Posts

Training talk with Rob Gray

If you want to learn about skill acquisition, Rob Gray is your guy. His day job is as Associate Professor of Human Systems Engineering at Arizona State University, with a focus on researching perceptual-motor control in sports, driving, and aviation. But in addition, his passion is spreading that knowledge outside of academia. His Perception & Action Podcast is on my favorites list and helps translate the latest research in the field easy to digest nuggets of wisdom that coaches can use in training. Read more

Sample weekly plan for circuit training

On this week’s GAINcast we discussed constructing circuits. Below is an example of how we would plan three circuit training days a week for swimmers during a strength endurance phase. Read more

Consistency versus excellence

During my athletics career, I trained with two truly world-class athletes: one a gold medalist and the other a world champion. What struck me at the time was how normal they were; they turned up to training, trained fairly well, and then came back the next day to repeat the process. There were no superhuman sessions—although there were occasional exceptional performances—but just consistently decent sessions, strung together over an extended period of time. Read more

Finding the first step: how to optimize training to start the season

This article is adapted from a piece I wrote for Athletics Weekly in September 2018.

When we think about conditioning, one time of year comes to mind: the preseason. As the season ends, the next year inevitably starts with a rest phase, followed by rigorous preseason training. As many sports are about to head into their training camps for the fall season, it is time to rethink our approach to the preseason. Read more

Thoughts on progressing the athlete

I’ve been thinking a lot about progressions lately. This month’s site theme is the young athlete, and that goes hand in hand with progressions. I’ll also be moderating a panel discussion on the topic at GAIN in two weeks. As a result I’ve got a bunch of random ideas floating around in my head on the topic. The following is not a set of answers on how to progress the athlete, but rather a compilation of things I am thinking about. Read more

Training must be sport specific!

Sport specific training is not a myth, it is a must. Each sport has unique demands that must be addressed in training. Lest we forget training is not just preparing the athlete for the demands of competition but also for the demands of the actual practice of the sport, practice demands will often exceed game demands through the shear repetition of movements and skills. Read more

Looking back on 2018: top training resources

Each year we try to get a little bit better, and looking back at 2018 I think we achieved that goal. Throughout the course of 2018 our 22 contributors produced 104 new podcast episodes, over 300 articles, 8 premium video lessons, 12 monthly themes, 6 member hangouts, and our new movement Library. To help you sort through all the great content, we’ve assembled our top 30 articles, 10 podcasts, and 5 videos from the year, as well as some more highlights and links. If you want more, you can browse our archives and also check out our top posts from 2013201420152016, and 2017. Read more

Warming up in a chaotic environment

At the core, the ideas behind a warm up are relatively straightforward and well-understood: increase muscle temperature, increase range of motion, dial in an athlete psychologically, increase heart rate, prepare the joints, ligaments, and tendons for movement and impact, and much more. Together the warm up should prepare the athlete physically and mentally for training and competition. In most sports, the timing and execution of a warm up is simple. But in winter sports, challenges appear all over for something that should be one of the easiest parts of training to implement. Read more

The challenge of training over the break

It’s that time of year where young athletes are about to go on vacation. Over the next few weeks, most high school and college athletes will be away from their coaches during the holidays. This can be challenging for the strength coach because athletes are traveling out of town, may not have transportation to a training facility, and may just flat out not be motivated to train over the break partly because their normal schedule is thrown off. For a number of years I have tried many different remedies to counter this break and make sure all the improvements that were made over the course of the fall and part of winter were not lost. Here are my ideas and opinions on how we got the job done. Read more

GAINcast Episode 146: Microdosing training

Microdosing has become a buzz word over the last year in training circles, but it isn’t a new concept. Small but frequent units of training can add up to provide significant value to athletic development. On this episode of the GAINcast we discuss the concept of microdosing, how it looks like in practice, and how to progress microdosing over the season. Read more