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An Introduction to Hammerobics

When you read Frans Bosch’s critique of traditional strength training, two main elements stand out: traditional lifting lacks transfer as it is based on different coordination, and traditional lifting lacks the variation inherent in sport. In his book Bosch outlines a different approach to strength training and while we can argue about his approach it is hard to deny the issues he is working to solve. As a hammer thrower, I am constantly thinking about how our event can address these issues, a topic Bondarchuk has spent his life working on. In this month’s Strength and Conditioning Journal, Olympic champion Koji Murofushi, University of Georgia coach Don Babbitt, and Ken Ohta describe their framework for addressing the problem. They call it hammerobics. Read more

GAINcast Episode 65: Conditioning Pitchers

Springtime means baseball and on this episode we look specifically at the conditioning needs of pitchers. Pitching is an extremely fast and explosive movement that has unique conditioning demands, yet most conditioning programs are based on tradition rather than being optimized to the needs of the players. On this episode of the podcast Vern Gambetta shares best practices developed while working with top club in Major League Baseball. 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

HMMR Podcast Episode 95: This and That

It’s officially spring time and life is bustling all over the place. The same is true on the podcast where we have a hodgepodge of topics to cover on this week’s episode including medicine ball training, tips on hiring the right staff, meet management, why joggers need to watch out, and more. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 94: Multi-Directional Speed (with Ken Clark)

Speed is key in every sport, but not all speed is created equal. In many sports, maximum speed is not the game changer. Instead, it is how fast you can respond to the opponent, change direction, and get moving again. In other words, multi-directional speed is often more important than linear speed. On this episode of the podcast professor Ken Clark explains the three elements of multi-directional speed, how it differs from other types of speed, and strategies to improve it. Read more

Time for Some Med Ball

Everything old is new again. Medicine ball training has been around since Persian wrestlers trained with sand-filled bladders thousands of years ago. But over the past few decades medicine balls have received more widespread adoption as a tool to develop coordination and power. Today we release our latest HMMR Classroom video. This is the fifth in our series and it focuses on medicine balls. On the 20 minute video Nick Garcia and I discuss why we use medicine balls and then demonstrate four sample medicine ball routines. You can get a taste for what the video includes in the snippet below. Read more

Training Talk With Frans Bosch (Part 1)

One of the larger influences on my coaching over the past year has been Frans Bosch. His recent book on strength training and coordination does not offer all the answers, but it has gotten me to think in detail about my approach. At the end of the year I reflected on four things I had learned from the book. But at the sam time I see how many of the concepts in the book are misunderstood and also have many questions myself. After meeting Bosch for the first time last summer I have kept in touch and had the chance to ask him some questions about the book recently. Read more

4 Things I Learned From Frans Bosch

Dutch coach Frans Bosch started quite the conversation last year when he released the English edition of his book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach. A look at how training methods have evolved over the last century shows a clear trend towards more specific training means. But so far there has yet to a clear look at comprehensive look at the topic in detail. Bondarchuk has written in detail about the connection between specificity and transfer, but does not spend much time answering why things work that way. Verkhoshansky wrote a book on the topic but the exercises he describes often do not fit into his own definition. Bosch’s book attempts to do just that by taking a 360-degree look at the topic. It puts specificity in context by looking at how we coordinate our bodies and how best to develop that coordination. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 69: Fastball (with Kyle Boddy)

What type of tools does it require to hurl a ball 100 miles per hour? Is throwing a baseball like throwing a javelin? And what type of training does it take? Kyle Boddy, president and founder of Driveline Baseball, joins us on the podcast this week to discuss training pitchers and what he has taken from track and field in training his athletes. Read more

GAINcast Episode 26: Olympic Lifting in Training

The Olympic lifts serve the foundation of many training programs, but is quite a divisive topic. Many coaches are either for or against Olympic lifting. On this episode Vern tries to find a middle ground where we can recognize the benefits of Olympic lifts, and also find ways to adapt them to meet the needs of each sport and athlete. Read more