IMG_4534

How Periodization Can Blind Us

Listening to John Kiely present at our seminar last month was a real eye opener for me. The man is working to reframe our whole discussion about training and it is a real paradigm shift in my opinion. Irish strength coach Robbie Bourke came out to our seminar and yesterday he posted his most recent podcast episode where he interviewed Kiely. In the show Kiely turns his sights back on periodization. While it can help us in many ways, few coaches are aware of how it can hurt us at the same time by blinding us as coaches. You can listen to the podcast below, and read some excerpts of his criticisms. Read more

Goldilocks_1912

Searching for Goldilocks

Much in life is linear: the seconds tick by with regularity as we get a little older and our hair keeps growing little by little. I am quite thankful that not everything in life is linear, or else my baby daughter would turn into a giant at the current rate. But training is stuck in linear thinking; if we find something good we want to believe it will keep working forever. This belief gets us in trouble. Believe me: there is too much of a good thing. Read more

bounce

Nature? Nurture? We Are Asking the Wrong Question

Are athletes born or are they made? This is the crux of the nature vs. nurture question that has been debated to death by the athletics community. The debate never moves forwards since, like so many things in life nowadays, everyone takes a position at the extreme when the best answer lies in the middle. Read more

bondarchuk_podcast

Bondarchuk on Individualization, Transfer and Long-Term Development

Recently publisher Ultimate Athlete Concepts and Yosef Johnson put together a series of interviews with Dr. Anatoli Bondarchuk on a wide range of topics. UAC is the top publisher of Soviet training content. They have published four books by Bondarchuk, and have new titles coming out soon too including his next book which is now available for pre-order (all these books, as well as titles from other Soviet authors, are available for purchase in the HMMR Media Bookstore). I’ve put together some highlights of the recent interview below and categorized them into five topics: individualizing training, individualizing periodization, transfer of training, long-term development and implementing change in training. Please note that I have made some grammatical corrections in the quotes, but have kept the underlying message intact in all cases. You can also find the full video interviews at the end of the post. Enjoy! Read more

kiely_expertise

3 Things I Learned From John Kiely

I’ve given many seminars over the past few years, but last weekend’s event was perhaps the most unique event I have been involved in. It might have actually been the first periodization seminar ever that spent all of 10 minutes discussing the actual periods. Instead we took a step back to look at the complexity of the problems we are trying to address with periodization, strategies and processes to deal with the complexities, and then surveyed a variety strategies in action. My portions focused on some many of the best practices we can learn from some of the master coaches I have worked with and had the chance to interview for HMMR Media. My co-host John Kiely focused his time on the complexities and what we can learn from science about the problem and potential solutions. He covered many topics like mental biases and how to deal with them, gaining power through simplicity in training, and optimizing organizational processes. I could write several posts with what I learned on Saturday, but decided to focus on three big picture take-aways I learned from Kiely over the weekend. Read more

The Rugby Strength Coach Himself

Rugby and Strength and Bondarchuk

Everyone who reads this site should be listening to our two podcasts: the HMMR Podcast and the GAINcast. However that should just be the starting point for coaches as there are many more great podcasts online. If you are training for field sports, for example, a must listen is the Rugby Strength Podcast with coach Keir Wenham-Flatt. Read more

If adaptation were this simple, we would all continuously improve.

A New Model for Stress and Adaptation

This year marks the 80th anniversary of when Hans Selye started research stress and coined the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) in a letter to the editor of Nature. GAS, often called the stress response, was taken by coaches as the basis of adaptation in training and the foundation of early periodization models. As Buddy Morris put it on our podcast last year, coaches are primarily in the business of stress management. But as science learns more about the complexities of stress, training methodology has not kept. Recently John Kiely posed the question: is training philosophy built upon an incomplete understanding of the nature of stress? Read more

stupid_quote

Words of Wisdom, Vol. 10

We might think of coaching as being about training methods, science, and physiology. But don’t forget that more than anything coaching is about communication. We are teachers: it does not matter how much you know if you are unable to convey it to your athletes. With that in mind, I assembled a few quotes I’ve jotted down on my notebook on the theme of language and communication. Read more

lesson1_screenshot

What Makes Bondarchuk’s Periodization Different?

If you didn’t make it to Portland last week, you missed out on a great seminar. Jonathan Marcus gave a great presentation on transfer of training. Jean-Pierre Egger broke down the famous Werner Günthör training video. And Nick and I gave an in-depth overview of Bondarchuk’s approach to training. Read more

Gian Ferretti

Case Studies in Collegiate Hammer Development

While in Minneapolis last year I got a chance to catch up with University of Minnesota throws coach Lynden Reder. Coach Reder and I competed against each other as students. He beat me then, and now he is beating me as a coach by producing top hammer throwers every year. Just last week Sean Donnelly threw a big personal best of over 23 meters to place third at US nationals (and over 74.35 meters in the hammer today). But his success aside, he is always up for a good conversation on training and we are not afraid to challenge each other, a quality that is often lacking when talking shop with other coaches. I used one of our chats as a topic for an Ask Martin post on the pros and cons of the NCAA system for athlete development. And in a recent article he turns that same ability to challenge on his own training. Read more