CF vs Zatsiosrky, who's right when it comes to the use/non-use of parachutes?

Relax the headline was just to get peoples attention! I value both opinions by these masterminds of sprints and strength; however, I need a clear and concise answer to which nonmethod/method is better!

CF doesn’t, “recommend a parachute because wind conditions make it extremely difficult to regulate the resistance”

whereas; Zatsiosrky states,

"When the athlete runs, the parachute inflates, creating a drag force. The higher the running velocity, the greater the resistance force. Parachutes of several different sizes are used in training. The impeding drag force, depending on parachute size, may vary from about 5 to 200 N (within the speed range 6 to 10 m/s).

Parachutes offer several advantages over other methods of resistance training:

  • The resistance (drag) force acts strictly in the direction of the athlete’s movement;
  • Sport technique is not negatively altered;
  • Parachutes are not limited to use in straight ambulation, but can also be used when the athlete is running curves, running over hurdles, or changing direction (e.g., football, soccer);
  • Parachutes weigh only a few ounces; and
  • A parachute can be released while the person is running; this provides an impetus to increase movement velocity (this is called an assisted drill).

The only drawback of parachutes is that they offer the same amount of resistance in both the support and the nonsupport phases of running. Thus they hamper movement speed during flight while slightly changing the position of body joints during foot landing, as in hurdle running.

For maximum effect, one should vary the parachute size in micro- and mesocyles as well as in workouts. Resistant and customary training are executed during preparatory microcycles, while the assited drills are mainly utilized near the competition season. In a workout as well as in a sequence of training blocks, the resistance, determined by the parachute size, is dercreased by degrees. During a training workout, first drills (after warm-up, naturally) are performed under the heaviest resistance called for during that training session, and the final attempts are executed under the lightest resistance. Before and immediately after parachute drills, the same drills are performed under normal conditions. Parachutes are typically used two to three times a week. Sessions with parachutes are interspersed with the usual workouts. During a competition period, parachutes are used to induce a feeling of enhanced speed and explosiveness. For contrast, they are used three to five times within sport-specific drills at the beginning of a session, followed by the usual drills without a parachute." (Science and Practice of Strength Training).

From “Sprints & Relays Contemporary Theory, Technique and Training” by Jess Jarver, editor
Pg 95-100 “Parchutes, Tubing, And Towing” by Ken Jakalski, USA

Jakalski states,"for the maximum velocity sprint demands of a typical highschool sprinter, the chutes were both impractical and unstable.

The sprint chute was the brainchild of former Soviet sprint authority Ben Tabachnik, who in background, stature, and respect is the Arthur Lydiard of the sprint world. Tabachnik has authored a unique training manual called Soviet Training and Recovery Methods. In the book, co-authored by Rick Brunner, Tabachnik presents the speed chute as unique means of intensifying the training process physically, as well as metabolically and neurologically. Test results, apparently performed in secluded stadium outside of Moscow, proved that the speed chute was superior to all other devices designed to improve maximal speed, start acceleration, and speed endurance. Tabachnik notes a dramatic reduction of .2 to .4 seconds in 100m dash times, but he was also working with advanced athletes–not beginners.

Tabachnik’s work with the chutes had to be conducted in some of Russia’s massive indoor training complexes or skating rinks, where there are no crosswinds to violently disrupt a runner’s stride or alter his running path. Although such sudden wind shifts are appropriate for sports such as hockey and football, they are a disaster for single-direction activities such as sprinting, where athletes are traveling six to eight meters per second and attempting to apply force three to four times their body weight for 0.09 to .11 of a second while landing precariously on a three-inch-wide spike plate or racing flat. A gust of wind will yank the sprinter all over the place, and such a traumatic oscillation, rather than tearing down a dynamic stereotype, will tear apart a runner’s hips, knees, and ankles.

Tabachnik notes that the faster the athlete runs, the greater the drag. Herein is a problem, since resistance is not uniform for any set length. Current research suggests that to achieve gains in maximum velocity athletes should not be slowed down more than 10% because, as the resistance becomes greater, the ground dynamics change.

…The purpose of this discussion is not to discourage coaches from investing in training devices designed for sprint-resisted and sprint-assisted sequences. I still use speed chutes for acceleration training…based on time of force application, joint position, intensity and duration, are more metabolic than neural, and if the goal of a particular workout is maximum velocity mechanics, then coaches must be careful to make certain that the training stimulus targets the central nervous system."

So there you have it! I guess I answered my own question! Duh! Use parachutes that decrease a sprinters time by no more than 10% only indoors and this leads to focusing on intensifying the training process physically, metabolically and neurologically; as well as, improve maximal speed, start acceleration, and speed endurance! Use the speed chute only outdoors for acceleration; otherwise, don’t use the speed chute outdoors at all or better yet use an isorobic exerciser!

BTW, notice I didn’t include a poll this time like in the thread Bompa Vs. Zatsiosrky where readers mistakenly misunderstood and thought that I was plotting them to pick only one and therefore make the other one look bad so some people gave me a negative rep power! That was not my intent!

Do parachutes increase ground contact time in the same way that sleds and other resistance training methods do? If so, that could be a drawback that you left out on your post Supervenom.

Edit: HOly Crap! Dang, danm, wow…Nice article

Reread I wasn’t finished yet!

I vote for CF!

That sounds crazy. I’d like to see it, but I wouldn’t want to try it.

Chutes might be OK for acceleration, and I used them for that purpose until I got the isorobic exerciser.

I dont think it would be good to use over hurdles, cuz first of all what if your trail leg or something got caught in the line holding that parachute as you were going over a hurdle? That wouldnt be pretty. Also, if would mess up the timing of the race, and the hurdles is jsut as much about rythmn and timing as speed and technique.

They make work better indoor(less wind). Maybe, they can be used as a replacement for hill work during GPP if hills are not available.

It might work indoors where there is no wind. I wondered if you could use spray starch on the chutes to keep them open evenly throughout a run.
Parachute is light, easy to travel with, BUT resistance increases with speed- the opposite of what you want. I’d use the Isorobic Exerciser or an light sled as we’ve mentionned before.
Running around a curve with it wothout mechanical disruption? You must be joking.
And, as for hurdles… bloody hell!

What about using a sled and a parachute at the same time? Since the sled varies from higher to lower and the parachute vice-versa then this would be the ideal way! Or you can use the isorobic exerciser!

CF Thoughts?

Charlie, what’d you think of this:

  1. You can not run on an incline any higher than five degrees without permanently altering your running mechanics. I wonder what my childhood idol, Walter Payton would have said about that. Payton, as many of you may recall, was the NFL’s all time leading rusher and arguably the greatest running back who ever lived. His off season training regimen was legendary and hill sprints were his bread and butter. NFL Films even used to feature him doing these in their videos. Did it alter his running mechanics? I guess it did seeing how no one has ever run any further on a football field. He was injured less and missed fewer games than nearly any player in NFL history. Who knows what would have happened had he listened to one of the lab coat geeks who live by this myth. Perhaps if Payton had avoided his hill sprint regimen and instead stuck to split squats on a wobble board he may have been really good.

  2. You can not sprint with a sled because it will alter your running mechanics.
    (Or version two)
    You can not sprint with any weight heavier than forty percent of your bodyweight on the sled because it will alter your running mechanics. This is basically the same as number one. These myths may indeed be true for sprinters. They are not true, however, for all other athletes. When a soccer player sprints twenty yards down field with the ball or in search of it, are his palms wide open with arms bent ninety degrees pumping the hands to face level, face relaxed, shoulders down and relaxed, with his hips in perfect alignment? Is he doing everything possible to insure optimal sprint technique? Of course not. How could he? When a running back explodes through the line, carrying a ball in one hand while wearing a helmet and shoulder pads, is he displaying picture perfect sprint mechanics? Absolutely not. There is hardly a sport in existence wherein the athletes run in a perfectly straight line with nothing to think about but their form. So the fact that some one may “slightly alter” their running mechanics by sprinting with a sled doesn’t seem like it should be of any major concern to anyone. Sprinting with the sled develops great starting strength and a powerful stride that could benefit any athlete.

Sounds like he’s calling someone out…

You’ve got to get out more! Actually the ideal is reducing resistance.

Superhumanvenom, take that exact thought (not sure what I think of it) and apply it to weight training :slight_smile:

He is not necessarily calling anyone out. Maybe for some types of football players the change in running mechanics during a game (i.e. the weight of pads etc.) makes some of these mechanics changes moot.

However, I am not necessarily sure what to think about this subject. I am pretty sure that the changes in running mechanics affect sprinters a lot, but i am not sure about how it affects other athletes, especially those who compete in pads or have to push against high resistance (i.e. linemen).

It might also be beneficial to find out when Zatsiorsky made that statement o0n parachutes. He might make some addendums to it. You are getting the CF opinion up to the minute. I used to do hills in HS. Far steeper than 5 degrees. I think it made me tougher far more than anything else. Walter Payton was brutal on football defenses. Maybe the hills gave him that (God Bless Him). Not to promote, but Don Beebe has a section of one of his videos on hills. But, it seems to be football specific only. Besides, aren’t there better topics to discuss than parachutes? You need a vacation Super. Go to Hawaii.

Its funny you mentioned that bc I was thinking about the same thing! Like minds thinking alike :rolleyes: ? I believe that this further backs up my points about the bands! Just as Charlies states that the resistance goes up with parachutes so does the wt with bands in strength exercises! We all know what CF thinks of Parachutes and the resistance getting stronger the further you run down the track! Not to put words in CF’s mouth but I can draw a similar comparison to bands! :slight_smile:

So then sleds are the way to go!

Hell if I move down there I ain’t never coming back! Never! :wink: :wink:

EAST, WEST, NORTH, SOUTH, NOBODY EVER FIND ME! “Al Pacino’s famous last words in Donnie Brasco”

Can you imagine if we got CF and Zatsiosrky together for an hour the ideas that would come out of their brains! Hell I would pay to see that!

Imagine the possible training schemes!

I wouldn’t draw any comparison to them at all.

Question: can anyone name one world class sprinter that developed his/her speed using a speed chute?

I read Tabachnik’s book when it first came out and was enthralled with it at the time. (I was 20, that’s my excuse.) But the question I keep asking now is why is anyone interested in Soviet speed training methods? The only top sprinter they produced was Borzov, and as Charlie has pointed out on several occasions, Borzov refused to follow the official Soviet training system and did his own thing. The top officials hated him for it but they needed him so they put up with it.