4 more things I learned from Frans Bosch

Two years ago I compiled list of four key points I learned from Frans Bosch’s work after reading his book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach. Since then I’ve had the change to try out some of the concepts in training, talk more with Frans Bosch, and see how John Pryor has implemented the ideas. Therefore I thought it was time to add to that list. Read more

Understanding and implementing hip lock into training

As John Pryor mentioned on this week’s GAINcast, hip lock is one movement attractor emphasized by Frans Bosch that he immediately grabbed on to and saw results from. Look at people experimenting with Bosch’s methods on social media and you’ll likely see a variety of exercises aiming to improve hip lock. The problem is, much of what is going around lacks context and a full understanding of both the function and intent of these exercises. Read more

Understanding the orbit in the hammer throw

Hammer throwers have a tendency to be isolated. To start with, we spend most of our times turning around in circles in a cage. But beyond that, we sometimes get so focused on what we are trying to do that we forget why we are trying to do that. Read more

What exercise classification can and can’t do for your training

You can classify exercises in a number of ways: on a scale of specificity, by the plane of movement, by degrees of freedom, by the speed of movement, or through various other methods. One approach is that of Anatoli Bondarchuk, who we have covered many times on our podcast and in our webinar on his training methods, which divides exercises into four categories based on his definition of specificity. In talking with coaches over the past few years, his method provides a simple tool that coaches in any spot can implement. But let’s be clear, it also has it’s limitations, like any method of exercise classification. Exercise classification is the start of a process, not the solution itself. There are certain things that exercise classification can and cannot do. Read more

Two methods to break down complex sports

In many ways, track and field coaches have it easy. When I am coaching a hammer thrower, for example, I have just one athlete to worry about, one movement to train for, and one technique to master. Athletes in open-skilled sports, on the other hand, have a much more difficult puzzle to put together. How do coaches decide what to focus on in training and programming in such a situation? Read more

Ashton Eaton, the shot put, and individualization

Ashton Eaton may be the world record holder in the decathlon, but when you watched him throw shot put that was not the image that came to mind. To start with the implement always looked a size too big for him. He also adopted an unorthodox technique in which he started with his other foot and then shuffled across the ring in his tennis shoes. Watch him take a few throws and you are reminded more of a masters thrower at a neighborhood track meet than the world’s best athlete. Read more

Defining your coaching philosophy

I’ve been blogging for more than a decade, and doing interviews for seven years now. Over that time I’ve had the opportunity to conduct more than 160 interviews with top coaches around the world on this site, the HMMR Podcast, and the GAINcast. The interviews have covered the whole range of coaching, from coaches of gold medalists and world record holders, to the best minds in youth training and physical education. Read more

England Rugby and the art of coaching

It was just past noon and I was starving. After taking an early train from central London to Pennyhill Park and spending all morning on the rugby pitch, I was ready to eat. I loaded up a plate full of chicken teriyaki and noodles, but as I sat down Eddie Jones asked me a question before I could get a bite in: “So, Martin, what gives you an edge in the hammer throw?” Read more

Integrating medicine ball training into the plan

This article was originally posted on High Performance West. Jonathan Marcus is building a great platform over there, so check it out.

In my article last week I looked at the unique advantages offered by medicine ball training and how to design exercises to get the most out of the dynamic training tool. But once you find the right exercises you also need to put then into a plan. Should medicine ball training complement the primary sport work you are doing? Should it contrast it? And how do we make sure it doesn’t counteract it? Finding the right plan is perhaps more important than finding the right exercises. Read more

How to get the most out of medicine balls

This article was originally posted on High Performance West. Jonathan Marcus is building a great platform over there, so check it out

When I was first handed a medicine ball in training, the first thought that came to mind was “the grind.” I had a preconceived notion of the medicine ball as an arcane training tool used exclusively in vintage newsreels of calisthenics. Individuals would pick up a heavy leather ball and grind through exercises with a partner. The public image of medicine balls has change a lot in the decades since, but often the intent in medicine ball training – the grind – remains. That’s unfortunate as it keeps us from getting the most out of a great training tool. Read more