Strength Performance Network

All Blog Posts (2,590)

Unforgiving, Relentless and Undefeated

I am not talking about UCONN women’s basketball that just won their hundredth straight game or the New England Patriots. I am talking about two of the greatest athletes ever! Who are they? You do know them because you compete with them all day everyday. One is invisible but beats you every time the other is always underfoot, but because it is so familiar we fail to recognize it. I am talking about gravity and the…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 17, 2017 at 8:24am — No Comments

The Performance Path To Olympic Gold with Coach Rett Larson

If you have never heard Rett speak you are in for a delightful suprise. DO NOT listen to this episode in…

Added by Jeremy Boone on February 16, 2017 at 2:49pm — No Comments

Sports Science?

I see more gobbledygook and sciency stuff called “sports science” going on today that ever in my years as athlete and coach. Has anyone taken a step back and honestly assessed where we are going with all this? Everybody and anybody who administers a wellness survey or monitors some physiological function now calls themselves a sports scientist. Over the course of my career I have had the opportunity to work with…


Added by Vern Gambetta on February 15, 2017 at 8:03am — No Comments

Training Environment Execute a task or skill (learning) Execute a task or skill correctly (practice) Execute a task or skill correctly over and over again (experience/conditioning) Performance Envir…

Training Environment

Execute a task or skill (learning)

Execute a task or skill correctly (practice)

Execute a task or skill correctly over and over again (experience/conditioning)

Performance Environment

Execute a task or skill (learning)

Execute a task or skill correctly (practice)

Execute a task or skill correctly over and over again (experience/conditioning)

What's the difference between the two environments? The context in which how the… Continue

Added by John Mikula on February 10, 2017 at 7:45am — No Comments

A Few Thoughts On Training

For team sport athletes, how do I integrate team-training into the curriculum?

The health status of an athlete may be his/her most valuable commodity.

When was the last time my thought process was challenged?

Sports psychologist Dr. Ken Ravizza says, The ultimate goals is to teach athletes to “Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Computer Innovator Guy Kawasaki says, “Don’t worry, be crappy.” Innovation involves growing and improving… Continue

Added by John Mikula on February 9, 2017 at 8:20am — No Comments

The 4 R's

Frank Dick one of my mentors shared this basic concept to give a context to debrief of training or performance.

Added by Vern Gambetta on February 6, 2017 at 7:51am — No Comments

Integrating and Coaching Human Systems

We could learn a lot from our friends in the military and those with NASA in regards to how we develop and monitor human systems within the athletic population.  Personally, I would do away with sports strength and conditioning departments, that's a dated system with roots in 1950s Russian training.  One that was founded on a system based in the sport of weightlifting and that was deceptively full of scientific cheating methods.…


Added by John Mikula on February 5, 2017 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Starting up youth speed camps

I am looking to begin speed camps for youth and high school athletes with my co-founder of our company Pack Strength and Performance. We are currently getting the final details set for our website/logo and mission statement. We plan on reaching out to the local high school teams to get there athletes on board. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get off the ground and any pointers with how our workouts should go? any help would be much appreciated

Added by Dylan Reda on February 2, 2017 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

On Turning Seventy

I have been seventy now for two weeks, I honestly don’t feel a whole lot different than when I was sixty-nine or even when I was sixty. I don’t feel and hopefully I don’t act old (Not 100% how old people are supposed to act). It has me taken this long to be comfortable in my own skin because I have learned through the years what matters. I appreciate each day as it comes more than I did in my younger years where I…


Added by Vern Gambetta on January 31, 2017 at 8:01am — No Comments

Bumper Plates: How to Choose What is Best for You

Bumper Plates would probably not be in existence if not for the sport of Olympic Weightlifting.  In the early years of weightlifting cast iron Olympic weights were used.  As the amount of weight increased over the years it became impractical and unsafe for the lifters to try to bring…


Added by Vulcan Strength Training Systems on January 30, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Thoughts on Testing

Testing elements of physical fitness for athletes is very important. Most of us would agree on that. Why test? To gain baseline information on aspects of fitness functioning. However, prior to testing, it's important for the clinician to try and define what is "sports-fitness" for the athlete(s) one is testing. This is vital and often a point of misdirection. Without understanding the dynamics of "performance fitness" for an athlete, just randomly testing weight-lifting abilities or 40-yard… Continue

Added by John Mikula on January 30, 2017 at 8:42am — No Comments

Motivation & Inspiration

Motivation by and through fear and hate is unproductive and shallow. The results are very short lasting and often destructive or counterproductive. Motivation through caring, concern and love is proactive, deep and long lasting.

Added by Vern Gambetta on January 22, 2017 at 10:04am — No Comments

Exertional rhabdomyolysis (exRML)

Exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis mechanisms and prevention: A literature review

It seems I can't go any great length of time without writing an article or blog about (exRML). In the wake of recent events, let me write another. Please, take a moment and review this newer study, it is very thorough. I've been on the front-lines of… Continue

Added by John Mikula on January 18, 2017 at 8:52am — No Comments

The Answer

I am always very wary when someone has all the answers. I am more interested in being around and learning from those who have more questions than answers. I always come back to the words of Gertrude Stein “The answer is there is no answer."

Added by Vern Gambetta on January 18, 2017 at 8:24am — No Comments

Sports Science-Skill and Critical Instants

I try to make use of filming training sessions and exercises, at least some aspect, on a regular basis.  During team training, I'm looking to dissect and analyze many variables. At other times, I'm looking at "correctness" of exercise skill.  Learning how to execute correctness has direct transfer outside of the training environment.  On the other hand, reinforce in-correctness of skill in the training…


Added by John Mikula on January 16, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments


San Diego, New Orleans, Chicago, Baltimore, Buffalo, Houston, NY Jets, Minnesota, and Arizona. What do all of these NFL teams have in common? They were the most injured teams in the NFL by metrics looking at volume and magnitude in 2016. What else do we know from the outside about these teams? Well, only one made the play-offs and the injuries definitely impacted the teams' season in a negative manner. In fact, how many coaches lost jobs within these organizations based on the teams… Continue

Added by John Mikula on January 9, 2017 at 2:46pm — No Comments

The GAIN Story

GAIN started in 2007 but the genesis of GAIN goes back to the start of my coaching career in 1969. It is forged in my experience early in my career when I was able to gather in an Intense concentrated setting with bright inquisitive minds in one place to share and learn. It quickly became clear to me that anytime I could gather with professional colleagues to exchange ideas that my performance as a coach would…


Added by Vern Gambetta on January 9, 2017 at 5:34am — No Comments

New Learning

I try and attack new learning like a hungry lion roaming the Serengeti for his next meal.  Here are some of my favorite sources of new learning from 2016. 

Favorite  Journal Article

Blood Lactate Measurements and Analysis during Exercise: A Guide for Clinicians…


Added by John Mikula on December 30, 2016 at 1:57pm — No Comments

Random Thoughts on Training to Wrap Up 2016

Volume is not a biomotor quality. Anyone can do more; the path to success is doing it better.

Train speed in – It is precious. Very easy to compromise by speed by doing too much

Strength as a motor quality is easy to develop and even…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 30, 2016 at 10:06am — No Comments

Too Easy

It has become way too easy in the profession to accept the notion that a one size fits all training construct meets the needs for all athletes.  It has become way too easy to extend the myth that a certain group of lifts will morph athletes into powerful and explosive machines.  It has become way too easy to edge real conditioning out of team-sport training except for hyper-choreographed sprints. It has become way too easy to de-emphasize experienced coaching for…


Added by John Mikula on December 29, 2016 at 12:08pm — No Comments

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