Barry, Barry, Barry…

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  • Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #13616

    If you're a fan of quasi-pseudo-science you may find the following blog posts from Barry Ross interesting: My Theories…Hardly, Part 1  My Theories…Hardly, Part 2  The first of those picks on none other than yours truly as a young technique guru. In it Barry says,Let's start with a theory proposed by one of the younger technique gurus. His theory suggests that a runner can be

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    tj84 on #71099

    I would like to start this off saying I will most likely be wrong about numerous thoughts of "common sense" that I am going to propose in this post.  Please refute anything wrong that I say, I have no pride, it's fine.  I would like to see some discussion going on about this post. 

    First off, I am an expert in nothing track and field, nor strength training for that matter.  All I know is what I've read (which is a lot) and the things I've done/tried out (which is a lot).  I have not read Mr. Ross' book, I did read the sample of it on his website though.  This morning I also read the entire "battle" between Mr. Ross and Mike/others on the technique post, all 7 pages of it.  Here are some opinions/questions I have on Mr. Ross' training methods as well as other ideas.

    1.  Allyson Felix was greatly blessed from birth and would have been a world class sprinter without the deadlifts in high school. 

        Mr. Ross asked why Allyson hasn't beat her best time from high school.  Some athletes have 1 or 2 standout years and then they can't come close to that standard even without changing their workouts.  Example: Jonathan Edwards, 1995 and some of 1996.  He was good his entire career, but why the huge jumps those years?  Allyson may have had her "good year".  I doubt it, but it is possible.  I don't think his lifting program had much to do with it. 

    2. Why the emphasis on vertical forces/training? 

        Gravity is a constant.  9.8 m/s squared.  Since we're talking about top speed, why not look at the best? 


    [/quote]

        How much work are his quads doing?  It looks like to me that for the entire duration of the time his foot is in contact with the ground (which is what Mr. Ross' emphasis is) his knee angle is relatively locked, if anything he relaxes it near the end of each stride.  There is nothing concentric about it.  He does not make an emphasis on anything "vertical" in his running.  In fact assuming that top speed can be measured by stride length and stride frequency, common sense says that when running at top speed, you do not want vertical displacement.  Because gravity is a constant, If you displace your COM higher into the air, it is not physically possible to maintain your stride frequency without altering your running mechanics. 

        https://www.coachesinfo.com/article/218/ 

        That article states that "Vertical forces have much greater values than the horizontal forces in the contact phase. Maximal vertical force varies in female sprinters between 1791 N and 2157 N, representing 3.2 to 3.7 times their body weight. A general tendency exists that both forces in the horizontal as well as in the vertical direction increase with velocity Mero and Komi (1987)".  This agrees with the diagram Mr. Ross has on his site, that vertical forces dwarf the horizontal forces when running.  However, gravity is a constant.  What causes the dramatic increase in vertical forces without the sprinters jumping into the air?  (That is a legitimate question that I have by the way). 

    More later, work beckons. 
       

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    flow on #65028

    ahrg.  this really hurts.  what the hell is mr. ross talking about finding landing spots and selecting a vector?  it really seems that the term "vector"  is still not understood.  he did not try to understand the points made in the discussions on this website,  and truly missinterprets the common standpoint on these issues -.-
    and to the second post:  what in gods name does horizontal force application during acceleration ("drive phase"-quote)  have to do with maxV running mechanics??

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    mortac8 on #65029

        Mr. Ross asked why Allyson hasn't beat her best time from high school.

    I ask why Bob Beamon hasn't surpassed his 8.90m.  Ciudad de Mexico 4-life

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    ex400 on #65030

    What I most notice about Powell is his low heel recovery compared to the others.

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    Derrick Brito on #65031

    What I most notice about Powell is his low heel recovery compared to the others.

    i think that has to do with his extreme frontside mechanics.

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    davan on #65032

    Felix's 200m best was set at altitude in high school. Look at the other marks from there–not really close. She has obviously surpassed her sprint ability since high school in not only the 200m, but also the 100m and 400m. Barry Ross also conveniently leaves out that he only handled the weight training and the sprint coach used traditional methods on the track, not his ASR or any of that stuff. Felix's family has posted on the internet previously of how good she was before she even met Ross (23.x first year ever running track) and how she had back problems in his program.

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    star61 on #65033

    2. Why the emphasis on vertical forces/training?

    I haven't read much of Barry's stuff and haven't been thrilled with his confrontational style on this forum, but I know elite runners get higher lift than non-elite sprinters. The higher lift probably allows for a longer stride, and therefore higher max speeds. From looking at video, I would agree with you that it looks like the legs are locked during contact and the vertical force is probably coming from the glutes.

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    ex400 on #65034

    [quote author="ex400" date="1180558965"]
    What I most notice about Powell is his low heel recovery compared to the others.

    i think that has to do with his extreme frontside mechanics.
    [/quote]

    Does this imply that I should be trying to teach my non-elite HS girls to run that way?

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    flow on #65035

    he pretty much runs like its advised in this article: https://elitetrack.com/articles/cissikspeed.pdf

    in an other article,  cant recall which one,  elite and subelite sprinters running mechanics are compared,  and one of the (for me back then) outstanding conclusions was that the elite sprinters keep the knees more flexed than subelite,  just like powell here.  hope i remember this correctly though,  quite a while since i read hat….

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    tj84 on #65036

    ahrg.  this really hurts.  what the hell is mr. ross talking about finding landing spots and selecting a vector?  it really seems that the term "vector"  is still not understood.  he did not try to understand the points made in the discussions on this website,  and truly missinterprets the common standpoint on these issues -.-
    and to the second post:  what in gods name does horizontal force application during acceleration ("drive phase"-quote)  have to do with maxV running mechanics??

    Either Barry would fail a basic 5th grade reading comprehension course, or he's just trying to make a buck selling his program.  Or both.  He posts things that make him look good and others bad, or so he thinks.  His program clearly has flaws to it though.  First off, any serious weightlifter knows you can't do the same exercise all the time, or you just won't make gains anymore.  You hit your plateau and your body just doesn't adapt anymore.  Variety is needed.  Why not throw some SLDL's/Romanian DL's in there to mix it up?  (and these blast the hammies/glutes more than regular DL's also which are the key players in top speed and.)  Or why not do away with the DL's and only do SLDL's/Romanian DL's?  Another flaw with his program.  What is it going to hurt to fix some improper technique?  A couple extra minutes in each workout?  Why not do it?  This seems to me like a bodybuilder who lifts hard, eats tons, but doesn't sleep.  He isn't going to get anywhere near his potential by ignoring necesseties of the sport!  More later, work beckons…

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    mortac8 on #65037

    First off, any serious weightlifter knows you can't do the same exercise all the time, or you just won't make gains anymore.  You hit your plateau and your body just doesn't adapt anymore.  Variety is needed.

    Unless you are coached by Abadjiev…

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    tj84 on #65038

    If you're doing <10 reps and calling it a workout, you're going to plateau once your muscles/nerves get accustomed to lifting heavy weight on that lift. 

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    jumpman on #65039

    First off, I'm not in any way affeliated with coach Ross, but I have read his material so I know where he's coming from with this.

    1.  Allyson Felix was greatly blessed from birth and would have been a world class sprinter without the deadlifts in high school. 

        Mr. Ross asked why Allyson hasn't beat her best time from high school.  Some athletes have 1 or 2 standout years and then they can't come close to that standard even without changing their workouts.  Example: Jonathan Edwards, 1995 and some of 1996.  He was good his entire career, but why the huge jumps those years?  Allyson may have had her "good year".  I doubt it, but it is possible.  I don't think his lifting program had much to do with it. 

    Saying: "…Felix <b>would</b> have been a world class sprinter without the deadlifts in high school." is, to me, a bit cocky to say not knowing her situation personally. She <b>could</b> have, but nowbody knows. At least an equally correct argument would be that deadlifts raised her to success. We don't know because it's all anecdotal and this is why we use science to try and back up our claims.

    Surely you can't compare the performance of a high school stand out and a seasoned world class athlete, which Jonathan already was at the time of his WR jump in -95. There were very special circumstances in his case to say the least (coming back after an illness and a change in training methods from repetition stuff to a more <b>maximal strength</b> oriented program).

    Saying that her lifting program was of no use to Allyson is as absurd as saying Ben Johnson had no use of his 600 lb squat sets. Lets try and analyse these arguments without emotion and prejudice getting in the middle. That's what makes a good debate.

    2. Why the emphasis on vertical forces/training? 

    Because this is what <b>science</b> has pointed out to be the crucial component in maximum running speed.

        Gravity is a constant.  9.8 m/s squared.  Since we're talking about top speed, why not look at the best? 

    Because you can't be the best just by looking at his mechanics and then trying to emulate him. No two runners have the same running mechancis, not even the same runner when analysing two consecutive steps during the race. This has been discussed so many times that I leave it at that.

        How much work are his quads doing?  It looks like to me that for the entire duration of the time his foot is in contact with the ground (which is what Mr. Ross' emphasis is) his knee angle is relatively locked, if anything he relaxes it near the end of each stride.  There is nothing concentric about it.  He does not make an emphasis on anything "vertical" in his running.  In fact assuming that top speed can be measured by stride length and stride frequency, common sense says that when running at top speed, you do not want vertical displacement.  Because gravity is a constant, If you displace your COM higher into the air, it is not physically possible to maintain your stride frequency without altering your running mechanics. 

        https://www.coachesinfo.com/article/218/&nbsp;

        That article states that "Vertical forces have much greater values than the horizontal forces in the contact phase. Maximal vertical force varies in female sprinters between 1791 N and 2157 N, representing 3.2 to 3.7 times their body weight. A general tendency exists that both forces in the horizontal as well as in the vertical direction increase with velocity Mero and Komi (1987)".  This agrees with the diagram Mr. Ross has on his site, that vertical forces dwarf the horizontal forces when running.  However, gravity is a constant.  What causes the dramatic increase in vertical forces without the sprinters jumping into the air?  (That is a legitimate question that I have by the way). 

    More later, work beckons. 
       

    Yes that is a good question and the answer is shroter contact times. This way the net vertical impulse stays the same and the runner doesn't rise off the ground more that necessary for the 2,5 meter step length at 12 meters per second. This is pretty basic physics and is explained well in Mero's work as well as Weyand's if you are interested.

    I think nobody said that the Ross protocol was perfect. I fact I think he has himself pointed out that anybody could come up with a better plan that achieved the same goals. Also he is mostly working with high school athletes (to my knowledge) so reaching a plateau is very unlikely. When you do reach a plateau a good coach finds a way around it (be it changing your exercises or only modifying the reps per set). You don't use every gun in the arsenal from the beginning or you'll find yourself barehanded when the plateau does come.

    Some people are saying the very thing about the CFTS. Surely you will plateau by training at high intensities year round. Yet he (Charlie) is producing great results. It's not that black and white. Coach Ross might be using inaccurate vocabulary when talking about vectors, but I think we all get the point he's trying to make. I would like to see real arguments against the force vector theory he has (or better yet the study he cites) and not just making fun of his use of the word vector.

    Lets try and get on the same vector here shall we :wink2:

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    davan on #65040

    Ross has said many times that the protocol is perfect and you don't need anything else.

    Allyson was well on her way to being elite before Ross came around. She ran 23.x as a high school freshman in her first year of track (no age group or anything like that). I know guys that went 10.6x and 21.xx in high school that didn't run much better their freshman years.

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