how different strength trainers impact muscle growth

Submitted by qed on January 14th, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I am a big fan of Barwis but I have also heard good things about the new S&C coach.  In my limited experience with weight training, I always experienced best muscle growth when rotating trainers.  I wonder, in the short-term, if a change in S&C (from one quality guy to another) could result in an immediate benefit because of a potential change in overall philosophy?  Or are the elite trainers out there so good that such a thing is unlikely?



January 14th, 2011 at 3:58 PM ^

Strength & conditioning is way different then personal training. A personal trainer will just take you through a workout they wrote up an hour or so before your session. A s & c coach will design a periodized year-round workout program that varies sets, reps, and percentages of 1-rep max lifts. The lifts will also become more sport specific the closer they get to the start of the year. Also, a college kid will see a ton more in gains than a grown man would.


January 14th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

I think everybody knows that you have to change your workouts to get the best results. 

I'm sure you'll hear some positive things, but in the end it is how much the kids care and work that will make the difference,  not who is doing the yelling.

When the article comes out about how they concentrate more on power(and it will come). I'll just vomit and wipe my ass with it.  Whenever there is a change you get the positive fluff piece geared to what  the people want to hear.

Barwis is good and it sounds like this new guy is well respected as well so we will be fine, but some people will make it into who was better just to stir it up.   Then when they are done with that they'll go back to who is to blame for the empty cupboard.


January 14th, 2011 at 4:04 PM ^

The theory that you are espousing is called "periodization" and it basically states that muscles will eventually adapt to a given stimulus and need a change in stimulus (i.e. training) in order to continue to progress.

Football training, however, is somewhat different, in that the training is, by its nature, regularly changing.  For example, the training done during winter conditioning is primarily focussed on developing muscle size and strength.

This only lasts for about 2 months, and then the training shifts for spring training to shedding unwanted body fat, improved speed and agility.  The players still train for size and strength, but the focus - and methods - change.

This phase only lasts for about 3 months, at which time the training shifts for summer camp.  Again, the players still lift, but there is even more emphasis on speed, agility, conditioning and injury prevention / recovery.  This carries through the season, but varies even further to account for the demands of actual games.

So, the point is that the periodization effect of manipulating training variables already exists, so there is no benefit to switching coordinators in this regard.


January 14th, 2011 at 6:33 PM ^

You're on the right track but it's a little different. Training cycles are usually based on 12 week cycles that differs in reps, sets, and percentages of 1 rep maxes. The cycles are then broken down to 3-4 week cycles which will go from a hypertrophy to strengh to power.

Hypertrophy is lower percentage in weight with higer reps (10-15) reps, strength increase in percentage and decreases in reps (8-10) and power increases more in intensity and decreases in reps (2-6). Exercises change from time to time and become more specific closer to the season. Percentages in intensity increase also the closer to the season with more explosive and power movements going on before camp. During the season they are just maintaining weight and size.


January 14th, 2011 at 4:32 PM ^

I hope the trainers are focusing on strength/agility/endurance/etc, not muscle growth... I don't think they care what the players look like at the beach or how they'd fair in a body building competition but more about what they can physically achieve on the field. This does not necessarily correlate with muscle mass.