Where to start? This is me interpreting paraphrasing the great Man and from the notes I took from a seminar and I would think about or refer to each one over the course of a year, often more than once.
The best way I can relate my understanding of the CNS is that it is like a cup. You never want it to overflow! This means you should always play it safe. You are better to slightly under train than over train. Supercompensation may not be as great but it will still be ok. Never go for the great super workout as the best possible outcome from it is a return to normal. There is no need to see the ultimate levels of an athlete in training.
The volume of each training session needs to be managed at the time. If there is an extraordinary speed session you may need to drop weights altogether as including the weight session may cause the cup to overflow thereby stalling, or even regressing progress. Progression is vital. If it is a high CNS day you adjust the volume as required to reach the appropriate CNS limit, conversely if the day is low CNS ensure it stays that way. Never have back to back high CNS days.
Whatever you add in to your training you have to take something out, so if you want to start doing arm curls what are you going to take out?
Extraordinary results come from extraordinary preparation, they don’t just magically happen. When correct preparation is done results will follow. That said it is crucial to train to the athlete’s level, if they are average and can realistically go 2 rounds at a meet then train for that not for them reaching the final. If they make it to round 3 that is a bonus and you can then just see what happens.
How do you mentally prepare for an important race? By having adequate and appropriate preparation and training. Yes you get nervous but if you have done the work you draw confidence from that, if you haven’t done the work you create pressure on yourself.
Flexibility is imperative. You simply cannot achieve the necessary positions without it. Incorporate stretching as part of your warm up. A shortfall in flexibility should be addressed with stretching after a session however you have to do what is necessary. If an athlete is tight and you have to perform PNF or static stretching before a race then that is what you have to do. Better that than them trying to race as they were.
There is often debate about appropriate squat depth, full range versus 1/2 ….it doesn’t matter that much. Flexibility is not gained in the weight room! It is done outside of that. The weight room is for gaining strength and flexibility is dealt with separately.
Always stretch after a session and it doesn’t always have to be a lot. Top athletes are so flexible that often them hitting a position is more of a spot check lasting a second or so to ensure adequate range of motion is in place. If it weren’t it would be addressed. When stretching just go to full range of motion not necessarily hold for X amount of time.
If you only ever do ballistic stretching how do you increase your range of motion?
Have a set warm up and stick to it regardless of the situation. So do the same thing whether it be a training session, club meet, nationals or Olympics.
Therapy is ALWAYS a gain.
Heat rubs can help just don’t get it in your eyes……or elsewhere!
Athletes should never be sore from training. In contact sports they will obviously get aches and pains but it should not be not from conditioning work.
You should increase the efficiency of directional changes by sprinting in a straight line and playing the sport, e.g. tennis. Zig zag type drills are detrimental to performance due to stretching of the ankle region.
The focus for most sports should be on increasing speed reserve.
Develop core speed first and move out.
Speed reserve is a one-way street. Absolute speed affects Speed Endurance directly but SE doesn’t affect speed directly. If SE performance is improving results will come. If SE is not improving then change things up.
With a raw beginner the best gains are achieved via general fitness, accelerations to 30m, med ball throw and accelerations on grass. Go for the whole second gains at the end rather than the partial seconds at the start.
Beginners don’t need individual programs like more advanced athletes. People would say to Charlie that X athlete should be on a more individualised program because they ran a fast time but they were only a beginner so can be not so personalised.
The number of periodization phases used annually varies on the intensities required. e.g. shotputter = 5, 100m = 3, marathon 1 or 2
Over time (after year 7) the volume MUST drop. This is both total volume and the number of max sessions. This is where many go wrong they either keep increasing or level it out, it must drop to continue progressing.
Whether an athlete follows a long to short or short to long program depends on how they can handle CNS stress. Those with a stronger CNS should go S-L. You will be able to tell from the runs and possibly how they physically handle it what they are best suited to.
If going S-L then the GPP phase may be shorter than that for L-S. The downside of L-S is that can be harder to develop speed later.
Year to year you can change from L-S to S-L but not in same year.
The number of races required to run at best.
400 2-3 (1 –200)
100 / 110 H 8
When tapering make last max session 10 days out that way if any injury is sustained you have a chance to address it. It also gives top athletes a chance for full recovery of CNS. The work from there will depend upon the athlete’s ability to handle CNS stress. A lesser athlete can go closer to the meet with last weight session. It is important during the taper to start moving away from stimulus too close to sprinting, that is why last session before meet is upper body.
400m runners can follow a similar GPP plan (as per GPP DVD) but the volume of tempo work should be higher, not a whole lot though. For example instead of doing just the long tempo session (2200m) they could do long and short one (1000) to get a total of session of 3200m. Although not a fan of continuous runs they could possibly even a 20 min run before a tempo session although NEVER on the road as it beats up legs too much. A better option may be simply to reduce rest periods of tempo session. Tempo doesn’t have to be an easy session just ensure it is not draining on the CNS and times are less than 75% of best on that surface so if running on grass that will be significantly above what it would be on a track.
If you have access to grass use it!
Pool sessions can be done in place of tempo but do 50% more work and 50% less recovery due to buoyancy. So if on grass you were doing 30 sec on 30 off then do 45 sec on 15 sec recovery.
Weights always follow track running never the other way round. That way you can adjust the weight volume (or even drop it) to manage the CNS.
Sprinting moves weights up not vice versa.
The higher the level of the athlete the less need to change the weights program. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Some weight sessions were only 20 minutes long.
If you do weights immediately after running there is less need to warm up.
With higher level athletes be careful with testing maxes, for example a top level shot putter should never test 1RM as it is too high and potential for injury too great. Ben stopped progressing his squat poundages as the chance of injury was too great, he could squat 600lbs, did he really need to go higher? At some point the possibility of serious injury outweighs the need to keep adding weigh to the bar.
Do not do single leg plyos as the risk of injury is just too great, there are coaches who advocate that work and have had numerous achilles injuries as a result…but still they carry on with it. .
Don’t worry too much about strength discrepancies between legs.
Box squats present too much risk of injury, you are standing with a heavy weight on your back then sit down on a box, release the hips and try to get up…leave it to the powerlifters.
Can’t see any point in depth drops (sticking landing) then jumping over a hurdle, why not just do hops with as short a ground contact as possible?
No plyos for basketball players as they are already getting a high volume via practices and games.
Chains, bands, eccentrics etc will all increase weights but at what cost? Every change creates adaptation and adaptation creates trauma on the body often manifested as soreness, which stalls progress as athlete needs to recover.
Ensure the correct arm action is established before all else. The hands remain at 90 degrees and come to the body’s mid line at eye level and DOWN to the point of the hip. Practice in front of mirror to ensure the correct angle is maintained and arms are going down not back. The arms may straighten slightly at the bottom but this is due to the force exerted and should never be an intentional action. At the top make sure the arms don’t lose the 90 degree angle and come in too close, that way the shoulders stay down. With the shoulders down they can rotate which in turn enhances hip rotation. Stride length is greatest when the knee is at its farthest from the body. Hip rotation gives an extra inch and /2 per stride for nothing.
Hands open or closed? Not important so long as thumbs are up and hands relaxed.
When sprinting you should only ever be thinking about up and down, not pulling or pushing.