May 27, 2010

Black Knights begin summer workouts

The Black Knights football team began the first stages of their summer workouts and heading that effort of course is Head Football Strength Coach Brett Gerch. Gerch is entering into his second season as the strength and conditioning coach at Army.

Gerch oversees and directs the strength and conditioning programs solely for the football program.

He is a certified speed and explosion specialist by the National Association of Speed and Explosion.

Batson said the first order of business dealt outside of the physical realm.

There are a few areas that the Black Knights are looking for continued improvement; explosion, strength and speed.

And when you look at the Army squad and when you talk speed, it can be broken down into two primary factors and needs …. Acceleration and top speed. While top speed is important to many athletes (football receivers, track sprinters, etc) acceleration and the ability to get to top speed quicker than your opponent is crucially important to the majority of athletes and thus this article will discuss acceleration in depth and the relationship that it has with strength training, plyometrics, etc.

Under Head Coach Rich Ellerson, it is that level of explosion that is essential to every position on the team and that is where Coach Gerch fits in.


1. The start date for workouts all vary and technically the Black Knights began their workouts two weeks ago, May 17th. Once grad week was complete, the players shipped off to different areas of the country.

There are currently eight players at Fort Benning Steve Erzinger, Andrew Rodriguez, (Jonathan Bulls,Chris Swain, Seth Reed, Donnie Dixon, Sean Westphal, Emmett Cosgrove). They began this past Monday and will be in Benning for three weeks. There are twenty-seven players presently at West Point and they are mainly taking summer classes. The balance of the squad are on leave, while there are a few players up at Buckner conducting a military detail. Head Football Strength Coach Brett Gerch travels to Buckner at night whenever the Black Knights have a lift scheduled.

Camp Buckner begins June 24th (and last 3.5 weeks) for all rising sophomores. Again, Coach Gerch will be traveling to Buckner as well to train them either in the morning or evening.

2. The Black Knights' workouts are strictly speed based. For the twenty-seven players who are at West Point, their workouts consist of the following:

- The players run and lift four times per week ... agilities twice and linear speed development twice. The lift consists of alternating strength days with explosive days (i.e. cleans, snatch and jerks amongst other in one day; and the other day would include squat, bench, plyos...amongst others).

- Everyone on the team does the main lifts, but the upper body exercises and plyos will change between line and skill).

And what does Gerch expect from the players? "I expect nothing less than hard work and an attitude that's going to help get Army football to the next level," shares a very candid Gerch. "I am not in to "running them until exhaustion," but being efficient and developing running technique and speed."

With the team having one year of experience working under Gerch speed, strength and conditioning methods, the bar is varies from where it was this time last year. "This summer time is a perfect opportunity for us to continue to build on the speed and strength gains we made during the school year and to be as strong and fast as ever entering EMU," Gerch pointed out to

4. With the incoming freshmen arriving on post by the end of June to begin BEAST, they will also encounter the technical training with football.

Stay tuned as brings you inside the huddle as the Black Knights move closer summer practice.

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