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GAINcast Episode 15: More Than The Exercise

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?

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Beyond the Bullsh*t

One of the biggest influences on my approach to training over the past year has been John Kiely, the Irish strength and conditioning coach and university lecturer in elite performance. I had the chance to interview him last year and it was the most open and honset interview I have done. As an academic Kiely has written about the unique situation we find ourselves in as coaches: science tells us that the human body is an increasingly complex organism, yet science is unable to tell us much about what is the best method for planning and periodization. As a practioner, Kiely provides some simple solutions that can bring about big changes in training. The ability to both tell it like it is, and be helpful is unique in our sport and made me want to learn more from him. Read more

The Concept of Foundation

As a coach for many years I bought into the concept that I had to re-establish the base, in essence starting over each year. Slowly I came to the realization that I was stifling the athlete’s development; we were talking two steps forward and one step back. You don’t have to start over at the beginning of each training year because training accumulates from year to year. Use the metaphor of remodeling your house and possibly adding another level. You would not think of tearing down the foundation and starting over unless there was an overriding structural weakness. Instead you would strengthen and reinforce the existing foundation. Read more

GAINcast Episode 4: Periodization and Planning

Periodization is just a fancy word for planning and creating a good plan should be central to any coach’s approach. It is something that effective coaches have done forever. On this week’s episode Vern dives into the topic of periodization and planning. Read more

Periodization – Myths & Reality, A Coach’s Perspective

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
-Dwight Eisenhower

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Why Start Monday?

I spend a large portion of my day talking to people about fitness, exercise, and health. At times the conversation will shift to a new concept, or program that this individual is wanting to try. Almost every person wants to start their new life on Monday. What the heck is so special about Monday? Why didn’t you start yesterday, or this morning? Even if it’s a Tuesday morning, and the greatest idea ever thought is lingering, most of us will wait to get it all figured out on Monday! I think that the best thinkers and achievers are those that disregard that idea, that climb over simple social obstacles and get things done ASAP. Read more

Factors to Consider when Developing a Plan

Here are some factors to consider when developing a comprehensive training plan. This is not rocket science, but each factor must be carefully considered and factored into the plan. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Some Thoughts on Planning

Planning is the preparatory work the coach must do to structure training systematically in alignment with the themes and objectives of training and the athlete’s level of conditioning. The process is the result of the experience of the coach coupled with applicable sport science concepts. Jan Olbrecht, Belgian sport scientist, likens the training plan to a table of contents. It should be comprehensive, covering all aspects of the athlete’s performance. The training plan (Table of contents) should include: Read more

Training Session Management

In coaching there are three management functions:

  1. Training Session Management
  2. Competition Management
  3. Injury management

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Big Picture Thinking

As you surely know by now I think the big picture is very important, so important that you should never lose sight of it. First to be able to think of the big picture you need a plan. The more detailed the plan the better. What is the big picture? It is an overview of the whole process and the objectives to be able to get to the big picture. What does it do? It lends perspective and context to what we are doing. Read more