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HMMR Podcast Episode 202: Beyond intensity (with Stuart McMillan)

High intensity training can have a massive training effect, but at a certain point intensity alone is not what drives adaptation. You have to be more creative. Stuart McMillan has confronted this issue first hand in working with post-collegiate sprinters at Altis and joins the podcast this week to discuss how he searches for adaptation and his thoughts on many more topics. Read more

Work Capacity – Part Two

It is important to distinguish the development of a large work capacity from the development of an aerobic base. The development of an appropriate aerobic foundation is a component part of work capacity but in sprint sports, intermittent sprint sports and transition game sports it is not anywhere near as significant a portion of the work capacity as conventional wisdom would have us believe. Even in pure endurance sports I believe the means of development of an aerobic base needs to be revisited. It is important to remember that training is cumulative. Work capacity accumulates and builds upon itself from year to year. Therefore with the aerobic component, once the capacity is increased and the aerobic power is elevated that component cannot be significantly raised. The focus needs to shift to efficiency; how the aerobic component can best contribute to performance. Read more

Bondarchuk on Maximum Strength and Intensities

When I discussed how transfer of training and the reverse transfer of training might make us reconsider he use of high intensity lifting, I presented my point as a simple cost benefit analysis that tends to lean in one direction. I am not one for bold statements since I am generally a non-confrontational person.

Bondarchuk, on the other hand, simply tells it like he sees it. On this point he has a clear opinion and at 73 years old he isn’t slowing down either. He just published the third volume of his periodization series (a review will be online this month) and is finishing up a book on strength. He will also speak at the Central Virginia Sports Performance Seminar in April. As he gets older he prefers spending time with his family over traveling for seminars, so if you have the chance is recommend attending this rare opportunity to hear him in person.

But back to the topic of high intensity lifting. To help promote the event, organizer Jason Demayo did a short interview with him to talk about the scope of his book and related topics. When asked what he thinks is the biggest mistake made by strength and conditioning coaches he did not pull any punches on this controversial topic:

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Training Talk With Dan Pfaff (Part 2)

Earlier last week I posted the first part of a training talk with the versatile coach Dan Pfaff. Pfaff has had unprecedented success across nearly every event including the sprints (1996 Olympic 100-meter gold medalist and former world-record-holder Donovan Bailey), jumps (2012 Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford), vaulting (2007 World Champion and US record holder Brad Walker), and throws (US discus record holder Suzy Powell). Pfaff is currently working as the lead jumps coach and Director of Education at the World Athletics Center.

We began our discussion by looking at ways to improve technique and his common approach to dissecting each event. Below we continue our discussion by talking about a few very important training concepts: intensity, density, and work capacity. Intensity is especially an interesting topic since many throwers focus exclusively on medium and high intensity exercises, while neglecting low intensity work. Like most elite coaches, Pfaff feels this is an important aspect of training and has some reasoning to back it up.


» Part 1: Improving Technique and Finding Commonalities Between Events

» Part 2: Training, Intensity, and Density

Training Intensities and the Autonomic Nervous System

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