Known to many as “The Rehab Guy”, Mike Robertson’s presentation “Corrective Exercise: Fact vs. Fiction” is one that I am truly excited for. So many coaches want to implement screening but do not know the when’s and where’s of how to implement the strategies. Mike’s holistic approach to training is one that is absolutely fantastic, and he will cover it in his presentation. This is a must for anyone who has thought of or does implement any screening and corrective exercises with their athlete’s.
JD: Mike, thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule at IFAST to talk with us a bit about your presentation, “Corrective Exercise: Fact vs. Fiction” that you will be giving at the 2012 Seminar. I know you’re a busy dude, so let’s get right to it.
First off, Mike, what do you feel is the biggest mistake coaches make out there when implementing corrective exercises?
MR: Great question J!
I think the biggest issue most people make is not knowing what corrective exercise is in the first place. Most people assume that corrective work is just foam
rolling, stretching and/or core and glute activation drills. Quite simply, corrective exercise determines what specifically is holding the client in front of you back. It could be mobility issues, stability issues, energy system development, or a host of other things.
People get too focused on the modalities, and don’t focus enough on the end result –getting our clients healthier, and/or improving their performance.
JD: With that in mind Mike, where and how would you change their approaches?
MR: This is a loaded question, because true corrective exercise is a holistic approach to training. If they aren’t assessing their clients and athletes it starts there. If you aren’t assessing, you’re guessing as to their needs and limitations. Once the assessment is concluded, it’s time to develop a program that addresses what you found in the assessment.
Where and how is hard to answer, because this is stuff that should be going on daily. Beyond the formal assessment and program design process, you also have to be flexible and willing to adapt based on how the athlete is responding to training.
Unfortunately, that’s probably vaguer than what you’d like to hear, but that’s just how it works.
JD: Mike thanks for taking the time to rap with us a bit today. We’re really excited to have you here on campus at the University of
Richmond for the 2012 Seminar. I’m sure our attendees are just as excited. We can’t wait to see the presentation. Any closing comments you’d like to add?
MR: Thanks J! I’m really just trying not to bring down the seminar too much. You’ve got an absolutely stacked line-up, and I can’t wait to learn from some of the best and brightest in the business!
JD: Thanks Cal for taking a few moments to talk about your presentation at the 2012 Seminar, “Advanced Principles in Training”. I know you’ve got a lot on your plate at Minnesota preparing for the Frozen Four so let’s get right to it.
JD: Cal, you’re known quite well for your ability to investigate research and find a useful and practical way of implementing it into your training. As our attendees have seen over the past 2 years you are on the cutting edge of programming. So the question is this: what are the latest and greatest changes to Coach Dietz’s programming?
CD: Well Jay, as we read and research here at the University of Minnesota, my staff and I keep coming up with the conclusion that if you can take all the aspects of the type of stress you’re providing and simplify it such that your stress becomes more specific, the organism has a tendency to adapt more quickly because you’re not wasting energy reserves or adaptation reserves on many different signals. Now, where that will go eventually in the long run is that there are times in the year where there is generalized training (most likely at the beginning); ultimately, however, each stressor must become very specific as it has been said many times by Soviet researchers and Doctor Yessis. The question is a matter of coming up with the methods to do that.
Understanding this fundamental principle of performance requires a grasp of biochemistry and bioenergetics (which basically go hand in hand), and the specificity of adaptation as it pertains to an individual or group of athletes in the context of their entire training program. This individualization in my program will ultimately be based on different leveling and how much stress can be handled based on the athlete’s work capacity. We may have 3 or 4 different levels with 5 or 6 different programs for a particular team. Those programs would not be recognizably much different for the general person to see but they will be different on many fronts. The next hope in the direction is that we find methods to identify where an athlete is at in his physical capabilities and make sure you train them to the level that they need at that moment. Along with the physical capabilities, you have the physical needs of an athlete, such as which qualities or weaknesses does he or she possess that could potentially be hindering performance.
JD: When looking at the idea of advanced principles, I’m sure the first question our attendees and readers will have is, “will this be useful for less advanced athletes?” Can you talk about that briefly?
CD: The biggest question is will these advanced principles work for any athlete. I guess the best answer to that question comes in the form of a question. If you are not killing the organism, then the organism is going to adapt to the stress that is being applied. Now, I promise you unless we’re looking at extreme diseased cases, the organism will adapt to most stressors. Keeping this in mind, yes I think all components of very specific stress, for example eccentric type training, are useful for lower level athletes. I find that if you do eccentrics throughout the entire body then they acquire eccentric strength better because the adaptations aren’t just specifically geared towards the movements themselves, but rather oriented systemically, especially when the nervous system is involved. It has been shown and demonstrated often that less advanced athletes adapt quickly because their nervous systems are becoming that much more efficient. I know the Triphasic book has prompted many questions and I’m actually surprised because the quality of questions shows that people are doing some very creative work after they have read Triphasic Training. Triphasic training isn’t’ a specific system; rather, it’s a general concept that people are placing into their current system and achieving great results because essentially it addresses any weak links in the sequence of a movement pattern to attain a more functional and powerful result. Now I don’t mean “functional training”, but function of the muscle as it relates to sports performance.
JD: Cal, thanks for taking the time to rap with us a bit today. We’re really excited to have you back here on campus at The University of Richmond for The Seminar for the third straight year. I’m sure our attendees are just as excited for this presentation as they have been for the past three. We can’t wait to see the presentation.
CD: Thanks, J, I’m very excited about presenting this year. Looking at your line up I’m very excited about some particulars I’ve seen and heard that are going to take place with Natalia Verkhoshansky, Joel Jamison, and Val. I truly believe this clinic has been building and keeps getting better every year and if you can’t come out with tons of new ideas from this you basically fell asleep and weren’t listening. I appreciate all of your efforts and am very excited to be there to listen and learn from some of the best clinicians in the country, if not the world.
As always, please post any comments in the space below!
In today’s Countdown to The Seminar we get some insight from Joel Jamieson on his presentation “Managing the Training Process”. We are extremely excited to have Joel back on the docket and can’t wait to see what he has to say.
JD: Joel, I appreciate your time in answering a few of our questions about your presentation, “Managing the Training Process”, which you will be giving at the 2012 Seminar. I know you’ve got guys to prep for fights so let’s not waste any time. First off Joel, when people talk about managing the training process, it has to start with some sort of system for monitoring the athlete, their readiness, and ultimately, progress. How do you personally monitor your athletes and what tools do you use?
JJ: You’re definitely right, everything starts with monitoring and there are a lot of different tools that can be used for this depending on the athlete’s sport, level, and needs. First, I use both the Omegawave Sport system and my own HRV system, BioForce HRV, to monitor training readiness on a daily basis. This helps me fine-tune the daily training load based on their individual responses to the previous days of training and lifestyle influences such as how much sleep they got, mental stress levels, diet, etc.
During the training session itself, I’ll monitor the athlete’s heart rates, keep track of the weights they use, speed/power numbers using the Tendo unit, rest intervals, and general measures of performance, such as sprint times or distances, depending on their sport. I like to monitor how many total sets the athlete performs above 90% of their 1RM as well as how many total sets are performed below 90%. I’ve also begun using Polar’s T2 Team system to monitor and analyze heart rate data of the training session, and it has proved to be a very useful tool.
Essentially, the most important thing is to keep track of what the athlete is doing in their training and develop markers that you want to track over time. These markers will be a bit different for each sport, but once a system is in place it’s usually relatively easy to monitor the training process and takes just a little extra time to do each day. In the long run, this can pay huge dividends in achieving results.
JD: Where and how would you recommend coaches start monitoring their athletes and what benefits they could see from some type of a daily monitoring system?
JJ: The best place to start is simply to make sure that each athlete is keeping a detailed training log of exactly what they are doing each training session. From there, the coach just needs to figure out how they want to quantify things, what exactly they want to track over time, and how they are going to do it.
The easiest way to do this is to learn how to work with excel and build a spreadsheet that will do most of the work for you so that each day there are measures for each player that are being monitored and tracked. There’s definitely some up front time involved in putting together a daily monitoring system, but once it’s in place it really shouldn’t take that much time each day.
To get started, coaches should sit down and determine what the biggest training variables are that ultimately impact performance in the sport. If it’s strength and power, you’re obviously going to want to monitor and track measures of strength and power more so than if it’s a sport that relies heavily on endurance or other areas. I would suggest asking yourself what the objectives of the training program are and then work backwards from there.
JD: Joel, thanks for taking the time to discuss your presentation with us. We’re really excited to have you back on campus at the University of Richmond for the 2012 Seminar. I’m sure our attendees are just as excited. We can’t wait to see the presentation. Any final thoughts or comments you’d like to add?
JJ: No problem, I’m very much looking forward to coming back and presenting again and I have to say, the line up of presenters you’ve put together this year is world-class and I’m excited to hear them speak myself. Anyone that doesn’t make it down to Richmond this year is going to be seriously missing out on some cutting edge information. It’s not every day that this group of speakers is together in one place and I’m grateful to be a part of it.
JD: Landon thanks for taking the time to go over the presentation you’ll be putting on at the 2012 Seminar, “Physical Preparation in the NCAA: a complementary approach”. I know you’re a busy guy so let’s get right to it. Let’s dive into the title. Sense this is a topic that many people are working to still get their head around, let’s discuss what “a complementary approach” actually is.
LE: I’m still working on trying to wrap my head around all of this too!
Our jobs in the physical preparation/strength & conditioning profession are to raise the level of preparedness in our athletes within our (unfortunate) scope of practice. Within this scope, we have a multitude of training factors that can influence the level of development. All of these factors have particular targets. These targets, be it particular enzymatic systems, proteins that are involved in protein synthesis, or simply the suppleness and mobility of joint systems. These targets can be influenced at various magnitudes depending on a host of factors that seem infinite at times. The ultimate struggle is to use the appropriate training factor(s) to target the desired system(s), at the right times, in the right dosages, and keep the negative costs associated with the work down enough
to ensure a heightened biological power. This is how I view a complementary approach.
What I will attempt to do in 75 minutes is to outline where my mind starts when I begin working with a team or individual here at the NCAA level within in my particular environment. Address what governs my thinking process, then how that feeds into the assessment/screening, diagnosis of the problem(s), particular interventions, and the monitoring and evaluation domains.
The presentation is not only to simply elaborate on how I operate, but to spark conversation after the presentation. All attendees have their particular lens they see things through. My hope is that I can stimulate conversation afterwards so I can continue to grow.
This is selfish in a way, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters if my athletes. If I am enlightened from others, this will only help my athletes. That is what is important.
JD: The conversations that spark after the presentations are concluded is exactly what we all are hoping for. The more interaction the better, and I feel that this is something that The Seminar has been great for since its inception a few years back. I can’t wait to be a fly on the wall and soak it all in. Landon, thanks for taking the time to give us the introduction to your presentation, I know that all our readers/attendees are just as excited as I am for it.
In the coming weeks leading to The Seminar we will highlight each presentation and presenter to give you a sneak peak into what to expect. We will lead off this series with Dr. Natalia Verkhoshanky’s summary of her presnetation “GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME AND ITS APPLICATIONS IN THE SPORT TRAINING”. We are super excited to have Dr. Verkhosansky on campus presenting, and this summary amplifies that exponentially.
The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) is a concept formulated in 1938 by the Austro-Hungarian physiologist Hans Selye. GAS was proposed as universal mechanism of the organism’s adaptation to the external environment changes.
This concept was elaborated on the basis of H.Selye’s discovery of stress syndrome – the non-specific organism’s reaction to the influence of diverse damaging factors, such as: intoxications with sub lethal doses of drugs, surgical injury, exposure to cold and excessive muscular exercise.
H. Selye conceptualized the stress syndrome as General Adaptation Syndrome asserting: “stress is the common denominator of all adaptive reactions of the body”.
Selye’s GAS concept attracted great interest in the scientific field of physiology and medicine, where it helped to clarify the nature of illnesses related to the psycho-somatic diseases provoked by the “stress of life”.
In the field of sport science, the General Adaptation Syndrome became the basic theoretical framework of training process periodization. According to a common opinion, to reach the best training effect, the training loads must “stress” the athlete’s body. But with this approach a problem has to be solved: how to avoid the overtraining. Often, the sport scientists search the way to solve this problem referring to the theories of Selye.
Notwithstanding the great popularity of Selye’s theories, many physiologists considered his GAS concept vague and incomplete. The crucial argument of their criticisms was that the stress, the pathological organism’s reaction on the influence of very strong, damaging stimuli, cannot be a common pattern (common denominator) also for the adaptive reactions on mild stimuli.
In 1975, a group of Russian scientists, headed by professor L. Garkavi, confirmed the legitimacy of such criticism.
Garkavi’s group replicated the experiments of Selye in order to verify the organism’s reactions on the influence of external stimuli having different “magnitudes”.
The results of their experiments showed that:
- the stress syndrome, with its classical Alarm, Resistance and Exhausting phases, develops only under an external influences having high magnitude;
- mild stimuli provokes other than stress typologies of non-specific reactions. Garkavi termed them as “anti-stress reactions”, because, in contrast with stress syndrome, they don’t bring to exhaustion, but to revitalize the defense mechanisms and to help the organism to survive under the following influence of strong damaging factors.
The results of these researches brought Garkavi to formulate a new and more complete version of the GAS concept. On this basis she elaborated a new method of medical treatment, called Activation Therapy. This method was based on applying low doses of different stimuli (drugs, electric discharges, physical exercises, etc.) in order to provoke the anti-stress reactions and to activate, in such way, the body defense mechanisms. The magnitudes of stimuli were verified in relation to the typologies of anti-stress reactions, which they provoke in a given patient: each of these reactions can be defined using the Garkavi’s markers, based on the corresponding hemogramms of white blood cells counts.
Unfortunately, the main part of Russian sport physiologists didn’t give a great importance to Garkavyi’s works or completely ignored them. As consequence, her discoveries and theoretical conclusions remain unknown in the West.
For these reasons, the common approach to apply the GAS in the field of sport training is usually based on the early version of this concept, formulated by Selye. According to this approach, the training process is viewed as multiple “bouts” of training loads on the athlete’s body, resulting in multiple flights of alarm and resistance stages of stress syndrome. This leads to the opinion that the stress reaction plays determining role in increasing the athlete’s performance.
Some years ago, this opinion was putted in doubt by the results of a research in which Garkavy’s markers were used to verify the typologies of athlete’s body non-specific reactions under the influence of training loads.
The results of this research showed that the symptoms of stress syndrome are very rare in the preparation period and appear only during the competitions.
So, the stress syndrome is not a usual body reaction on the influence of training loads and it doesn’t play a determining role in increasing the athlete’s performance.
The application of Garkavi’s GAS concept on the process of body adaptation during the sport training is a challenge to the traditional opinions about the correct training loading and it allows elaborating new methods for managing the training process.
As we know, during the training process, the athlete’s progress in physical performance is assured by repetitive training workouts, which activate specific mechanisms of the body’s adaptation. These mechanisms assure the growth of specific proteins of the working organs, which lead at increasing their functional capacity.
GAS concerns the functions of non-specific adaptation mechanisms, which control the quantitative aspects of specific adaptation process. The non specific mechanisms regulate the body ability in giving specific adaptive answer to the training work in relation to its amount: the magnitude of training load’s impact on the athlete’s body, perceived as the level of homeostasis disturbance.
According to the new GAS concept, the non-specific reaction of the athlete’s body to the influence of multiple impacts of training loads depends on the typology of non-specific reaction, which they provoke.
If the magnitude of training loads impact provokes an anti-stress reaction, the athlete’s body will be able to respond to their influences with the activation of specific adaptation process (increasing the protein synthesis in the tissues of organs, involved in the training work).
Greater will be the magnitude of training loads impact, greater will be their specific training effect. However, if this magnitude reaches the level of the stress reaction, the body adaptability to the training stimuli will decrease.
For this reason, a correct training loading should not reach the level of stress, because, in this case, the training loads impact overcomes the “threshold” of body adaptability and brings at a decrease in their training effect.
The “threshold” of body adaptability is related to the current status of the body defense system activity. This status could be valuated using Garkavi’s markers of non-specific reactions, because each of the non-specific body reactions has a definite effect on the body adaptability.
A common procedure of medicine diagnostic could be used to control what kind of non-specific reaction is developing in the athlete’s body, in order to definite the current adaptability status, and to regulate, in relation to this status, the training loads level.
The control of the body’s adaptability status is very important for high level athletes, especially in the use of Block Training System (BTS).
This training system is based on the phenomena of Long-term Delay Training Effect of concentrated strength loads. The BTS could be interpreted as a process of “overloading-overreaching” which influences specific mechanisms of adaptation.
For obtaining the overreaching effect, the level of strength loads should be great enough for provoking the overloading of specific adaptation mechanisms, but it should not bring to overloading of non-specific mechanisms, because, in this case, the specific adaptation process will be inhibited by the development of stress syndrome.
The aim of the presentation is:
- to provide useful information on the GAS concept and its role in the process of body adaptation during sport training
- to outline the new ways in applying this concept on the training practice.
As strength and conditioning coaches we sometimes lose sight of the big picture when it comes to programming. What I mean by this is that we tend to divide training into its individual parts rather than looking at the process as a whole. The various modes we use to train our athletes to better express strength, speed, power, endurance, and of course the sporting skill must be integrated together.
Think of the athlete as one physiological/biological system. This single system is going to respond to the combined effects of all the stress that we impose upon it. This means that whatever we do on Monday is going to affect how we adapt to our training on Tuesday and vice versa. Even further, if we are training multiple qualities concurrently, where does each best fit within the week or within the training session? Are these abilities that we are training together even compatible? If the biological system does not separate, training cannot be separated.
What we need to do is take a closer look at all the components of the training program and see how they interact as one system. Think about the current training programs you’re prescribing for your athletes. Do they look like a single program with clear congruency or do they look like a few different programs mashed together? I’m not saying that training cannot have multiple parts or that you can’t train multiple qualities concurrently. In fact, training should have various parts. Even though the body is a single system, it is made up of multiple, interacting components. Training should reflect this concept. It should be made up of various components that effectively stress the different systems of the body in order to improve the output of the whole organism. However, the components must be trained in a particular sequence in order to ensure optimal results. We can’t just plan various “speed” and “strength” progressions and put them together expecting to see great results from each individual component. The training in the weight room must compliment the training on track/road/treadmill and it all needs to be integrated with skill training. Do all the elements of your training programs complement each other or are some aspects hindering progress?
The organization of training is a very complex subject matter and I know that I personally can’t answer all the questions concerning this topic. This is one of the reasons I’m looking forward to Landon Evans’ and Joel Jamieson’s presentations at the seminar this April because of their work within this method both in a team and private, 1-on-1 setting on a daily basis.
Matt Thome is an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Richmond working with Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Football, Swimming and Men’s and Women’s Basketball. Prior to him landing at the U of R Matt was a graduate student at Indiana University, where he received his Masters in Exercise Physiology. Matt is also heavily involved in the organization of the seminar as well as leading the staff on wild research hunts to help better improve the physical preparation of the athletes at Richmond.