New Strength Training Program

Submitted by chillmodious on January 19th, 2011 at 1:28 PM

So I saw this tweet a little while ago...


Darryl Stonum
@CornellStone22 Darryl Stonum
First day of workouts with the new strength staff today.Im not worried cuz NOTHING can be worse than what Mike Barwis put us through
...and found it interesting.  Obviously this isn't a return to Gittelson, but will the de-Barwisization be a big negative?


Blue Mind and Heart

January 19th, 2011 at 1:42 PM ^

biggest myth of past 3 years - Barwis effect.

see the score differentials in the second half of games during the Barwis era.

If anything we should welcome a "de-barwising"

Note: I am not saying that Barwis was a poor coach but that the program wrongly believed that his program would somehow make up for the poor fundamentals and lack of talent at the right positions.  This belief clouded the issues within the program as a reader of this board might have noted since the posting of the first Barwis video.

Monocle Smile

January 19th, 2011 at 1:50 PM ^

Realize that a considerable amount of active players had not been fully Barwis-ized seeing as they were freshmen and sophomores.

the S+C coach cannot be blamed for score differentials. That's the worst line of thinking I've heard today. The Penn State game and two Wisconsin games (2008,2010)  are three games off the top of my head that contradict your point even if it WAS valid.

I would not welcome a "de-Barwising" any more than I would welcome a "de-sexing."

Blue Mind and Heart

January 19th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

I am not pinning the blame of the second halves on Barwis.  No that falls squarely on RR.  However I am saying the three years of people getting excited about the transformation of football players under Barwis did not play out on the field and isn't that the point?  There are lots of factors that went into the past three years but I found nothing to point to an advantage that Mike Barwis brought to the team.  Again, not saying he was bad but that the faith was misplaced and in the end surprising.  


January 19th, 2011 at 2:12 PM ^

I think rave reviews from most all of the players interviewed (many of whom have had numerous trainers) make it clear that Barwis was very competent in his job.  In other words, Barwis got his players into shape.  This was most clear in watching the Iowa game when Clayborne was huffing and puffing on the sideline every other play while Michigan's players were not.  As far as faith in a strength/conditioning program, you're wrong - that faith was properly guided and proven to be accurate.


January 19th, 2011 at 4:19 PM ^

proper fundamentals. A freshman CB that isn't ready to play can still be taught to take a proper angle, to tackle well and to line up correctly. For whatever reason, ours were not. And that is on the coaches. Getting beat badly by superior teams should have been expected, particularly with all of our freshman in back. But it is not wrong to expect them to play fairly sound fundamentally, within reason. I wanted another year for RR with a new DC, but there is no way to excuse the poor fundamentals we exhibited IMO.


January 19th, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^

the program wrongly believed that his program would somehow make up for the poor fundamentals and lack of talent at the right positions.

I don't think anyone thought that.  I have extreme doubts that any coaching staff would think "these kids have poor fundamentals but that's OK because of S&C."


January 19th, 2011 at 3:19 PM ^

Been in the industry for over 20 years.  You can not speed physical development.  It takes years to get the full effect.  Freshmen and sophomores have not been in the system long enough to see the true effects.  You start to see some of the fruits of their labor with the juniors who've been in it 3 years.

It's a progression so much of the first year you are teaching technique as much as anything. 

When Barwis got here he had to start from scratch.  Many of the athletes had never performed olympic lifts so even though some were upper classmen they were freshmen with this way of training.

Barwis' methods would have paid dividends in time but we'll never see that now.  I'm sure he'll get more than 3 years at his next stop and they'll reap the rewards when they have a team with 5th year guys, seniors and juniors who've been under his system the entire time.


January 19th, 2011 at 2:07 PM ^

I have had this argument way too many times.  I attend 3 or 4 S+C clinics each year.  I am have been around the midwest and the south looking for "new and improved" techniques in building athletes and the Barwis was by far the most complete trainer I have seen. 

He breaks down every area to the science, balance, core, explosion, injury prevention, strength, speed and so on.  Also his staff was impressive...his underboss was the strength coach for the Ravens...He did a great job.  I am not saying that the next S+C guy will not do a good job...I am saying Barwis is an industry leader, not just another name in the pack.


January 19th, 2011 at 4:10 PM ^

you're familiar with Buddy Morris then? Same premise there and he's been at it quite a bit longer the MB. Not to say MB didn't do a good job, but he wasn't the be all and end all of S&C like some are saying. As a side note, I have a friend who walked on and trained under MB (we are both competetive powerlifters have lifted with the best of the best) and he mentioned that some of the form critiques the assistants were giving were questionable in terms of injury possibility, so take it FWIW.


January 19th, 2011 at 7:24 PM ^

I have no problem with Buddy Morris.  He is another guy who really develops a complete player.  I like some of Barwis's splits better but they are similar programs. I have seen the prehab work that they do in the offseason and for the most part it is just basic rehab exercises that they would do at any clinic...not sure how they could not help with injury prevention...unless they have changed some things in the last year.

In an 8 month period my players do 3 months of Barwis offseason training (1 Week Testing, 2 Weeks Size, 8 Weeks Max Strength,1 Week Testing) 10 Weeks of an adjusted Westside Barbell program (1 Week Prep, 8 weeks power, 1 Week Testing) Finished with a 10 week Strength/Cardio Training before the season begins (Alternating weekly between Strength and cardio  workouts) 

The next 4 Months is in season training...Lift Heavy 2 days a week with prehab and Functional.

As a coach we don't just use Barwis Methods but it is a staple of our program...I again believe that there are many great trainers out there who do can do amazing things at the D1 level.  Barwis is just damn good. 


January 19th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

I can't imagine a scenario where Michigan outright gives him the stiff-arm.  If you read that article, it seems like the specific people (i.e. Barwis and staff) are at the heart of the matter.  Rehab for any type of injury/trauma is not a textbook thing--it's a highly personal and unique endeavor to the person undergoing it.  Brock has been working one-on-one with Barwis and has developed a rapport that has been fundamental to his recovery.  Even if Hoke and the new S&C staff are willing to dedicate the time/facilities/care, there is a very good chance that Brock may not see it as the right fit.  Perhaps Barwis will land somewhere and Brock follows.  The article is a bit vague when it says, "Mealer is hoping the new staff permits him to use the facility."  This makes it seem like he wants to use the facilities but is awaiting a reply, despite no direct quote saying as much.  I'll say this though:  if Brock shows any interest whatsoever in continuing his recovery at Michigan, it better be a no-brainer for the new staff to embrace him with open arms.

Huntington Wolverine

January 19th, 2011 at 3:30 PM ^

I'll say this though:  if Brock shows any interest whatsoever in continuing his recovery at Michigan, it better be a no-brainer for the new staff to embrace him with open arms.

Agreed.  That's my main concern. The article made it clear about the unique relationship factors that go into this level of rehabilitation so the ball will be in Brock's court but I hope our new staff does the right thing.


January 19th, 2011 at 2:48 PM ^

Regardless of which "camp" you belong to that article is upsetting.  My concern is that there is too much of a shift and chest pounding celebrating a return of the "old days" that the better aspects of the past three years get negated (yes, there were some).  I enjoyed the "old days" and respect our legacy and am excited about our future with Hoke...however, when it comes to S&C I also acknowledge that times have changed and Programs thrive under S&C leadership similar to what Barwis provided.  Not withstanding his technique, I had the opportunity to meet him and he has a great personality and character.  Unquestionably you got the sense that he was THE industry leader.  Its a shame that he was not retained as represented one of the best aspects of the RR years.

Mealer should be given the opportunity to continue to train at UM (i hope the new staff does so).  


January 19th, 2011 at 7:59 PM ^

He has some fantastic press; but its not like the Wolverines were supermen out there, or that our freshmen were playing with the strength and speed of sophomores. I'm willing to bet that the new S&C guy will slip in and have our guys doing just fine.

I've been powerlifting for 20 years now; and one thing is sure: many techniques work just fine. Its the work and intensity you put into them. Often 'NEW!' techniques are revisions of old ones. Don't buy into all the hype, and Barwis had alot of hype with him. I'm not saying he's not competent; he clearly is very good at what he does. But when he came I remember reading people who thought that somehow Michigan was going to be putting Olympian gods on the field. Didn't happen.


January 19th, 2011 at 1:34 PM ^

The gains in strength were tremendous under Barwis.  Unfortunately, that didn't translate to wins on the field (or even superior fourth quarter performance, as some people have charted). 

I think there is some happy median between player performance and player morale.  Perhaps the new S&C coach will be able to find this balance, because I think we can all agree that Barwis was perhaps a bit heavy on the "performance" aspect of it, and Gittelson was a bit heavy on the "morale" aspect.


January 19th, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

Training is training! I mean, there are different fundamentals when it comes to training, but you wanna get bigger, stronger and Faster in every way. I can lists the different kinds of training when it comes to training Upper Body, Lower, Core,..etc.. The thing is that these kids heard all year long about how they were slow, too small, not strong enough and the only thing that is going to get you over the edge is your mind! Superior mindset = Success!! GO BLUE!!


January 19th, 2011 at 1:43 PM ^

Hopefully the new S&C program doesn't present a let down from the Barwis years. I liked to hear how much more intense the training staff was compared to previous seasons. Haven't really heard about the staff we have now but I guess we won't know how hard the training is until they work this week. Hope the players say good things...

03 Blue 07

January 19th, 2011 at 3:28 PM ^

Just from the way football players talk, etc., I imagine the "horrible" comment was said in an "oh, fuck, god, we have to go to S&C, argh, this is going to be so painful, it's horrible" type of comment. Even the most motivated of young men likely don't look forward to going through tortuous physical pain, even if they know and realize it is for their own good and the good of the team. I mean, otherwise, you'd only have an S&C staff that just planned their workouts and didn't assist with motivation while the guys are working out. And by "motivation" I mean "yelling at you to push yourself and not give up and berating you if you don't meet expectations." (Which I don't have a problem with).


January 19th, 2011 at 4:02 PM ^

between working your ass off and it being a counter-productive training session. I've seen it a lot where people are continuously doing set after set after set without any real reasoning for their methods. I suppose what I'm saying is, working yourself to death just for the sake of doing it is pointless. You need to know why you're doing what you're doing and executing it at a frequency and intensity that is productive to goal development.

I trust that the new guy has specific goals he wants these players to acheive.


January 19th, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

And what exactly did the "Barwisization" get us over the last three years.  Other than his tantalizing voice is there any tangible evidence that Barwis did better than Gittelson?  I wouldn't want them to compare B1G Championship rings.

Built Ford Tough

January 19th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

I guess lifting 5 boxes of pizza back to your room is the same as the lifting reigme under Barwis. I think it says something when your entire weight room needed to be revamped because you have nothing but old school medicine balls and basic lifting equipment. I think Gittelson was basically coasting there toward the end. Do I need to post a pic of Terrance Taylor's "development" under Gittelson?