Joining PUSH just after the 2016 Rio Olympics, Chris Chapman assists in the development of innovation, research, and education. Coming from the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chris has trained numerous athletes to podium finishes. Read this Q&A from our resident strength & conditioning coach to learn more about the man behind the sport science of PUSH!
The counter-movement jump (CMJ) is a movement that is utilized in nearly every sport. An athlete may perform a CMJ when going up for a rebound in basketball, receiving a pass in football, making a block in volleyball, and so on. When you break a CMJ down to its fundamental characteristics you find more than the simple act of jumping. At its core, the CMJ is the explosive extension of the hips, knees, and ankles. This movement can be mimicked and loaded through traditional weightlifting movements like the snatch and clean. Loaded movements present an easy model of improvement with load increases scaling up with training.If you want to know how many apples are in an orchard, you count the apples – not the apple trees. When we use jumps as a metric for power, we’re comparing apples to apples.
The 21st century strength coach operates in the world of big data. On a daily basis we are exposed to countless data collection, data analysis and intervention opportunities.
While each of these monitoring systems can have merit, this exponential increase in data creates problems for coaches to filter signal from noise. Information overload can blind us to the more obvious issues right in front of us. We are humans first and coaches second and the human brain did not evolve to process such large amounts of data. Our eyes look for patterns and are often biased to see trends where none may exist. This is a particular challenge in team sports where there are large playing roster numbers, a chaotic environment and short time periods to assess and action our data. How do we quickly drill down to the data that is most meaningful? Who are the priority athletes? What data should be actionable and when?
One of the biggest changes between velocity based training (VBT) after relying on percent based training (PBT) is the new metrics that you’re using. Training at a percent-load of your 1 repetition max is pretty straight forward. There are shortcomings to this method, like the difference between training last week’s 1RM versus the 1RM six months ago. You can expect inaccurate percentages to hamper the results of your training efforts. An athlete’s 1RM isn’t entirely stable and is attenuated by day to day changes in readiness, from fatigue or arousal. Training with velocity ranges is a more reliable and actionable method of training.
Strength and Conditioning (S&C) coaches find barbell mean and peak velocity collection intriguing. They see the potential benefit on athlete monitoring, training theory, load determination, fatigue management, etc. In order to apply velocity assessment strategies to an athlete’s benefit, the coach does not need to be an expert in all things in kinematics or statistics. At the end of the day, coaches in the field need immediately useful applications.