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Sports Science Monthly – June 2017

Welcome back to another installment of sports science monthly. We kick off this month with a look at strength training frequency and how it might represent a worthwhile avenue for exploration in well-trained athletes looking to gain muscle. We also have a review article examining nutritional periodization, how beliefs can affect how much of an improvement you see from a sports supplement, a case report on rhabdomyolysis, and a look at a new model proposed to explain fatigue. Let’s get going. 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

Another Training Talk with John Kiely

Next month I will be hosting a seminar in London with John Kiely on periodization and planning. The key theme underlying the seminar is that current periodization models are based on outdated or nonexistant science. The scientific understanding of stress and adaptation, for example, have changed a lot the past century, but periodization has not changed with them. In our seminar we will discuss this new understanding, what it means to coaches, and how it affects the planning process with examples of effective solutions. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – February 2017

In this edition of the Sports Monthly we have a mini-review on the recent research looking at athlete monitoring, and how this accumulated fatigue may predict injury risk. We also have some research on mental fatigue, and how it affects sporting performance, issues affecting warm ups, and hamstring injury prevention. Read more

What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Please excuse the well-worn metaphor I’ve used for the title, but I want to use this article to bring together a few threads of things I have been thinking about recently. Last month on the HMMR Podcast I discussed a few topics that I need a bit more attention. The first of these was stimulated by a discussion on carbohydrate periodisation, which I’ve written about a few times in my sports science monthly articles; in the podcast, this spurred on a bit of a discussion about how sometimes you need to stress the body in new ways to allow for adaption to occur. The second thing is something I feel like I’ve been saying a lot of recently, which is that you can’t view the athlete as a system of individual systems that adapts to individual training; for example, when working on sprint biomechanics there will be both muscular and mental adaptations that occur, and the training session will create both skill-based and physiological changes that are good for the athlete. Everything within the athlete is interlinked, and we need to extend our thinking to take this into account. Read more

GAINcast Episode 38: The 24-Hour Athlete

Focusing on the two hours a day an athlete trains misses out on the vast majority of what is going on in an athletes life. The other 22 hours a day in many cases are more important. Lifestyle can have both positive and negative effects on performance and to reach the top you truly need to be a 24-hour athlete. On this week’s episode Vern talks about how lifestyle can affect performance both positively and negatively. Read more

Episode 55: Stress (with Bryan Mann)

Bryan Mann is well known for his research on velocity based training, but his interests are much more varied than that. On this week’s podcast we invite Dr. Mann back on to discuss his work on the relationship between stress and injuries, and his introduction to Bondarchuk’s methods over the past half year. 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

A New Model for Stress and Adaptation

This year marks the 80th anniversary of when Hans Selye started research stress and coined the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) in a letter to the editor of Nature. GAS, often called the stress response, was taken by coaches as the basis of adaptation in training and the foundation of early periodization models. As Buddy Morris put it on our podcast last year, coaches are primarily in the business of stress management. But as science learns more about the complexities of stress, training methodology has not kept. Recently John Kiely posed the question: is training philosophy built upon an incomplete understanding of the nature of stress? Read more

Episode 9: Kevin McMahon on Balance

Looking back on this site, I can’t believe I have never covered the topic of the so called “work-life balance.” In interviews I am often asked how I balance everything I do, but I have never sat down to write about it. Part of the reason is that I am hardly alone. Just as I do, Nick also works, coaches, trains, contributes to this site, and devotes a lot of time to family. Unless you are top 10 in the world, this is the life of a modern thrower. Another reason I have not written about it is that there are many others that do it better than I do. One of those people is Kevin McMahon. McMahon was a two-time Olympian and top American thrower for more than a decade despite working a full-time job, coaching, and being married. We invited him on this week’s podcast to discuss his experiences in finding the right balance, priorities, as well as some of the advantages that we all have noticed can come from this balancing act. Read more