Proprioceptive plyometrics

Plyometric training is not a particularly new training method. Even though it has recently received much attention it has been a part of the training of athletes in a variety of sports for years. It just was not called plyometrics. The word plyometrics didn’t appear in the training literature until the late 1960s and since then scientific research has given us a fundamental understanding of the elastic properties of muscle and its trainability. Read more

Thinking about strength (part two)

In order to contextualize and better frame strength training, how we define it is very important. My definition is a take-off on the Frans Bosch definition of coordination training with resistance, in my opinion that is not thorough enough. I define strength training as coordination training with appropriate resistance to handle bodyweight, project an implement, resist gravity and optimize ground reaction forces. To better understand and apply this definition demands that we look closely at each element of the definition. Intermuscular coordination is the key to efficient movement and effective force application. Appropriate resistance will incorporate the following: Read more

Thinking about strength (part one)

Yesterday as I watching the documentary Free Solo all I could think of is how strong Alex Honnold, as he was suspended by one hand thousands of feet above the ground. Yet I hardly think by any traditional weight room measure would he be considered strong. So what’s the deal with strength? I think we need to rethink strength training and what is strong. For over fifty years I have been puzzled by the question – How much strength is enough? I am convinced that there is no answer if we are looking in measurable terms. Alex Honnold has as much as he needs to Free Solo El Capitan. Read more

No track, no problem

Congratulations to Tove Shere, Track Coach at Santa Fe Prep for being inducted into the New Mexico Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Tove’s teams have won multiple state championships and they don’t have a track! Read more

Applications now open for GAIN 2019

GAIN is a community of professional’s eager to learn and willing to share ideas and information. GAIN is not about more exercises, sets, reps and training methods it is about passionate people who pursue excellence with honesty, integrity and respect to make a difference in the lives of the people we coach and teach. Read more

Some lessons for today from Herb Elliott and Ralph Doubell

Sadly, I doubt that unless you are a diehard track fan you do not know these names. I am surprised at how many of the current generation of track coaches and athletes do not know these names. Herb Elliott won the Gold Medal in the 1500 meters at the 1960 Rome Olympic games in a world record time of 3:35.6. Ralph Doubell won the gold medal in the 800 Meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic games in the world record time of 1:44.40. Read more

Simple and effective goals

My goal this past year and for this year is really quite simple: everything I am doing is focused on getting better at getting better.

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50 years and counting: the journey continues

Next Monday marks the anniversary of my first day of coaching fifty years ago. I thought this would be an appropriate post to start the new year. Read more

False prophets bearing gifts

Beware of false prophets bearing gifts! There are many silver tonged devils out there who needlessly complicate simple things and are then selling you machines to measure or train those things. Machines that flash red lights and sound sirens are seductive, but they can’t replace a good coach. Read more

Vern Gambetta’s 2018 best books list

Of the 150 books I have read in 2018 these are my selections for the best. It is an eclectic collection reflecting my various interests. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for good reading. This year I did not pick a book of the year. Too many good ones to pick out one book. Read more