Vern Gambetta

Training Talk With Vern Gambetta (Part 2)

Earlier this week I posted part one of my interview with athletic development expert Vern Gambetta. Among other topics, we discussed how throws training stacks up to other events and sports. As we all start up our training for the 2012 season, this last installment discusses a timely topic: what are coach Gambetta’s views on rest periods and Fall training. We both also provide our opinion on what scientific advances we see on the horizon.

If you are interested in learning more about Vern’s ideas, pick up one of his books, read his blog, or follow him on Twitter.

Fall training

Martin: I was talking with Jean-Pierre Egger a few months ago and asked him what he would have done differently with Günthör. He’s had a similar career path as you have, working with various sports after Günthör retired. With all his experience he said we wouldn’t have changed much for the technique, but he would have spent less time building a base in fall training. I’ve heard that from quite a few athletes now.

Vern: We are operating in the wrong paradigm. When I look at an athlete’s program and it says “preparation period” or “general preparation” I see an antiquated model and the USATF and IAAF coaching programs still teach this. You should never get very far away from the competitive implement.

I heard a young American throws coach at a convention a few years ago and he said “We don’t touch an implement for the first 6-8 weeks of training, we just lift really heavy to build a better strength base.” And I’m thinking then it will take you another 6-8 weeks to get back to your technical model. You need to train all elements all the time in different proportions. That is contemporary thought and what the best coaches do in all sports. Dedicated periods of general preparation don’t work; you thread them into the rest of training.

It was interesting to hear Egger say that because it is the same conclusion I came to. Every year with my athletes we would go back in the fall to these periods and I call it dulling the knife. They started razor sharp and we just dulled it for three months. We took away the fine coordination they had.


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11 replies
  1. tomsonite
    tomsonite says:

    Another good article. As far as the lack of research on athletics in the US goes, the reason there is none coming out is because there is absolutely no funding for it. No universities or organizations will fund research that has solely to do with athletic performance in the USA, there must be a higher cause for research like that to get funding here. Countries that do that kind of research are the ones that reap the benefits, like Germany, as you said.

  2. tomsonite
    tomsonite says:

    I should also add that the interest is definitely there from the exercise science and biomechanics community in the US – the $$ is what is holding back the research from being done.

  3. TB
    TB says:

    Martin, any good German throwing sites, blogs, or articles you read? The “Wurfzentrum” youtube guys are creative, although I’m not sure how high-level it is. Saw an interview with Heidler’s coach that had some good info. But that’s about all I’ve found. Thanks.

  4. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    I love Gambetta. His blog is always the most information one can receive in the least amount of words. Great interview. Keep interviewing the legends, this stuff is great.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Off-season training and rest was a key topic in our training talk from several years ago. […]

  2. […] Part two of our training talk with Vern Gambetta provides some great insight into how his opinion on what should be done in the offseason has evolved over his career as a coach. […]

  3. […] phase of training where the focus is on increasing muscle mass. As I mentioned in my interview with Vern Gambetta, the concept of building a base in the off-season is a bit outdated for elite athletes. So is the […]

  4. […] one below discusses where throwers tend to be ahead of or behind other sports in terms of training. Part two will discuss the timely topic of off-season training and what scientific advances he sees on the […]

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