I love running

All I am going to talk about from now on is running.

This is Nasher's Heart Rate Profile

This is Nasher's Heart Rate Profile

The lads did a modification of the session that was done the other day that I posted about. The difference being today they did the following:

 

The first part of the graph that you see is the warm up work that they did and then they did 3 blocks of
40 seconds hard run 20 seconds walking recovery
30 seconds hard run 30 seconds walking recovery
20 seconds hard run 40 seconds walking recovery

Just so it’s as clear is mud…that’s 9 minutes a block…they got 3 minutes 40 seconds recovery and did 3 sets of these in the session.

If you look at this work for example you’d see that Nasher’s average heart rate for the entire session of work was 169bpm…and that includes the 2 breaks of complete rest of 3 minutes 40 seconds. The quality of work was excellent…it wasn’t a 35 jog…it was short bursts of flat out running or recovery. The total actual running time in this entire session is only 13 minutes and 30 seconds. If you take the entire session of 50 minutes his average heart rate was still 158bpm. I think that is a whole lot of effect for very little running time.

As I’ve said elsewhere and we’ve been over many times. I don’t have a problem with athletes doing ‘traditional’ long slow distance work or going out for a ‘jog’ or whatever way you want to look at that type of work. The thing is that I would think that most people reading this blog are coaching regular athletes. That most of you have very little time as is with them. I need to get the most, to get the greatest effect I can out of whatever time I have with them. I want the sessions to be of the greatest quality I can get.

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This time next week I’ll be looking forward to presenting

Well maybe not at exactly this time as it’s after 4am in the morning but I’m sure you guys get what I mean. I’m really looking forward to the seminar myself. I took the time to go through all my notes yesterday and today and I’m pretty pleased with how things are coming together. As I said previously…I’ve been to a lot of seminars all over the English speaking world…I was going to say all over the world but realised that what I really meant was Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England…and I’ve a good idea about what I liked and hated about all of them and basically put this seminar together based on what I would want to get out of a seminar like this.

Early Seminar Kick Off

For those of you that are arriving Friday night from out of town or those of you that are locally based I just wanted to say that you are most welcome to come and train on Friday afternoon. Bring your gear and your party frock because after we train I fully expect you to stay and enjoy watching the Irish Women’s Rugby Team take on the French in their opening game of the 2009 international calender. You will be able to sip mineral water afterwards with the teams and discuss with the Irish girls what a brilliant, thoughtful and supportive coach I am. It should be a great night…it always is and great way to kick off the seminar. If you plan on coming on Friday to train and watch the game let me know? The game kicks off at 7.30pm.

The Seminar

We are going to have an early start…no matter how late a finish we have Friday night…so the seminar will be kicking off at 9.00am…even if I am talking to myself. Don’t worry though there will be plenty of coffee…proper coffee. Saturday will be focused primarily on the strength side of strength and conditioning while Sunday will be more focused on the conditioning side and most importantly on putting it all together. Everybody who is coming needs to make sure they have all their gear with them as you’ll be breaking sweat yourselves on both days along with assessing, testing, programming and coaching athletes both in the gym and out on the pitch. This is not going to be a simple I talk and you listen then ask a series of inane and irrelevant questions to which I feign interest and answer only because you are paying me type seminar…although I’m sure there will be plenty of that. It is going to be a here’s what you need to know now show me how you would put it into practice in the real world type seminar…everyone who attends is actually going to learn something whether they like it or not and everyone who attends is going to be a better coach afterwards than they were before they arrived…even taking into account that some of you may destroy more than a few brain cells Friday and Saturday night.

Seminar Format:
Saturday
Introduction to Strength and Conditioning for Athletes
Screening, Functional Movement Analysis and Mobility and Stability for Athletes
Strength Testing, Assessment and Interpretation of Results
Strength Training Practice, Principles and Programming
Strength Testing and Assessment – Practical

Sunday
Conditioning Testing and Assessment
Conditioning Training Practice, Principles and Programming
Program Construction & Design – Putting It All Together
Seminar – Q&A
Conditioning Testing and Assessment – Practical (Off site)

Run Forrest Run

Two running groups tonight…one group doing primarily fitness and the other doing speed work (which was actually fitness…but don’t tell them that). Here are the two sessions.

3 minutes easy run…the 2 minutes of mobililty and flexibility work

40 seconds hard run 20 seconds recovery run

30 seconds hard run 30 seconds recovery run

20 seconds hard run 40 seconds recovery run

They did 3 of these sets back to back for a complete block then they took a 1 minute water break.

They did 3 of these blocks in total….so that’s 35 minutes in the session in total.

Logi's response to his pitch conditioning session

Logi's response to his pitch conditioning session

The other session looked like this:

This session took about 30 minutes as well.

This is what I think conditioning work should look like…if I sent these guys out to run for 35minutes they’d be bored to death. The intensity would be rubbish. I’ve also never seen a sport played at a single velocity…these sessions had constant changes in velocity…acceleration, deceleration and changes in direction. I bet if I took a 100 athletes that I’ve coached that have done these conditioning sessions and who’ve just ran laps…I bet every single one of them would actually rather do my sessions any day…I bet if any of you did them as well you’d rather do mine…the other thing I bet is that doing my sessions you’ve no idea how much time has passed and how long you have to go…you are just counting intervals down and doing a 35min run you’d feel every second passing. As I think we’ve established…each to his own. Maybe you’d prefer to just go out and run 35 minutes. I know what I think my lads prefer and what I think provides a better bang for my buck time wise.

The Womens Rugby

500m row/Stretch/500m row/Stretch

1A Chest Supported Scap Rows – 2×8

1B Inverted Shrugs

DB Floor Press – 2 w/u x8, 5×5

Band Assisted Pull Ups – 5×12

Straight Arm DB Sit Ups – 5×8

Elevated Split Squats – 4×8 each side

Leg Curls – 3×8

Rower – 10 sets of 100m effort with 45 second recovery between efforts.

Damian Tested

Weighed in a 110kg and benched the same. The did 10 pull ups, 44 push ups, 31 inverted rows and trap bar deadlifted 170kg.

Olympic Lifting Technique – Jerk Demo Series

People seem to be under the delusion that I am anti-Olympic lifting. Far from it. I love Olympic lifting and where appropriate it is a brilliant tool for your coaching and training tool box. I think the problem is that people think that Olympic lifting is the be all and do all of training for sport…it’s not. I have people that can’t do 3 chin ups that want to do Olympic lifting…that’s just stupid.

Any way I wanted to post these videos up as I think it would be a good resource for those of you that are involved in coaching Olympic lifting and or use the lifts in training.

I’ll throw in the disclamer here and I’ll make each of the lift series individual posts just so it’ll be easier for people to find later on.

Now the lads that did these video wrote a disclaimer but it was absolute crap…they have an even more tenuous grasp of the English language than I have. So I’ve written my own

My Disclaimer of their Disclaimer: This is part of a series of drills to help troubleshoot some popular beginner mistakes with the Olympic lifts. The approach used is based on their synthesis from various coaches they’ve worked with or read about. These videos are not meant to be an all encompassing layout of the Olympic lifts, its just an evolving teaching tool.

This is just one way of teaching the lifts. It isn’t the best nor is it the worst…it’s just a way of teaching them. If you want to get onto the guys that made the videos you can go to their website and check them out for yourselves.

Part 1: Setting up

Part 2: Dipping

Part 3: Drive and Catch

Part 4: Jerk Balances

Part 5: Other Types of Jerks

Part 6: Other Jerk Assistance

Olympic Lifting Technique – Snatch Demo Series

People seem to be under the delusion that I am anti-Olympic lifting. Far from it. I love Olympic lifting and where appropriate it is a brilliant tool for your coaching and training tool box. I think the problem is that people think that Olympic lifting is the be all and do all of training for sport…it’s not. I have people that can’t do 3 chin ups that want to do Olympic lifting…that’s just stupid.

Any way I wanted to post these videos up as I think it would be a good resource for those of you that are involved in coaching Olympic lifting and or use the lifts in training.

I’ll throw in the disclamer here and I’ll make each of the lift series individual posts just so it’ll be easier for people to find later on.

Now the lads that did these video wrote a disclaimer but it was absolute crap…they have an even more tenuous grasp of the English language than I have. So I’ve written my own

My Disclaimer of their Disclaimer: This is part of a series of drills to help troubleshoot some popular beginner mistakes with the Olympic lifts. The approach used is based on their synthesis from various coaches they’ve worked with or read about. These videos are not meant to be an all encompassing layout of the Olympic lifts, its just an evolving teaching tool.

This is just one way of teaching the lifts. It isn’t the best nor is it the worst…it’s just a way of teaching them. If you want to get onto the guys that made the videos you can go to their website and check them out for yourselves.

Part 1: Setting up

Part 2: Dead Hang Snatch

Part 3: Snatch Balance/Drop Snatch

Part 4: Pulling Sequence From Above the Knee

Part 5: Pulling From Above the Knee

Part 6: Pulling Sequence From the Floor

Part 7: Eccentric Pulling

Part 8: Accessory Pulls

Other Odds and Ends Relating to Bar Height

For the Clean

For the Snatch

When the blog was exported and came over here…I found a heap of drafts that got lost in the ether

Firstly, 

This is a partial post that I actually just found and thought I’d post just because it is relevant to what I was having a rant about in my previous post:

I got them following email this morning from Matthew Perryman:

I lose the internet for a few weeks and you sell out? I knew it was coming.

Good reading though, I figured it’d mostly be drunken insults and incoherent ranting.

Here’s a question for you if you want to tackle it:

When you’ve got a particular strength goal in mind, say the bench press or deadlift is lacking by 20-40kg off what you’d like it to be, how’d you go about setting up your cycles for that over time? What I’m getting at…you mentioned awhile back that you had a guy that had just benched around 150kg and you expected him to hit 180kg in the near future — what kind of setup are you using to make that happen? I’ve got a good idea of what you’ll say, I think, but I’d like to see you actually flesh it out.

These are the sort of questions I want for this blog? Because this is exactly what I want to do.

Coaches here in Ireland I’ve found on the whole seem to want to pretend that what they are doing is magic. They don’t expose themselves or their ideas to scrutiny. I could probably say from experience in a lot of cases at even the highest level they surround themselves with ‘Yes Men’…they find people who agree with what they are doing…people who are going to tell them it is all perfect and that they are spot on. What is the point of that? They hide their training plans and have ‘closed sessions’ like they are turning lead into gold. Now that is not to say that there aren’t great coaches here…because there are people doing great work….I just think they would be doing even better work if they were more open.
I’ll say this to anyone who’s reading this…whether you are a coach or just a serious trainer….when was the last time you showed you training program to someone? When was the last time that you asked for advice?

That was it…that was all I got done…I don’t have a clue what I was going to go say but I think it is still a good point. If you want to get better as a coach and or trainer then get your stuff out there and get feedback. If you can’t argue your own corner then you might as well pack up and go home.

To answer Matt’s question…it depends. The next person that I have thatis looking to add kg’s to any particular lift I’ll just post the program that I give them and we can see the program and see how they get on. I much prefer doing that than just talking out of my whole hypothetically.

I am so going to kick your arse

I was talking with a coach tonight. I do talk with other coaches and anyone that knows me know that I love to talk about training so I can sucked in to helping out a lot of people and I get sucked in happily. I think I could actually say that I have never not helped anyone that asked for help with their training ever. Tonight though I was basically getting my help thrown back in my face…that I can deal with as well…I always say to my athletes and I’ve said it to coaches as well…’If someone can’t explain and tell you why you are doing something training wise. If they can’t do it convincingly and in words that anyone could understand…then they’re full of shit.’ …and that’s a direct quote from me because I say it all the time and I say it just like that…it is one of my stock phrases…not as popular as ‘If you’re not assessing you’re guessing.’…which I say at least twice a day…to the extent that many people who work with me take the piss out of me constantly about it. The thing is…the reason that I say both these phrases all the time over and over again is because it’s true.

Now let me tell you the ‘gist’ of this coaches argument and I’ll give you a little background first…and I’ll do it briefly even though I want to ramble on about it endlessly. Now all the things I am going to mention…like my trusty phrase collection…people have heard before…but like my phrase collection…I think that these things are relevant because in my opinion they are generally true.  I think I’m going to bullet point this…I’ll pretend I’m Dr House for a minute and we’ll see if we can find a solution to the illness this coach is suffering:

  • Most coaches work alone. They have to coach both the technical and physiological elements of their athletes and teams.
  • Most coaches suffer from proximity bias. They are comfortable in their surroundings. They do what they’ve always done. They coach how they were always coached.
  • Most coaches aren’t comfortable with new ideas or ways of doing things. Even though to a man and woman…they always say they are. It isn’t true…when a coach says that to you…trust me…they are lying to you and lying to themselves.

As an aside…athletes are like this as well…and so are you…whoever you are reading this. People in general are just full of shit and never more so in my experience than when it comes to training. People say that they want to try something new…what they really mean is that they want to try something that is like what they’ve been doing but differnet enough that it feels like it is something new. If you want to see this in action go to ANY training forum ANYWHERE…it doesn’t matter where it is…go and read ANY post started by ANYONE who is asking for training advice and you will see exactly the same thing…they ask for advice about a program they are going to do…the program will be idiotic…they’ll be told as much…they’ll argue about it for a couple of days with everyone and then just go and do what they were going to do anyway…people don’t want advice…they don’t want help…they don’t want information [about what to do], they want affirmation [that what they’ve already decided to do is ok]. They want to be told that they are correct or brilliant or cutting edge or whatever. This happens everywhere…the only advice and help they will accept is advice and help that is just a ‘tweaking’ or ‘modification’ of what they’ve expressed.

I’ve had 18 and 20 year old players tell me how they should train. I’ve had them tell me the best way to train. It is bad enough older more experienced players doing it and making themselves look like idiots…but 20 year olds…give me a break. I’m sorry if you guys and gals are reading this but you’re morons. I’ve had players come to me for help…waste my time talking to me and waste my time getting me to write them programs…when I say waste my time maybe I’m being a little harsh…1. Because I get paid for it and 2. Because I do still enjoy it. They do the programs get results and within a 2 or 3 months are back doing the same stupid crap training wise they were doing before hand. It happens constantly

This is what coaches do as well…they lose championships every year. So they ask for help. They want to do something new. So you give them something new you give them something different. I’ve had coaches do what I’ve suggested…do something new…something different…they’ve done it for a month or two…they’ve seen that performances have improved…that their athletes are getting better and they still ditch the program. They still say thanks but no thanks and the reason that they do so is because when they said they wanted something different…they lied…they wanted something just a little different but something they could recognise as being just like what they’ve always done. But anyway…where was I…oh that’s right…

  • Most coaches that have a bad season come back the next year and do exactly the same thing they did the year before…but they think this time it’ll work…as long as they put a little more effort into it…or just try a little harder.

Like I said…I could go on and on about this.

This particular coach has done all the courses and got all the coaching accreditation’s for the sport they are involved in…they played at pretty much the highest level in their sport. The problem is…I just paused then…after I wrote…The problem is…because there are heaps of problems but I can only make one blog post at a time…so let me rephrase that…one of the problems is that all these course and all the certifications are rubbish…I’ll short hand this again even though I would and will ramble on about it…but essentially all these training course and certifications training modules are built on a template built for athletics and athletics involves peaking for competitions on defined annual cycles. The strength training information is built on data gathered in endless ‘one off’ semester long studies of untrained college males. Now field sports in general couldn’t be more different to athletics if it tried…and doing strength training with athletes that have been weight training for up to 8-10 years for an entire season couldn’t possibly be much more different than to training untrained college males for 8-10 weeks.  So right from the get go this coach who’s confidence is boosted by the feeling that he has all the information he needs tucked away is not on the solid ground that he thinks.

So anyway to our little discussion this evening…a month or so ago he asked for advice…I gave him more than that…I gave him a training outline…essentially the what I am going to put up on the blog over the coming weeks…based on what I think are the ‘actual’ training needs of the athletes involved in the sport. I spoke to him tonight and basically he told me that he had decided to go with something else…he was doing distance running at the moment and intended to go from high volume and low intensity to low volume high intensity work closer to championship. I was almost shaking with anger (I have anger management issues…as many people know…so it doesn’t take much) then he mentioned Selye’s ‘general adaptation syndrome’ and I could barely contain myself…I did though because I wanted to hear all the gory details…I wanted to know everything so I just shut my mouth and listened as he broke down all the training phases…his aerobic base phase and blah blah blah…any of you that work in the area or who read in the area know the rest…he basically outline a model of traditional linear periodisation…now I won’t go into too much more detail and I’ll get to my point.

He was telling me how great todays session was…how he had them running doing laps in a pretty famous nature area here in Dublin…it is a good area for training…some hills and flat sections…he had them run about 20km…he was proud of the fact that some of them spewed…that they were exhausted…that some of them couldn’t make it and collapsed…he thought this was a brilliant training session and that the ‘aerobic base’ they were developing would really make all the difference…this coach is an idiot…and I know he’s going to be reading this so just to make things clear YOU ARE AN IDIOT just like I told you on the phone.

This coach is making what is one of the most common mistakes in coaching for field sports. I’m talking about Gaelic football, rugby, basketball, football whatever I know it happens in most sports..including MMA…and that is the focus that is put on endurance training. I can’t understand how people can have so little understanding of the physical requirements of the sports in which they are involved. The object of training is not to make people vomit, it is not to make people exhausted. The object and measure of a good session is not how tired you can make someone…that is easy…any idiot can do that…as this coach clearly demonstrated. These players who did this session have training tomorrow night…more of the same I am told. Then weights on Tuesday and Thursday and more running on Wednesday and Friday and are then doing the same run on Sunday again. This coach has assured me that no team is going to train harder than them this season…which is true I’m sure. The problem is 1. He is barely going to have a team let alone a squad by the time the championship comes around because he won’t have any athletes left…the ones he does have left I’m sure will make fantastic cross country runners but they sure as hell won’t be any good at the sport they were supposedly training for. As I’ve said over and over again here the best way to prepare for your sport is to compete and the best way to ensure that you are available to compete is to not be injured. What this coach is going to do is to maximise injuries in the best way possible and I mean getting injured not preventing them. If you want to ensure that you get injured do some repetitively and make sure you do it when you are physically not prepared for it…that’s what these athletes are doing. 2. Getting any improvement in performance as a result of training is directly related to an athletes ability to recover from that training. I should really put this in bold…if the training is too hard or too much the athlete will actually get slower, weaker and their overall performance will decline.

What I had outlined to him was an extension of the points I made in the Conditioning Work post that a couple of the lads here were commenting on which essentially boils down to doing work at the highest intensity possible for as long as you can possibly maintain it then rest as long as you need to so that you can do it again…over time you’ll be able to do what you need to be able to do harder and for longer and be able to do it again with less rest…that sounds like exactly what you’d want to be able to do ‘fitness wise’ in just about every field sport I’ve ever been involved with…but what would I know?