Freaks of Nature

You are at the high school combine, you notice they are testing vertical jump, standing broad jump and the forty-yard dash. These are all tests built around complete explosiveness. You have decent high-end speed but it takes you twenty minutes to get up to speed. Knowing what the tests are, you are slightly embarrassed, you feel ill-prepared and in reality, you don’t want anyone to know that your vertical jump is only 26 inches. You start to wonder…”Maybe I should have downloaded that free PDF on Freak Training that Garage Strength had to offer.” 


As you look around, your opponents are crushing it. The one kid has a 35 inch vertical, a 9’9 broad jump at 240lbs and a forty in the 4.7’s. This dude is the real deal and he is BIG. This is a crushing blow mentally. Not only are you lacking the confidence to perform well during the tests at the combine, but you also start to wonder if you should even be playing football. This opponent will be on the same field, putting his pads on just like you, while bringing the wood at a much greater intensity. 


A girl walks into the weight room, she clearly has giddy-up in her step, she walks with a bounce and has an air of confidence. She is one of those athletes that has something about her, as she starts to move and train, it is clear, she is mobile, explosive and unlike most athletes, she is a downright physical freak. She starts to hit her Olympic lifts with serious speed, she is power cleaning 245lbs with ease and squatting 300lbs as though there is just a barbell on her shoulders. Where did you go wrong in your preparation?!?!?! You definitely need a custom program for the catch up you need!

What separates these athletes? Why are they so explosive? How can a girl cruise to a 30 inch vertical or a dude smash a 40” vertical? Were they born a freak with an incredible vertical or did it happen over time?


At Garage Strength, we have trained athletes at the world level in multiple sports, we have had Division 1 NCAA athletes in 9 different sports, we have had 6’11 high jumpers, football players running 4.4’s, shot putters benching 500+ pounds, wrestlers cleaning 350+ pounds with ease and discus throwers back squatting over 600 pounds. We have seen high school athletes gain 30 pounds and DROP a half-second on their forty times while getting over 10 feet on their standing broad jump. Training freaks is something we take pride in and it MUST be understood that freak training takes time and ANYONE is capable of being freaky. 


First, let’s dive into what a freak actually entails. 


They are mobile. 

Great athletes have minimal amounts of structural issues. Sure, they definitely have mobility issues here and there but they can move like ballerinas because they have incredible control over their musculature. They are balanced and their body knows how to utilize tension and slack. This is where it becomes important to understand strength. One of my favorite rules of thumb is this, “Lengthening is strengthening.” As muscles get longer, they will recruit more motor units and uphold greater energy absorption as well. This enables an athlete to utilize their movement during a series of motor patterns (think of a running back bouncing off would-be tacklers and taking the rock to the house)!


They are strong.

Often times, athletes looking to enhance their vertical jump or improve their explosiveness forget just how strong they need to be. Long jumpers are lean athletes and they also happen to be some of the fastest athletes on the planet, some of the most explosive athletes AND the strongest. They are able to handle massive eccentric forces while maintaining torso stability. The freaks have mastered torso stability. This can be done by using front squats, back squats, clean, trap bar pulls, etc...with plyometric movements, this transfer of strength to dynamic movement is extremely effective for optimal performance. 


They can react.

Freak athletes know how to react physically. They know how to be explosive AF, they know how to grind movements, they know how to be super-elastic. This is all learned skills that take time to develop. Sure, there are some athletes that are simply born with freakish talent, but 90% of athletes develop this over years of training. Immediately, weightlifters and wrestlers come to mind. These are athletes that know how to move HEAVYWEIGHT FAST. They move a very heavy external load, rapidly, if they are in a precarious position and must grind out a clean or grind through a position on the mat, they are also able to handle that move very well. They react well physically and have incredible proprioception and awareness. 


They feel corrections.

Some of the coolest parts around technical literacy and freak training is being an outside observer. It is enjoyable to sit back and watch an athlete that is a freak take a cue, think through the cue, apply that cue to their movement and immediately feel a difference in their positioning. These are skills that must be learned! Feeling corrections and applying cues is an art that must be sharpened over and over and over again. As the year's pass, the mind becomes more mature, the athlete is able to control their body even more so and performance improves even further! 

All of these traits are special, all of them take time to develop and all of these traits are what separates the best athletes from the mediocre athletes. Through proper preparation, tactical training and properly laid out programming, athletes are able to cultivate movement comprehension more than they ever could have imagined. Keep this dialogue rolling! Comment below if you have something to add or send us an email with your thoughts! 


Strength is simple at Garage Strength. Lack of accountability is the enemy and creating a clear plan is the key to your strength and fitness gains. It can be difficult to stay motivated on the path to success. Athletes like you will learn more than lifting weights with our team. Accountability, planning, and hard work are an integral part of the plans we develop. Pick up a custom program while the GOLD level is still available!  https://www.garagestrength.com/

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