Speed Over Tonnage: Is It Worth the Sacrifice?

If you watched Christian McCaffrey at the NFL combine, you couldn’t help but be impressed. He was fast, explosive and agile. But nevertheless he had some critics as his weightlifting numbers were not impressive. Interesting. I know for a fact that Stanford University has employed velocity-based training (VBT) methods with their football athletes in the past. To what extent McCaffrey used VBT I do not know, but whatever combination of methods he used it clearly got him results on the field. Maybe lifting all the weight possible like a weightlifter is not the end-all-be-all to being a top athlete. Read more

This Is What Organization Looks Like

When you are one coach responsible for upwards of 400 athletes, you are forced to be organized whether you like it or not. Thankfully I like organization and take pride in the system I have set up at Notre Dame High School. As we spoke about on our podcast, if you are set up and organized you can get an abundance of work done; you no longer have to choose between the need to do and nice to do, you can do both. Recently Train Heroic visited our new facility in Los Angeles and made a few vides that show our setup. Check it out as it gives you a good idea how we can work efficiently with such a large number of athletes. Read more

The Art of Holding a Peak

Peaking at the right time matters, but for many athletes it is just as important to be able to hold that peak. For my athletes, at the high school level, the post season lasts nearly two months. Therefore we have to stay in top shape for a long period in order to qualify and place well at the state meet. I’ve always said one of the reasons I like the Bondarchuk program is how it is able to keep athletes at a top level after reaching their peak. Read more

The Value of Work Outside the Weight Room

If you think developing power/strength for your sport is weight room specific only then you are gravely mistaken. Why do I say this? I’ve been doing some thinking after reading some posts recently and, more importantly, I just finished a 6 week study/observation specific to this. Read more

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Nick Garcia

On the most recent episode of Iron Game Chalk Talk, Nick Garcia sits down with host Ron McKeefery to discuss his background and approach to training. Nick is known for cutting through the bullshit and he packs an incredible amount of information into this half-hour episode. He gives the most concise (and accurate) definite of Bondarchuk’s periodization I’ve ever heard. And, even regular listeners of our podcast will learn something more about Nick’s background and how he got started and first inspired in coaching. Plus Nick touches on his favorite books, apps, influences and more. You can listen to the full episode below. Read more

The Case for Drills

As a young inexperienced coach it was my goal, like most all coaches, to be the best I possibly could be. The way I figured I was going to do this was by first distinguishing who had the best program and then seeking out the coach of this program. This quest actually began when I started my junior college throwing career. At this time there was no question that coach Art Venegas and the UCLA Bruins were at the top. I distinctly remember going to my first major track meet, the Pac 10 Conference Championships hosted by Stanford University, to watch the Bruins live in action. I could not wait to see them throw and oddly enough my seats were right in front of Coach Venegas. I listened to every word and every cue he gave his throwers. Although, I was relatively inexperienced, especially having zero knowledge about the rotation, I noticed right away that the Bruins had distinct characteristics in their technique. Little did I know that in the future I would be competing against the Bruins while attending college at Cal State Northridge. Read more

Athletics: Is the price you pay worth it?

I often listen to sports talk radio to and from work each day. If you have been in touch with the news lately concussions and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) have been major stories in relation to American football. Because of this participation numbers at the high school and youth levels have dropped significantly. What I have to talk about below has nothing to do with concussions or CTE. Yes from the research we know now about concussions; you can make a better choice as a way to make a living than football, but I have a beef with a different issue. Read more

Using Bar Velocity to Determine Athlete Readiness

Regardless what sport we work with it is often our goal as coaches to try and determine athlete readiness for competitions. Many of us coaches understand that in a sport like track and field there will be meets and possibly many meets where our athletes will not be at peak performance or even ready to throw a respectable distance in comparison to their personal bests. This is normally planned for because the ultimate goal is to throw far, jump high, and run fast at the big meets like the conference championships, regionals, and finals. Planning like this can be called periodization or as Coach Gambetta refers to it as planned performance training. Read more

Holiday Special on Hammer Wires

Looking for a gift for that hammer thrower in your life? Help them stock up on hammer wires for the upcoming season and save in the process. Our premium hammer wires are hand made in America to meet your exact specifications and offer the best in quality, strength, and performance. If you order before Christmas and use the coupon code xmaswires you can get 10% off. Read more

Exercises, Data, and Bondarchuk

I few weeks ago I posted my first article in the series I am writing for Freelap USA on training with Bondarchuk’s methods. In that article I laid out the basic terms Bondarchuk uses. On Friday Freelap posted my second article, which goes into more detail about how to choose exercises and collect data in the system. Read more