Posts

Final Agenda Set for London

There are just 10 days left until our next seminar. On May 20, John Kiely and I will be presenting on periodisation and planning in London. Today we have released the final agenda for the day-long event, describing in detail each of the eight topics we will cover. It is not too late to sign up. More details and registration information are available here. 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

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

Beyond the Bullsh*t is Back

Last year John Kiely and I put together an cutting edge seminar on periodisation, planning and performance in Limerick. Rather than just describing the latest and greatest periodisation plan, we discussed the process of planning for sports and how to truly get the most from you and your athletes. To my knowledge, it was the first seminar of its kind. It was well received and therefore we have decided to bring it to London this year. Read more

How Periodization Can Blind Us

Listening to John Kiely present at our seminar last month was a real eye opener for me. The man is working to reframe our whole discussion about training and it is a real paradigm shift in my opinion. Irish strength coach Robbie Bourke came out to our seminar and yesterday he posted his most recent podcast episode where he interviewed Kiely. In the show Kiely turns his sights back on periodization. While it can help us in many ways, few coaches are aware of how it can hurt us at the same time by blinding us as coaches. You can listen to the podcast below, and read some excerpts of his criticisms. Read more

Searching for Goldilocks

Much in life is linear: the seconds tick by with regularity as we get a little older and our hair keeps growing little by little. I am quite thankful that not everything in life is linear, or else my baby daughter would turn into a giant at the current rate. But training is stuck in linear thinking; if we find something good we want to believe it will keep working forever. This belief gets us in trouble. Believe me: there is too much of a good thing. Read more

3 Things I Learned From John Kiely

I’ve given many seminars over the past few years, but last weekend’s event was perhaps the most unique event I have been involved in. It might have actually been the first periodization seminar ever that spent all of 10 minutes discussing the actual periods. Instead we took a step back to look at the complexity of the problems we are trying to address with periodization, strategies and processes to deal with the complexities, and then surveyed a variety strategies in action. My portions focused on some many of the best practices we can learn from some of the master coaches I have worked with and had the chance to interview for HMMR Media. My co-host John Kiely focused his time on the complexities and what we can learn from science about the problem and potential solutions. He covered many topics like mental biases and how to deal with them, gaining power through simplicity in training, and optimizing organizational processes. I could write several posts with what I learned on Saturday, but decided to focus on three big picture take-aways I learned from Kiely over the weekend. Read more

Episode 48: Mental Biases (with John Kiely)

Developing high-level performance is not an easy thing. There’s a hugely complex mess of factors and science has taken a simplistic approach that, in the end, does not always provide us with the answers we need and we are left to fill in the gap ourselves. In light of our upcoming seminar with Irish coach and academic John Kiely, on this episode we sit down with Kiely to discuss one of the topics he will be presenting on: what are the mental biases we confront when trying to fill the gaps. Read more

Beyond the Bullsh*t

One of the biggest influences on my approach to training over the past year has been John Kiely, the Irish strength and conditioning coach and university lecturer in elite performance. I had the chance to interview him last year and it was the most open and honset interview I have done. As an academic Kiely has written about the unique situation we find ourselves in as coaches: science tells us that the human body is an increasingly complex organism, yet science is unable to tell us much about what is the best method for planning and periodization. As a practioner, Kiely provides some simple solutions that can bring about big changes in training. The ability to both tell it like it is, and be helpful is unique in our sport and made me want to learn more from him. Read more

Training Talk with John Kiely (Part 3)

The response to Part 1 and Part 2 of our training talk with coach and academic John Kiely has been overwhelmingly positive. It has also been a wonderful learning experience for me. To start with we discussed the issues with traditional periodization models and their scientific underpinning. Last week we continued the discussion to cover what can be learned from science and how coaches can work on improving their processes. This final part brings things together and present some final thoughts as well as five questions coaches should ask themselves when planning. Read more