When we talk about physiology we often focus on endurance sports. But physiology is just as important in power sports. Angus Ross has both the academic background and practical experience that give him unique insight in this area. On this episode Ross joins us to describe how he puts science into practice as lead power physiologist for Athletics New Zealand. We exchange ideas on eccentric training, diagnostics, the role of strength, and current trends in training.
Notes and Quotes
Before Ross took his new role this year, Ross was the head of physical performance for High Performance Sport New Zealand. He also holds a doctorate and as an athlete competed in the decathlon and was a three-time Olympian in the bobsled. This diverse background helped him form his current approach to coaching and is where we started out the conversation.
- 2:30 – Ross’s background.
- 7:30 – About Ross’s new role as Lead Power Physiologist for Athletics New Zealand.
- 10:00 – Insight on progressing and sustaining performance with experienced athletes: “When you are strong enough and have enough experience, specificity becomes the relevant thing. ” Some athletes will win medals if they just stay healthy, so don’t break them down under heavy loads.
- 12:45 – Strength diagnostic tools.
- 15:00 – Implementing eccentric strength training methods and the need for eccentric strength: “In the stretch shortening cycle you get a bigger output when you load the spring more rapidly. “
- 18:00 – The downsides of eccentric training and how soon to stop it before competition.
- 21:00 – Ross’s support role with shot put world champion Tom Walsh and coach Dale Stevenson.
- 27:00 – How much strength is enough? “All things being equal, more strength is better. But the problem is things do not remain equal. “
- 31:00 – Strength training’s other benefits and deciding how to focus on different elements. “Strength training is often about going with your gifts. “
- 35:00 – Trends in strength training.
- 36:00 – Autoregulation of lifting.
- 37:00 – Rethinking the offseason break.
- 41:00 – Integrating gymnastics in training.
To hear more about this topic you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- Don’t forget to join HMMR Plus. Sign up and get access to numerous webinars, online meetups, articles, our sports science newsletter, and more. We are also brought to you by the GAIN Network.
- You can follow Ross on Twitter at @angusrossnz.
- Ross has published quite a few resources on strength and conditioning. His work on eccentric strength training can be read here and here. He also wrote a detailed guest post for Stuart McMillan’s blog.
- Ross works closely with world champion shot putter Tom Walsh and his coach Dale Stevenson. Stevenson was a guest on Episode 66 of the HMMR Podcast.
- In discussing off-season breaks, we referenced Ashton Eaton. Learn more from his coach Harry Marra on GAINcast 47 and in our training talk.
- Some more work referenced on this episode: Andreas Thorkildsen’s gymnastic abilities and research on Greek hammer throwers.