When discussing training, it’s common for some people to quote examples from super-star athletes. For example, people have said to me recently “Well, Bart doesn’t lean extremely, so if it is good enough for him then it is good enough for me”, and “Joey Mantia does hours of off-skate and one leg hurdle hops and he has massive legs, so it must be the way to train, he’s was the worlds best”, and “Chad Hedrick’s double push was amazingly extreme, I’ve been trying to copy him because he was the fastest ever!” I have many more examples, as people seem to love to do this, especially when they don’t really have enough knowledge to provide a real reason for their point of view.
This style of discussion is just plain unscientific. It’s also often down right destructive to the average persons skating, and in some situations just dangerous.
Let’s get one thing straight; these people (Bart, Joey and Chad) are genetically different to you and me. They are called “mega-responders”, but it’s more fun, with the deepest of respect, to call them affectionately “genetic freaks”. LOL :) The general population is split up in to 3 sections (by government health scientists);
Super-responders. About 10% of the population + - (These people normally like sport because their body responds well to stimulus – training, so they see results quickly)
About 80% of the population + - (Normal people that basically, give or take, make up “the average range”. And enjoy some level of activity and see some results “+ or –“ for their efforts)
Non-responders. About 10% of the population + - (these people train and train but see very little improvement for their efforts. They often quit and become sedentary.)
Mega responders are the top 1% of the “Super-responders”. Anyone getting a top 10 at worlds or WIC or similar, this is you. And people such as Bart, Joey, Chad Hedrick, they are the top 1% of the 1% of the mega responders. (I know I have just generalized this immensely, and given very “round” figures, but I am just trying to explain the point in a simple way. Don’t get hooked up on the numbers here.)
What works for them will not work for you and me. So any coach or athlete who says “Well that’s what Xxxxx does” is basically, in that sentence, admitting that they have no idea WHY they are recommending a particular way to train, but that they are just gonna copy others.
When I hear “Joey has MASSIVE legs, so I am trying to get the same massive legs, I just need raw power. Big legs give power, right?” … it makes me want to cry. Another one is; “Well, we’ve always trained like this; Hard intervals all week, get on the bike, pound out some hard laps, then do some hard laps in the evening… It worked for Chad”
For the majority of people out there, the people who love to skate 3, 4 or 5 times a week, the people with jobs, kids, husbands and wives, the people who meet up with their friends to skate and have a laugh, then doing any kind of training or technique like Bart, Joey or Chad is a little absurd. It’s just not going to work how it’s supposed to work. They are not going to get the results they wanted from the training or the drill, and thus be disappointed, frustrated or eventually quit. Normal people need normal amounts of training, they need a normal approach, with graduated and progressive physical training. Normal people need to do more basics work than they mega-responders and genetically talented, because normal people just don’t “make it work” as quick as those guys. Normal people need things explaining, they need the exercise broken down in to simple steps and easily attainable skills. THIS is what gives people relatively fast and continued progression toward their goals.
I see all too often people trying to do things like “double push” when they can’t yet even stand on their skates up-right, or some crazy acceleration and top speed interval session when their technique is still in the “development phase”.
I got one more for you that I heard recently; “Yann does lots of running, sprints, off-skates and jumping… that’s why we should do it”
Well, Yann is a very special guy, it works for him. His technique is already awesome, and so, to be honest, he could just about do any type of training he feels like and I am sure he would still be a great skater. His body responds physically well to most training, it seems. THIS approach will not work for the thousands of normal people out there reading this article.
I’m not denying that they all work hard. VERY hard. This is a given. But the thinking that “the fastest guy has worked the hardest” is just not true. But the point is that they work hard and get a massive response. SOME other people around the world must work equally hard also, but they just don’t get the same response, either technically or physically.
Now apply this yo your training group. If you just copy the top guys, or try to race them all th time, then this is not the most efficient development for YOU.
I apologies for not giving any female examples in this article, it’s not by choice, I just don’t know what Erika Zanetti, Francesca Lollobrigida or Manon Kamminga do in their training. I equally high respect for them as I do the guys I mentioned, they’re insanely fast, strong and skillful athletes, I just haven’t heard how they are training.
So to wrap this up a little neatly, my advice is to find yourself a coach or a training partner that SEES YOU, and YOUR NEEDS instead of “copy-pasting” from others, or using the training routines from “yester-year” or because “it’s what we’ve always done”.
Good luck! :)
“Let’s go faster”
p.s. Hey, Simon Albrecht, if you are reading this, this article doesn’t apply to you, you are one of the 0.001% ;) #AwesomeExplosivity #MuchRespect #IWishIHadThat #Don’tWeAll
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