Posts

Lessons on bounding from John Pryor

Bounding is a core component of track and field training and one of the most powerful forms of plyometrics. As with any powerful tool it is a double edged sword. Used effectively it can be one of the best tools to develop reactive strength. Used poorly it can hinder mechanics or lead to injury. In our latest video lesson, coach John Pryor looks in detail at bounding and discusses how he uses bounds effectively for his athletes. Below are four key lessons that I took away from him.

Read more

The power of instructions in jumping

As strength coaches we focus a lot on exercise selection. But exercise execution is just as critical: perform the same exercise differently and you can train two entirely different physical qualities. On last month’s GAINcast with Professor Warren Young we got one great example: how you intrust an athlete to perform a drop jump can lead to drastically different execution.

Read more

Developing explosive power with creative solutions for eccentric overload

For decades research has shown numerous benefits for pure strength, speed, and power athletes. Practically speaking, however, it is not always easy to implement eccentric work into training. Achieving eccentric overload with traditional strength training is a pain. Having multiple spotters or adjusting weight releasers are typical forms of accentuating the eccentric phase during compound exercises like the squat or bench press. But the complications involved in eccentric training have left it as an afterthought to many coaches. Advances in flywheel and other technologies are starting to not only make eccentric training more accessible, but allow for new methods of eccentric training. Below I will overview eccentric training, its key benefits, and then share some ideas on how to achieve it using flywheel devices.

Read more

GAINcast Episode 241: Jump assessment (with Warren Young)

Over the last several decades Professor Warren Young has been at the forefront of redefining how coaches test jumping ability, reactive strength, and agility. The tools he developed, such as the reactive strength index, have helped coaches better measure and train the physical abilities needed in their sport. He joins us on this week’s podcast to discuss his career, best practices for assessment, and how to bridge the gap from testing to training design.

Read more

Finding purpose, direction, and planning for medicine ball training

Believe it or not, as an athlete I hated 95% of the medicine ball training we did. To me it seemed somehow stupid just throwing a ball 200 times around just to do it. The other 5% have been fun and I loved it. This 5% was the most challenging stuff. I loved it because it had concrete purpose. It might have been as simple heaving the ball up to the ceiling, but that wasn’t easy so it presented a challenge and a purpose. When I finally succeeded, it earned me a drink from our physio or coach and the feeling of having thrown intensely.

Read more

Medicine ball training for tennis

Tennis is the sport I have been involved in my whole life as an athlete, a teacher, a coach and now on the athletic development and performance side of the sport. Throughout the journey, the medicine ball has played a crucial role and has evolved into an almost daily part of our program both on court and in the gym.

Read more

All about depth jumps

Athletes all over the world are feeling the effects of COVID-19 with compromised training and competition schedules. We are no different at Edinburgh Rugby, we are currently unaware when the league season will resume, if it will resume, and what kind of preparation we will have. It’s the same story for athletes all over the world: our job is to be ready whenever it kicks off. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 216: Ahead of the curve (with Gary Winckler)

When it comes to sprinting and hurdling, few coaches can put together the accomplishments that Gary Winckler achieved in his career. But what was more impressive than his results was his process. He continuously sought out new ideas to improve upon what was already one of the nation’s top programs. He joins us on this week’s podcast to talk about staying ahead of the curve, and how his coaching changed over his last decade of coaching, especially in regards to skill acquisition and exercise selection for sprinters. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 214: Finding your throw (with Suzy Powell-Roos)

As we entered a new century it had been 30 years since an American woman ranked top 10 in the world. Suzy Powell-Roos led a group of throwers that changed that and put the event on the map globally for the US. On this week’s podcast, the 3-time Olympian and former American record holder joins us to look back at her throwing career and look ahead at her coaching career. Read more

December 2019 in review: reactive strength

This year we’ve produced 12 great monthly themes. To close out the year our final theme in December was reactive strength. Earlier in the year we looked at a similar topic: plyometrics. In December we wanted to take a broader look at the concept of reactive strength. Plyometrics is one way to train reactive strength, but not the only way. And we also wanted to dig deeper into what exactly it is, rather than just talking about exercises. The end result was 3 new podcasts and 4 new articles on the topic from 7 contributors. Read more