Nick and I talk all the time about the simple exercise classification scheme we have taken from Bondarchuk. We try to focus more energy on the specific developmental exercises (SDEs) where the competition movement and strength training converge. But what do we look for when we choose an “specific strength” exercise from this category? And what are some of our favorites? On this week’s episode we dive into those questions. Read more
In the waning minutes of their opening World Cup match against powerhouse South Africa in September, Japan was trailing by three points. With play entering injury time, the game could end any second yet Japan declined the opportunity to kick a game tying penalty and instead opted to to enter a scrum for a chance to win (or lose) the game. For those of you that do not know rugby, the scrum is likely the image you are most familiar with. Eight players from each team pack together to fight for control of the ball. It is a test of strength, patience, technique, and resolve. Japan won the scrum and took the ball back despite being smaller, weaker, and less experienced. They then went on to win the game. Read more
Over the next few weeks I am putting together a multi-part series on Bondarchuk’s training methods for the Freelap USA website. It is my goal to explain setup and application of Dr. Bondarchuk’s system as it was taught to me and how I understand it. Some of this information might be a review session for readers on this site, but I hope the series will also include some new information for everyone. Read more
Any talk about implementing a specific strength training plan brings up the inevitable discussion of disrupting the athlete’s rhythm. In the throwing events we will often throw hammers that are heavier or lighter than normal in order to improve specific strength. There is no doubt this improves strength, but you also cannot deny that it changes the movement’s rhythmic structure. For this reason some coaches only throw the competition implement. No matter your conclusion, the important part is the analysis: as a coach you need look at whether the training will help your for the sport and the athlete. Where it might be a good idea to do certain types of special strength training in one sport, it could be inadvisable in another. And while one athlete can handle a certain loads of special strength work, another might break down. Throughout this all the overarching factor to consider is where the sport falls on the skill-strength continuum. Read more
We sell some of the best hammer wires around and have a limited number of short hammer wires available for purchase at a steep discount of just $3.33 per wire. Details are below. I hand make each wire to specification to ensure top quality and performance. (Also if you are interested in normal length wires, we also sell those at the lowest prices online) Read more
You might have notice this episode arrived a week early. With some extra time over the summer Nick and I decided to try doing the podcasts on a weekly basis until we run out of time or ideas (whatever comes first). Read more
At the start of the month I published an article in Athletics Weekly about specific strength. In it I give a brief introduction to exercise classification, specific strength, and some tips on implementing it to your event. Tom Crick also helped provide some great graphics to illustrate a few examples.
The article is adapted from my book The Ball and Chain where I cover this and other topics in more detail in Part IV: Training for the hammer throw. If you like it and want to learn more, pick up a copy of the full text. We also have some additional resources on this topic available for HMMR Media members, including Nick Garcia’s article on exercise classification for throwers and a post I wrote about specific strength in theory and practice. But this article isn’t just about the hammer or about throwing; it takes a look at a general idea that can be applied to any sport or event. Read more
Yesterday in three different situations I saw the nonsense of training. Read more
I wrote about complex periodization last month and the topic also came up a lot in our recent seminars. Just as a quick refresher, complex periodization works all types of exercises simultaneously throughout round. Rather than a progression from general to specific work, athletes will work on technique, strength, speed, etc. simultaneously during each phase of the year. I wrote about some of the advantages of this approach, but there is one bigger advantage I didn’t even get into: complex periodization works well because often it is not even possible to separate the different elements of training.