You heard a little bit about Iowa State's strength coach, Yancy McKnight, last week, but he's allowed fans and whoever else a look inside his weight room, including his philosophies and prize students.
Defensive end Rashawn Parker, returning from a knee injury this season, and safety David Sims are McKnight's top performers in the weight room.
"I like to make it even competition for our bigs and our skill guys, so I do it pound-for-pound. We want everyone to know who the strongest guy in the program is. Last year it was David Sims. Last year, who was our strongest vertical jumper by body weight? Rashawn Parker. He was also No. 1 in our power factor," McKnight said in a Q&A on the team's website. "You look at that stuff and a big guy is going to have more poundage total, than say maybe a skill guy, but in body weight to total poundage, who is strongest pound-for-pound? This way, I think it’s fair and it is equal. That allows our skill guys to have goals to be the strongest guy in the program and David Sims is a perfect example of that."
The same goes for McKnight's linemen, who might not have the movement and athleticism of the skill players. Their explosive power numbers are relative. And on the walls of the hallway into the locker room are photos of player groups who have reached certain milestones, like a 300-pound power clean or a 400-pound bench press.
"The top five guys in our power factor were Rashawn Parker, Chris Lyle, some big guys in there as far as their vertical jumps to their body weights go, were outstanding. Guys that are 250-plus pounds, but yet they have 36-inch verticals, that’s pretty impressive. We want to be able to show to our kids that progress, hard work and dedication can be rewarded and being on that wall for a full calendar year is a big deal," he said.
Unlike most locker rooms, McKnight doesn't post all-time records.
"That’s not what we’re about. For our guys, it’s year to year. What matters now is 2010, not 2009. That’s kind of the way I look at viewing records. We don’t really get too bent out of shape about numbers. Testing numbers, you can twist them and contort them anyway you want to. That wall out there is reward," he said. "We’re not going to have a lifting hall of fame, or something like that. Those guys walk down that hallway every day before they enter that weight room. Our recruits walk down that hallway on their visits. Alumni do as well. I think it’s important that they see that wall as they walk by."