vern gambetta

interesting quote from his website on periodisation
"Let‘s get real we have learned a tremendous amount in the last thirty years. We need to get past Bompa, all he has done is recycle the Russian stuff of Matveyev from the 50’s. "

And from t-nation today a summarry of a presentation of his on speed:

"Speed is a biomotor ability we all have to some extent. In other words, speed is a learnable motor task, and we can all get pretty fast if we work at it.

• Track speed doesn’t equal game speed. That’s why speed drills should be task-specific, and track work should be limited.

• Optimal speed drills should approximate game situations and last four to six seconds.

• Don’t practice “speed in the air” (e.g. skipping) when your game time is spent on the ground.

• Surprisingly, many athletes today are actually too fast for their game, and multidirectional agility suffers as a result."

By all means, lets “Get past Bompa” and listen to Gambetta and his Sports Specific rehash.
Let’s think for a minute. If we do everything to duplicate what’s in a game, how do we improve?
It’s like running nothing but 100s to improve the 100. Good luck with that.
A few years back, I was asked to review the program he provided to a major professional team by management after they suffered a rash of serious injuries (I think I still have it somewhere).
There were hundreds of pages, filled with an assemblage of every ludicrous drill he had ever seen or heard of. What could all these have been specific to?
Gambetta has had it in for Tudor ever since he gave a presentation in Indianapolis, telling the truth and denouncing all this trendy bullshit.
In fact, Gambetta and his like-minded pals ganged up and said they wouldn’t present wherever Tudor was invited, and, as they are the flavor of the month, basically got Tudor pushed out.
Let’s go point by point through what Gambetta has to say above:

1: He’s never heard of speed reserve.

2: See my earlier comments about segmental improvement.

3: He can’t figure out that you must touch the ground to skip.
BTW, there was a TON of skipping with legs tied together with Therabands etc in his program.

4: Too fast for their game? By that logic, Tiger Woods is now too strong for Golf and won’t be any good anymore.

What’s frightening is not that Gambetta is clueless, it is that whatever befalls the last crop of adherents, there is always a fresh audience.

hahah thats great:) yeah it kinda got to me and i knew it would to others here. And as i was reading through the comments on the article i coudn’t believe a comments from people who follow him. someone said something along the lines of “Great sprinters make for poor multi-directional athletes. You would be surprised how uncoordinated a world-class sprinter can be.” people are so arrogant lol

and for some reason there really are a ton of bompa haters, its getting annoying. id like to see any of them replicate the success hes had

wow - sounds like the gym im leaving, Finally! was locked into a contract for 12months in a gym that loves Crap training. Therabands, swiss balls, bosu and most instructors cant even Squat - let alone perform a power clean “oh thats too complicated” haha, if thats too complicated, imagine their Planning!

Well sprinters CAN be very uncoordinated in other areas. (I am exibit A)
As for the Bompa haters:
1:The posts might be from the other Sport Specific Gurus.
2:The posts are from Gambetta acolytes, meaning consider the source.
3:The posts could be from non S.Sp. guys who’s methods or products were also held up to ridicule by Tudor. (and Gambetta’s crew will bitch about Tudor on their sites in a quid pro quo)

A note to all the trainers out there…

A smart client Intuitively know what’s real training and what’s trend with out ever going to a seminar or reading about training…

Give them silly stuff they will just laugh and say what ever.

Give them a hill a barbell and a med ball and they will feel like they are doing something worth while.

It could be argued that Gambetta is just rehashing a famous paper Prof. Verkhoshansky wrote 21 years ago because Vern hasn’t come up with a single useful idea in that time period.

See some of the comments James Smith had in the Tudor Bompa Thread about various NCAA S&C programs and apply to Gambetta.

Gambetta’s comments make about as much sense as Lyndon Hertzberg’s fake times.

One point about No4. Obviously if you are faster you are required to absorb greater forces to decelerate and change direction (so changing direction is more difficult - just as negociating a corner going at 100mph is harder than doing it at 30 in a car) BUT as CF says if you are faster doesn’t mean you have to use all of that speed. Instead you can run at a lower percentage of your maximum speed, which is easier for you than the slower guy meaning you can repeat it more often, and now change direction just like everyone else. On those few “game winning” occasions when you need to make a break away run in a fairly straight line you will get there quicker than anyone else and score that touch down, goal, make that tackle etc…

The point of being faster in a directional game, like tennis, is to INITIATE sooner so you have more time to set up and follow through before the next set up.

This is exactly the reason why people like Gambetta need to be drawn and quartered. We have to spend our valuable time explaining the obvious to clients/parents because their minds have been muddled by ridiculous statements like, “you don’t want to be too fast.”

It’s amazing how many times I’ve heard myself saying exactly what Charlie said. Soccer people are talking about agility and multi-directional speed when they clearly need to improve linear acceleration. If the ball is in front of you, you aren’t running serpentine to get to it. Get there as fast as you can to make a play - in a straight line. Same with baseball. I remember trying to convince a coach that they did not need an intricate agility test for their program (i.e. running around cones for 15 seconds). The ball is hit, you run to it (in a straight line), you catch it, then you throw it. And, they have “base-lines” to show the athletes where they need to run after a hit. Even when a player rushes the mound, it is usually in a straight line.

One so-called expert out where I live invests all his marketing in the importance of teaching people how to stop or brake. Madness. My guess it is because the athletes they train will have to stop quickly as they are being pulled out of the game and replaced by someone who can actually accelerate.

My guess it is because the athletes they train will have to stop quickly as they are being pulled out of the game and replaced by someone who can actually accelerate.


Actually, I think that there is room (in team sports) for both linear speed and multidirectional speed (highly correlated with linear speed), with emphasis on the former. Fast change of direction, fast - stop - fast changing direction, can be trained. Putting too much emphasis in a training program upon that will clearly be sub-optimal. The fact that running too fast is detrimental is laughable at best. Dramatic increases in speed don’t happen overnight, and our body has a certain ability to adapt. We are not talking about jumping off a scooter and sprint in another direction, aren’t we?

I read before that the quads are the primary braking muscles in the leg and are important for slowing down and changing direction. Maybe people who put too much emphasis on linear speed don’t put enough work into building strong enough quads to match their p-chain? That way they wouldn’t be able to change direction as well at their faster speeds.

I completely agree that doing volumes of COD work when the trainer/coach in question has spent little, if any, time devoted to linear speed development makes no sense. That or the methods that they use are typically not effective. Why worry about changing direction if you have not first developed speed?

I suppose if you don’t improve upon linear speed, then it should be easier to change directions since the athlete will be slow-not much to overcome or change direction from. Maybe that’s the thinking-if there is any thinking going on.

Certainly if the athletes are following an appropriate comprehensive program, including weight training (particularly eccentric strength), plyometrics, med-ball work and other elements you will be well prepared to undertake the “skill” work required to change direction and decelerate safely. The problem with the so-called gurus is that they isolate their argument to “linear sprinting” alone and say that someone who only runs straight will not be properly prepared to play a team sport. Well, duhhhh!

Playing their sport must not be forgotten from the equation as well. If you are playing football, soccer, basketball, etc. as a youngster and then working your way up, you are progressively decelerating and changing direction, adapting to new gains in speed and body mass. This is part of the training whole.

To divert people away from further developing linear speed and acceleration to make room for even more change-of-direction and deceleration work is irresponsible. From my experience in working with teams and watching others work with teams, it is obvious to me that not enough pure acceleration and speed work is being performed (with proper mechanics, progressions and recovery times). Pushing athletes away from this work will only exacerbate the problem.

If parents are concerned that their children might get too fast, they can send them to Gambetta and their worries will be over.

I’ve been aquainted with Mr. Gambetta since @1980. He is the master of tearing others down to advance his own agenda/career/business. To say that he is ethically hypocritical is very much an understatement. I can provide multiple examples, but really he doesn’t merit the effort. He’s never produced an athlete of note. End of story.

He helped Ben in '88 :wink:

Was he also in the secret room supervising the squats 1/2 hour before the Seoul final??
How such a large group of Egos could have fit in one room is a wonder.

I’m trying to figure out why we’re wasting bandwidth on this guy. :confused:

He is the kind of person who feels that any attention is good even if it’s bad. I fear that someone may actually be encouraged by this discussion, visit his website and buy something from him. :wink:

Through longevity he has gained credibility with much of the NCAA S+C crowd as it is. :frowning:

And Charlie you are not far off when you say he will make claims such as having been in the proximity of greatness. His trick is to stop just short of a statement being a complete lie or fabrication. :mad: