Fair enough, obviously if you have to stay in a weight class you can’t gain weight, but I didn’t refer to gaining muscle, I referred to gaining strength. Which we both seem to agree is important, for most sports. Without caloric excess, no muscle gain. You can still get stronger. Probably not with 95lb squats, though. [/quote]
Probably not theoretically/presumably, but I have achieved what I have using my personal method. Not quite what Lee Boyce has written, but through my own interpretation of some of the methods he listed. And if you refer back to Colucci’s post of my routine, you’d see I am nearly always at a caloric deficit according to protocol. One, maybe two meals a day, less than bodyweight protein, and my weight has no budged. No lethargy, poor sleep, or any other signs of overtraning.
*I do sometimes have up to 4 meals a day. Depending on my day to day hunger level, holidays, intensity of workout the day prior, etc.
I never said you have to barbell squat to be a successful athlete. My point is that strength is an important factor for athletic performance, especially in a sport like wrestling, and many more expert people than me agree that the barbell squat is a superior way of developing (and measuring) strength. Dan Gable, I have to assume, was still relatively strong for his bodyweight, regardless of whatever methods he used (and you say he did use resistance training of some kind). If he wasn’t strong, he would have been at a disadvantage against other competitors of a similar skill level, other factors being equal.
Secondly, you’re talking about Olympic-level competitors. Skill in a specific sport is obviously the most important factor in determining success at that sport. And with elite competitors, the skill level is very high and the margins of victory usually slim. Entirely different arena than high school wrestling. The skill level is low. Strength, and other metrics of general athleticism, are therefore more important.
In my case, I didn’t do any resistance training beyond basic bodyweight stuff until after high school. As a wrestler, I was on the low-end of the strength spectrum. This was a disadvantage. My point was that if I had started an intelligent weight-training program earlier, I could have turned my disadvantage into an advantage, by being stronger than most competitors.
I think if I had started a good basic barbell program like Starting Strength at 13 or 14 and progressed intelligently (a big hypothetical, as there wasn’t really anyone around to coach me) I could have had a 400 lb squat by the time I was a senior. And I think that one difference (being much stronger) would have made me a much more competitive wrestler, at the same skill level.[/quote]
I agree wholeheartedly. Strength is very much important, but let me point out some anecdotal evidence. Beyond high school wrestling practice, I also worked out with various clubs… ALL of which had prior state champs, and wrestlers that would go on to place in states. Throughout the 5 or so years that I was involved with these clubs, we were never asked or pushed to hit certain squat numbers.
Does that mean squats aren’t important. Absolutely not, which is why I agree with you that strong lifts could have given us an edge. However, with the recent exploding advent of “strength and conditioning” programs geared towards sports, we tend to put overtly too much emphasis on numbers in the weight room.
Again, strength is important, but I don’t feel I personally need a squat higher than twice my bodyweight to excel in what I do.
I mean, I agree that there are multiple elements that go into athletic performance and that skill in the sport itself is ultimately the most important factor, but when you say things like “No man will properly sit on your back so that you hoist him up, or drive through his legs” it makes me feel like you’re missing the point, even contradicting yourself (your last line about how the squat is important).
The actual movement of the barbell squat isn’t analogous to every position or movement in any sport, obviously, but that really isn’t the point. The squat develops general lower body strength. General strength carries over to performance of many athletic movements, including (of course) a takedown, or grappling on the floor.
Are you suggesting that you’re functionally just as strong now, squatting 300, as you were when you squatted 365? In other words, that your practice of the movement has changed (you don’t squat very heavy), but you haven’t lost any benefit to athletic performance derived from that movement? That’s an argument that might have merit. I don’t know. I’m skeptical, but it could be true I suppose. At a certain point, the carryover from increasing poundages on the big lifts to athletic performance may not be worth the time/energy increasing the lifts would require, in terms of training. Diminishing returns, and all that. The numbers usually thrown out for that benchmark are around 300/400/500, though.[/quote]
I am exponentially stronger in grappling since I have dropped regular heavy squatting.
I began devoting more time to flexibility, timing and speed on the mats and it has been night and day. With that said, I am not a beginner. I have been grappling since 97’. If a beginning grappler with a poor squat wanted to improve their explosion on takedowns… OF COURSE it would be an intelligent decision to increase the load on his squats during his strength training. But I on the other hand already have addressed that a long time ago. I hope you understand what I am pointing out.
I’ve been doing martial arts since I was 6 years old. If you had asked me at 19 if I could kick hard, I would have of course said yes. At 20 I started lifting weights. I went from only occasionally doing BW squats as part of general conditioning to 400x5 w/ a barbell. I have no proof, I haven’t measured the strength of my kick in any quantifiable way, but it seems obvious to me that I have a much more powerful kick now than I did at 19.
I wouldn’t presume to tell you, as a competitive athlete, how to train. But it still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to load up volume on 95 lb squats. If not hypertrophy, what effect does this have?
Personally, if I were training competitively in MMA, I would lift heavy twice a week on the big lifts, focusing on strength – singles, doubles, triples, fives – and spend the rest of the time (every day) training specifically for MMA, with intense sparring a max of 2-3 times / week.[/quote]
Rather than solely hypertrophy, I am focusing on strength in the full ROM.
Take for example, if you were stuck in a near side cradle… what do you do? You hold your base, wrist/hand control and donkey kick out of it. Similar situation in the far side cradle. But the position you’re in when stuck in a cradle is not a position you often focus on in the squat. It’s likely your spine is laterally flexed and the hip isn’t aligned with the knee. It is a precarious situation in weight lifting terms, but in grappling you flex, extend and hinge starting from all sorts of positions.
What I am doing during sets (on any movement) focused on TUT is working out the the weak aspects in the entire spectrum of the ROM. If you refer back to my old thread on calisthenics, I mention a yoga term called chaturanga. You can read about it there.
Bringing back the beginner/experienced aspect once more, I would definitely suggest someone with a poor squat to start loading the bar to help build his quads and hips for a stronger kick. However, I will point out some more interesting anecdotal evidence.
I have spent several months training alongside journeymen and pro/champion MMA/Muay Thai fighters in Thailand (will be back there in March for another training camp). Let me tell you something. Nobody kicks harder than the Thai fighters. And of course you can say that they start kicking when they are 5 years old. And I would agree that it does hold weight. Which is why the emphasis on practicing your sport, most of the times, outweigh time spent in the weightroom.
Here’s a link to one of my coaches/training partners from Thailand.
Nice guy, doesn’t squat, at all. He does awkward overhead presses and curls with rusty 25lbs kettlebells… ‘shitty’ pull ups here and there. But believe me when I say that his kicks and knees are not to be fucked with.
And speaking of Thai fighters, most of them look frail and scrawny… But then you see them clinch the bigger ‘expats/farangs’ (jacked dudes from the states, europe, austrailia, NZ), the Thai coaches wipe the floor with them. It is a sight to behold. Not the mention the Thai trainers will be found every night in their bungalows chasing their beer with Sangsom. Some even chain smoking.
But look, obviously you don’t tell people to not lift, drink every night, smoke, or yell OYYEEE every time they kick you… But the emphasis on sport specific skill is surely pronounced when you see what they can do.
And if you’re interested in actually training in a combat sport, start doing it. It’s easy to say you will, but it’s different when you step in the ring.