The 60-Meter Hot Spot

One of Bondarchuk’s biggest contributions to training methodology has been to highlight and measure “transfer of training.” He has written two books in English on the topic in the past few years that explain the topic thoroughly. In researching this topic he has compiled correlations between different training exercises by observing and surveying thousands of throwers over the past few decades. He took his findings and, among other things, calculated the correlations between light and heavy hammer to the competition implement for various levels of throwers. This has been extremely helpful in identifying the transfer of training between different practice implements.

One of this site’s readers, masters thrower Terry Noyes, made a keen observation after parsing these numbers. The highest correlating implement for an athlete is almost always the hammer that flies closest to 60 meters. Take a look at the chart below, where the implement with the highest correlation to the competition hammer is highlighted in yellow.


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9 replies
  1. Brian Richotte
    Brian Richotte says:

    Wow, that is an interesting theory. My best is between 65-70m with the 16# and all of my training marks fall into the 60-65m range according to the chart; except the one I throw closest to 60m (the 8k), which puts me back on 65-70m list. I guess this theory holds true for me too. Very interesting…

  2. Bosko
    Bosko says:

    That really is an interesting observation. If I’m not mistaken, that chart is derived from the common differences in results with different weight implements on page 45 and the correlation table on page 111 in Transfer of Training Vol 1 (just in case someone wants to have a closer look).

    Even tho that chart doesn’t have to mean anything, it shows the value of numbers that Bondarchuk compiled, because they take you far beyond those 200 pages, and among everything else they make you think about connections, and even when they don’t apply to everyone, they might apply to you.

  3. Zach
    Zach says:

    So what does a hotspot of 60m mean? A hotspot at 60m release velocity. What does a hotspot release velocity mean? A hotspot thrower rotational velocity (turning speed, assuming a somewhat constant radius). Maybe there is something biomechanical about the 60m rotational speed. This is a weird observation! Cool find Terry and thanks for Posting Martin

  4. Taylor Berliant
    Taylor Berliant says:

    This theory only holds up 43% of the time, which is not that impressive. And if you remove the two columns of throwing 60m with the competition weight, it still only holds up 60% of the time. That hardly seems like a trend.

    If you look at the implement with the highest correlation, I would argue that rather than that being the implement that goes 60m, it is actually the implement that best increases throwing power.

    The 8k has the highest correlation as often as throwing in the 60m range most likely because it is most similar to the 16# but slightly heavier, which requires more throwing power. However, when you throw 75m, but I would assume the 8k is too light to best increase power.

    Not to understate, but it seems that increased distance has the highest correlation with the ability to better accelerate the ball.

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      I’m not sure if you’re reading what I said correctly, but I still feel it holds. With one exception, the heavy or light hammer that is closest to 60m has the best correlation. The only implements measured were from 5k to 10k, so we do not have a complete data set. Given what we have, the clear trend is that this range has the highest correlation. And even if the mark is not exactly 60m, the importent part is that the trend goes from light implements having thr highest correlation for beginners to heavy hammers for the world’s best.not once does it trend in the other direction.

      It may be due to power generation, as you suggest, but then would put the 8k also have a higher correlation for the 50m thrower? I think the reason the best implement changes is because the thrower changes throughout their career. They may need to work on speed to start out move towards special strength gradually once the technical and strength base is formed. The 9k might actually develop more power than the 8k For a 60m thrower, but for some their technique is not stabile enough to hold under that stress. Others might be able to handle it fine, therefore the lower correlation. Almost every 80m thrower, however, normally is more stabile and can utilize up to 10k, hence its stronger correlation. Just some thoughts off the top of my head.

      • Taylor Berliant
        Taylor Berliant says:

        I did not read what you said correctly. You are right, I apologize.

        I agree with you about developing strength and technique in the throw. It appears some of my previous comment got cut out, but I mention that the 8k may not have as much benefit for a <60m thrower because it is too heavy.

  5. Bosko
    Bosko says:

    @Taylor Berliant

    The hotspot theory can be disputed and it’s by no means a rule. Like Martin said, some of the correlations are only negligibly higher than for the other implements. For example, for 60-65 throwers, the 5kg hammer has a correlation coefficient of 0.824. For that range, the 5 kg hammer would fly 73-78m. And the correlation difference when compared to the 8 kg hammer (0.869)? It’s only 0.045, which is negligible.

    But for the 65m throwers, the 8 still lands near 60 and so does the 6 for the 55m, and so on. And they all have a high correlation for those ranges. So, it’s a valid and interesting observation.

    “but it seems that increased distance has the highest correlation with the ability to better accelerate the ball.”

    Not to sound insulting, but this is like saying that the increased distance in the long jump has the highest correlation with the ability to jump further.

    The throwing distance is a result of the release velocity (and angle), the release velocity is the result of acceleration. Do you now see the redundancy in your statement?

    “However, when you throw 75m, but I would assume the 8k is too light to best increase power.”

    The training transfer is more complex than just increasing power.

    • Taylor Berliant
      Taylor Berliant says:

      1) “Not to sound insulting, but this is like saying that the increased distance in the long jump has the highest correlation with the ability to jump further.”

      What I meant was that there are certain implements that help most to increase strength and there are implements that help most to improve technique and maintaining technique at higher speeds, and there are implements that help most to increase throwing power. And the ones that help increase throwing power seem to be the ones with the highest correlation.

      2) I do not know what it is like to train as a 75m+ thrower, I was merely stating that the 8k is probably too light at that point be the most efficient implement to train power.

      And as far as the hot spot is concerned, the brackets are misleading. Although the distance closest to 60m is contained in the bracket of 6 of the 7 distance groups, if you look at the 9 numbers individually (45, 50, 55…75, 75, 80) (75 for some reason has a two different expected results), the highest correlating implement being the one that is closest to 60m happens only 5 times with an additional tie. And because the heaviest implement is a 10k and the distance between implements is roughly a 4-6m jump, at the 75-80m level there should be a heavier implement that goes closer to 60m than the 10k, and that is not to say that that wouldn’t have a higher correlation so that it would still hold true to the hot spot, but it is unlikely.

      That being said, I think it is a very interesting observation and 60m is a very interesting mark because that is when the highest correlation switches between light and heavy hammers, so I think there is some significance to what it takes and how it affects the body to throw in the 60m range.


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