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Sports Science Monthly – November 2017

This month, we start with a lengthily mini-review, looking at gaining a fuller understanding of how exercise causes adaptation. This is obviously paramount to coaches, because causing adaptations is what we’re interesting in; being able to understand the underpinnings of this can be useful. It gets a little heavy in places, but keep going and I’m sure you’ll find something useful within it. After that, we move back into the regular format; this month, we have a closer look at massage, repeated sprints as a marker of hamstring rehabilitation status, and the 24-hour athlete, along with a rapid-fire round-up at the end. Read more

Peaking and periodization: are we doing things wrong?

If you watched the recent World Championships it was hard not to notice the performance levels were down. The competition was exciting, but the winning marks were nothing to write home about. Take the shot put, for example. After a year of amazing performances and talk of the world record, only two of 32 athletes threw a season’s best. Read more

Fundamental Training Principles – A Review

These are the principles upon which a sound program is based. You MUST observe these principles to achieve optimum adaptation to training. They are very basic and fundamental. Read more

Time: the untapped training variable

Last month HMMR Media looked in-depth at the basics of training. This month we look in-depth at adaptation. Stay tuned for more on the topic.

Sports science has often been confounded by the non-responder. In study after study on training methods, there is always a group that shows no response to the intervention. This is not small either, often representing over 20% of participants. If our own training methods are just as ineffective, we are failing as coaches. Read more

GAINcast Episode 61: The Future of Periodization (with John Kiely)

John Kiely is one of the leading minds in periodization. By taking a critical look at current approaches to periodization, he is asking how we can move the field forward to keep up with what science and leading coaches have learned. On this episode he joins us to discuss how current models can be problematic, what other factors coaches need to take into account while planning, the role of stress and team culture in adaptation, and how technology can help coaches. 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

Do Non-Responders To Exercise Exist?

When we exercise, we expect to see improvements in health, fitness, or both. However, substantial research over the past couple of decades has illustrated that the magnitude of training improvements is highly variable between individuals, and a small number of people show no, or perhaps even negative, improvements to an exercise training intervention. These individuals are typically referred to as “non-responders.” Whis phenomenon is not unique to exercise, but new research is finally starting to take a closer look at this topic. Read more

What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Please excuse the well-worn metaphor I’ve used for the title, but I want to use this article to bring together a few threads of things I have been thinking about recently. Last month on the HMMR Podcast I discussed a few topics that I need a bit more attention. The first of these was stimulated by a discussion on carbohydrate periodisation, which I’ve written about a few times in my sports science monthly articles; in the podcast, this spurred on a bit of a discussion about how sometimes you need to stress the body in new ways to allow for adaption to occur. The second thing is something I feel like I’ve been saying a lot of recently, which is that you can’t view the athlete as a system of individual systems that adapts to individual training; for example, when working on sprint biomechanics there will be both muscular and mental adaptations that occur, and the training session will create both skill-based and physiological changes that are good for the athlete. Everything within the athlete is interlinked, and we need to extend our thinking to take this into account. Read more

Biased Training

I am alarmed with the biased one-sided training regimens that I see imposed on athletes. If you are doing a lot of something then you are probably not doing much of something else, a zero sum relationship. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 55: Stress (with Bryan Mann)

Bryan Mann is well known for his research on velocity based training, but his interests are much more varied than that. On this week’s podcast we invite Dr. Mann back on to discuss his work on the relationship between stress and injuries, and his introduction to Bondarchuk’s methods over the past half year. Read more