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Issue: October 2008
Al Roy: The First Modern Strength Coach
This article presents a historical perspective through the story of Alvin Roy, the first modern strength coach. Roy went against the common belief in the 1950s that weight lifting made athletes slow and bulky. When the football coaches at Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, allowed him to set up and supervise a weight-training program, he proved that strength training decreases injuries and increases speed and athletic ability. This article also tells the story of Billy Cannon, a student who participated in Al Roy’s program and whose success led him to be recruited to play for Paul Dietzel at Louisiana State University. Cannon and Roy then convinced the LSU football team of the positive effects of weight training and helped them win a national championship. Al Roy and his program served as a myth buster and caused coaches nationwide to rethink the notion that weight training has negative effects.
Article category: Hogzilla or Hogwash? Separating Fact from Fiction in Physical Education and Sport