Looking Back at 2013: Best Training Posts

A lot has changed on this site over the past year. Just before the year started I launched memberships to the site. At the start of 2013 I completely redesigned the site. In November I relaunched the site as HMMR Media and brought on board great content from Kibwé Johnson, Nick Garcia, and HSHammer.com. And to end the year we launched a store which includes custom hammer wires, premium memberships, books, and coaching. All the while our readership has grown, which makes all the work worthwhile. I started this site to help myself and others learn more. With more people joining in the conversation we all benefit.

Looking back at the year, I wrote about a lot of interesting topics. In years past my most popular posts tended to be about current events. But this year training was the popular topic:

But many more were my favorites. Below is a compilation of my favorite training posts from 2013. A HMMR Media membership is required to read many of the articles, so if you haven’t joined yet it is a perfect way to start the new year.

Training Talks

My most popular training talk was with Dan Pfaff, but I also sat down with many other great coaches.

My most popular training talk was with the versatile Dan Pfaff, but I also sat down with many other great coaches from many other events and sports.

In addition to the popular training talk with Dan Pfaff, I had several other interviews covering a range of topics. Another non-throwing training talk that was a hit was my discussion with Ashton Eaton’s coach Harra Marra, who also came to Zurich for a seminar I helped organize. Nick Garcia talked about his experience coaching the shot put and apply Bondarchuk’s methods to youth throwers. Derek Evely also stopped by again to talk about exercise selection and transfer of training. Kevin McMahon reflect on what he learned as a hammer thrower and more recently one of his coaches, Ed Burke, looked back on his distinguished career. And finally I sat down with strength and conditioning coach Joel Jamieson to discuss recovery methods.

Training Methods

Many of my posts this year went back to the basics to give a better understanding of the foundations of Bondarchuk’s training methods. Two of my favorite posts I did were video overviews of special strength and periodization. I was also happy to start writing for Juggernaut Training Systems. My first post talked about putting theory in context when designing a program. Another popular post was my discussion of the role of strengths and weaknesses in training plans.

As usual, I also wrote a lot about throws-specific training. Two of my favorites looked at throwing volume and using short hammers in training.


The focus of many posts about hammer technique this year was on learning from other coaches. At the start of the year I posted two videos of Yuriy Sedykh coaching American Kevin Becker at a clinic, and then coaching Kevin McMahon back in the 1997. Both demonstrate Sedykh’s approach to technique. I also invited some of the top hammer throw coaches in the world for roundtables to dissect the technique of US Olympic Trials runner-up Chris Cralle and New Zealand record holder Julia Ratcliff. I also added a little from my own experience and laid out a three-step approach to coaching technique.


At the start of the year I talked about Marwa Sakr’s dissertation in which she looked to measure how kinetic energy travels through the body to the hammer in the throw. Related to kinetic energy, one of my most popular posts of the year showed how the hammer has higher kinetic energy than other throwing sports. I also talked with some sports scientists to get there ideas on how we can build on research like Sakr’s and what areas need to be looked into next. Finally, an area of interest to me is the effect of ending training on with a good throw, which was confirmed to me at a conference I attended in October.

The Sports Gene was one of my favorite books of the year as it gave a detailed look at the nature versus nurture debate in sports. It also got me to think a bit about what physique is best for the hammer and why that question has not yet been answered for the women’s event.


I’ve already given you enough reading material for a month, but there were a lot of great topics I was able to cover in 2013. Two final topics covered talent. The first looked at how talent is about potential and not the present. And my final pick was my third most popular post of the year showed the rise of small school discus throwers in America. The post had little to do with training, but shows the point that talent is everywhere. That’s a good point to remember as the new year begins.

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  1. […] Related Content: Check out our top training posts from 2013 and 2014 for a curated look at even more great training […]

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