This summer I wrote about the specificity of resistance training for sprinting. Specificity of training has multiple elements to it, including biomechanical and metabolic relationships between training exercises and sports performance. The focus of that article was on the movement patterns and range of motion at joints, and it was concluded that typical resistance training exercises performed in the weight room lack specificity for sprinting. These exercises may be very effective for developing intra-muscular neural factors, but cannot optimally develop inter-muscular coordination factors. Read more
If you listen to our podcast, you’ll know I love training with medicine balls. The reason I like it so much because a good medicine ball throw requires you to recruit and coordinate forces from the entire body. This is also known as the summation of forces: when all body parts act simultaneously in practice, the strongest and lowest body parts around the center of gravity move first, followed by the weaker, lighter, and faster extremities. This is also known as sequential acceleration and results in successive force summation.
Regardless what sport we work with it is often our goal as coaches to try and determine athlete readiness for competitions. Many of us coaches understand that in a sport like track and field there will be meets and possibly many meets where our athletes will not be at peak performance or even ready to throw a respectable distance in comparison to their personal bests. This is normally planned for because the ultimate goal is to throw far, jump high, and run fast at the big meets like the conference championships, regionals, and finals. Planning like this can be called periodization or as Coach Gambetta refers to it as planned performance training. Read more
Speed is a common theme in our discussions on training. If you have listened to a few episodes you will continually hear us talking about how the effectiveness of maximal strength method is generally overestimated. In fact our second episode was about the advantages of submaximal training. But why does fast training work so well? Read more
I’ve done training talks with dozens of the best coaches and athletes around the world. But while I talk to him often about training, I have yet to sit down for a training talk with the one man that has influence my thoughts on training the most: my coach for ten year Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk. Part of the reason is that I am now more interested in learning new viewpoints. Another reason is that answering the same old questions can frustrate the old man. But with the help of Yosef Johnson and Jake Jensen I was finally able to get him on the record about some questions are of interest to myself and should be of interest to coaches from any sport.
A big topic in sports training over the last six months. Research is exploding in this area as technology advances. The technology to measure bar speed has been around for decades, but new advances have put that technology in the hands of more people and made it easier to work with the data. I’ve been testing out two products, from Push and GymAware, for the last few months and will write more about the technology later in the week. But I wanted to first cover look at some of the theory and research regarding velocity-based training.
In athlete development, with the obvious exception of the preparation of a weight lifter or a power lifter, strength training should be a means to an end. At times it will be the absolute focal point of training and at other times it will play a subservient role. It is important to be constantly aware of where it fits and how it supports and interacts with other training components. Read more
When I do a presentation about transfer of training, one of the points I emphasize is that almost anything transfers for a beginner. Even take a look at any of Bondarchuk’s correlation tables and you’ll see nearly every exercise with a high transfer. Just get them to work and they will improve. Because of this there are numerous ways to get an athlete to an intermediate level. You can rely on maximum strength. You can rely on size. You can rely on explosivity. You can rely on technique. You can rely on grit. You rely on special strength. All roads lead to Rome if being good is your goal.