Posts

The words we use matter

If you’re a big athletics fan, and you have a good memory of semi-obscure sprinters, you may well have seen me race a couple of times. In bigger races, such as those at the Diamond League and major Championships, the camera pans across the competitors as they are introduced. Whilst it is the fashion these days to appear relaxed and jovial, earlier on in my career—in the immediate post-Maurice Greene era—athletes tended to be a bit more serious during this pre-race segment. If you go back and watch races from that period, you will often see athletes talking to themselves, and this is a technique I liked to utilize pre-race. Read more

Using time as a training variable

When we pick up a barbell and perform a lift, we normally focus on just two things: the weight and the number of repetitions. These are undoubtedly key variables to use improving performance, but they miss a lot nuance that goes into getting better. A few years ago I was talking with former discus thrower Adam Kuehl about what other variables he feels are overlooked and his answer was quick: time. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 199: Q&A

Our mailbag is full, so it’s time to go through some listener questions about a variety of topics. On this week’s episode we dive into questions on the barbell, peaking, explicit coaching, throwing technique, and how much strength is enough. Read more

The definitive guide to what we do and do not know about caffeine and performance

Caffeine is a performance enhancing drug. If you’ve been following my articles over the last couple of years, you’ll no doubt be aware of that, because I write about it a lot. Athletes, of course, know that caffeine has the potential to enhance their performance, which is why many of them consume it prior to training and competition. Additionally, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) know that caffeine is a performance enhancing drug and are, rightly, concerned about the abuse of caffeine in sport. Read more

Kids and weightlifting

Weight lifting is quite simple. You pick something up and put it above your head. Every granny who unloads her shopping and puts her jar of Marmite in the larder does it. Children helping granny will do it too. Why then do some people get caught up in making weight lifting so complicated? I prefer to keep things simple. In this article I shall endeavor to share what we do when teaching children at Excelsior Athletic Development Club, where we are affiliated with British Weightlifting, British Athletics, and British Gymnastics. Read more

GAINcast Episode 162: Notorious NGBs (with Phil Andrews)

In the world of sport, I doubt there is anything more loathed than national governing bodies. On the one hand, they have a difficult job since no matter how hard they try, it is impossible for them to make everyone happy with limited resources. But on the other hand, they often shoot themselves in the foot before they start to do anything. This is why it has been surprising for us to her near universal acclaim for what is going on at USA Weightlifting. On this week’s episode CEO Phil Andrews come on to discuss the organization’s strategy to grow the sport and some key lessons he has learned in three years on the job. Read more

May 2019 in review: the young athlete

Sometimes we take training young athletes for granted. Give them almost anything and they will see some initial growth, but true long-term development requires a more thoughtful process. This month on HMMR Media we explored training the young athlete. Through 3 new videos, 4 podcasts, and 4 articles from 11 world class coaches we explored examples of training methods, long-term athlete development, key issues facing youth athletics, as well as ideas on how these concepts can be transferred to older athletes as well. Read more

Thoughts on progressing the athlete

I’ve been thinking a lot about progressions lately. This month’s site theme is the young athlete, and that goes hand in hand with progressions. I’ll also be moderating a panel discussion on the topic at GAIN in two weeks. As a result I’ve got a bunch of random ideas floating around in my head on the topic. The following is not a set of answers on how to progress the athlete, but rather a compilation of things I am thinking about. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 198: Building bandwidth (with Jeremy Frisch)

We can complain about it as much as we want, but the decline of physical education and the rise of early sports specialization are trends that are here to stay. We might not be able to change the system, but we can still actively work to help athletes at an individual level. Jeremy Frisch has taken that challenge upon himself to reinvent training for the kids he is working with by bringing in varied influences from physical education, speed training, motor learning, strength and conditioning, and more. What is even better is that he is sharing his experiments with the world on social media. He joins this week’s episode to discuss where his approach came from and how it has evolved. Read more

An introduction to using games in training

One big trend in training over the past decade has been the increased use of games. The Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) movement in physical education first started a conversation about strategically used games rather than technical drills to teach skills and tactics. Over the last few years, the use of games for athletic development has also get its moment in the spotlight thanks to social media as coaches realize the concept can apply even more so in the realm of physical preparation. Read more