Posts

Sports Science Monthly – April 2018

In the April edition of Sports Science Monthly we look at new research across a variety of areas including the best time of day to train, dietary supplements, asymmetries in sprinting, monitoring external and internal loads, workload injury relationship, and more. Read more

The most effective solution is not always the best

Effectiveness and utility are key concepts in training. An exercise can be effective if it improves a metric of interest; for example, back squats are an effective way of improving leg strength. An exercise holds utility if its utilization is beneficial within the constraints of a training program. More often than not, effective exercises provide utility. Sometimes, however, the two aren’t the same. Read more

More than a “gene for speed”: what ACTN3 can teach us about muscle

If it’s possible to have a favorite gene, mine is ACTN3, often referred to as the speed gene. But to me it is interesting for more reasons than speed; after all top sprinters have been found to have different variants of the the gene. What is most interesting about it is that it impacts muscle function and architecture. As a result, this one gene can have a large impact on exercise adaptation, post-exercise recovery, and injury risk. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 146: Leg day

Strong legs are a critical factor in nearly every sport. And as the legs are involved in so many types of movements, there are many ways to train them too, both traditional and non-traditional. Some debates online recently have been critical of different training methods, so we thought it would be good to lay out our approach. On this episode we talk about how and why we use various training methods for legs, and how we progress and combine the methods. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – March 2018

In the March edition of Sports Science Monthly we look at new research across a variety of areas including the impact of coaching behavior, Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome, nordic hamstring exercises, genetic testing, monitoring fatigue and more. Read more

Searching for transfer in Fiji

Earlier this month I wrote that transfer is not as straightforward as it seems, even with something as simple as linear speed. In response, some coaches, such as rugby coach John Pryor, have rethought their approach to training speed and strength. Pryor is currently the head of strength and conditioning for Fiji in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup. We’ve written several times about his approach to training speed, and he’ll cover the topic again at GAIN 2018 in June, but a few weeks ago I had a chance to talk to him about the process that got him there. Read more

Correlations, causations, and multi-sport athletes

You’ve likely heard of the importance of athletes being exposed to a variety of different sports in order to increase their chances of success in their main sport. It’s widely reported that high level athletes tend to a have a multi-sport background, with 71% of NCAA Division 1 American Football players, and 90% of Division 1 runners being multi-sport athletes. A big news story in 2017 was that 30 of the 32 NFL first round draft picks were multiple sport athletes in high school. It appears that the correlation here is clear; being a multi-sport athlete in your youth increases your chances of success. But does it? Read more

A guide to assessing trainability

As we discuss all the time, athletic development does not follow a fixed linear path. It is a journey where two athletes of the same age can start at completely different points even though they might end up in the same place. For coaches, this creates some problems: how do you know where to start with an athlete you inherit and how do you track their progress? Read more

A framework for recovery methods

The word recovery gets used a lot in sport with a variety of meanings in my experience. A common misconception I come across is the assumption that one size fits all in the world of recovery. There are various aspects of post-exercise recovery and it is completely individual to the situation and the athlete. In my opinion recovery should be viewed as a tool to manipulate in order to optimize performance. Below I want to explai na little about what recovery is how I categorize and use recovery methods, and some non-negotiables when it comes to recovery. Read more

GAINcast Episode 68: The Medicalization of Sport

Over the past decade the influence of medicine in sport has grown tremendously. Now more than ever problems are being defined and treated as medical conditions and viewed through the eyes of doctors. The problem is that no one area has all the answers in sport. As each silo grows closer, it becomes harder for different specialists to work together and profit from each others knowledge. On this episode of the GAINcast we take a look at the medicalization of sport and discuss better ways to address the problems this approach has been trying to solve. Read more