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During my undergrad years at McGill (Physiology), especially in my final year with 400 and 500 level courses, I wish I had a “service” that could read and summarize hundreds of scientific journals that were “required reading” and “possibly on the exam”.
Just searching for them at the library, and lining up to make photocopies was hard enough! (Remember, this was the early-mid 1980’s)
Sound familiar? .. and don’t forget the sharpie highlighters!
Luckily, in the Strength and Conditioning field, we have a service.
But when I read on Facebook a sprinting book was coming out, I stopped at my tracks and quickly emailed Bret what the scoop was.
Bret Contreras and Chris Beardsley read hundreds of journals in sprinting research, and only listed the top 100 in a nice review format. (it’s a monthly service, but you can get single issues)
Now, there’s no guarantee you’ll run faster if you read the book. But I can guarantee you’ll learn a few things, and either (1) question what you are doing and (2) add a few new things to your training inventory.
Remember, this is research, and most of us don’t have time to pour over hundreds of research papers (unless you have to commute by train or metro, then maybe you have time )
First, as a preamble, here are some do’s and don’t you should know before to you start reading this book:
- the human body is a very complicated piece of art, and many factors affect a single issue
- research contradicts itself a lot, so don’t read just ONE study and take that as proof
- read the research carefully. When they say they used 20 untrained athletes… you have to think “hmmm”…
- research changes often. What is good today is wrong tomorrow, then back again. For example, what is the caffeine limit in the NCAA?
- pay attention to the dates of the different studies. Some research goes back from the 1920’s all the way up to 2013.
But first, ask yourself these 20 questions (there will not be a test, don’t worry):
- How do things change when constant running speed increases from submaximal to maximal in addition to when accelerating from a standstill to maximal speed?
- Which joints go through more or less range of motion? How does posture change?
- Which muscles are more highly activated?
- Which joints increase in torque and angular velocity the most?
- What happens to ground reaction forces?
- What about stride length and stride rate, in addition to contact and flight time?
- What factors best predict faster sprinting?
- Which types of genetic and architectural factors are at play?
- Are relative vertical force, impulse, and power characteristics more important than relative horizontal force, impulse, and power characteristics, or vice-versa?
- How important is stiffness?
- Which mechanical qualities deteriorate under fatigue, and how does the body try to compensate?
- Are neuromuscular or metabolic factors more crucial for sprinting prowess?
- Which muscles are the key “sprint muscles”?
- How should a sprinter warm-up?
- How does one best train for acceleration versus maximal speed?
- What factors influence transfer of training to performance?
- What ultimately limits humans from springing faster?
- What characteristics make Bolt, Gay, and Lemaitre unique?
- What research are you hoping to see conducted as time ensues?
- What in the hell is Morin’s “Direction of Force Application Technique” anyway?
I think all of us can answer these 20 questions, but we’re all going to have different answers!
So when you get your copy, you will find out:
- How a significant number of researchers are now convinced that top speed sprinting is dictated by the force exerted with each stride…
- How researchers have now explained the key role of horizontal forces in developing sprint speed…
- How gluteals and hamstrings have key roles in both accelerating and top speed sprinting…
- What the optimal amount of leg stiffness really is…
- and much much more…
You can’t beat the price of $29.95 and it’s ready in PDF format as well as in two e-Reader formats (.mobi and .epub)
Here is the link:
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is NOT an affiliate link. This is NOT a paid review. I do NOT earn any commission on any sales.