Posts

In Defense of Laziness

Recently, I came across an interesting discussion on social media, pre-empted by this tweet from @damselndadugout: Read more

Is There a Balance to Sports Training?

There has been a lot of talk about balance on this site over the past few weeks. Initially, Martin wrote about Peak Performance, ther new book from Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg. In his review, Martin discussed his own search for work-life balance, and how it may well be crucial in order to be successful. This article was followed up by “Balance and The Barbell Strategy”, which examines how a true balanced approach lies not in the middle, but at the two extremes. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – November 2016

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Welcome back to another monthly round up of all that is sports science. In this edition, we take an extended look at vitamin D, which for the last few years has been getting a lot of attention for it’s effects on muscular performance. We also have a conceptual piece on the reproducibility of training improvements, Kenyan runners, recovery methods, coaching stress, and jumping as a monitoring tool. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – August 2016

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Welcome back to the fourth installment of Sports Science Monthly. This month’s edition will cover one of my favorite topics: sleep. But it will also spread out to discuss recovery, the extra-time period in soccer, how to measure strength, whether sex reduces performance, circadian rhythms, and the use of ketones as a performance enhancing agent. The first overview will be free for everyone, but to read the complete August edition you must be a HMMR Plus Member. HMMR Plus is a new offering we have that gives users access to exclusive content like our article archive, webinars, online meet ups, and of course Sports Science Monthly. Therefore sign up now to gain access to Sports Science Monthly and more. To see what Sports Science Monthly is about, our April and May editions are available for free. Read more

GAINcast Episode 19: Winning the Workout

You have to win workouts before you can ever think about winning a competition. Winning the workout isn’t about intensity or duration or how much you vomit. Just doing work is not good enough at a certain level. It’s about how much thought you put into it and how you execute every single detail. On this week’s GAINcast, Vern discusses which details count and tips for how you can win your workouts. Read more

Wise Words From Two Great Coaches

Over the past three weeks I have been fortunate to speed time with two great coaches, professional colleagues and most importantly close friends and great people – Juan Osorio now the manger of the Mexican National team in soccer and Jim Radcliffe, head S&C coach at University of Oregon. We share a passion for coaching excellence that has connected us over the years. Read more

Making Shapes

This is another way to look at flexibility. You can look at flexibility as the range of motion around a joint that you can control – certainly valid. You can also look at it as the correct amount of motion through the required range of motion, at the correct in the correct plane at the correct time – also valid. Read more

Should Athletes Have Ice Baths?

We’ve all been there. Stood over the bath (or bin), full of ice, psyching ourselves up to get in and endure the minute of cold in order to improve our recovery. Read more

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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Heart Rate Variability and Training

Advances in technology over the past few decades have added a new element of training athletes and coaches: biofeedback devices to gather data about the body. More data is almost always a good thing and technology now makes it easier to track several aspects of life that have an impact on the body and training such as sleep, activity level, heart rate, and heart rate variability (“HRV”). Coaches can then use this information in a variety of ways to learn about the specific athlete and customize training to them. Of these new measures, I have been interested the most in HRV due to its potential ability to track an athlete’s state of “sport form” one of the concepts central to Bondarchuk’s periodization models. HRV is hardly a new concept. As this peer-reviewed article on the origins of HRV notes, scientists have been monitoring heart rhythms for hundreds of years. However, since many of the methods are dependent on technology, it was not until the 20th century that research really took off. Only in the past few years has the technology been made easily available for athletes and researchers to work with.
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