Latest in Strength and Conditioning – ACSS 2013 Keynote Address

If you are serious about strength and conditioning you need to watch this. This is the keynote address at the Asian Conference on Sports Science, Hong Kong October 2013 by Professor Robert Newton. What struck a cord with me was the improved eccentric qualities of the stronger athletes. No mention of olympic lifting vs the heavy emphasis on squat jumping (lower technical requirement I guess). Just how powerful testosterone is. Got me thinking about testosterone vs crossfit workouts, injury rates and nature of cortisol.

Notes from lecture available on

Importance of Muscular power

– There is not a single athlete in a sport in the world that won’t benefit from strength training.

– The amount of strength training varies because of the level of athlete or sport they are in.

– There is a very close relation to jumping power, 5 meter, 40 meter sprint times. (1:45 for graphs)

– Also a very strong relation between strength of an athlete and power of that athlete. (2:15 for graphs)

– Strength underlines power.

– As movement of velocity increases the amount of force that can be produced decreases. (3:09
for Graph)

Combination of velocity and force gives us the power output.

– If you increase the force capacity of the muscle then this causes a shift in the force velocity curve which causes a shift in the power curve.

– We also see an increase in max power output also power across all velocities and all forces. This
is why there is a very close relation between strength and power.

What do you do if you have an athlete that is a weaker train first? (Power or strength)

– (Graphs 9:45) The graphs show that power training is inferior to strength workouts in regards to

power and strength tests.

Force Velocity Relation & Force Power Relationship (10:12)

– There is a shift in the whole curve for the strength training at the low velocities and high forces.

Morphological Adaptations

– Take a look at the graphs for muscle size. Muscle thickness is better with strength training and
with power there is no change. (10:42)

Neural Adaptations

– Once again there is considerable adaptation in strength training.

– If you look at how fast you can turn the muscle on then the power training works better than strength training according to the graphs.

– Performance improvements were brought about through positive adaptations to the neuromuscular factors that affect power production, but these adaptations were specific to the training stimulus.

– In conclusion strength training in generally weaker athletes is equally as effective as power training.

Does magnitude of performance improvement and/ or mechanisms driving adaptation to power training differ between stronger and weaker athletes?

– If you stop the strength training of already strong athletes they get weaker relatively quick. This
will also mess up their ability increase power and performance. (Preseason!)

– Because we are no longer stressing the stimulus the neural system adapts which reduces the ability to maximally activate the motor unit pool.

– Muscle starts to atrophy as well.

– (17:40) Stronger individuals can handle greater eccentric force and can drop faster in the CMJ so then they can activate the stress reflex at a greater rate. This is why they can jump higher

– Stronger individuals have greater stiffness which they can then tap into more power output.

– Stronger athletes have greater ability to adapt to power training. They have tendencies to greater and faster improvements as well.

Latest in Strength and Conditioning: Robert Newton-Part 2

Muscles, exercise and obesity: Skeletal muscle as a secretory organ

• Muscle Contraction and interruption results in autocrine, paracrine and endocrine function.

• Affects all tissues in the body- muscle, fat, nerve, and bone.

• Mass of muscle and training parameters will determine secretory characteristics and effects.

• Testosterone

• Has a very powerful effect on bone. Drives muscle bone and brain function. It is very powerful on driving recovery.

• Chronic release greatest during –Heavy resistance training, Large muscle mass exercises, and

High volume

• These three are very important to maintain this anabolic phase in athletes.

Chart (3:40) Talks about how some forms of exercise release good testosterone and some do not.

Protocol and results

3 sets of 4 exercises to failure at 80% of 1 RM with 2 min rest. = Sig. Increase in T

70% of 3 RM vs. 100% of 3 to 6 RM =Sig Increase in T 100% > 70%

4 x 9-10 (60-65% of load used for high intensity) = 27% increase in T

20 sets of 2 -4 reps vs. 10 sets of 2-3 reps of half squats= Sig increase in T/ No Change in 2ndone

1 x 10 squats 80-85% 1 RM = No Change

6 x 10 squats 80-85% 1 RM 2 min rest = Sig. Increase in T

4 x 6 squats (90-95% of 6 RM) = 31% increase in T

20 sets of 1 RM squats = No Change

10 sets of 10 reps with 70% of 1 RM = Sig increase in T

One vs. three sets of 10RM for eight exercises = Sig increase in T (3>1)

Eight exercises 3-5 x 5 RM vs. 10 RM with 1- and 3 min Rest = sig increase in T/T decreased as rest increased

The need for Testosterone in athletes

• Synthetic use of testosterone helps everything get bigger and stronger. What we need to do is increase that by some other means because synthetic use is illegal in athletes.

• Testosterone has anabolic effect on bone and other connective tissues including tendon and ligament.

• Low T and elevated cortisol causes tissue quality and quantity changes and reduced failure threshold.

• Many of our athletes have normal bone density compared to a sedentary main. This is a big problem given the training loads they are under.

• It’s hard to understand because of the amount of exercise they are participating in. Many of the athletes are catabolic. They have very high endurance training programs which are suppressing testosterone. Not having enough heavy resistance training session in a week to keep testosterone up.

• This has effects on injury prevalence, resilience of that athlete and recovery as well.

• There is a reason why people and athletes want to use testosterone. It’s because they want to have the ability to recover.


o “Direst non-genomic activation of calcium mediated events in skeletal muscle cells, which may modulate significant physiological responses such as the acute modulation of
force in individual fibers and acute prevention or protection against calcium-mediated fatigue.”

• Testosterone is working directly with the muscle to reduce the fatigue and increase their contractility.

Dave Hamilton- Trying to peak testosterone in female athletes

• Planned on manipulation of testosterone for key recovery and competition phases.

• Helps- Rest/Motivation/Training

• Peak Testosterone when critical- key games

• Increases neuromuscular, cognitive, Motor, and Psychological (aggression/motivation) Capabilities.

• Works for men and women

• Testosterone suppresses anxiety as well.

Drop Jumps

• Drop jumps are correlated very closely with testosterone levels and neuromuscular reactive ness.

• Priming study on Testosterone release on game day (11:00)

• Papers presenting why you should heavy train during season. (12:20)

Key Points

• Achieve and maintain hypertrophy

• Maximal strength is a necessary precursor to maximal power

• Strength training induces change in the neuromuscular and endocrine systems which extern
beyond purely force production.

• Strength training is essential at all phases for athletes- only programming variables shift

• In-season maximal strength training is critical every 7-10 days minimum.

17:30 Athletes and the greatest adaptation

• He talks about how we should focus on one thing when training so the athlete adapts.

• We should not train things that do not matter.

• Also he talks about training to many things at one time is bad because your athlete will not

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