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The best exercises for . . .

It drives crazy to see posts that list the best exercises for ______ . . . you fill in the blank.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 248: Throwing the ball around (with Zach Dechant)

Baseball and the throwing events have a lot in common: in both sports you are trying to generate rotational power to move an implement fast. When it comes to training, there a lot of parallels as well. Zach Dechant is the strength coach for one of the top collegiate baseball programs. He joins this week’s podcast to discuss how he focuses on specific strength in training, including player profiling, exercise design, and many aspects of medicine ball training.

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GAINcast Episode 186: Training transfer (with Dean Benton)

An athletic performance coach hasn’t done their job until you see the transfer of qualities onto the field. Rugby Australia’s Dean Benton has been a forerunner in bringing new training strategies to the sport from tactical periodization and exercise classification, to testing protocols and flexibility. The one thing in common is he is looking for ways to ensure developments off the field help athletes on the field. He joins us on this week’s GAINcast to discuss all those topics and more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 173: Trainability

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

GAINcast Episode 140: Beyond the exercise

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

What exercise classification can and can’t do for your training

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

HMMR Podcast Episode 156: Master the method (with Derek Evely)

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

The most effective solution is not always the best

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

HMMR Podcast Episode 141: The judoka (with Allan Macdonald)

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

GAINcast Episode 54: On Target

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