Sharpen Your Knives

In my presentation at GAIN 2017 last week, I went on a tangent to talk about cutlery. Like most people, I’m attracted to sharp and shiny things, but the reason I brought up knives is that the provide a great analogy for exercise selection. Read more

Balance and the Barbell Strategy

Earlier this week I wrote about the new book from Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg and focused on one topic: balance. As Stuart McMillan pointed out on twitter, the word balance can be misleading as it doesn’t always capture the undulating-dynamic nature of anything. It’s true. When you think of balance, you think of something that doesn’t move or you think of taking the middle of the road approach. But balance can come in many forms. Thinking of the middle of the road ignores the dynamic nature of balance; all we get from the middle of the road approach is often just an artificial sense of balance. Read more

Final Agenda Set for London

There are just 10 days left until our next seminar. On May 20, John Kiely and I will be presenting on periodisation and planning in London. Today we have released the final agenda for the day-long event, describing in detail each of the eight topics we will cover. It is not too late to sign up. More details and registration information are available here. Read more

Training, Fast and Slow

Earlier this month I wrote about how the universality of fartleks. The concept comes from the world or running, but I outlined how one could implement such speed play in throwing. This isn’t just a concept that sounds fun and cool; it also has some science to back it up and can be applied in preparation for any number of sports. Read more

What is Robust Running?

Robustness is a term that gets thrown around a lot lately, but few people take a step back to look at what the term actually means. Robustness is more than just having the strength to endure more pressure; it is about being able to endure different pressures. Or, to quote the experts, the ability of a system to tolerate perturbations. We are happy to announce that our latest eCourse in the HMMR Media Classroom focuses on the topic. In it, John Pryor provides a practical guide to develop robust running skills. Read more

Another Training Talk with John Kiely

Next month I will be hosting a seminar in London with John Kiely on periodization and planning. The key theme underlying the seminar is that current periodization models are based on outdated or nonexistant science. The scientific understanding of stress and adaptation, for example, have changed a lot the past century, but periodization has not changed with them. In our seminar we will discuss this new understanding, what it means to coaches, and how it affects the planning process with examples of effective solutions. Read more

Fartlek Throwing

Typically distance runners have trained via two methods: either putting in the miles or running fast intervals. But, back in the 1930s, Swedish coach Gösta Holmér developed a new method called fartlek training that combined the two. The fartlek – Swedish for speed play – simply combined periods of fast running mixed with periods of slower running. It proved to be a quick success. Read more

3 Keys to Winning Forever

Pete Carroll is a divisive figure. He stands there on the sidelines with a cheek of chewing gum, dad shoes, and a big smile on his face. Fans find his happy-go-lucky persona either endearing or grating. But no matter what camp you are in, you cannot deny the sustained success he has had at both the collegiate and professional level. As head coach at the University of Southern California he rebuilt a winning tradition, leading the team to two national championships and a record seven straight BCS bowl games. Since 2010 he has been with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks where they have now won three NFC West Championships in four years, been to two Super Bowls, and won one. Read more

The Role of Specific Strength Exercises in Team Sports

A question that comes up nearly every time I present on specific strength exercises is whether such work in the weight room is really necessary for team sports. Athletes from these sports spend large quantities of time on the field and little time training off of it. As a result many strength coaches feel a need to balance out their training and focus only on general exercises once the athletes enter the weight room. I must admit, it is a great question. In fact, I’ve been pondering it for a few months now. Read more

Where is Periodization Headed?

Modern sport has changed drastically over the past several decades. More money has entered sports, seasons have gotten longer, travel demands have increased, along with many other changes. The result is that we are no longer training towards the same goals that we once were. Our periodization models, however, have not always adapted to keep up with the current reality. Read more