When Martin and I outlined Bondarchuk’s approach to periodization at our seminars in December we received a few comments that, while it sounds great in theory, it could not be implemented in a high school or college setting. College coaches are under pressure to produce results fast, the argument goes, and traditional methods work better over the short-term. Others said that this may work for elite athletes but that high school athletes need to build a better base before moving on to a more complex method that includes emphasis on specific exercises out of season. Last month Derek put together a great comparison of different approaches to periodization, but one thing he didn’t address were arguments like these. Read more
Podcasts are popping up all over the place and as many as desperate for content I’ve even been able to get on a few of them. Over the past year I’ve been on Wil Fleming’s Performance Podcast, Sports Coach Radio, and most recently Ultimate Athlete Concepts Podcast. And then last month I sat down with the All Things Strength and Wellness podcast which was released this week. You can listen to the entire episode below as well as some additional resources I’ve put together on the topics we discussed. Read more
There is no doubt that the hammer throw is a rotational event. But recently I can’t help but thinking that there might be other ways to approach the event. A circle, after all, isn’t that different than a line. Zoom in one one far enough and it looks like a straight line. Read more
Editor’s Note: Six and a half years after the original medal ceremony, Dylan Armstrong was an Olympic medal on Sunday. Back in 2008 Armstrong finished behind Belorussian Andrei Mikhnevich to miss the podium by less than an inch in the shot put. Mikhnevich was banned nearly two years ago, but only on Sunday was Dylan awarded his medal in front of a large crowd in his hometown of Kamloops. Derek Evely gave the following speech at the event.
A great Canadian Poet once said about one of his more famous and successful pieces of work: “that put me in the middle of the road, travelling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch…. It was a rougher ride but I met more interesting people there.” I think that pretty much sums up Dylan’s path to his Olympic bronze medal. Read more
Last week I began to analyze and compare different periodization methods by looking at the pros and cons of both Matveyev’s traditional periodization and Verkhoshansky’s block periodization. To finish this discussion I take a look at two more modern approaches: complex periodization and Bondarchuk’s periodization. Read more
In this final part of our training talk with Jüri Tamm we turn to another important topic: the health of our sport. As a former hammer thrower, Tamm has a deep love for the hammer throw. He is intimately involved in the politics of our sport and well positioned to analyze the precarious position we are in and provide some insight on how we can improve the position of the sport. Currently Tamm is the chief of staff for Sergey Bubka. In addition to being setting 35 world records as a pole vaulter, Bubka now serves as president of the Ukranian Olympic Committee, a member of the IOC Executive Board, and senior vice president of the IAAF. It is widely expected that he will soon announce his candidacy for the IAAF presidency. In working with Bubka, Tamm is well connected to the changes happening in athletics and the Olympic movement. Read more
We began our second training talk with two-time Olympic medalist Jüri Tamm. After discussing training methods and training as an older athlete, we now turn our focus towards hammer throwing and technique. Stay tuned for more later in the week and in the meantime you can read more in our previous interview from a few years ago.
I’ve had the chance to talk with many elite athletes and coaches for this blog, but hands down my favorite interview was with two-time Olympic medalist Jüri Tamm several years ago. We had a wide ranging discussion about the decline of Soviet dominance, talent identification, technique, training, and many other topics. But what made it so interesting is that I knew so little about him before we met. When he told me he would be in Switzerland again recently, I took a three hour train ride just to meet him for a coffee.
Perhaps it is the Swiss in me, but I love order. I look at training and I see how I can put nearly every aspect of it in its own little box. You can classify exercises, types of strength, bodily systems used, recovery methods, etc. But the point of classifying it is to see how you can put it all back together. What good is it to classify foods, after all, if you never make a meal?
Look at the two sporting superpowers of post war era, Germany and the Soviet Union/post-Soviet states, and you find two very different approaches to training. Both have produced amazing results, but interestingly ideas like periodization, the concept of transfer of training, block training, complex training, special strength, etc. came just from one of the two powerhouses. Try to think of the most influential names in training methods and you’ll have to scroll well past luminaries like Leo Matveyev, Yuri Verkhoshansky, Vladimir Issurin, Vladimir Zatsiorsky and of course my coach Anatoliy Bondarchuk before you find many Germans. How come so many revolutionary ideas came from just one of these countries? Read more