Welcome to SPARC Athens. I wanted to share with you my story, because it’s an important part of our approach. For most of the past 15 years I competed and trained as a professional shot putter. I was pretty good at it too managing to win 7 medals at major championships including an Olympic Gold Medal, an Olympic Silver Medal, a World Championship Gold Medal, and three World Championship Silver Medals. I wasn’t able to do this because I was the biggest or the strongest athlete on the field. I wasn’t. Many of my peers run 6’4 and over 320lbs. They are giants. Yet, at the relative diminutive size of 6’0, 265lbs, I was able to produce championship results when the medals were on the line by eliminating the noise found in most training programs.
Noise? What noise? Most training programs focus on the low hanging fruit – maximum strength. Maximum strength is largely how we compare athletes in the weight room, but it’s wrong. Maximum strength is nothing in sports without the ability to produce power. Power is the ability to accelerate an object or maximum strength with a time and distance component. It’s often said in sports that speed dominates all other athletic qualities. I’d venture to say that’s a half truth. Power dominates sports and that’s what I’m really good at developing.
The pursuit of power is not a straight line. It includes improving the efficiency of your movement patterns. It includes developing greater functional ranges of motion. A greater functional range of motion allows the athlete to apply force over a longer distance to produce a more powerful movement. That’s what we do at SPARC. We identify and develop programs that produce power.