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Training Talk with Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk

I’ve done training talks with dozens of the best coaches and athletes around the world. But while I talk to him often about training, I have yet to sit down for a training talk with the one man that has influence my thoughts on training the most: my coach for ten year Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk. Part of the reason is that I am now more interested in learning new viewpoints. Another reason is that answering the same old questions can frustrate the old man. But with the help of Yosef Johnson and Jake Jensen I was finally able to get him on the record about some questions are of interest to myself and should be of interest to coaches from any sport.
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Strength as a Skill

We need to rethink how we conceptualize strength. It would be helpful to conceptualize strength as a skill, a finely tuned skill at that. Think of it not as a sledgehammer that delivers a blunt blow. Rather think of it as a pinprick, a very high force concentrated in a very small area. To do that demands incredible coordination and synchronization. Read more

Episode 3: A Polar Expedition (with Derek Evely)

On this episode of the HMMR Media Podcast another member of the HMMR Media team joined us to talk about periodization of training intensities. Both Nick and I have worked closely with Derek Evely and have gotten him to contribute to the site recently. He brings a diverse background thanks to his varied influences and his experience working with elite athletes in several event groups. One thing he has noticed in common is how training with many top coaches is polarized. This idea is gaining popularity with distance coaches, but is rarely discussed in the context of training for power sports. Read more

Role of Olympic Lifting in Athletic Development

In the athlete development process Olympic style weight training has occupied a large role. This has both good and bad implications. Olympic style weight lifting is a training method that is excellent for developing power. Competitive Olympic lifting consists of two movements, the clean and jerk and the snatch. The derivatives of those movements are what make up the majority of the training exercises. There is no question of the inherent value of these exercises as a tool to raise explosive power, but the method must be kept in context and reconciled with the overall goal of the strength-training program. Read more

Thinking About Strength

In athlete development, with the obvious exception of the preparation of a weight lifter or a power lifter, strength training should be a means to an end. At times it will be the absolute focal point of training and at other times it will play a subservient role. It is important to be constantly aware of where it fits and how it supports and interacts with other training components. Read more

Words of Wisdom, Volume 5

Last week I posted some links and quotes about data collection, analysis, and use in training. This week I thought I would post some more excerpts from what I’ve been reading on training methods and planning. Read more

The 5 Secrets Of Strength

A few nights ago, I was sitting at the table having dinner with my son Omo and wife Megan. I swear my son is getting smarter by the minute, and every moment he is learning more how to play the system. Like any 4 year old, he wants to eat his treats (dessert, junk food, etc.), but we always try and make him eat his healthy foods first. With his brain power at full tilt, he is always attempting to devise a way to get what he wants, by smooth talking and looking cute. Ladies beware of this guy in the future! Read more

Strength – Global Considerations

Of all the biomotor qualities strength may the most all-encompassing. There is no form of motion that does not require some expression of force; therefore all sports will derive benefit from sport appropriate strength training. The key here is that it is sport appropriate. The physical quality of strength is the underpinning for the optimum development of the other biomotor qualities. Read more

It’s not the weight room

A beautiful weight room with polished floors, tons of weights, machines that go bing, beep and burp surrounded with walls of mirrors all in a strictly controlled air conditioned environment set at an optimum 72 degrees may not be all that it appears to be. It’s not the weight room it is what happens there that matters. Is real coaching going on or is supervision with everyone doing the same program? Read more

Book Review: Science and Practice of Strength Training

You’d think that making presentations is about teaching others, but for me it is as much an exercise in improving my own knowledge. I get to meet new people, hear new ideas, and, most importantly, the act of presenting helps me understand what I know and what I don’t know. This final point inevitably leads me to pick up more books to fill my knowledge gaps. In preparing for presentations this fall, one of my weaknesses related to the basic science of strength training. Therefore I decided to recently reread a classic in this area: Science and Practice of Strength Training, Second Edition by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky and William J. Kraemer.
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