I’ve been thinking about writing this piece for a while and I guess I’ve finally gotten around to it. It will assuredly be multiple parts but will be somewhat self limiting. The title should be fairly self-explanatory with a caveat or two. The reality is that many (including myself) drastically overcomplicate training. I actually identify three phases of coaching:
- You know you know nothing
- You think you know something
- You realize what you don’t know
It’s usually during phase 2 that folks overcomplicate such. In college, oh my, the complex periodization programs I’d draw up. It was a spreadsheet exercise with pie charts and graphs and I’m sure in hindsight I had more fun drawing things up than I did actually doing the training.
Anyhow, what I’m going to do in this (hopefully) short series, is look at a post that was made a bunch of years back about the Australian Institute Sport (AIS) track cycling program; and it was written by their weight room coach so this isn’t some second hand account. This is the guy that was coaching the athletes that were, at the time, kicking serious ass.
They aren’t as dominant now that UK Track Cycling has taken over but for a bunch of years they truly ruled the roost. And for a country as small as Australia, that’s something. Note: and this is for the people who claim that sports science has contributed nothing to sport, the AIS is tied in with a lot of sports science research which was being applied directly here.
One caveat, and the author mentions this at the end: this really describes elite training. This is for guys who have learned the skills and have the technical background, have the genetics to be this successful and train full time. It’s also for a sport with a limited number of capacities that have to be trained which simplifies it somewhat. It wouldn’t be appropriate for a developing athlete and not everyone could survive it. As he says, take concepts from it even if you can’t apply it completely. This won’t necessarily apply to sports with more technical requirements.