If in doubt add a load and slow the movement down! If a ten-kilo weight vest is good for weighted sprints then a thirty-kilo vest is obviously three times as good. Why? Adding load is very quantifiable; it makes it easy to measure progress. Adding load slows movement down and makes it easier to see, but does it transfer? If I can perform the run, jump or throw with more resistance certainly there is measurable progress in terms of handling the task with additional load, but what is really happening? There is definitely a point of diminishing returns and a trade-off. Ultimately performance is about expressing speed within the constraints of the technical demands of the skill. Certainly force is part of the equation, but very slow heavy overloaded movements serve to dull the nervous system and interfere with the high speed coordination demanded in performance. Seek optimum loads that match the dynamics of the sport or event, not maximum. Beware of the old beat your head against the wall syndrome- it is hard when are doing it and it always feels better when you stop. Rather than having your athletes feel like elephants after they do a session of sled pulls or harness running they should feel like big butterfly’s, light explosive and FAST! Find a load that achieves this. There are no magic formulas; just a good coaching eye and a heavy dose of common sense. Once again are you making them tired or making them better?
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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