On this first day of April, I want to set the record straight on several viewpoints that I’ve foolishly supported over the past couple years. I’ve been holding these confessions deep down inside waiting for the right day to come forward and right my wrongs. Today felt like the perfect day. I can’t hold these thoughts inside anymore and I want to publicly come forward to set things straight…
- After extensive research, I am now willing to admit that sprint technique doesn’t matter. Not at all. Not one iota. Disregard everything I’ve said to the contrary. All that matters is how much force you apply to the ground. First of all, the movement in sprinting is far too fast to have any control over. You just gotta do whatever you do and know that it’s perfect. Disregard all motor learning technical intervention studies on activities of similar or faster speeds that say you can change kinematics of high speed movements with beneficial effects on outcome measures…they simply don’t apply to sprinting. Also, all the hub-a-lub that I’ve been spouting over the past couple months about the direction of force application being as important as the magnitude is likewise ridiculous. To sprint faster, just apply more force. Period. Apply that force back, down, sideways, forward, whatever you want….just make sure you apply as much as possible and you’ll go faster. It’s as simple as that.
- Despite my previous admonitions to the contrary, I now believe over-speed training is perhaps one of the greatest tools a coach could possibly have in his proverbial toolbox. My new training motto is -Hook up a pulley and go. Hook yourself up to a car, a train, even a plane if you have access. Whatever will make your body move faster from point A to point B can only help.
- Intermediate pace tempo running will ruin a sprinter. Keep it short and fast or fairly slow but God forbid, don’t enter the ‘intensive tempo zone.’ Entering the intensive tempo zone has been known to ruin many a sprinter. For example, there’s this training camp in Waco, TX that has set back American long sprinting 20 years due to their insistence on using slower tempo running. There’s also rumored to be a pair of sprinters out of Arkansas, who’s 200m times just went down the tubes after running heavy doses of intensive tempo over the past couple years. Whatever you do stay away from intermediate pace work.
- I’ve also rethought my opinion of box jumps. After speaking with many successful DVD peddlers, I now understand that box jumps should be used on a daily if not hourly basis. The ideal setup involves the highest boxes you can find (I’ve found 2m to be the most effective height) and hammer away. I’ve found barefoot, single leg depth jumps on to concrete to be especially beneficial as an assessment tool for measuring the compression and tensile strength of the tibia, femur and sacrum. I have not yet had the time to try it, but I’m currently working to combine the benefits of box jumping with the benefits of over-speed work (can’t get too much of a good thing!). I’m setting up an industrial-strength pulley system to accelerate an athlete down to the ground from a 3m box. So far it looks like we’ll be able to get athletes to make contact with up to 5x the acceleration of gravity. I’ll give you an update when my athletes start using this advanced training method but I imagine the outcome will be anything short of bone-shattering.
Next year at this time, I’ll be back to write about the following topics:
- Why you should make stability and balance training your number one priority,
- The inferiority of free weights to machines,
- The strength and power building benefits of a combined H.I.T-Superslow weight training method, and
- The danger of ground-based, multi-joint, functional movementss