I saw a number of Nelson’s sessions in 2005 and, at least judging from what I saw, there did not seem to be great Soviet influence (at least, in the way the program was carried out day-to-day and in most exercise selection). I saw lots cleans, weighted walking lunges, 150s, etc. on top of lots of bounding and other jumping work. I did not record every workout, count the volumes, etc. so I couldn’t really comment on the periodization or anything like that, but it did seem quite different from a lot of what I have seen written from the likes of Bondarchuk and others.
What is the influence there and has the program changed over the last few years?
I was in a workshop with Joao Ganço, Evora’s coach. He presented his full periodization and training methodologies. You are absolutely right. His strength sessions are pretty much standard. Squat, Clean, Snatch, Calf raise, etc. As James said earlier, Bondarchuck is seen as a dissident, even between the Soviets. The periodization and planning tables were taken directly from Zotko’s work. He also mentioned Ramon Cid, which was a Spanish triple jumper and influenced his view of the body modeled as a very rigid spring. A particularity of Evora’s training is that he doesn’t do maximum speed work. Instead, he does all of his running with hurdles and cones to keep the mechanics closer to those of the runway to the jumps.
Robert Zotko worked for the Portuguese and the Italian Athletics federations. He was very systematic and produced a number of tables to be used by the coaches. One of the tables expresses the importance of each exercise used in the training in relation to each of the periods of the macrocycle. Another table was used to calculate the total volume of each exercise used in the training over the microcycle divided by different skill sets. He was also responsible for the coaching strategies of developmental athletes and created a series of criteria that should be worked in certain ways to promote harmonious development of young athletes.
He left a great legacy and there’s even a Foundation that was created to compile his work. I never met the man, but I hear nothing but accolades for his excellent work.