Yes, it has been some time since my last blog entry. Well, everything has been running smooth on this on this side, find a little update below. A few things that contributed to the delay: of course the global COVID-situation asked for creative solutions for training, but we did well, comparing to most athletes. It certainly wasn’t lack of topics to write about either, rather too many options which made the choice difficult.
And during my coaching life I considered three phases:
- Gathering information, knowledge and experience,
- Trying out this information in real life (training and experimenting) and
- Sharing this experiences with my colleagues by speaking at seminars, and congresses, writing articles or books, of nowadays: giving podcasts and webcasts.
I am proud to have been able to produce a series of certification webinars at Strongerexperts, “The Science and Art of Speed Training” with help of my good friends and dear colleagues Justin Kavanaugh and Phillppe Tremblay: https://www.strongerexperts.com/resource_redirect/landing_pages/2147794024
I still work with athletes hands-on, on a daily basis. But in the meanwhile, still being an obsessive-compulsive reader, I also spent lots of time reading. I would like to share with you some of my favorite books of the last year. Some sports related, some others.
Not much new going on in sports however, in its core little changed, most of it is about forgotten knowledge repackaged, old wine in new bottles.
Beginning of the new year, a new old book will be presented, an English translation of the book of my mentor Carmelo Bosco will come out at Ultimate Athlete Concepts. Very interesting to read for everybody who is involved in explosive sports, stronger yet, a must-read!
Resistance Training Methods. From Theory to Practice, by Alejandro Muñoz-López, Redha Taiar and Borja Sañudo (editors). Definitely not the usual suspects but an excellent book. Basically one of the best books I came across the least two years since it covers many interesting topics in an scientific, but comprehensible way. Adaptations to resistance training, flywheel training, power training, plyometrics, force sensors, periodization, it’s all there. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-81989-7
Another good and underestimated book that I finally found time to read:
Biomechanics of Training and Testing. Innovative Concepts and Simple Field Methods, edited by Jean-Benoit Morin and Pierre Samozino. A group of younger sport scientists, focused on speed and explosive strength using proven but simple methods to evaluate sprint performances and power output. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05633-3
In my opinion these three books above will take you a long way if you want to learn about strength, explosive strength, power and speed.
Apart from the sports books, I always loved to read fiction books: two of them, I have read twice recently: The Overstory and Bewilderment, both by Richard Powers.
Powers won the Pulitzer prize with The Overstory. Thisis a great novel about trees and about nine different people whose life is significantly influenced by trees, it is about respect for nature, about men’s place in nature, about trees being living organisms with more faculties then the average person believes and about humans destroying the trees and the forests.
Bewilderment is about a grieving widower, an astrophysicist, and his 9 year old son, who’s mental status is changed by a new way of neurofeedback, feeding him the stored data of his mother, and their coming to grips with their loss, not a thriller, but a page-turner still, and especially at the end, a very touching book.
Pharma by Gerard Posner is a book about a completely different topic. It describes the rise and fall of the Sackler family, who is responsible for the synthetic opioid epidemic mainly in the USA, thereby deliberately destroying the lives of millions of people, literally creating social havoc in the USA. and …getting away with it too. It describes in detail and documents the workings of the intimate relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and government organizations like the FDA. Human greed and human stupidity in full swing.
He was able to carefully describe any possible source of smells. Starting from basic chemistry as far as the smell of earth, rain and stone, The fragrances of fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, animals, it is all there, and it is hard to find a substance that he did not describe. A very good introduction into the most simple and the most complex and most elusive of the human senses: olfaction. The name Sheldrake might ring a bell, the existence of “morphogenetic fields” was the main topic of the work of Rupert Sheldrake. The book Entangeled Life is a book written by his son Merlin Sheldrake (great first name!), about the natural network that symbiotic living organisms create to communicate and to support each other, in a for humans invisible way. He talks about the Wood Wide Web, the intricate communication system between trees, formed by fungal networks, and the many useful functions of fungi. An eye-opener and excellent reading during lockdowns.
It will show you, just like The Overstory that despite the fact that we humans like to see ourselves as superior organisms to every other living thing, but just take a good hard look around you. The rest of the planet has been here for millions of years longer than we have and is in many aspects far superior to human beings. Mainly the fact that we do not understand this, shows us that we are not smart enough to understand. It took us until 10 -20 years ago that we started to understand that plants communicate too, but still we do not understand their language. And if we could we would probably not listen anyhow.
Even though there might not be much to celebrate this year, the holidays are coming closer and maybe an idea for a present and for time to read.