“In summary, this study suggests a direct link between the synaptic plasticity triggered by waking activities and the homeostatic sleep response and identifies BDNF as a major mediator of this link at the molecular level.”-Department of Psychiatry, University of WisconsinGeneral Strength circuits are good options, but after talking to a few coaches yesterday it seems that “sleep coaching” is t
BDNF and Sprinting- Sleep and General Strength?
Carl Valle on March 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm #18227
I will post some specific on calisthenics or GS work later but first I think it is best to clarify some limitations, origins and rationale as GS is at times overstated from my perspective as a metabolic alternative to tempo running and a means for endocrine response, detracting from attention to individualisation and postural effects. I do not mean to offend anyone by this post but I think it is worth examining ideas that have become very mainstream.
I have addressed some of these topics previously in a less diplomatic way and hopefully I’m more lucid below. The issue of general strength circuits and their ability to build work capacity is a tenuous one in my opinion. It is my observation that suggestions of impactful endocrine responses for GS circuits is probably wishful thinking based on a desire to redress the advantages of doping, and has no real basis in science. While there is obviously value to some multilateral development, I think general strength should often be more individualized both to anthropometry and event focus, with more focus on precision of movement than metabolic or endocrine response. General strength has seen a very strong growth in popularity and I think it is worth looking at its origins and its value in certain events compared to more specific training.
There is a suggestion (if I recall correctly from Boo Schexnayder and probably others) that if weight room improvement is not showing transfer an emphasis on GS work can help. I think this is likely explained by a central role of core/lumbopelvic rhythm in co-ordination and transfer as per comments elsewhere. Backing off heavy lifting slightly and increasing GS with its strong core emphasis may help address alterations to lumbopelvic rhythm/co-ordination/transfer that occurred with excessively heavy lifting.
I believe it is fair to say that Dan Pfaff has been a large proponent of general strength methods and very influential in the adoption and the way it is viewed by many coaches. His background of coaching athletes to success is extremely broad across event groups and a testament to his coaching ability. A broad background means a broad range of excellent ideas, but there is a need to be careful that we do not extrapolate or generalize excessively or innapropriately. The quote I hear a lot is “A base of what?” and there are several factors at play when we consider building work capacity for an athlete’s training, with large variability depending on event.
1. How much volume is feasible in event actions?
i) Throws, jumps, hurdles, pole vault (including multi-events)
Building work capacity depends upon a larger volume of work at submaximal intensity (either at the outset or as a result of fatigue). Event actions such as pole vault, throws, jumps and to hurdles are all very difficult to perform in large volumes compared to submaximal sprinting, and this is particularly true for more technical disciplines and those involving an acyclical final action like the javelin or pole vault (compared to for instance the long jump, where the run up/preparation is more influential).
To reach volume equivalent to the 100’s of gait cycles achievable in tempo running is simply not possible in throwing and vaults, and also take offs/phases and hurdle clearances, and morevover not even close to possible in any case by a factor of 100+.
In many of these events, submaximal efforts can result in highly undesirable technical changes, and with fatigue from high volume the effects on technique will be magnified. This fatigue is added to by the energetic requirements of preparation/run ups for jumps, throws and hurdles etc. The asymmetrical nature and extreme joint range of motion demands in many of the events add further to the injury risks that come from volume and fatigue.
A shift to alternate means like multi-throws, multi-jumps, and also hurdle mobility and event related strength work is a great solution. These solutions allow the performance of event related actions at submaximal intensities in much higher volumes, with greater symmetry and less extreme ranges of motion/posture, less fatigue from preparation/run ups, often less technical demand and much decreased risk of injury.
There is simply no way to feasibly replicate the event-specific characteristics and volume of speed endurance and tempo running in field events and hurdles, and as such development of alternate means is an absolute necessity to build work capacity, muscular endurance and metabolic machinery for event specific training.
In gait on level ground without obstacles as per submaximal sprinting, these issues are not nearly as much of a concern. Compared to the disciplines above, from a technical standpoint submaximal sprinting is:
– Relatively inherent and much less technically demanding.
– Cyclical allowing for high volumes without restarting a preparation/run up.
– Very symmetrical compared to throws, hurdle clearances and phases/take offs.
– Much less demanding on joint range of motion.
As a result the performance of high volumes of submaximal sprinting is extremely feasible compared to other event groups and negative suppositions relating to building work capacity through volumes of submaximal work should not be generalized.
2. Why does specificity matter? If lactate/heart rate values spiked from alternate means and circuits can this represent a training effect for work capacity in sprinting?
I think there is a lot of confusion among coaches regarding the meaning of lactate and heart rate measurements. Fatigue is multifaceted but relates to a specific task. There are two general categories fatigue mechanisms are conventionally divided into.
i) Neural Fatigue: Neural drive to activate musculature is specific to the demands of the task in terms of posture, muscle recruitment, contraction velocity, other movement characteristics (bilateral jumps/throws and hurdle mob vs high speed gait are very different in many ways) etc.
ii) Muscular Fatigue: Muscle metabolism depends on the muscle groups and muscle fibres responsible for force production and performance, and is again specific to the demands of the task in terms of posture, muscle recruitment, contraction velocity etc.
Heart Rate is a central response to exercise and does not reflect specific task demands. A distance runner, cyclist and swimmer will have very disparate heart rate response power outputs to a given speed/power output in each other’s disciplines.
Lactate is marker reflecting concentration of lactate in the circulation, with a prick from the finger or the ear. Lactate measurement does not reflect specific task demands. For instance, high lactate values can be produced from arm ergometer exercise but this will relate little to a 400 metre run or a 1000m cycling time trial.
Heart rate and lactate can both be used to monitor fitness in a specific task. For instance, decreases in heart rate at a given running speed or cycling power output (or otherwise increases in speed/power output for a given heart rate) will indicate improved fitness for a runner and a cyclist respectively, but as per the above runners are not tested on bikes and cyclists are not tested on treadmills because heart rate is not an indicator of conditioning outside a specific mode of exercise.
In the literature increased power output for a given lactate concentration is highly discriminative for performance in elite road cyclists but again is not an indicator of conditioning outside a specific task.
Dan Pfaff has spoken about lactate levels from block starts and Olympic lifting; however the portion of the race involving fatigue associated with high lactate concentrations involves upright running postures and muscle recruitment patterns, and contraction velocities much greater than that from blocks or on the platform. As stated above, one can pump up lactate with arm ergometers but this means little as fatigue involves involves neural drive and metabolic factors in particular muscles and muscle fibres specific to task demands, block starts are much closer but again fatigue occurs in upright postures.
Another suggestion I have heard a few times is that heart rate of 140+/- during general strength, multiple jumps/throws and hurdle mobility work is indicative of a conditioning effect and a possible decreased necessity for tempo running. As per the above, heart rate is not an appropriate measure for generalizing fitness gains between cycling and running, two tasks with as much or more similarity in terms of factors like muscle recruitment, cyclical action and contraction velocity than the circuit work above compared to submaximal sprinting.
Heart rate tells us very little about the adaptation in the peripherary, and has little relevance for the improvements in anaerobic pathways (heart rate at submaximal levels is generally an indicator of oxygen consumption/aerobic metabolism, while maximum accumulated oxygen deficit i.e. energy produced without oxygen is a more common measure of sprint metabolism) which are critical to fatigue during sprint racing and in high volume sprint training. There is little in the way of notable cardiac characteristics in sprinters as compared to distance runners where this is a major area of adaptation.
Again the posture, muscle recruitment, contraction velocities and other movement characteristics involved in general strength, multiple jumps/throws and hurdle mobility is dissimilar to sprinting, especially compared with submaximal sprinting/tempo running. In athletes beyond a basic level, it is not an appropriate substitute and certainly not on the basis of heart rate response to 140+/-bpm. I was a bit perplexed by this https://www.down-right.co.uk/2008/08/dan-pfaff-training.html
“Well with guys like Donovan Bailey, Oberdaley Thompson, Karim Street-Thompson, Bruny Surin, they would be pumping 18mmols of lactate at the end of that workout a world class quarter miler at the end of the race is only pumping 10-11mmol…that is very different to putting an athlete in tempo training or interval training- during which you would traditionally get an athlete to a certain level of lactate and do work there. Sprinters and Jumpers never encounter that kind of lactate environment in competition so why train them there?”
I can’t really understand the thought process here. During tempo training and interval training lactate is not stable as increases in anaeraboic and aerobic metabolism and with fatigue during interval and tempo sessions do in fact occur as does net lactate accumulation and the metabolic pathways are simply not debatable. The “lactate environment” being irrelevant to competition argument is untenable considering strong advocacy of various alternate means and the points I’ve made above regarding specificity of fatigue to posture, muscle recruitment and contraction velocity etc. I’m not sure which athletes are doing only 10-11mM at the end of a 400m as this is completely out of the ballpark of any published data, and is not far off MaxLASS for some distance guys.
Carson Boddicker on March 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm #115307
What’s the title of the paper where you got that quote? Been doing quite a bit of reading lately on this topic and would be interested to read that one if you could send it to me, por favor.
firstname.lastname@example.org on March 13, 2012 at 8:32 am #115346
Craig Pickering on March 14, 2012 at 1:54 am #115353
JC is on to something there! Sleeping position can be really important, as you are (should be!) spending 8+hours in that position. Most people sleep on their front, which really is a bad idea. I forced myself to stop sleeping on my front after 2007 where I was suffering from really bad back issues. Its also interesting to note that spinal discs don’t seem to respond particularly well to long duration forced extension, which sleeping on the front promotes – along with neck issues.
Craig Pickering on March 14, 2012 at 5:17 am #115357
Kangaroo = human.
email@example.com on March 14, 2012 at 11:39 am #115380
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