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Does that test what you think it tests?

Utilizing testing to monitor training adaptations and fitness is an important part of the training cycle. Many coaches dictate workloads by prescribing a percentage of a maximum; for example, on a given strength training day, an athlete might be prescribed to lift 75% of their maximum lift. In theory, this is all well and good, but what if the tests used don’t actually test what we think they test, to the extent we think they do? Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 136: Test and Transfer (with René Sack)

The Germans have put together a sports machine that continues to produce champions in athletics. You can attribute a lot of their success comes down to what they do, but even more comes from how they do it. The processes they have put in place for coaches education, sports science, and talent development all contribute to their results. On this episode of the podcast we invite national discus coach René Sack back on two discuss two processes that are key to his group: testing processes and trying to identify transfer. Read more

GAINcast Episode 88: After the Test (with Ola Eriksrud)

Norwegian coach and researcher Ola Eriksrud is a master at creating innovative testing portfolios. What sets his testing apart is not just what he tests, but how the tests fit into the broader training process. Testing is just the first layer in the process and in order for the test to be helpful, information learned from testing has to be actionable. On this episode of the podcast Eriksrud walks us through some of his approach to testing and also discusses various aspects of coordination such as dynamic postural control, core training, and hamstrings. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – August 2017

Welcome to this month’s edition of Sports Science Monthly, where we take a look at recent research in the realm of sports science. In this edition, we take a look at running coordination, the nature vs nurture debate, causes of illnesses and injuries, vitamin D supplementation, caffeine, and test familiarization. Read more

Speed Over Tonnage: Is It Worth the Sacrifice?

If you watched Christian McCaffrey at the NFL combine, you couldn’t help but be impressed. He was fast, explosive and agile. But nevertheless he had some critics as his weightlifting numbers were not impressive. Interesting. I know for a fact that Stanford University has employed velocity-based training (VBT) methods with their football athletes in the past. To what extent McCaffrey used VBT I do not know, but whatever combination of methods he used it clearly got him results on the field. Maybe lifting all the weight possible like a weightlifter is not the end-all-be-all to being a top athlete. Read more

GAINcast Episode 40: Visiting the USSA Center of Excellence

Last month Vern visited the US Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah. While there he had a chance to sit down with their performance staff to share experiences, ideas and more. This is the first in a series of episodes from his visit. In this episode Vern has a roundtable chat with coaches Mike Bahn, Tracy Fober, Tschana Schiller and Michael Bingaman. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 59: Subjective Feedback (with Dan Pfaff)

In an era when coaches are searching out more and more objective data to evaluate training, master coach Dan Pfaff has been using more and more subjective data to assist him. Subjectivity has been given a bad reputation lately, but it offers many advantages to coaches: it is cheap, it is easy to implement, it saves time, and can often times be more accurate. On this episode of the podcast Pfaff joins us to discuss the role subjective feedback plays in his training. Plus, for track fans, we discuss some of the failure of the Diamond League’s new rules for field event athletes. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 47: Testing

There is no such thing as evidence-based training without the evidence. Evidence for coaches comes from feedback. And a key form of feedback are performance tests. On this week’s episode we discuss how to get the most out of testing in training. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Thoughts on Testing

When you are testing it is important to consider all of the following: Read more

Vern Gambetta

Testing – A Perspective

It is important to remember that testing is the highest form of training stress outside of the actual Competition. Testing is important to determine the individual athlete’s athletic qualities relative to the demands of their position/event and the sport. I am not interested in comparing an athlete against some arbitrary norms, but I am interested in intra individual comparison, comparing them against themselves. Read more