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Old 03-27-2010   #1
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Default Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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Smith cleared out half of the weight room and filled it with eight "combo racks," dual-sided racks on power clean platforms. Both sides of the racks can be used at the same time, allowing more players to train at once. The racks can be used for a variety of exercises, including power cleans, squats, bench press, incline bench, flat bench and pull-ups.

"I believe these exercises most translate the weight room to the football field," Smith said. "These are football exercises in the weight room that, what I believe and what we believe as a strength staff, are what's going to enable our guys to get better on the field."

The combo racks aren't the only difference. Smith also brought in plyometric jump pads, and a new set of dumbbells that will enable a wider range of motion during exercises.

There's little emphasis on machines in Smith's training philosophy, which he shared with HoustonTexans.com on Thursday.

"We want to work a little bit differently than they did in the past," Smith said. "We basically believe more so in training on your feet. Stabilization, more explosiveness, power and strength; those are some of the things that, if you want to look at a broad view of what we do, would be involved in it. Posterior chain movements, back movements, core movements, corrective exercises (are involved) as well."
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Old 03-27-2010   #2
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

Finally a S&C coach that is up to date on the new things that are being done in the NFL and how the S&C program relate to on field production.

I'm willing to bet USC had a better S&C program than the Texans have had.

I would love to hear Cushing thoughts on this.
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Old 03-27-2010   #3
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

Yeah, woo hoo!

Finally.
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Old 03-27-2010   #4
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

Finally, common sense trumps athletic computer mapping.
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Old 03-27-2010   #5
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

Maybe we'll finally see a less "finesse" team now that they've added a tougher S&C regimen.
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Old 03-27-2010   #6
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
Finally a S&C coach that is up to date on the new things that are being done in the NFL and how the S&C program relate to on field production.

I'm willing to bet USC had a better S&C program than the Texans have had.

I would love to hear Cushing thoughts on this.
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Yeah, woo hoo!

Finally.
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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Finally, common sense trumps athletic computer mapping.
Agreed all around.
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Old 03-27-2010   #7
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

What gets me is how this approach isn't already the common consensus among all S&C coaches.

I blame liberals (Haha, just kidding... kinda).
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Old 03-27-2010   #8
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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eight "combo racks," dual-sided racks on power clean platforms. Both sides of the racks can be used at the same time, allowing more players to train at once. The racks can be used for a variety of exercises, including power cleans, squats, bench press, incline bench, flat bench and pull-ups.

There's little emphasis on machines


Posterior chain movements, back movements, core movements, corrective exercises (are involved) as well."
Outstanding. This is what real athletes do in the weight room.
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Old 03-27-2010   #9
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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Originally Posted by wagonhed View Post
Outstanding. This is what real athletes do in the weight room.
My grandfather was an Olympic weight lifting coach for most of his life, and trained football players at Sterling and Barbers Hill high schools in Baytown. If he ever found a machine in one of his gyms, he'd probably rip the cable out and strangle whoever put it there.
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Old 03-27-2010   #10
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

I have to ask, what is wrong with training with machines? Is it ok for us non athletes or should we also use only free weights?
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Old 03-27-2010   #11
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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Originally Posted by Brisco_County View Post
My grandfather was an Olympic weight lifting coach for most of his life, and trained football players at Sterling and Barbers Hill high schools in Baytown. If he ever found a machine in one of his gyms, he'd probably rip the cable out and strangle whoever put it there.
Barbers Hill huh? That's crazy, I grew up in Chambers County, went to Anahuac High School not too far away.

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I have to ask, what is wrong with training with machines? Is it ok for us non athletes or should we also use only free weights?
Machine weights have their place and depending on your goal can be very useful. But to get the very most out of weight training there is no subistute for free weights.
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Old 03-27-2010   #12
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

Why? Please explain. How is it that training "standing up" and free versus machines is better for a football player?

I don't know anything about this stuff.

Best I can assume is that in football, everything you do is centered around your balance. You have to be strong while standing and pushing or back peddling as opposed to while laying on your back. (unless you're Flannigan, then that's probably a more sensible way to train.)

Is it an issue that you continually are stressing joints etc. instead of on a machine where I assume it's more of an isolated stress on a specific muscle group?
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Old 03-27-2010   #13
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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Originally Posted by barrett View Post
Why? Please explain. How is it that training "standing up" and free versus machines is better for a football player?

I don't know anything about this stuff.

Best I can assume is that in football, everything you do is centered around your balance. You have to be strong while standing and pushing or back peddling as opposed to while laying on your back. (unless you're Flannigan, then that's probably a more sensible way to train.)

Is it an issue that you continually are stressing joints etc. instead of on a machine where I assume it's more of an isolated stress on a specific muscle group?
Alot of it is what you are thinking. But instead of benching on a machine, lay on a bench and use dumbells instead to do benchpress. Or use a bar with free weights. It takes more strength to do it, and more of the smaller stabilizing muscles have to work more to assist with the load. It challenges the muscle more, makes you stronger. With machines you can lift 60% of the load with the right arm (dominant arm for me) and 40% with the left, with free weights every muscle has to pull it's weight so to speak. And one could argue that it can feel like the machines give you an assist, it's just harder to lift the free weights and more realistic as it applies on a football field.
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Old 03-27-2010   #14
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

hmmmmm, makes too much sense. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 03-27-2010   #15
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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Originally Posted by awtysst View Post
I have to ask, what is wrong with training with machines? Is it ok for us non athletes or should we also use only free weights?
OK.

Here's my rant.

Machines force the body into unnatural movements and remove the need to work a lot of your stabilization muscles.

Many trainers think that if they perform a motion on a machine, that the machine is "forcing" them into correct form. Nothing could be further to the truth. Every one has different biomechanics and different lengths of different levers. Machines are constructed to work with an "average". And that's unnatural.

Some machines are just wrong from the get-go. An example is the Leg Extension machine. Years ago, this was THE machine used to rehab knees. Until some studies came out showing that doing a complete range of motion on one of those machines can actually damage your knee. Also, your leg is constructed to have force applied from the bottom and the top. Your feet are made to have force applied to them... your shins AREN'T. Placing a lot of force against your shin can be bad for your knee.

Also, let's say you're working out on a bench press machine. This movement is going to help you isolate your pecs and triceps (and your front delts to a degree). But it forces you into a pure, straight movement. Lots of people don't naturally have that pure straight movement. And since it's only going to move in that straight line, you don't have to stabilize the weight to keep it from drifting over your face or toward your stomach. There are muscles that keep the weight from drifting like that but if you're not training them, they're not going to build up strength proportional to the rest of the muscles that they normally work with. Then when you get into a "real" situation those stabilizers will be overpowered by the other muscles in the chain, and you can easily get injured. It's like slapping a rocket engine in a go-cart. It sounds like fun, but someone's going to get hurt.

The whole machine thing really got going with bodybuilders who like to isolate muscles to train them up. For athletic training, it's generally not a good idea. Even for bodybuilding, it's generally better to work with free weights.

With all that said, there are times and places where isolation and machine training is OK. Especially when there are specific muscle imbalances and medical issues that need to be addressed.

Ever since I started training (and I started late in life), I've trained powerlifting. I've had a couple of good Oly coaches that I worked with (including one that was S&C for Air Force back in the 90's when they had that great rushing attack.) All I need is a bar, some plates, and a power cage and I'm set. I am anti-machine and it hurt me to read some of the things that our S&C staff have said. The last guys weren't as bad as the ones before that.

Last edited by The Pencil Neck; 03-27-2010 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Lots of little word changes
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Old 03-27-2010   #16
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

I still boggles my mind that we continually see this on the job training by our coaches.

Glad to see we are making a move that makes athletic/football sense, rather than trying to be the smartest guy in the room.
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Old 03-27-2010   #17
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

There's pretty much only two machines that I like when I work out and that's the butterfly machine (because it's a great chest workout) and the elliptical runner, because it's so easy on my feet and knees. Everything else I do in the gym is with free weights.
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Old 03-27-2010   #18
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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There's pretty much only two machines that I like when I work out and that's the butterfly machine (because it's a great chest workout) and the elliptical runner, because it's so easy on my feet and knees. Everything else I do in the gym is with free weights.
I think machines for Cardio make sense, but for strength free weights are the business.
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Old 03-27-2010   #19
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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Originally Posted by barrett View Post
Why? Please explain. How is it that training "standing up" and free versus machines is better for a football player?

I don't know anything about this stuff.

Best I can assume is that in football, everything you do is centered around your balance. You have to be strong while standing and pushing or back peddling as opposed to while laying on your back. (unless you're Flannigan, then that's probably a more sensible way to train.)

Is it an issue that you continually are stressing joints etc. instead of on a machine where I assume it's more of an isolated stress on a specific muscle group?
Barrett, Almost any athletic move, whether hitting a baseball, throwing a ball, making a out-cut and then jumping for a ball, etc... all of those things require a series of muscle engagements and explosions. Many of those are centered in the core of the body, not to mention all the smaller stabilizing muscles that become engaged only in certain operations. So, simply laying on a bench and pushing a bar with weight on it into the air does almost nothing to improve ones ability to do any of those things required by an athletic sport.

Furthermore, simulating those things you will be doing in a game are much better forms of practice and growth in the area in which one wishes to improve. Someone like Dan Riley, in order to improve the explosiveness of a WR, would have the WR sit on a machine and press weights out with his feet, thereby isolating the quad and glut muscles and forcing them to grow.

However, a football trainer that understands what he is doing, will have the WR weighted down somehow and have them go from a squat to an exloding jump into the air. In this instance, it simulates an action that the WR does on the field (first, simply by standing up and then by jumping and exploding on his two feet) but it also engages every single muscle that he uses to perform that task. So, his body becomes better able to do those things he needs to do on the field in order to be effective and the body doesn't become lopsided and inefficient because certain muscles have been isolated and worked and therefore larger while other ones have remained dormant... when that happens, injuries are much more likely. Ask a body-builder to do something athletic. It's pretty funny, actually!
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Old 03-27-2010   #20
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Default Re: Smith Brings Change to Weight Room

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
Barrett, Almost any athletic move, whether hitting a baseball, throwing a ball, making a out-cut and then jumping for a ball, etc... all of those things require a series of muscle engagements and explosions. Many of those are centered in the core of the body, not to mention all the smaller stabilizing muscles that become engaged only in certain operations. So, simply laying on a bench and pushing a bar with weight on it into the air does almost nothing to improve ones ability to do any of those things required by an athletic sport.

Furthermore, simulating those things you will be doing in a game are much better forms of practice and growth in the area in which one wishes to improve. Someone like Dan Riley, in order to improve the explosiveness of a WR, would have the WR sit on a machine and press weights out with his feet, thereby isolating the quad and glut muscles and forcing them to grow.

However, a football trainer that understands what he is doing, will have the WR weighted down somehow and have them go from a squat to an exloding jump into the air. In this instance, it simulates an action that the WR does on the field (first, simply by standing up and then by jumping and exploding on his two feet) but it also engages every single muscle that he uses to perform that task. So, his body becomes better able to do those things he needs to do on the field in order to be effective and the body doesn't become lopsided and inefficient because certain muscles have been isolated and worked and therefore larger while other ones have remained dormant... when that happens, injuries are much more likely. Ask a body-builder to do something athletic. It's pretty funny, actually!
Like walk.
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