Belle Vernon football getting help from new weightlifting aid

Friday, March 22, 2019 | 7:06 PM

Opening day of spring sports in the WPIAL was greeted with, sigh, a dose of snow and cold.

Meanwhile, a Tsunami hit in Rostraver.

Belle Vernon’s football team was continuing to get ready for the fall with its new training tool. The Leopards added ew technology to their weight-lifting program, the Tsunami Bar.

The flexible barbell allows lifters to train with more speed. The bar, with weight on each end, bends and wiggles when lifted, absorbing shock with its fiberglass makeup inside of the tube. Think of shocks on a vehicle.

“Explosiveness is key when it comes to the Tsunami weights,” Belle Vernon senior receiver and linebacker Andrew Pacak said. “Every time we use them, the coaches and all of the players are looking for a nice burn out and recoil on the weights.”

Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert said he is not aware of any other WPIAL programs using the training aid.

At least one NFL team, however, does.

“When I contacted the company, (a representative) said that there was only one other organization in Pennsylvania that had his bars: the Philadelphia Eagles,” Humbert said. “Assuming that was true, I felt this would be a neat addition to our training but also an extremely functional one as well.”

The Tsunami Bar was designed with speed and resistance in mind. The difference is simple to the naked eye, but the players notice the change in reps.

“All of our workouts are very challenging, even the stretching portion of them,” Pacak said. “I wouldn’t say it’s more challenging. I would definitely say it’s more tiring.”

Humbert said a high school coach he knows at Greenville High School in Tennessee, David Crawford, turned him on to the idea of purchasing the Tsunami.

“They have a solid lifting program, and I wanted to steal some ideas from them,” Humbert said.

Belle Vernon added a strength coach, Tim Livingstone, who has helped implement and advance the training method.

Humbert said the bar increases power output and can help with football technique.

“A key attribute is that the oscillation works on stabilization,” he said. “It allows you to mimic a traditional jammer press, a key explosive movement utilized in football, without a machine or press. You can also use the bar for your traditional lifts, given you have more supplemental lifts to add to your repertoire.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .


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