Data for the data-averse strongfirst gas 93


We live in the age of “Big Data.” Information floods our lives on an ongoing basis. And in the training world, that means wearables and trackers which permit us to collect our own “big data.” Side note: The largest fitness show is now the CES (consumer electronics show) where an entire floor is dedicated to fitness wearables and according to Forbes 125.5 million devices were estimated to be shipped in 2017. Big deal, this big data.

“When a quantum “observer” is watching quantum mechanics states that [sic] particles can also behave as waves. This can be true for electrons at the submicron level, i.e., at distances measuring less than one micron, or one one-thousandth of a millimeter. When behaving as waves, they can simultaneously pass through several openings in a barrier and then meet again at the other side of the barrier. This “meeting” is known as interference.

Strange as it may sound, interference can only occur when no one is watching. Once an observer begins to watch the particles going through the openings, the picture changes dramatically: If a particle can be seen going through one opening, then it’s clear it didn’t go through another. In other words, when under observation, electrons are being “forced” to behave like particles and not like waves. Thus, the mere act of observation affects the experimental findings.”

I began to max out (swing at a volume setting of 11—Spinal Tap reference) my swings and it had a big impact on my form. Due to the amount of power produced, I was not holding my finish position but was unhinging and sitting back slightly to counterbalance the kettlebell (I was even pulled off the ground on a couple of reps). This was subconscious. I immediately had the volume knob way up to max out my power, since it was being measured—and I did not realize the impact it had on my form until looking at video. And it also highlighted a difference in power between my right and left arm swings. (Left being more powerful, even though it is my non-dominant arm.)

In Strong Endurance™ Pavel has emphasized understanding the cost levied by the different energy systems. The goal is to prioritize high power output with adequate rest periods so that your body builds capacity in energy production and becomes more efficient in dealing with the byproducts of that energy production. Craig Marker has a couple of articles that dive a bit deeper into these concepts and Pavel has some great information in this article: Simple and Sinister Progression Tactic.

“…the researchers (Gonzales-Badillo et al. 2016) looked at the relationship between velocity, effort, and fatigue, and the consequent training adaptations and time course of recovery from fatiguing and less-fatiguing workouts. The study investigated the effects of performing 3 x 4 @ 80% 1RM (with about a 20% velocity decline) versus 3 x 8 @ 80% 1RM (with about a 40% velocity decline) for squats. The results were that jumping capabilities of the athletes performing the 3 x 4 workout were recovered within 6 to 24 hours. The results for the 3 x 8 group were not fully recovered at the 48-hour mark.”

“…the researchers (Pallares et al. 2016) trained two groups of athletes for 8-weeks using a periodized training approach ranging from 70 to 85% 1RM. What distinguished between the groups was that one groups ceased their squats sets at a 40% velocity decline within the set and the other group trained to a 20% velocity decline within the set, irrespective of what % 1RM or how many reps were performed.

Across the 8-wks, the 20% decline group performed only 60% of the workload/reps of the 40% decline group. The results were the same for increases in 1RM squat strength, but the 20% decline group had better jumping improvements while the 40% decline group had better muscle size gains. However, these greater gains in muscle size also came with a catch ~ there was a decrease in the percentage of explosive MHC 2 fibers! This is not an outcome that power athletes would desire, as these are the more explosive muscle fibers.” The big takeaway

This was a short practice session with ample rest where loss of velocity was not likely, but had it happened or if I was coming into my training without full recovery, etc., I would have been able to see it and quantify it right away. Sets were performed at about a volume setting (effort) of 6-7 and you can see good power.

Please note the drop off in power and velocity in the last two sets. I felt “beat up” by the session—which validates the idea of stopping at 10%-20% or so of drop off and of not recovering well if you do not stop the session at that point. I should have stopped after set 8 and possibly after set 7. Limitations

You do need to wear the band on the arm performing the exercise. This means switching arms each set on most protocols. With enough of a rest period this isn’t difficult, but with short rest it can be an issue or you would track only one arm, etc. But having used the PUSH band for some time now, I find the protocols easy to input and the device easy to use (even switching hands in a 20-second rest period). Conclusion

Changing my mind on big data might not be there fully, but I think I can embrace this technology and benefit from tracking velocity and power. Identifying left-to-right asymmetries in power or velocity and managing drop offs in power and velocity can be huge to understanding the cost of training. And the benefits of managing that cost is what put StrongFirst and Strong Endurance™ at the forefront of strength and conditioning information. This is why StrongFirst and PUSH have partnered in order to bring these valuable metrics to our students. (Now available!)

Brett Jones is StrongFirst’s Chief SFG Instructor. He is also a Certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine from High Point University, a Master of Science in Rehabilitative Sciences from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

As an athletic trainer who has transitioned into the fitness industry, Brett has taught kettlebell techniques and principles since 2003. He has taught for Functional Movement Systems (FMS) since 2006, and has created multiple DVDs and manuals with world-renowned physical therapist Gray Cook, including the widely-praised “Secrets of…” series.

Brett continues to evolve his approach to training and teaching, and is passionate about improving the quality of education for the fitness industry. He is available for consultations and distance coaching by e-mailing him at