LR400 has given a good overview of what was done at the OTC in Lake Placid. Jason Hartman did a great job and his athletes produced some of, if not the best, pushes on the World Cup tour.
Jon Carlock is the head of the OTC in Colorado Springs and from my perspective the training looks very much like programs from Mike Stone with regard to the lifting portion.
The training I’ve seen from foreign countries is similar to what we do here, everyone lifts heavy (OL’s and squats) and does quality acceleration work along with shot throws and plyos. It’s typical for a World Cup brakeman to squat over 250k, clean above 160k and run sub 3.6 in the 30m w/1m fly–all at a bodyweight of 215-260 (Kevin Kuske and Alexey Voevoda).
I am currently interning at the USOTC in Lake Placid. What we’re doing right now is utilizing vertical integration block periodization incorporating basic jumps (no landings currently as we are in our first training block), Olympic weightlifting and the derivatives thereof (squats, pressing variations, pulls to the knee, mid-thigh pulls, etc.), sprints (currently hill sprints; again, first block), extensive core-tempo sessions, and med. ball throws. The new Head of Sport Physiology for Winter Sport studied under both Charlie Francis and Dr. Mike Stone and is currently in the process of incorporating what could be a called a hybrid of both systems; that is, an athlete development system that incorporates extensive long-term monitoring of the athletes, a holistic approach to speed and strength training, and a strong emphasis on full recovery. What we have seen thus far is that the athletes are buying into the system after they have been informed of the science behind the approach. Currently, my responsibility as an intern has been to do static jump testing (at varying loads; 0, 10, 20, 40, and 60kg) of all the athletes, write up a data return paper template that is to be returned to that athletes after the testing data has been analyzed and interpreted, and to do an extensive literature review on all three gliding sports (bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge) so that we may modify our testing procedure in the future so as to better reflect sport specificity. Obviously, the goal of this science-centric approach to athlete development is to better understand what makes a good bobsleigher (luger, skeleton athlete) and take that knowledge and use it to create high-level Olympians.
Brad DeWeese hosted a conference that Charlie and I put on at UNC Asheville while he was the track coach at UNCA. It was a two-day seminar back in 2002. Brad may have employed Charlie’s approach, but it would be a stretch to say that he “studied under” Charlie. Don’t get me wrong – Brad’s a good guy and a dedicated coach. It was a hell of a seminar attended by great coaches such as “Pioneer” and “Flash” on this site. Are you sure Brad is the guy now at USOTC Lake Placid?
The male bobsleigh athlete training here at the moment is Jarred Clugston and John Napier; Tomasevicz is in Colorado but Brad is writing his program. Most of the bobsleighers up here right now are the women and Brad is doing all of their programming as well.
Good luck to you and Brad, sounds like you are doing some interesting research.
I know Clugston from Push Championships but Napier was in Afghanstan at that time. After football season is over, I’m looking to make it back up to New York and get on the ice, perhaps I’ll run into you then.
I wouldn’t call it a three-a-day…it’s just weights-sprint work-weights…split the weights session up for max. power output throughout the session. As far as the micro-cycle goes it’s pretty basic three (or four depending on the sport) high days interspersed with low-int. extensive core tempo…Sundays off. It’s similar to what Mr. Francis talks about in his “Best Of” forum reviews.
Makes sense, I do work like that quite often. The dynamic portion prior to the sprints which are followed by static work.
What sort of sprint volumes are you projecting to hit on a given acceleration day? I know from my conversations with Jason that they used to be 180-240y, shutting down the session as soon as performance dropped off.
It depends on where the athlete is in the mesocycle but for a strength-endurance phase it’s usually less than 180-240 yds (they have to be able to produce speed and power during their lifting session after all). On page 39 of Mr. Francis’ Key Concepts book he has a sample program that looks like this (I omitted the sample med.ball throws and weights as they aren’t relevant):
Speed: 2x3x20-30m accelerations (at least 4 min rest between reps).
Obviously we’re not training 100m sprinters so the distances have been adjusted to reflect the 40m acceleration distance for bobsledders where the initial impulse is the most important part of the race. However, the volume is fairly close.
Yes, we’re training 6 days a week in the basic sense of the word but the core/tempo sessions are meant for recovery. We only have 3 truly “high” days this block; Saturday is more of a technique day. None of our acceleration work is on the track. We use a hill for a few reasons: 1) the hill, if at the proper incline, puts the athlete in a better sprinting position, especially if the athlete has had no formal sprint technique training before, 2) the hill does not allow an athlete to hit top speeds (thereby reducing risk for injury) but still allows the athlete to give a 95%+ effort, and 3) because the hill is “forgiving” (i.e., it’s not made of concrete, asphalt, or track compound), it reduces wear and tear on the athletes body which is important in a strength-endurance phase (or any phase of training really).
I understand some coaches believe you can run the risk of over-training/CNS burnout when working accel three days a week, I would assume in your case the volume is extremely low and this is not an issue. How’s the tempo volume?
Yes, the volume is fairly low…we’re training bobsledders, not 100m sprinters. We hit around 300m/session (accel work) but the distance of the actual sprints is quite short, at least compared to what Mr. Francis would suggest for a sprinter. As far as tempo goes, we’re hitting around 1,300-1,800m/week depending on the sport and the athlete.