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WEIGHTS R KOOL: OLYMPIC MOVEMENTS AND TRAINING

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Mike Barwis would like to casein chocolate milk progressions lifty lift lift and unstable apparatuses yes. Extremities like rubber to steel for football flexibility and bringing pain with stretchy muscle explosive movements and movers. We're gonna be strong pancaked bioenergetics 400 pounds on the clean RAAAAAAGGGHHH.

New Michigan Strength Coach Mike Barwis

Barwis, as fascinating as he is, will talk you into a drooling stupor after about five minutes or so, so we advise that you limit your contact to that video to a minute at a time, with adequate rest of one minute in between sets, and hopefully building up to a rep of 5 viewings of 5 minutes each as your ideal set.

Barwis is the trainer for the Michigan Wolverines, a team now giddily buying new pants because of their bulging thighs and happily slapping the ground with newfound flexibility after a spring under Gewichtenfuhrer Barwis and his new training regimen. We were mooning on about the wonders of a proper training program, something Michigan certainly seems to be inheriting from West Virginia now that Barwis is on board, when we realized how little we actually talk about training here, especially because if you're like us, belong to a gym and get phenomenally bored with what you're doing.

At the very least, you can injure yourself in new and fascinating ways. Today: the pain and glory of Olympic movements.

"Olympic Movements."

This refers to weight lifting exercises done in Olympic competition, thus the name.

The reason Barwis and a whole generation of trainers have fallen in love with the power clean, the squat, the snatch (heh), and the squat is simple: they're huge movements done with multiple muscle groups extremely important in football, and furthermore, once mastered in terms of form they are done explosively and quickly. The emphasis is on rapid flexing into position instead of the endless development of big, slow muscle, working on fast-twitch muscle fibers. See a theme? Rapido, boistro, kuai i dian!

Examine this fine video of proper form on the power clean, which features a nice-looking lady lifting weights with angles and degrees drawn all over her.

That's the same exercise Owen Schmitt allegedly pulls 525 pounds on. If you try them in the gym (light weight, lest you want to snap your spine and impress ladies/gentlemen with only your amazing pain tolerance,) you'll experience the magnificent sensation of "soreness in muscle groups you weren't aware existed," as well as making everyone look at you oddly from the machines.

(Unless you work out at a slightly gay gym, where any and all exercises to work either the pecs or the ass are considered unremarkable and mandatory. And we do, meaning when we do these with our little pink Hannah Montana weights, not a single strange look results from the exercise. Oh, and unlike a lot of gay guys, we're really not in great shape. That probably helps, too.)

As with all "Olympic movements," these aren't cosmetic exercises. The point is to work at transferring potential energy into kinetic energy, the whole point of Barwis-style workouts and Bioenergetics: hence Barwis saying in the interview above that "he'll get players the energy." When he says this, like many new-wave trainers, he means it literally: he's concerned about energy processing and transfer at the cellular level. (Micromanaging has no meaning to a geeked-out strength coach.)

Your players won't end up looking pec-a-saurs off this, but no matter--they'll be beastly strong anyway, and explosively so, and al where it matters: through the legs and core. Combine that with the sprint work, flexibility and core work, and other standard weight work, and you'll figure out why West Virginia's skill players all had massive thighs and hellacious forty times.