Posts

The circuit training rule book

Circuit training can be a vital tool in developing athletes. Many years ago I put together a DVD on circuit training, which is now available for streaming by HMMR Plus members. My approach to circuit training has certainly changed over my career, but some of the basic goals, principles, and construction guidelines remain unchanged. Below are the key points I highlight in the video before demonstrating some of my favorite circuits. Read more

GAINcast Episode 167: Testing use and abuse

Athletes are reporting to training camp in many sports right now and that often means one thing: grueling fitness tests to check an athlete’s shape. But the testing is getting out of hand. On this episode of the GAINcast we take a close look at fitness and performance testing, with examples of how to do it right and wrong. Read more

Herb Elliott – some quotes and thoughts

I don’t have many heroes in sport, but from the time I first saw this picture in Life magazine of Herb Elliott and his coach running the sand dunes at Portsea he became my hero. Here are some thoughts and quotes from a presentation he recently did in Australia. He is 82 years and sharp as a tack. He retired from running at age 22 and has never looked back. I think there are many lesson today’s coaches and athletes can learn from Herb Elliott. Read more

Work capacity: the concept

Work capacity is the ability to tolerate a workload and recover from that workload. In order for an athlete to improve they must be able to do a certain threshold amount of work. They must be able to work at a level that will ensure enough stress to achieve an optimum adaptive response. If they cannot do the work, they will not improve. Therefore, the goal with this type of individual would be to build a work capacity base that fits the specific demands of the athlete’s sport. Read more

GAINcast Episode 126: The basics checklist

The basics are crucial in training. If you don’t get the basics right then everything that follows will be compromised. But with all the talk of basics, what exactly are they? On this week’s GAINcast we look in depth at Vern’s eight key components of the basics, and related training factors. Read more

Athletic development: the basics

When I was growing there was a TV program about two detectives on the LA Police department. It was called Dragnet, the main character was Sargent Joe Friday, Badge 714, his famous line was “just the facts” when talking to a witness. To paraphrase Sargent Friday in coaching athletes to be better it all comes down to “just the basics.” That being said I have come to the realization that there is often not a good understanding of what the basics are. Read more

GAINcast Episode 118: It’s all about effort (with Alex Hutchinson)

In his new book, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, Alex Hutchinson tries to synthesize to wave of recent research on how the mind and body control human performance. In the end, he writes, the competing theories all come down to effort. Effort is what matters. On this week’s episode we discuss his book, how effort can be trained, and great examples of some of these theories in practice. Read more

The role of sprint training for endurance athletes

Over the past few years speed development sessions have gained traction amongst endurance coaches. Successful endurance coaches of all levels—from high school to post-collegiate– are adding true speed development sessions to their year-round training regimen. I’ve had the opportunity to coach and consult with several top distance coaches, allowing me to see how speed development sessions can be incorporated into various systems and philosophies throughout the year. Read more

How to get the most out of medicine balls

This article was originally posted on High Performance West. Jonathan Marcus is building a great platform over there, so check it out

When I was first handed a medicine ball in training, the first thought that came to mind was “the grind.” I had a preconceived notion of the medicine ball as an arcane training tool used exclusively in vintage newsreels of calisthenics. Individuals would pick up a heavy leather ball and grind through exercises with a partner. The public image of medicine balls has change a lot in the decades since, but often the intent in medicine ball training – the grind – remains. That’s unfortunate as it keeps us from getting the most out of a great training tool. Read more

Culture is a compass

Culture, in many ways, is the holy grail of a team, group, or organization. Much has been written on culture and more surely will be. It is the blood of an outfit, without it any fellowship becomes toxic and extinct. If we agree culture it vital, then what is it and how do we implement and refine culture? Read more