definition, the bar speed of a one repetition maximum attempts is slow. Per the force velocity curve you simply cannot move a max load with great velocity. With that said, the faster you CAN move a maximum load the more you will be able to lift. Absolute strength is truly a function of time. You can only exert maximal force for a relatively short period of time, thus the faster you can move a one repetition max attempt, the greater the likelihood you will complete the repetition.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
Matt Thomas
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Re: DE or Speed Training

Which would the olympic lifts qualify as? They seem to have elements of both of your definitions.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
Jo Hsu
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Re: DE or Speed Training

I've recently been told that accommodating resistance (bands and chains) is not particularly useful for training raw lifters-- that they're just en vogue right now because they're "sexy"-- and that a raw lifter might see better results from DE work without the bands or chains. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
Robert Fabsik
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Re: DE or Speed Training

There is little truth to that.

Bands and chains can help any lifter, raw or geared. Maybe a geared lifter will get more out of them, but not too much more.

Before I used bands and chains, you'd find a lot of easy parts in the lift. Bands and chains make the lift harder throughout the movement. Bands also make you apply force throughout the movement without a major need to slow down.

I don't think you should train exclusively with bands/chains nor are they essential, but I think they are a great tool to use especially if you do speed work.

Bands also seem to mimic the properties of the body outside of the weight room. It reminds me of wrestling and contact sports where the force gets harder the more you push/fight.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
Matt Thomas
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Re: DE or Speed Training

I am certainly no expert in bands but one thing I like about them if I do speed work is that they take away the need for a deceleration of the weight as you approach the top. With 55-60% of my bench I can put enough force into the bar to put it into free fall at the top and lose tension in my body. Therefore there is a natural tendency for me to slow down as I reach the top of the lift. I guess it's the same sort of argument against doing weighted punches. Using bands seems to mitigate this problem.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:30 PM   #6
Chris Mason
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Re: DE or Speed Training

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Originally Posted by Matt Thomas View Post
Which would the olympic lifts qualify as? They seem to have elements of both of your definitions.
Olympic lifts are still strength speed. Again, it is about load. To truly train speed strength you need to be at a very low intensity load.

I think O-lifting is a good example of the misunderstanding I was referring to.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
Matt Thomas
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Re: DE or Speed Training

What are your thoughts on training either of those for the benefit of the other?

There's the old story about the o-lifter (strength speed) who accelerates faster than the sprinter (speed strength) over a short distance. A lot people point to this type of story to show the benefits of o-lifting and other people say it's a bunch of crap.

I know there's also a lot of discussion back and forth on the benefits of plyometrics (speed strength) for the olympic lifts (strength speed).

What do you think? Does developing one benefit the other?
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:51 PM   #8
Struan Potter
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Re: DE or Speed Training

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Originally Posted by Matt Thomas View Post
What are your thoughts on training either of those for the benefit of the other?

There's the old story about the o-lifter (strength speed) who accelerates faster than the sprinter (speed strength) over a short distance. A lot people point to this type of story to show the benefits of o-lifting and other people say it's a bunch of crap.

I know there's also a lot of discussion back and forth on the benefits of plyometrics (speed strength) for the olympic lifts (strength speed).

What do you think? Does developing one benefit the other?
I believe developing strength speed benefits development of speed strength. Using myself as an example, back in February my 20m sprint was 3.4 seconds and counter-movement jump (CMJ) was 28.7cm. I focussed purely on weightlifting for the past 8 months, no sprinting or jumping. Just snatch, C&J and their variations, squats and pulls. 2 weeks ago my 20m sprint was 3.2 seconds and (CMJ) was 33.98.

I am unsure on whether developing speed strength would enhance strength speed with little focus on strength speed. IMO an athlete who can jump high would be a good weightlifter because they can develop a lot of force in a similar movement pattern of the lifts. However the feeling of heavy snatches and C&Js is a lot different to a max effort CMJ or oly lifts with light weight.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
Chris Mason
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Re: DE or Speed Training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Thomas View Post
What are your thoughts on training either of those for the benefit of the other?

There's the old story about the o-lifter (strength speed) who accelerates faster than the sprinter (speed strength) over a short distance. A lot people point to this type of story to show the benefits of o-lifting and other people say it's a bunch of crap.

I know there's also a lot of discussion back and forth on the benefits of plyometrics (speed strength) for the olympic lifts (strength speed).

What do you think? Does developing one benefit the other?
That is a very good question. Speed strength leans powerfully towards rate of force development (RFD). So I do believe that it could have a beneficial effect on the O-lifts a a faster RFD may benefit components of the O-lifts. Strength speed would also be of benefit as it may allow for greater time to get under the bar after the 2nd pull. So yes, I think both can benefit O-lifting.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:08 PM   #10
Chris Mason
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Re: DE or Speed Training

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Originally Posted by Struan Potter View Post
I believe developing strength speed benefits development of speed strength. Using myself as an example, back in February my 20m sprint was 3.4 seconds and counter-movement jump (CMJ) was 28.7cm. I focussed purely on weightlifting for the past 8 months, no sprinting or jumping. Just snatch, C&J and their variations, squats and pulls. 2 weeks ago my 20m sprint was 3.2 seconds and (CMJ) was 33.98.

I am unsure on whether developing speed strength would enhance strength speed with little focus on strength speed. IMO an athlete who can jump high would be a good weightlifter because they can develop a lot of force in a similar movement pattern of the lifts. However the feeling of heavy snatches and C&Js is a lot different to a max effort CMJ or oly lifts with light weight.
Remember, absolute strength also plays a role in the expression of power at least up to a point. For the relatively undeveloped, for example, simply increasing the absolute strength of the legs and hips by squatting can improve sprint times. In a more advanced lifter the correlation no longer holds true, but what you experienced is likely what I just described.
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