When you read Frans Bosch’s critique of traditional strength training, two main elements stand out: traditional lifting lacks transfer as it is based on different coordination, and traditional lifting lacks the variation inherent in sport. In his book Bosch outlines a different approach to strength training and while we can argue about his approach it is hard to deny the issues he is working to solve. As a hammer thrower, I am constantly thinking about how our event can address these issues, a topic Bondarchuk has spent his life working on. In this month’s Strength and Conditioning Journal, Olympic champion Koji Murofushi, University of Georgia coach Don Babbitt, and Ken Ohta describe their framework for addressing the problem. They call it hammerobics. Read more
Over the last dozen years Dan Noble has helped transform the Hill Academy from a brand new school to one of the top performing high schools in North America. How has he done it? By forging his own path and rethinking what has always been done in sports like hockey, football, and lacrosse. On this episode of the podcast he joins us to discuss what made him rethink his philosophy, how he went about integrating ideas from Frans Bosch and Vern Gambetta, and what he does to get the most from training through better organization. Read more
Earlier this month Nick and I made the annual pilgrimage out to Vern Gambetta’s GAIN event in Houston. With leading coaches and specialists from a wide variety of fields, it was a great idea to exchange ideas about training with faculty members like John Pryor, Steve Magness, Bill Knowles, Jimmy Radcliffe, Michael Joyner, Vern Gambetta, and more. On this episode of the podcast we discuss the highlights and take aways from each day of the event. Read more
The problem with speed training for field sports is that speed can be difficult to transfer to the field of play. In his work with Japan Rugby and several professional clubs John Pryor has sought out solutions to this problem, developing a system of robust running that helps players develop the skills to hit the right positions in the various complex situations they might encounter on the field. In this episode we sit down with Pryor to discuss his approach to speed training for field sport athletes. Read more
Strength coaches often take the weight room for granted. But what would you do if you did not have access to a bar and weights? On this week’s podcast we look at strategies to get stronger without weights. In addition, we tackle the latest listener questions. Read more
A question that comes up nearly every time I present on specific strength exercises is whether such work in the weight room is really necessary for team sports. Athletes from these sports spend large quantities of time on the field and little time training off of it. As a result many strength coaches feel a need to balance out their training and focus only on general exercises once the athletes enter the weight room. I must admit, it is a great question. In fact, I’ve been pondering it for a few months now. Read more
Earlier this week we posted the first part in an interview with Frans Bosch. In it, we discussed chasing perfection, and the role of variation and attractors in motor learning. You can read the interview here. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. We continued the conversation to talk about some topics that are central to what I often write about: transfer, specificity, and transfer. In addition we ask him where his focus is heading forward. Read more
One of the larger influences on my coaching over the past year has been Frans Bosch. His recent book on strength training and coordination does not offer all the answers, but it has gotten me to think in detail about my approach. At the end of the year I reflected on four things I had learned from the book. But at the sam time I see how many of the concepts in the book are misunderstood and also have many questions myself. After meeting Bosch for the first time last summer I have kept in touch and had the chance to ask him some questions about the book recently. Read more
Ever since athletes began strength training, coaches have been debating the role of strength in training. The questions come back over and over: What is strong? How much should we train strength? How strong do we need to be? On this week’s episode of the GAINcast Vern takes a look at this topic and provides some guidelines coaches can use to implement a balanced approach to strength training in their plans.
This Episode’s Question: What is strong and how much strength is enough?
Gary Winckler is one of the top sprint and hurdle coaches in the world and also one of the most thoughtful and intelligent coaches out there. In 2008 Winckler retired after 23 years as a coach at the University of Illinois. During that time he coached over 300 All-Americans and more than a dozen Olympians. On this episode of the GAINcast Winckler explains the performance influences that led to his success as a coach. Read more