Posts

The complete guide to the Reactive Strength Index

In my earlier posts, I have discussed reactive strength (RS) and the use of plyometric training for developing speed and jumping performance. The purpose of this article is to discuss the application of a test of reactive strength using the drop jump exercise. Read more

Assessing foundational strength

Foundational strength is the essence of trainability. We need an appropriate level of coordination and strength through a maximum range of motion to set us up for athletic endeavors. Without it training becomes a game of Buckaroo – loading up and getting work done but waiting to get kicked in the mouth. Read more

Moving beyond the plank

There is a tendency within the education and scientific world to measure things. We benchmark things or test things, create an intervention, and then measure again to see if progress has been made. As the human body is immensely complex, we can’t measure everything, so this process requires us to isolate and reduce to simple measurements. What starts out as in innocent project can quickly become a dogmatic approach to training or education, where we “teach to the test” and lose sight of what our original aim was. Read more

GAINcast Episode 167: Testing use and abuse

Athletes are reporting to training camp in many sports right now and that often means one thing: grueling fitness tests to check an athlete’s shape. But the testing is getting out of hand. On this episode of the GAINcast we take a close look at fitness and performance testing, with examples of how to do it right and wrong. Read more

Understanding and testing for stability in the context of power generation in sport

This article was co-authored by Peter Colagiuri with the help of Leigh Egger, colleagues at BioAthletic. Colagiuri will release an app for sports injury diagnosis later this year. You can learn more at Sports Injury Online.

There are various components required to create power in the context of athletic performance. Single leg power tasks include cutting or agility during running, jumping for a ball while running and during sprint take off. These tasks are integral in most sports yet a significant portion of our gym based strength training focuses on double leg strength and power. Squats and deadlifts are great for building muscle function but don’t provide a comprehensive platform for athletic function. In order to successfully train and rehabilitate athletes to full athletic performance, we need to ensure that all aspects of performance are adequately addressed. Read more

A critical comparison of vertical jump testing methods

Vertical jump testing has become a staple of assess athletes. Decades ago the standard coach had to rely on the jump and reach test in order to testing jumping ability. Thanks to new technology and research, today coaches can now better analyze sport-specific jumping performance and more easily measure variables other than simple jump height. Jump height remains the most popular measure, but that is slowly changing as more technology enters the weight room. The advantages and disadvantages of different methods of vertical jump testing will be discussed below, with particular reference to the procedures required to obtain valid results. This is important because if the method you use is not valid or measuring accurately what it is intended to, your assessment will be of little value. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – November 2018

We cover a wide range of topics in the November edition of Sports Science Monthly. Our first report looks at new research providing some interesting insights into reaction times of Olympic sprinters. We also look at research on several supplements including creatine and caffeine, the connection between testing and performance in team sports, as well as deceleration and injury prevention. Read more

Improving transfer through better testing

Most strength and conditioning courses cover basic training principles, and testing is a recurring theme. Our job is to ensure transfer; that is to train athletes in a way that they get better at their sport. As a coach it is important to hold yourself accountable to an objective outcome, and data can help assess the effect of an intervention. Whilst coaches shouldn’t act on data alone, it allows them to make well-informed decisions. Read more

It starts and ends with testing

The goal of training is to get better; to choose methods that will transfer to results in your sport. In working with US Ski & Snowboard our staff was responsible for working with 10 different disciplines that had incredibly different physiological demands. Although each one might appear similar as they all take place on snow, when you dig deeper, the needs of each sport have unique differences that must be taken into account in training. Figuring out where those differences are and tailoring the training appropriately can be the difference between being on the podium or not. Read more

January 2018 in review: performance testing

For the fourth month in a row we’ve taken a deep dive into one topic and brought together different approaches and thoughts on the topic to help coaches reflect on it. In January, the topic was performance testing. Personally I learned a lot from different coaches, different sports, and different levels. We’ve looked in depth at specific testing programs, as well as taken a step back to learn testing philosophies. Links to all of the new resources are below, as well as links additional resources from our archives. When I reviewed everything again, three main points emerged. Read more