I haven’t plagerised the answers to these questions I swear

Sami has left a new comment on your post “In a bit of a funk this afternoon so blogging to d…”:

Will said,
Then what I do is to start manipulating the distances, sets, reps and recoveries so I can increase the distance and hence the time that near maximal intensity can be maintained. I then go back to closer to the original distance used and repeat the process with less recovery..

Will, how do you figure out the total volume?
It is a carrot and stick thing…to be honest (which by inference I never am) I do it by feel and experience rather than to a formula. I was talking with some athletes yesterday about the fact that I somehow manage to make each conditioning session session just painful and yet not impossible. I was trying to explain how I try to coax athletes to ‘fitness’ without them actually realising it…the reason they never realise it is because sessions are always hard but for different reasons. Sometimes it is hard because of the intensity…sometimes it’s the volume…other times it is the reduction in recovery. This is what coaching is actually about…having a feel for your athletes and what they can handle. I actually know a lot of them better than they know themselves and this is demonstrated clearly every time I ask them to do something and they give me ‘that look’ and say ‘Will I can’t do this.’…and then I make them do it and they do. I don’t get it wrong very often. This is the thing isn’t it. This is the bit they can’t teach at University and that you can’t learn from books. So in short to answer your question on how I figure out the total volume….in short…I don’t actually know…or more to the point…I don’t know how to explain it to you.

-Where to start?
Be conservative…giving them too little and them being able to do it hard and fast is better that giving them too much…less is always more….except of course when more is better.

-When upping the distance do you reduce the number of sets to keep volume roughly constant?
I usually manipulate it so they do more but without them realising it…I have a special way of describing sessions to always make them ‘sound’ easier than they are…just ask any of my athletes. The ones that have been with me for years are excellent at doing the mental calculations to work out total volume, total estimated session time and total recovery time before I even pause at the end of my explanation.

-or let the volume grow? How much? Is there a cut off point?
This is really dependent on what you are training for as in what you are trying to improve and the sport for which you are training.

ian has left a new comment on your post “Apparently I only train rugby players”:

BTW…Mike Robertson has stolen your catchphrase, “If you are not assessing, you are guessing.” Saw it on his blog.
Thief.

Actually, Mike and Will have stolen that phrase from Alwyn – it’s on his website. I don’t know where he got it from though 🙂
I bet I stole it before either of those two.

Will – since ROK’s knees are veering inward I can see how some coaches might have ensured the load was much reduced – even just to doing bodyweight box squats – until the knees travelled more correctly. Any thoughts?
Yes, plenty of thoughts. Firstly, like I said…this problem ‘was’ much worse. Have we got it ‘fixed’ no..not yet. I work with athletes some of these ‘coaches’ you mention…I put coaches in brackets because a lot of these ‘coaches’ don’t actually have any athletes and just write about training rather than conduct it. I will talk about this issue because it is an important one. Have a look at this guy.

He has a lot of scap control issues and a load of strength imbalances…what you are talking about leaves a couple of options…I could stop all his training and correct every single imbalance and problem he has…just as a side note…I don’t have a single professional or semi professional athlete that doesn’t have to ‘nurse’ some sort of imbalance or injury…and as a side side note…if I ruled out every player that wasn’t completely fit to play two things would happen…1. None of the teams I work for would have players to take the field. 2. I would be beaten to a bloody pulp.
Back to Cookies and ROK….so I could stop all their training and just address all their imbalances or I could do what I always do…train them appropriately and address their issues through training. ROK started squatting the bar with difficulty and deadlifting 40kg and now she’s repping with 85kg and pulling nearly twice bodyweight and along the way we’ve improved her knee issues hugely. Cookies did his testing the other day and nearly PB’d on his bench, did 11 pull ups, 60+ push ups and 30+ inverted rows and pulled near double bodyweight. I’ve seen and heard the arguments regarding the point you are raising in this question…I just completely disagree with it. My first priority is to reduce these guys likelihood of injury and optimising their performance…I think I can do both at the same time.

Adrienl has left a new comment on your post “Apparently I only train rugby players”:

Will with regards to 1)athletes performing the supersets of a strength exercise and then a jump or medball throw are you looking to train them to be explosive under fatigue or utlising the reducing of the resistance to allow for greater explosiveness?
We do both those things.

2) would you ever look at utilising the jump before the weight exercise and what type of situation would this be?
Yes.

3) with regard to the training of sports such as baseball or cricket how much conditioning work would you do(as the sports consist of sprinting and then a long rest) and what would it look like?
No matter what sport you do…being ‘fit’ never hurts.

4) a weird one but have you ever read inside sport and would you be willing to have a look at some of the training programs they are publishing detailing the weeks of professional athletes? they just seem off ( eg a rugby player doing PILATES!!!! for his legs this was timana tahu)
A lot of athletes succeed in spite of their training not because of it.

5) when doing blast strap pushups how much lower or higher should the reps be compared to regular floor pushups
We go hands to chest…so lower.

Okay that’s it for now (just gave you your next blog post if you want) again thanks for putting yourself out there and talking to a kid like me.
Adrienl
You keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.

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6 thoughts on “I haven’t plagerised the answers to these questions I swear

  1. Will said…
    This is really dependent on what you are training for as in what you are trying to improve and the sport for which you are training.

    Ofcourse, that’s a given. And because you only train rubgy players every condiotiong advice you give is looked through rugbypink glassess..

    I was going by the test you gave to Ian. Actually I’m not sure what I’m asking, you’re not the only one incapable of coherent thought. I went back on the blog and you sort of answered what I had in mind in the May’s “Sunshine all week” entry. I’ll think about ths for a bit if I have something else. But thanks for the effort.

  2. Will said “I .. manage to make each conditioning session just painful and yet not impossible. I was trying to explain how I try to coax athletes to ‘fitness’ without them actually realising it…the reason they never realise it is because sessions are always hard but for different reasons. Sometimes it is hard because of the intensity…sometimes it’s the volume…other times it is the reduction in recovery. This is what coaching is actually about…having a feel for your athletes and what they can handle.”

    I agree that you do and can push people to do things they didn’t think they could but I would contend that it’s not always the best possible outcome. With regard to conditioning, and more specifically pre-season conditioning, you have in your hands a great opportunity to strengthen the team bond. If the whole (or most of the) panel works hard and feel that sessions get marginally easier week by week, they work for and encourage each other more than if the session 4 weeks into it is just as hard as the first.

    Basically, a coach can make each session more difficult, in one or all of the ways you stated above, so that the athletes feel each one is as hard as the next. Do they get fitter, yes, do they form a bond with others in feeling that the collective is getting fitter, no, I don’t think so.

    OR

    The coach can make the sessions progressively harder but at a slower rate than the athletes adapt to them. Do they get fitter, yes, marginally less than the other way, perhaps (but they can increase their own intensity levels to offset this) and do they form a stronger group bond through achieving a common goal, yes, most certainly.

    This is purely a psychological observation but as a player I have experienced both (under your tutelage) and have both enjoyed and been able to work harder in the scenario when I “felt” i was getting fitter.

    Have you considered this before?

    Do you consider it part of your role as conditioning coach to enhance the tam spirit?

    Which approach do you think is more beneficial to the team in the long run?

    You may only use one approach, which is it?

    If you are going to make each session harder to the extent that the athletes, while getting fitter, feel that each is as hard as the last, then what is the point in training together?

    You can just prescribe the sessions and have people do them whenever they have the available time. In my opinion, if each one is hard as the last, then meeting up and training in a big group is more a pain in the hole than anything else.

    Some of what I’ve said is poorly articulated but I’m sure you’ll get the general gist of it. If you’re just going to one word answer these questions, then please don’t bother. I’ve asked questions that I’d like you to articulate. Thanks.

    If anyone else has a take on this, then please chime in.

  3. Sami said…

    Will said…
    This is really dependent on what you are training for as in what you are trying to improve and the sport for which you are training.

    Ofcourse, that’s a given. And because you only train rubgy players every condiotiong advice you give is looked through rugbypink glassess..

    I was going by the test you gave to Ian. Actually I’m not sure what I’m asking, you’re not the only one incapable of coherent thought. I went back on the blog and you sort of answered what I had in mind in the May’s “Sunshine all week” entry. I’ll think about ths for a bit if I have something else. But thanks for the effort.
    When you work out what the hell you are talking about let me know?

  4. Hugh said…
    Will said “I .. manage to make each conditioning session just painful and yet not impossible. I was trying to explain how I try to coax athletes to ‘fitness’ without them actually realising it…the reason they never realise it is because sessions are always hard but for different reasons. Sometimes it is hard because of the intensity…sometimes it’s the volume…other times it is the reduction in recovery. This is what coaching is actually about…having a feel for your athletes and what they can handle.”

    I agree that you do and can push people to do things they didn’t think they could but I would contend that it’s not always the best possible outcome.
    That’s why I always pick and chose my moments.

    With regard to conditioning, and more specifically pre-season conditioning, you have in your hands a great opportunity to strengthen the team bond. If the whole (or most of the) panel works hard and feel that sessions get marginally easier week by week, they work for and encourage each other more than if the session 4 weeks into it is just as hard as the first.
    With regard to you rugby guys specifically. What I want you to find easy is matches. I want matches to feel easy compared to what you can and will handle in training this year.

    Basically, a coach can make each session more difficult, in one or all of the ways you stated above, so that the athletes feel each one is as hard as the next. Do they get fitter, yes, do they form a bond with others in feeling that the collective is getting fitter, no, I don’t think so.
    Hugh that is just because we all hate you…it;s nothing personal…actually it is personal but it seems mean to say so.

    OR

    The coach can make the sessions progressively harder but at a slower rate than the athletes adapt to them. Do they get fitter, yes, marginally less than the other way, perhaps (but they can increase their own intensity levels to offset this) and do they form a stronger group bond through achieving a common goal, yes, most certainly.
    Absolutely. This is what every coach ‘tries’ to do…the first option is basically what happens when they don’t get it right.

    This is purely a psychological observation but as a player I have experienced both (under your tutelage) and have both enjoyed and been able to work harder in the scenario when I “felt” I was getting fitter.
    Like I said…sometimes a coach gets it wrong…or the athlete isn’t up to form.

    Have you considered this before?
    Yes.

    Do you consider it part of your role as conditioning coach to enhance the team spirit?
    Absolutely…usually by giving you all as a group a collective focus for your hate.

    Which approach do you think is more beneficial to the team in the long run?
    Both…sometimes you just have to suck it up and endure.

    You may only use one approach, which is it?
    The 2nd. That way when I get it wrong you’ll still get the 1st which I always enjoy.

    If you are going to make each session harder to the extent that the athletes, while getting fitter, feel that each is as hard as the last, then what is the point in training together?
    So you have someone shower gel to borrow and towel to steal and deodorant to use.

    You can just prescribe the sessions and have people do them whenever they have the available time. In my opinion, if each one is hard as the last, then meeting up and training in a big group is more a pain in the hole than anything else.
    That’s the spirit.

    Some of what I’ve said is poorly articulated but I’m sure you’ll get the general gist of it. If you’re just going to one word answer these questions, then please don’t bother. I’ve asked questions that I’d like you to articulate. Thanks.
    I will come back to the subject this evening I’m sure.

    If anyone else has a take on this, then please chime in.
    There’s only the 5 of us that read the blog.

  5. thanks for answering those questions will, just got a few more
    1) i haven’t yet seen you use a jump before a strength exercise so would you say this is a more advanced exercise and what would you be looking to acomplish through it? (eg give strength boost through more explosiveness or get better at pushing through fatigue)

    2) in regards to testing are these planned out weeks ahead(the athletes therefore knows they are coming) or are they announced on the day?
    3) what is the average time between testing for athletes and after performing the tests do they just head home or do they do extra work?
    thanks again and don’t hesitate to tell me if i am getting annoying

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