Strength Performance Network

Yesterday when I was going through some files in preparation for GAIN and I found this article from the New York Times science section in 2008. The article was “Weather History” by Anthony DePalma. There is a field of science called Phenology, the study of the timing of natural events. The premise is that natural events carefully and consistently recorded have scientific value for understanding the interactions between organisms and their environment. Naturally I immediately thought about coaching, teaching and rehab. The same is true. The more detailed the records that we keep, the more valuable that those records become as the years pass. I started thinking about a way to access the records of workouts, lesson plans and treatment notes of great practitioners, what a wealth of information that would provide. I know I have training plans and sessions from my first years of coaching buried somewhere, it would be very interesting to see the patterns, to see if the structure and content of the workouts has changed or the same threads are present. I am convinced that as we have become dependent on technology and “scientific analysis” that we have lost our power of observation. In essence we cannot see the forest for the trees. We are missing patterns that develop over time. Looking at training programs over the long term will give a window into the timing and application of the training stimulus and the subsequent adaptive response. It would even be valuable to be able to access the training logs of athletes, what an insight that would provide.

I am going to take it upon myself to contact the coaches that I know that have kept records throughout their careers to see if they would be willing to share. I believe the principles and concepts of Phenology apply in coaching as well. Any ideas and input would be appreciated

Views: 139


You need to be a member of Strength Performance Network to add comments!

Join Strength Performance Network

Comment by Jim Dundon on June 13, 2012 at 7:16pm



 Understanding your premise and gathering data I think would be useful to a point, that point being providing past performance enhancements and past programming that was successful. Question could this data then be presented as a guideline for future enhancements in performance or would it be useful in programming? That is the question. Attempting to predict outcomes can be somewhat controlled from the programming side, but the ultimate results will depend on the athlete/individual that is pursueing the enhancement.


 I believe it would be valuable information but if the information is utilized for "predicting " outcomes, I personally would probably digest the information but adapted it in the end to meet the needs of the individual.


 I personally have a Bench Press routine that I have used for the last 15 years with individuals interested in improving their 1 rep max for competition and it has consistently added 35 to 60 pounds to the participants total in the bench. Obviously there is a variance and this is caused by the "individual" in the equation. (and truth be told I adapted a routine that Ted Arcidi performed in the late 1980s) So from the standpint of prediction the program has been succesfull and can be utilized with various individuals and they can expect results, but those results are dependent on a host of factors and not just the program.

 (I use the above example in support of of "adapting" the routine to the individual)


  From an historical perspective I think it would be valuable information and would be interested in it.

Jim D.


Comment by Karsten Jensen on June 13, 2012 at 1:42pm

There is a book called Consistent Winning that has documented certain patterns of injury happening after 3 and 5 weeks of intense and or high volume training.

There is also a book called Fractal Time that deals with this subject matter - I think that quite a bit of work would be needed to apply it to training. Further there are biorhythms, based on observations, but currently not supported by science.

I have written a short chapter on the topic of "rhythms" for my book The Flexible Periodization Method. If you contact me through, I will send it to you.

© 2019   Created by Brian Harris.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service