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November in review: adaptation explained

After focusing on getting back to the basics in October, we turned our attention to a new site theme in November: adaptation. In one sense, adaptation is the most basic element of training; everything we do is aimed at trying to get the body to adapt. But the body is complex, which makes our job difficult. Throughout the month we put together a variety of resources to help understand that complexity. An overview is below. Read more

Plan less, prepare more

One of the paradoxes of planning is that, on the one hand, we need to be flexible in our approach so that we can adapt to the complexity of reality. On the other hand, however, human nature makes us less flexible the more time we spend planning. If you follow this logic it means that we should spend less time planning if we want to be plan better. When I was talking about this topic with John Kiely at September’s Scottish Athletics Coaching Conference we agreed that this certainly isn’t the message we want to send to young coaches. But there is nevertheless something to that idea. And if you look at some of the research from behavioral economics there are a few strategies we can adopt that might help us solve this conundrum. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 130: Personalizing the Plan (with Jeremy Fischer)

The real art of planning doesn’t come in creating the plan, it comes in knowing when and how to change it. On this week’s episode we are joined by Jeremy Fischer, Director and Head Coach of the USATF Residence Program. He’s coached World and Olympic champions in the jumping events and explains his approach to planning, plus several cases studies of how he’s had to personalize the plan. Read more

Finding the athlete-appropriate plan

I was musing recently on concepts like “long-term athletic development,” “periodization,” and “adaptation” and I had a thought which I hope carries the idea of “athlete-appropriate” a bit further into the light. Adaptation is the tool we use to get better, but we have to know where we are adapting from and where we are adapting to first. What is are generally missing in our hopeful attempts to accelerate athletic progress with young people is not about the methods or tools, but about the awareness and full appreciation of the deciding factors that permit a coach to know what kinds of training are appropriate with individual athletes and what kind are not. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 129: Triphasic Training (with Cal Dietz)

Over the last five years, University of Minnesota coach Cal Dietz has reinvigorated interest in training methods such as eccentric and isometric lifting and the French contrast through his Triphasic Training Manual. On this week’s podcast, Dietz joins us to discuss the method, how it can be individualized, and his recently released edition for throwers. Read more

Resources on stress, adaptation and periodization

I’ve had the pleasure to work together with John Kiely over the past few years on a variety of topics and projects. We’re trying to start a new type of conversation around adaptation, stress, periodization, and planning. This week we released our latest webinar on understanding stress and adaptation. This is part of the conversation, but in order for the conversation to continue people have to keep exploring the topic. Every seminar we do ends with a list of books, articles, and resources attendees can read to explore the topic more. We’ve shared that list below. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts on these topics. Read more

Peaking and periodization: are we doing things wrong?

If you watched the recent World Championships it was hard not to notice the performance levels were down. The competition was exciting, but the winning marks were nothing to write home about. Take the shot put, for example. After a year of amazing performances and talk of the world record, only two of 32 athletes threw a season’s best. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 127: Bottom-up Periodization (with Mike Tuchscherer)

The world of powerlifting can be a very formulaic world. The world is easily organized into blocks and percentages in a top-down fashion. But what if your athlete doesn’t fit into the block? Coach Mike Tuchscherer has set world record holders and coached numerous champions himself. He has set out to create a bottom-up approach to periodization that allows for better individualization. On this episode of the podcast he joins us to talk about how he has tried to tackle this problem and incorporated the ideas of Anatoli Bondarchuk into powerlifting. Read more

Time: the untapped training variable

Last month HMMR Media looked in-depth at the basics of training. This month we look in-depth at adaptation. Stay tuned for more on the topic.

Sports science has often been confounded by the non-responder. In study after study on training methods, there is always a group that shows no response to the intervention. This is not small either, often representing over 20% of participants. If our own training methods are just as ineffective, we are failing as coaches. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 125: Integrating Physical Therapy (with Tracy Fober)

Too often in sports the coaches and sports medicine staffs are speaking in different languages. US Ski and Snowboard coach Tracy Fober has tried to bridge that gap. As a strength coach and formally trained physical therapist, she has develop holistic solutions for helping athletes recover from injuries and making them robust enough not to get injured in the first place. On this episode of the podcast she discusses her approach. Read more