Posts

Sprinting: the ultimate strength training exercise

One of the key principles of training is overload. The overload principle states that body system adaptation fails to occur without an overloading stimulus. In other words, we have to give the body a challenge beyond what we are accustomed to in order to adapt to a higher level of performance. Somewhere along the way coaches started to think that we can only find overload in the weight room. In reality, for some qualities that is the last place we want to look. Maximum speed sprinting, for example, can provide overload in many areas that no other exercises can match. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 201: Sprinting and jumping (with Randy Huntington)

We often talking about sprinting and jumping as separate components of training, but when you look at the training of the world’s best sprinters and jumpers, there is more in common than different. Randy Huntington has worked with athletes ranging from world long jump record holder Mike Powell to Chinese 100-meter record holder Su Bingtian. He joins the podcast this week to discuss how he conceptualizes the two events and what his experience has been working in a new culture.
Read more

GAINcast Episode 164: Team speed

Speed is speed, right? Well, not exactly. The speed demands in team sports have some critical differences compared to track and field sprinting. Those had big ramifications in how speed should be trained for team sports. On this episode of the GAINcast, we take a look at training team speed. Read more

Team speed

When I the so-called experts talking about team speed and all they emphasize is acceleration, I just scratch my head. Are you watching the same game I am? Read more

Predicting sprint performance through data modeling

One of the “Holy Grails” in sport is the ability to predict, with accuracy, whether someone has the potential to become an elite athlete or not. I’ve covered this in previous articles and papers in terms of genetics, discussing whether we can test for it or not and how we might think of talent in terms of the ability to respond to training. However, at present, predicting future performance remains very difficult. But we keep trying and a recent paper in Biology of Sport took a novel approach to trying to predict sprint performance. The researchers recruited 104 Croatian sprinters and collected a wide variety of data points relating to anthropometric, genetic, and psychological traits to create a rich data set for analysis. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 189: Reflective coaching (with Xavier Roy)

Coaches need to reflect and debrief, but translating the theory into practice can be difficult. Xavier Roy recently completed his PhD on the topic and as part of his research he worked hands on with a Canadian football team to see how coaches reflected on training, and what steps they took to implement changes. On this episode of the podcast he joins us to discuss his research and also share thoughts on training for football and current trends both north and south of the border. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – December 2018

Lots of new topics in the December edition of Sports Science Monthly. Our first study looks at the role of genetics in endurance programming. We also look at research on whether athletes eat enough, monitoring acute:chronic training loads, biomarkers, acceleration performance, and some interesting new research on tactical periodization. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 183: Value of staying put (with Zack Nielsen)

Take a look at a typical NCAA weight room and you’ll see first hand the coaching carousal. The phenomenon isn’t unique to universities; you often see young coaches across the world changing job every few years in an attempt to fast track career development. Zack Nielsen might be young, but he’s learned the value of a different path: the value of staying put. As head strength coach for Olympic sports at Eastern Washington University, he joins to the podcast to talk about the value of staying put in career (and life) development. Read more

The speed-specificity of Olympic lifting for sprinting

This summer I wrote about the specificity of resistance training for sprinting. Specificity of training has multiple elements to it, including biomechanical and metabolic relationships between training exercises and sports performance. The focus of that article was on the movement patterns and range of motion at joints, and it was concluded that typical resistance training exercises performed in the weight room lack specificity for sprinting. These exercises may be very effective for developing intra-muscular neural factors, but cannot optimally develop inter-muscular coordination factors. Read more

More lessons from the IAAF biomechanics project

At the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, the IAAF and Leeds Beckett University collaborated on a wide-ranging and expansive biomechanics project, with the aim of giving us further insights into the biomechanical underpinnings of elite performance. Of interest to me was, of course, the data from the 100-meter dash, given my history in that event. Immediately following the final, the IAAF released some rough and ready data, which I analyzed at the time for HMMRMedia. Then, in July this year, they released the extended report, including great coaching commentary from PJ Vazel. There are a few interesting facets of the study which I hope to shed light on here. Read more