## Monday, February 27, 2012

### Update

I know I have been neglecting my blogging lately, but trust me – I have been busy... really busy. I started working for Hammarby Fotball Club in Stockholm, Sweden from January, 2012. And yes, it is damn cold and my fingers were frozen so I couldn’t type anything on the blog. Luckily it is getting warmer and I am getting more organized so hopefully I will find more time and energy for updates and new articles and projects.

For those interested here is the link to the short interview (on Swedish) I did when I arrived to Stockholm.

I must admit that I have learned a lot in the last month or so. First off, my strength training planning and programming (and general planning/periodization) have reached whole new level by applying ideas by Joe Kenn and Dan Baker and variations of their percent based training. Basically, every athlete is provided with individualized program based on his characteristics (BW, pull-up strength, bench press strength and squat strength).

Secondly, I have been playing with Polar Team2 system and I am trying to create a monitoring system that also calculates workloads, monotony, strain for every week, but it also warns if certain athlete is out of average (+/- 1 standard deviation from the mean value). I’ve got couple more ideas based on work by Andrew Coggan, co-author of Training and Racing with a Power Meter book and the concept of cycling form.

I plan to adapt this idea of moving averages of the training load (CHRONIC – 28 days; ACUTE - 3 days) for calculating FOOTBALL FORM for a given day. I do need more data, more testing and more observations to play with the constants of the equations. Here is the screen-shot of the Excel chart.

And one of the most important thing I've learned is the importance of knowing Excel! Yes guys, you need to be proficient in it. I have love~hate relationship with Excel and I am getting better and better at it. And yes, learn statistics – read A New View of Statistics by Will Hopkins. It is free and written by maybe the best statistician in the sport research field.

We have also used Martin Buchheit 30-15IFT test to program our entire (no-ball) interval running. Since we re-tested the guys, I might have some decent data for a research paper.

Also, I started developing a blog in Serbian that is aimed for recreative athletes. It takes time to work on it, but I currently don't have it at my disposal. Hopefully when the competition season starts I will find more time to work on in it in greater depth.

And that is all for now. Stay in touch.

Have you been using the Training Peaks software by coggan? I am interested in using it for some of the teams I train, but the only reviews i have seen have been more endurance type applications.

Thank you and fantastic blog!

Bryan

2. Could you expand a little more on the variations of percentage based training you have implemented?

Thanks
Alex

3. bsmith,

I actually tried Training Peaks yesterday (applied for free tryout), but it doesn't track the data for intermittent sports like football/soccer. I might be wrong though. Will re-check one more time.

I am now experimenting with my own Excel sheet I use to type in TL calculated by HR analysis in Polar Team2, analyze them and use them to adjust training loads. I am a little sceptic on this because HR is only a small part of the workload. I wish I have things like prozone or catapult GPS system.

Alex,
My 'percent' based training is solely based on 'behavioral' influence by the Paradox of Choice, Dan Ariely and The Switch book. Sound funny, but the key issue is that both me and the head coach want that the athlete make as less decisions as possible - that's why everything we do in the gym is pre-written in the sheets.

Although, I beleive in training flexibility and 'teaching the guys how to fish', I don't think it is a good strategy in team based settings.
AS you may know I am a big fan of Reactive Training by Mike Tuchscherer, but I don't think it is wise option with team sport athletes. If the weigth is too much - we re-adjust. Again, the key thing here is that with percent based there is less wiggle room they can use. And sometimes, limiting freedom increase happyiness and productivity :) (at least new research shows that :) )

Speaking more practically, I use pyramid by Dan Baker (10,8,6; 8,6,4; 6,4,2+). After couple of weeks we do the last set to failure. By that performance I re-calculate the maximums. It is a lot easier than to explain the players training principles - and the question is 'are they actually willing to learn how to fish' :)

Thanks for kind words guys and thanks for reading.