HMMR Podcast Episode 316: Individualizing training (with Paul Solberg)

A lot of coaches like to talk about building individualized training plans, but more often that not their athlete’s programs start looking all the same. Paul Solberg is a bit different. He’s coaching some of the world’s top throwers, and they take very different approaches to reach the same goal. He joins us on this week’s podcast to share his process for understanding athletes, tailoring training plan, training intensities, building training blocks, and much more.

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Paul Solberg is head of strength and power at the Norwegian Olympic Training Center. A former national team athlete in the javelin with a personal best of 76.87 meters, earned his doctorate in sports science and has experience coaching with a wide variety of sports, including the Norwegian naval special forces. He currently coaches several atheltes including Olympic hammer throw medalist Eivind Henriksen, rising hammer thrower Thomas Mardal, and elite javelin throwers Marie-Therese Obst and Kasper Sagen.

Related resources

  • This episode is brought to you by HMMR Plus. Become a member for full access to our videos, articles, and podcast archives.
  • Solberg’s former coach Asmund Martinsen was our guest on HMMR Podcast 268. Solberg is of course highly influenced by his background in the javelin throw and we’ve looked at the javlin throw in more detail on GAINcast 156 with Steve Backley and GAINcast 175 with javelin coach Mike Barber.
  • More classical approaches to block periodization were discussed on Episode 28 with Tony Ciarelli. In the HMMR Classroom we’ve also touched on Bondarchuk’s training philosophy in Video Lesson 1, periodization and planning trends in Video Lesson 3, specific strength for throwing in Video Lesson 9, and many other topics covered in this episode.

Key quotes and topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:20 – Background and starting to work with Eivind Henriksen 
  • 6:30 – New athlete assessment and finding indiviudalization
  • 9:45 – Comparing the training of Eivind Henriksen and Thomas Mardal
  • 13:30 – The 10% rule
  • 17:45 – A new block approach to training
  • 22:00 – Confidence, peaking, and training plan design
  • 24:30 – Training intensities and volume
  • 26:30 – Specific strength training for different throwing events
  • 29:00 – Sprinting and jumping for throwers
  • 34:45 – Mentors and influences
  • 36:30 – More programming questions and long-term planning

Complete transcript

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