Posts

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

HMMR Podcast Episode 160: In the fire (with Chris McCormick)

There is something to be said about trial by fire. If you throw a coach into a difficult situation, they will learn fast no matter whether they are succesful or not. This describes the career of Chris McCormick, who has just started as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Olympic Sports at Florida Atlantic University. Long before he was at FAU, he was a 23 year old coach running a one-man shop and hundreds of athletes at a Division II school. As he’s gained experience over the years, he’s learned along the way. He joins us on the podcast to talk about dealing with such situations, the logistics of running a strength and conditioning program, and setting up a training program. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 156: Master the method (with Derek Evely)

You can’t just learn a new training method from reading a book. You have to live it, you have to experiment with it, and you have to understand all the different parts. Derek Evely has spent his career studying the top training methods in sport, and there is one method he keeps coming back to: Bondarchuk. He’s working on an upcoming course to help coaches look under the hood and learn from his trials and failures. On this week’s podcast he joins us to dig deep into two concepts: exercise classification and rest phases. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 154: Force and velocity (with JB Morin)

Strength, power and speed are all related, but the relationship is more complex than it seems. Leading sports scientist JB Morin has dedicated his research to finding out more about the relationship, what coaches can learn from it, and how that can make training better. On this week’s episode of the podcast, he joins us to discuss force-velocity profiling, transfer of training, and many more aspects of getting faster. Read more

The most effective solution is not always the best

Effectiveness and utility are key concepts in training. An exercise can be effective if it improves a metric of interest; for example, back squats are an effective way of improving leg strength. An exercise holds utility if its utilization is beneficial within the constraints of a training program. More often than not, effective exercises provide utility. Sometimes, however, the two aren’t the same. Read more

Signal or noise?

The ability to be able to recognize patterns has played a crucial role in the evolution of humans. In order to be able to pass on our DNA, we need to be able to breed, which means that we need to keep ourselves healthy enough (and alive enough) to do. Read more