Kamloops Training Camp 2011

Reunited with the master.

Over the past ten days I have taken a trip back in time. I returned to my former home and training partners. I returned to working with my coach in person. I returned to the routine of a life 100% focused on training. In other words, I returned to Kamloops.

After nearly a year away from coach Bondarchuk, I needed to touch base with him. We talk or exchange emails every week, but that isn’t the same as getting in person feedback from him. The feedback is something he also needs, since it is also difficult for him to determine my progress without observing me first hand.

The trip was more beneficial than I even imagined it would be. I had a great time with all of the hammer throwers in Kamloops. My technique improved significantly. And I was able to corner Bondarchuk for several one-on-one discussions about training theory mixed with funny anecdotes from his decades of experience. As I got in my car to leave this afternoon I had a contended smile on my face, but I also already missed the group.

Technically, the focus of nearly every training session was my entry. This was something I was slowly working on in Zurich, but progressed at much faster with a coach there. In short, I have been trying to be more patient as I enter the first turn. I have the tendency to turn ahead of the hammer, which throws my balance over my right side and reduces the radius. Instead, I need to increase the radius by transferring more weight over to the left and being less active with my lower body. Bondarchuk gave me a variety of ways to work on this and they seemed to help. As you can see in the video of the 7.26kg hammer below, it is much better (although I stood up on the final turns of that throw). I also included a video with the heavier hammer that shows how the balance and rhythm has simultaneously improved.

Despite temperatures around -5º celsius, I was throwing results I did not see until April last year. I nearly threw a personal best with the 8kg hammer and was within a few meters of my best with every other implement. Even better is that I finally have gotten back into “normal” weight lifting and should start to feel some muscles again soon. If I can keep continue to improve my technique in Zurich, it will be an exciting year.

Now I am back in Seattle for one day before heading to the UK this weekend and then back to Zurich and the normal routine on Monday. As always, I will keep you posted.

6 replies
  1. Alex
    Alex says:

    It’s good to hear you’re making progress Martin. Would you share what those ideas Bondarchuk gave you about getting further left on your entry? Thanks.

  2. TB
    TB says:

    Is that Kibwe turning like a demon in the far ring?

    Do you guys train with range throwing before taking one or two shots at a PR, or do you ramp up and just go for it for as soon as you can?

  3. Martin
    Martin says:

    @TB – That is indeed Kibwe. And if you watch closely you can see me nearly kill Sultana in the final throw. Bondarchuk doesn’t normally tell us what intensity to throw at, but I have been taking the range throwing approach more lately.

    @Alex – It is nothing extremely new, but me try a few things in the winds and entry. First, I was trying to reach back and look back more in the winds. Once the ball came around on to the low point I was trying to bend forward a little more (I was sitting back too much). Then, I had to make sure my old bad habit of rising up at 90º did not come back. In my last few days, he also stressed not moving my feet or legs. If they are static, then the hammer’s momentum will move the weight over the left. If they are too active, then you turn ahead of the hammer, but the weight stays on the right. He even had me try to sit more on my right side. This sounds counterintuitive, but it really helped me get weight to the left. I think kept me from using my right foot, which then let the hammer pull everything to the left. It’s a lot to digest, that’s why I didn’t go into as much detail above.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Thanks Martin. The idea of using my legs less in the throw has been an epiphany for me in the last few months and I really appreciate the technical and training information you post on here.

  4. Shan
    Shan says:

    Hey Martin,you have said in this post that turning ahead of the hammer reduces the radius…but what about Kozmus technique, he turns ahead of the hammer very much and still he throws long distances???


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  1. […] written about my training, mostly because I’ve been exhausted for the past two months. For the six weeks after I visited Kamloops I was busy getting back into weight lifting for the first time in a while. It took me a while to […]

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