Strength Performance Network

All Blog Posts (2,708)

All Periodization is Undulating

Why does periodization or as I prefer to call it Planned Performance Training (PPT) have to be either linear or undulating? Frankly in my application of the principles of planned performance training for 49 years I have observed that adaptation is always undulating. The body does nothing in a linear manner, so therefore all periodization is undulating. I think this distinction is just another exercise in intellectual gymnastics. You may write a linear program,…


Added by Vern Gambetta on March 19, 2018 at 8:19am — No Comments

Revised blog #51 from 1 year ago..."The A,B,C’s of Adolescent Movement Skills Development Part 2, Ch 3" #JoinTheAthleticMovementSkillsSeries <a href=""></a>

Revised blog #51 from 1 year ago...forward thinking...I suggest for parents and coaches is the answer. #LifeMovementSkills "The A,B,C’s of Adolescent Movement Skills Development Part 2, Ch 3" #JoinTheAthleticMovementSkillsSeries

Added by Chris Morland on March 16, 2018 at 7:28am — No Comments

Training Mechanisms

It doesn't matter what your training for, the reality is that all training is specific to how and in what manner you train.  That's pretty simple right?  I prudent review of comprehensive literature supports this notion.  In this context, using exercises like barbell squats to improve sprint speed almost makes zero sense.  Why, sure barbell squats can improve leg strength, but so can a lot of other exercises.  In a very, very minimal sense barbell squats don't…


Added by John Mikula on March 3, 2018 at 7:17am — No Comments

Notecards: Pre-Hab

I use the heck out of notecards for just about every aspect of strength and conditioning planning.  They are compact and easy to use; however, unformatted notecards can be uninviting to use.  So, I design and format my own cards and put them in my Coach's Companion planner.  

This card is formatted for a pre-hab circuit.  Pre-hab is a very important aspect of comprehensive strength and conditioning.  In some cases,…


Added by John Mikula on March 3, 2018 at 6:48am — No Comments

White Boards

I like to use whiteboards when facilitating physical training.  They serve as a constructive piece of communication and can be quite an effective teaching aid.  I format my whiteboards so that session information can be coordinated in the way I want it to be facilitated.  I also like to use magnets with my mobile boards so that I can hang them up and free my hands to teach and/or demonstrate.…


Added by John Mikula on March 3, 2018 at 6:34am — No Comments

More on Drills

It is important to be clear on one thing regarding drills. If you use a drill or drills know why you are using the drill. In my experience drills are most effective in closed skill activities where they can be used to correct a part of the movement or reinforce a concept. But always go back to the whole movement, remember Whole – Part – Whole. In any situation drills are most effective when the athlete has a clear image and feeling for the end result – the…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 26, 2018 at 9:55am — No Comments

The Seduction of Drills

Ask yourself we do we spend so much time teaching and perfecting drills? Wouldn’t the time be better spent coaching skills? No doubt drills are seductive, some even look like the skill, we can repeat them until they are flawless and then what? 95% of drills have no transfer to skill so what is the attraction. Focus on what will make the athlete better at their sport, not better at drills. There is so much good evidence and practice today in nonlinear pedagogy…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 24, 2018 at 7:37am — No Comments

Meaningful Practice

I know the term deliberate practice is the current buzzword but I don’t think it is getting the job done. Words create images and images create action, so I use the term meaningful. Meaningful clearly communicates what I want from practice, it leaves little room for nuance. Practice must have a clear plan and purpose that the athlete understands. It must relate to the competitive demands of the sport the athlete is preparing for. It must be relevant to physical…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 23, 2018 at 10:10am — No Comments

How to Build the Best Home Gym On a Budget?

Building a home gym requires a lot of strategic planning, however, when it comes to the budget, it really depends on your ambition. You see, going with the most expensive machines, treadmill and exercise gadgets is an idea that will cost a small fortune, yet you will be surprised just how much can be done with little to no cost. Therefore, in this guide, we will focus on the essentials and then proceed to add an item or two you might want to get but that you…


Added by Victoria Lim on February 23, 2018 at 5:09am — No Comments

Fitness Tips from Different Corners of the World

Every culture in the world has its own set of traditions and habits that help people get in shape and stay fit no matter what, and diversity is exactly what makes those cultures unique and worth mentioning. So, if you’re up for some useful fitness tips from different corners of the world, you’re definitely at the right place. Here are four of them you’ll absolutely adore, so check them out and enjoy!…


Added by Gabriella Diesendorf on February 22, 2018 at 4:33am — No Comments

Growing the Athlete

Growing the athlete is an organic not a mechanistic process. For years I used the metaphor of building the athlete but over the past few years I have become uncomfortable with that metaphor. Certainly, building is part of the process, but I find that building evokes a reductionist mechanistic image of constructing, of replacing parts as opposed to the cultivation of synergistic relationships between training means and methods and the systems of the body. The…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 21, 2018 at 7:22am — No Comments

Forest for the Trees

In course of day to day coaching it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Good or bad training sessions can easily get blown out of proportion. The same is true with exercises, sets, reps and rest intervals – coach the athlete that is in front of you that day. Keep the big picture in mind. Never lose sight of the ultimate goal – preparing the athlete to thrive in competition.

Added by Vern Gambetta on February 20, 2018 at 7:59am — No Comments

Never Forget Gravity

Use Gravity - Don’t abuse it

Defy it - But you can’t deny it

Enhance Gravity - Don’t chance it

Resist Gravity - It will persist…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 19, 2018 at 7:35am — No Comments

Workout after a surgery – when to start?

Having a surgery is never a pleasant experience. It's a stress to our body, so we must be careful during the recovery. The secret is to find a balance between doing some easy exercises in order to keep the blood flow and minding…


Added by Nina Simons on February 16, 2018 at 10:27am — No Comments


Refinement is fine tuning the practice after the basic technical model has been mastered. When that is robust then and only then should you think about looking at attending to the finer points. Often, we are in a hurry and try to do this too early in the process and the whole technical model erodes. Refinement does not have to pertain to just technique or skill it also can refer to development of physical qualities. Initially the athlete will begin with global…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 16, 2018 at 7:39am — No Comments

Making Some Training Sense

I love to train.  I love to teach and coach, too.  I just have a keen interest in the whole process.  Having said this, I find myself examining some strength and conditioning practices and am having difficulty making sense of training.

I don't believe the process should be too complicated in helping prepare others to do battle, functional as a tactical operator, or compete on the athletic playing field.  An elemental…


Added by John Mikula on February 15, 2018 at 6:34pm — No Comments

Looking for a Graduate Assistantship

I am currently looking for a graduate assistantship in strength and conditioning. I would be willing to send any info requested if you are looking for someone. 

Added by Jamie Nelson on February 15, 2018 at 3:54pm — No Comments

Some Totally Random Thoughts on Training

Observe laws of motor learning and principles of skill acquisition.

Consider all types of muscle action – Eccentric/Concentric/Isometric is designing a strength training program.

Structure of movement must resemble what occurs in competition.

Sensory input must resemble what occurs in competition.…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 15, 2018 at 9:19am — No Comments

GAIN White Papers

Go to and scroll down and download the PDF’s of these GAIN White papers. More will be coming over the next several months. I hope you enjoy and find them useful. Any feedback would be appreciated. Also if you are interested you can watch the opening talk of GAIN 2018.

Athletic Development - Defining the Discipline…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 13, 2018 at 8:50am — No Comments

The Role of Repetition in Leaarning

Repetition is the mother of learning. We are what we repeatedly do. I doubt anyone would argue with those points. The task then becomes to carefully chose what we repeat. It is necessary to have a clear idea of the technical model you wish to achieve and a plan to achieve the desired technique. It is very important to fit the technique to the person not the person to the technique. More is not better. Bernstein’s concept of “repetition without repetition” is…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 12, 2018 at 9:26am — No Comments

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