When it comes down to it, the athletic development coach’s job is to prepare the athlete train more effectively. We want to increase the athlete’s trainability. Too often we equate trainability with simply increasing work capacity or power output. Trainability is broader, it is about all the components that go into making up the game and training. On this week’s GAINcast we explore the concept of trainability in detail. Read more
Exercises are the basic element of training, but the value in an exercise lies in more than first meets the eye. On this episode of the GAINcast we look beyond the exercise to discuss finding context, creating exercise menus and developing progressions so that coaches can find exercises that based on the value they add and not how they look. Read more
You can classify exercises in a number of ways: on a scale of specificity, by the plane of movement, by degrees of freedom, by the speed of movement, or through various other methods. One approach is that of Anatoli Bondarchuk, who we have covered many times on our podcast and in our webinar on his training methods, which divides exercises into four categories based on his definition of specificity. In talking with coaches over the past few years, his method provides a simple tool that coaches in any spot can implement. But let’s be clear, it also has it’s limitations, like any method of exercise classification. Exercise classification is the start of a process, not the solution itself. There are certain things that exercise classification can and cannot do. Read more
You can’t just learn a new training method from reading a book. You have to live it, you have to experiment with it, and you have to understand all the different parts. Derek Evely has spent his career studying the top training methods in sport, and there is one method he keeps coming back to: Bondarchuk. He’s working on an upcoming course to help coaches look under the hood and learn from his trials and failures. On this week’s podcast he joins us to dig deep into two concepts: exercise classification and rest phases. Read more
Effectiveness and utility are key concepts in training. An exercise can be effective if it improves a metric of interest; for example, back squats are an effective way of improving leg strength. An exercise holds utility if its utilization is beneficial within the constraints of a training program. More often than not, effective exercises provide utility. Sometimes, however, the two aren’t the same. Read more
In a complex sport like judo, it can be hard to define what type of strength training will transfer onto the mat. A former fighter himself, Allan Macdonald is now the lead strength and conditioning coach for British Judo where he is tasked with that exact task. On this week’s podcast he discusses the complexity of and search for transfer, the role of specific strength in judo training, and examples of exercise design and progression. Read more
Recently I published an article on HMMR Media discussing the role of specific strength exercises in team sports. It is a difficult question that I often get confronted with since I speak and write frequently about specific strength. Contrary to what many people thing, it is not about simply putting work into different categories in training. Good training is about making sure each element is on target, no matter its category. On this episode we talk about how to stay on target and how we often ignore on field training as a means of physical preparation. Read more
Coaches have a near limitless inventory of exercises to select from and navigating this topic can be difficult since even two exercises that look nearly identical can cause vastly different adaptations in an athlete. On this week’s episode we give some suggestion on how to evaluate the application of an exercise to your goals by focusing on the function. Read more
You look around social media and you will instantly see athletes and coaches sharing their latest greatest exercises. These exercises become the focus and whole programs are developed around them. But training is not just about the exercises; they are the means, not the end. On this episode of the GAINcast Vern discusses why training is about more than the exercise.
This Episode’s Question: Exercises are the building blocks of training, so why is it that athletic development is about more than the exercises? And what is it about then?