Stripping Away All that is Useless

Reading this reminded me of Charlie’s comment on NBA players and the amount of plyometric work they (should) do.

Doh! Good point. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Too bad “practical” things aren’t valued more. Its their loss, I guess!

I think I see where you and Charlie were going with this… (at least in a vague kind of way) Very exciting concept! It would great if you could apply some “practical” applications to Dr. Nigg’s research.

At the conference I attended Dr. Nigg presented his ideas on vibrational tuning; specifically how it would influence running injuries. He believed that changing running surfaces, shoes or orthotics would do little to change the frequency.

I am REALLY interested to find out how you plan to implement these ideas! :cool:

My guess would be that within a research study, you would have a number of limitations:

  1. Short study window. I would think that you would have to study this over months to years to see the full effect of changing surfaces and modalities - periodized for maximum effect.

  2. Quality of athlete in the study. I would expect that lower level athletes (or regular people) would exhibit less profound effects than elite athletes. I would also be interested to see the differences between developing youth athletes and mature athletes. I would expect that if you used this methodology properly during the developmental years of an athlete, you would have long lasting, profound results that would be hard-wired into the athlete.

So, I can’t see how he could replicate the precise effects of muscle tuning through training.

Helluva topic to discuss though…!!!

While I agree with the points you make, I wouldn’t confuse dropping means, during competition, that compete with the CNS reserves needed for sprinting during competition. CNS demands from sprint training are much higher in comp phase than GPP or SPP. Some of these exercises may be good and very much needed, you just can’t afford to do them during comp phase because higher and higher sprinting intensity is absorbing so much more of the CNS reserve than in earlier phases. Doesn’t necessarliy mean you can/should do without them during GPP or even SPP.

We’re not saying drop them absolutely. However, are there some exercises that are kept in the mix for, say, reasons of insecurity, rather than having a proper place in the training program? It is a discussion that needs to be addressed.

I liken some training programs to the way airlines overbook seats in flights.

The other issue is in relation to mature, elite sprinters versus developing non-elites.

It is not a “black-and-white” discussion. There are many shades of grey.

From my research, heavy isometric training is regarded the best for developing the tendons/increasing stiffness. It’s also the fastest way to CNS drainage too (30-60sec holds).

Muscle can’t compete with tendon elasticity.


And not a spiral in sight. :smiley:

This is a great topic… My question is, if the quality of sprints is what is most important in the training program (which I completely agree with), and the aim is to get as many quality repetitions as possible for the largest adaptation towards actually getting faster, then what is the opinion on using stuff like caffeine before training? If it helps with faster times during training itself, then that will provide a positive adaptation will it not?

Obviously recovery in between workouts has to be taken into account, but if that is in place…

Obviously not directed towards the caffeine intolerant which can cause fatigue, resulting in decreased athletic ability.

Sprinting and Elastic Strength.

Good article.

Original Link:

…The Muscle-Tendon Complex

The work of Professor Mcneil Alexander and other researchers has elucidated the intricate and fascinating subject of locomotion. In particular, mammalian locomotion both biped (two limbs) and quad riped (four limbs) respectively. In order for mammals to run, gallop or sprint quickly and efficiently, a number of physiological, and bio mechanical processes must work optimally AND in unison. To move at great speed, it seems that the legs of mammals act as springs. They perform a series of bounces where gravitational energy is stored in a “retainer” on contact with the ground and released during the lengthening or push off phase. Human runners/sprinters are no different from other mammals. During locomotion, kinetic energy is transferred to potential energy. At lower speeds of running or when walking, the transfer is between kinetic and gravitational potential energy.

So where is potential energy stored?.

Well the answer lies in the tendons of the limbs and aponeurosis or myofascial; tissue made of collagen and elastin that binds muscle together like glue. What is fascinating is how muscle interacts with tendons during mammalian and human locomotion. It has been held traditionally, that muscles lengthen or work eccentrically during the impact phase of running, and shorten or work concentrically during the propulsive or push off phase. On the contrary, new research seems to be almost heretic in its new findings. Muscle doesn’t contract eccentrically or concentrically on contact with the ground. If that is the case, then the final analysis leads to muscle working isometrically! This is in direct opposition to the commonly held belief that muscles need to be elastic during ground contact. Elasticity is needed yes, and both muscle and tendon are capable of storing energy in their elastic components , but tendons are far more efficient than muscle in this respect. The muscle-tendon complex relies on tendons acting as elastic entities and muscle acting as stiff components…

Not sure if this is the thread for talking about caffeine, it’s been discussed quite a bit on the forum elsewhere, but…

From what I’ve read, caffeine helps performance if used intermittently, but not if used all the time. I know one of Canada’s top sp[rinters in 96’ used to take 400mg or caffeine before a race (with L-Tyrosine and I think something else…all perfectly legal). I would let my athletes use caffeine before competitions, but with a few of them it made them too nervous and as a result they lost their appetite and wouldn’t eat before their races, and they would run tight, not relaxed.

OK yeah sorry if I changed the thread topic, I was just thinking about it after reading NumberTwo’s original post on doing what is necessary in order to run fast in training itself.

Because it’s a diuretic, it can block mineral absorption and of course, affect sleeping patterns. I am sure other members of the forum can be more scientific on this, but as a general strategy I would go with Herb here.

Caffeine’s diuretic effects are mild at most (and more than offset if the caffeine is taken in a beverage) and only relevant if

a. the caffeine is not used regularly
b. the athlete does something silly like, oh I don’t know, not drink something with it

so far as blocking mineral absorption, how is this relevant around a single workout?

Certainly, too much stimulation can be as bad as too little (U shaped arousal curve). But that’s something to test in training anyhow.

Lyle, one of my professors alluded to the duiresis effect of caffeine the other day. She lectures to the med school and used to be a clinical dietician. She doesn’t believe in the mantra of the usual dietician. She said she laughs when people tell her you can’t count coffee or tea toward your daily fluid intake goals due to diuresis. She was like what the hell do you think tea or coffee are 99% water. I doubt the diuresisis very much at all. I would be leery of using it all the time, but when one really needs a kick in the pants, I see nothing wrong with caffeine. As far as your comments Number Two, they are well heeded and well respected.

I stopped drinking coffee for the last three months because it seemed to make me irritable. Now I sleep much better as well. However, my kids passed on their cold to me this past week and having a tall coffee in the morning certainly jump-starts my engine during these low periods. I am likely caffeine-sensitive and avoid higher amounts on a regular basis. But when I can use a ‘lift’ a stiff dose does wonders.

Probably best to follow the same infrequent dosage pattern with athletes, topping up during low periods, key workouts or competitions.

I agree whole heartedly. You see everybody and their brother using preworkout mixes these days. I related the experience of taking Jackd where I almost blacked out on incline with 335lbs. Midway through set, I thought I was going. I once drank an Endorush when I was dog tired at 10 am. I didn’t sleep for somewhere in the vicinity of 40+ hours; never again. I even watched the Notebook at 3 am. No luck, I dont know if the movie made me sad or no sleep. Haha! I use things for a jolt when I need it. I hate depending on anything, especially with athletes.

It was my impression the original post (on the caffeine topic) was referring to training in general and not a single workout; perhaps I am wrong. As for the rest of your points, they are noted and I agree on one-off situations, as others have stated.

Back on topic.

How’s this for a quote?. (Don’t burn me for it).

It’s important to consider the fact that squatting and jump squatting motions aren’t biomechanically similar to sprinting so the correlation with advanced athletes may be relatively weak.


They arent, thats why they are reffered to as general exercises. The difference depends on one’s philosphy of general vs specific weights.