The drivers of technical evolution

When we look at track and field, technique in different events have evolved at different paces over the course of the last century. Comparing different events it is interesting to see how some techniques have barely changed while others have become unrecognizable. All of this begs the question why some events move forward technically, and others do not. Read more

Burning questions for the future of training

You might think that the best way to predict the future is to ask the experts what lies ahead. In general, that is actually a poor idea. As Philip Tetlock has researched in depth, experts have a surprisingly poor track record in predicting the future. But there is a subgroup of experts that predict very well. These are not people with the most years of experience of access to the best algorithms. They are the experts who can think broadly, gather evidence from a variety of sources, work in teams, and, importantly, are willing to admit error and change course. Tetlock calls this group foxes. Read more

More thoughts on reactive strength

We’ve been focusing on reactive strength this month. To close out the topic I wanted to share a few thoughts that have been floating around in my mind in discussions with many coaches about the topic. Read more

Making your throws training more reactive

We talked with German national coach René Sack about reactive training earlier this month on the HMMR podcast. Throwing far involves strength, but it also involves the stretch-shortening cycle. Therefore it is important that training also takes this into consideration. Our chat got me thinking about the topic and below are a few more ideas of how you can start integrating reactive throwing elements into training. Read more

Taking leg circuits to the next level

Every year I become more and more convinced of the effectiveness of the Gambetta Leg Circuits. A simple combination of four exercises ticks so many boxes for me in training: it is efficient, improves coordination, and develops strength all at the same time. For those familiar or unfamiliar with leg circuits, I hope this article explain a bit about how they work and some new variations that can make them an even better tool for training. Read more

5 thoughts on the core from October HMMR Hangout

On Thursday we hosted our most recent HMMR Member Hangout on core strength and trunk stability. Hangouts are one of the benefits of being a HMMR Plus member, they give you a chance to talk shop with some of the best in the business. This month Vern GambettaJames MarshallMike BahnSteve Myrland and several more guest members joined in the conversation and here are a few of the things I learned. Read more

Feedback should be reflective, not reflexive

The best feedback for coaches often comes from the people doing the training themselves: the athletes. Nobody knows better how training went than the people who did it. Being able to identify and articulate that feedback is a skill that must be honed and developed like anything else. Read more

Finding the first step: how to optimize training to start the season

This article is adapted from a piece I wrote for Athletics Weekly in September 2018.

When we think about conditioning, one time of year comes to mind: the preseason. As the season ends, the next year inevitably starts with a rest phase, followed by rigorous preseason training. As many sports are about to head into their training camps for the fall season, it is time to rethink our approach to the preseason. Read more

Sprinting: the ultimate strength training exercise

One of the key principles of training is overload. The overload principle states that body system adaptation fails to occur without an overloading stimulus. In other words, we have to give the body a challenge beyond what we are accustomed to in order to adapt to a higher level of performance. Somewhere along the way coaches started to think that we can only find overload in the weight room. In reality, for some qualities that is the last place we want to look. Maximum speed sprinting, for example, can provide overload in many areas that no other exercises can match. Read more

Using time as a training variable

When we pick up a barbell and perform a lift, we normally focus on just two things: the weight and the number of repetitions. These are undoubtedly key variables to use improving performance, but they miss a lot nuance that goes into getting better. A few years ago I was talking with former discus thrower Adam Kuehl about what other variables he feels are overlooked and his answer was quick: time. Read more