HMMR Podcast Episode 281: Finding flow (with Steve Myrland)

Good training sessions have a flow. A flow in intensity, a flow in organization, and they help athletes find a flow state as well. On this week’s podcast we sit down with Steve Myrland to exchange ideas on session planning and a few tricks we all have to optimize training session planning and execution.

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Notes and quotes

Steve Myrland spent the majority of his career working at the University of Wisconsin, where he worked with conference championships teams in hockey, soccer, cross country, tennis, and rowing over a dozen years. He has also worked in professional sports, including a stint as the head strength coach with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, and at the youth level as Wellness Director and District Performance Coach for Athletics at Middleton School District in Wisconsin.

  • 0:00 – Introduction.
  • 3:00 – Lessons on session planning from Nick’s mentors: “Each training module in the session builds and prepares for the next module.”
  • 9:00 – Lessons on session planning from Steve’s mentors: “Remember you are living in your body, nobody else’s. That’s my first rule of session planning: it’s always about difference. A good session can be tailored to all kinds of individuals.”
  • 11:45 – Flow: “A good session is not just a bunch of exercises. They are connected. They flow. There is a reason you go from one to the next.”
  • 12:45 – Individualizing group sessions and planning strategies: “I like to see a session on paper beforehand so that if I see something it can jump out to me on the page before it jumps out to me in the session.”
  • 17:30 – Circuit and superset planning: “Do you sacrifice strength when you do work between sets? Maybe, but we aren’t powerlifters and that work sneaks in tremendous value without negatively effecting the standard lifts.”
  • 19:30 – Rep-based vs. time-based sets.
  • 23:00 – Managing group size dynamics.
  • 26:45 – Doing it right: “With beginners you cannot sacrifice doing it right for getting a bunch of work in. You might get more work in the short term, but if you teach quality first, your athletes can be more self sufficient and training gets way more efficient down the road.”
  • 29:15 – How and when to introduce new movements: “The expectation is that you as an athlete will eventually be a coach to your training partners. That is what we always ask as veterans.”
  • 34:30 – Certifying athletes.
  • 36:15 – Winning the warm up.
  • 37:45 – The importance of planning vs. calling audibles and templates vs. flexibility.
  • 44:00 – Final thoughts.

To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.

Further reading

  • This episode is brought to you by HMMR Plus. Become a member for full access to our videos, articles, and podcast archives.
  • Myrland contributes to HMMR Media. You can find an archive of his articles on a variety of topics. He was a previously a guest on Episode 149, as well as GAINcast 25 and GAINcast 108.
  • There are lots of practical videos from Myrland in the HMMR Classroom including mini band exercises in Video Lesson 12 mobility sets in Video Lesson 24, and sticks and straps in GAIN Video 1. In addition we have a presentation from him on long-term athlete development in Video Lesson 18 and a case study in rebuilding an NHL player in Video Lesson 21.
  • Nick discussed his modular training, which he detailed in this article. In addition he referenced the influence of Glenn McAtee who was a guest on Episode 43.
  • On the most recent GAINcast 249, Vern Gambetta also shared some ideas on rethinking training session design.