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HMMR Podcast Episode 235: Half truths of training

Lots of people write about common myths or the core principles of training. But it’s easy to find what always works and always doesn’t. What about the half truths of training? What about the statements that hold some water until you take them too far? On this week’s podcast we share some of the half truths we encounter in training and how to navigate them.

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Studying the effects of bilateral vs. unilateral training

Rightly, or, as some people would argue, wrongly, resistance training is a major component within the training programs of most sports. We know from research that improvements in strength tend to lead to improvements in physical performance—such as sprint speed or jump height—and, in many cases, injury resilience. But how specific does that resistance need to be? Read more

Finding transfer in training the legs for team sports

In most team sports, the ability to withstand high ground reaction forces with the lower limbs is one of the important keys to top level performance. The legs have to be strong. Thus begins the pursuit of heavier loads to build strong legs through to two-legged, high resistance exercises. Read more

GAINcast Episode 186: Training transfer (with Dean Benton)

An athletic performance coach hasn’t done their job until you see the transfer of qualities onto the field. Rugby Australia’s Dean Benton has been a forerunner in bringing new training strategies to the sport from tactical periodization and exercise classification, to testing protocols and flexibility. The one thing in common is he is looking for ways to ensure developments off the field help athletes on the field. He joins us on this week’s GAINcast to discuss all those topics and more. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 202: Beyond intensity (with Stuart McMillan)

High intensity training can have a massive training effect, but at a certain point intensity alone is not what drives adaptation. You have to be more creative. Stuart McMillan has confronted this issue first hand in working with post-collegiate sprinters at Altis and joins the podcast this week to discuss how he searches for adaptation and his thoughts on many more topics. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – May 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. Recently the countermovement jump has morphed from a test of explosiveness into a more general test of the athlete’s physical state.  In the May Sports Science Monthly we start off by looking at whether research backs this up. We then give you the latest updates on research about sleep, tapering, priming, transfer of training, and hamstring injuries. Read more

Moving beyond dynamic correspondence

Start talking about special strength or specific strength and one of the first things that often comes up is Yuri Verkhoshansky and the principle of dynamic correspondence. In our latest video lesson, I sat down with German national discus coach René Sack to discuss his framework for specific strength and how he applies it to discus throwers. What stood out to me the most is how big of a gap there is between the theory of special strength and how it is put into practice by top coaches. Dynamic correspondence might look good on paper, but top coaches like René are finding different ways to make specific strength effective in training. Read more

Predicting sprint performance through data modeling

One of the “Holy Grails” in sport is the ability to predict, with accuracy, whether someone has the potential to become an elite athlete or not. I’ve covered this in previous articles and papers in terms of genetics, discussing whether we can test for it or not and how we might think of talent in terms of the ability to respond to training. However, at present, predicting future performance remains very difficult. But we keep trying and a recent paper in Biology of Sport took a novel approach to trying to predict sprint performance. The researchers recruited 104 Croatian sprinters and collected a wide variety of data points relating to anthropometric, genetic, and psychological traits to create a rich data set for analysis. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 192: A star is born (with Kevin McMahon)

The making of a champion starts at a young age with the athlete’s family, youth coaches, and community. The champion’s mindset then grows from there. Kevin McMahon won two US titles in the hammer throw and competed in two Olympics and four World Championships. He joins this week’s podcast to share how he started out as a thrower, the San Jose throws community he came of age in, and the inspiration he took from that. In addition, we look a bit at what it takes to be a champion in the hammer throw, and more. Read more

The speed-specificity of Olympic lifting for sprinting

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