A Case Study in Resurrecting an Event

Here in Switzerland you can see first hand that the hammer throw has been declining over the past decade. Youth participation is so low that the hammer throw was cancelled at the national under-23 championships for lack of participation this year. But the problem isn’t isolated in Switzerland; neighboring Germany has seen youth hammer results in decline recently and what was once the strongest hammer throwing nation had results of 70 and 60 meters win medals at this years national senior men’s and women’s championships in the hammer throw. But while many countries are struggling, at least one has not just witnessed growth, but a growth level perhaps unmatched in history. That country is the United States.

Spearheaded by the efforts of Harold Connolly and many others in the mid-1990s, the number of US youth hammer throwers has increased fivefold at beginning and elite levels by almost every measure. This success is remarkable and something that other countries and other events can analyze when trying to replicate such success.
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Ask Martin Vol. 17: In Defense of Bondarchuk

Question: I know you’ve written in the past about some of Dr. Bondarchuk’s concepts. Let me share two arguments that could be made:

  • For: Bondarchuk understand the science of throwing after decades of coaching and research. The periodization cycles that you discuss of being up, down, etc. are all based experience and data and have been proven through results.
  • Against: The general hammer community gets trickles of Bondarchuk’s wisdom, but it all seems vague and hard to grasp. Fuzzy science. It’s a community of people who have drank the cool aid. His record can’t be argued with, but he doesn’t walk on water as some may say. If I had access to some of the best athletes in the world, I’d look pretty smart too. At the end of the day, sound training theory, good technique, strength training, and special strength, etc. will determine performance. It doesn’t have to be as mysterious as it has been presented.

Discuss. -Coach Lynden
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The Right Picture with the Wrong Light

Right now I don't just visualize my throw, but I try to see the hammer's orbit.

The best set of eyes I get to watch me belong to my training partner Dejan, a masters thrower who returned to the sport two years ago after two decades away. One thing we share in common is that our enthusiasm sometimes make it hard for us to boil down what we see into just a few words. But unlike me, Dejan sometimes produces these little pearls of wisdom that get to the point so well that I leave practice with a smile on my face as if I have found true enlightenment. After talking about visualization earlier this month, he threw this line at me: “Sometimes you have the right picture, but the wrong light.”
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Coming into Focus

Focusing before a training throw.

One of the most difficult aspects of training alone is focusing. I no longer have a coach there that will yell at me after every throw and tell me that I need to push the hammer more. After a long day at the office, it is easy for my mind to wander about my latest work project, what I need to pick up at the grocery store after practice, or even what my next blog post will be about. If I don’t watch out practice will be over before I know it and I will have taken all my throws without really thinking about what I wanted to improve.

The flip side of this difficulty is that once I learned to focus better, it has added a new dimension to my throw. Training alone forces you to be an independent thinker; you cannot just rely on someone else’s input. It forces you make all the small adjustments on your own. All this comes in handy at competitions where you are often separated from coaches and left along with just your thoughts.
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5 Reasons Why Your Workout is Not Getting You The Results You Want

weight-loss_965873Everyday millions of people check into their local gym to get in their daily workout. A large majority of these people have been doing this same routine for days, months, and years. These same people look the exact same as they did last year, and the year before, and the year before that. I can recall going to my local commercial gym back home and seeing the same guys grunting out some bench press and the same ladies on the treadmill and they literally look identical to how they looked 365 days ago, maybe slightly worse. My goal with this blog post is to offer some advice to you on why you aren’t seeing any results and what you can do to change and hopefully start having something to show for all of your hard work.
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Webster’s Dictionary defines failure as:

Main Entry: fail·ure
Pronunciation: \?f?l-y?r\
Function: noun
Etymology: alteration of earlier failer, from Anglo-French, from Old French faillir to fail
Date: 1643
1 a : omission of occurrence or performance; specifically : a failing to perform a duty or expected action <failure to pay the rent on time> b (1) : a state of inability to perform a normal function <kidney failure> — compare heart failure (2) : an abrupt cessation of normal functioning <a power failure> c : a fracturing or giving way under stress <structural failure>
2 a : lack of success b : a failing in business : bankruptcy
3 a : a falling short : deficiency <a crop failure> b : deterioration, decay
4 : one that has failed

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Will the Sauna Help Lose Weight?

saunachampionship-2Today’s topic covers one I get a few questions about but more importantly one I see numerous people taking part in every time I venture to my gym back home. The good old fashion sweat box—the sauna. The sauna is usually a popular hot spot, literally, for the mild to moderately obese male age 40-70, which gives you a little insight as to whether or not the sauna helps you lose weight. If it helped you lose any significant amount of weight, outside of water weight, these chubsters would likely be bean poles after all their years of sauna training. Let me address a couple issues surrounding the sauna, sweating, and some misconceptions and truths.
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Tricks and Tips to Shed Body Fat

heavyweight-manIt is approaching that time of year when college kids are thinking about spring break and the older generations are preparing for summer and likely the season of weddings, summer vacations, and poolside lounging. With this time of year comes the concern, “How will I look in my swim suit?” or “Will my arm look like a 12lb tube of ground beef in these wedding pictures?” Well my goal with today’s blog post is to offer up a few simple things you can do to help shed some of that pesky body fat. Many people go to the gym day after day and work their tail off with little to no results to show for their hard work. This may be because they wrap up their evenings with a tub of ice cream and a season of One Tree Hill, or it might just be because they are making simple mistakes at some point throughout the day that are killing the effectiveness of their hard work.
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Why the Average Female Will Never Get “Bulky”

female-21In my job I have the privilege of working with many female athletes on a daily basis. One of their biggest complaints when we start hard and heavy weight lifting program is their fear of bulking up and looking like a guy. I am here to dispel that myth and inform you why that will not happen.
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What You Don’t Want to Hear But Should Probably Read: Alcohol and Weight Loss.

Alcohol and weight loss are often enemies, but an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many experts note the potential health benefits of consuming a single drink per day, including a reduced risk for high blood pressure. If, however, you are a like the normal young care free adult, when you go out for a drink it usually turns into 1 drink repeated 8-15 times over the course of 5-6 hours.
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