Call us Today!! 416.628.4333 Toronto |

Eccentric Strength, Overspeed Training, and Athletic Development

Review of Research;

Cook (2013) Three Weeks of Eccentric Training Combined with Overspeed Exercises Enhances Power and Running Speed Performance Gains in Trained Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27:1280:1286


This research (1) used experienced athletes (rugby players, approx 20 years of age, min. 2 years of structured training), and put them through a 12-week preseason training program, with 4 separate 3 week training blocks. The blocks were eccentric loading with overspeed, eccentric loading with regular speed work, traditional loading (ecc and con) with overspeed, and traditional loading with regular speed. While most of the athletes had large effect size improvements over 12 weeks, the eccentric training groups had the largest improvements in strength measures. For lower body power (in the CMJ) the eccentric with overspeed was the highest, while speed was highest in the tradidional method with overspeed training.


For ‘eccentric training’ researchers used mostly the same exercises as in the traditional loading parameters (power clean, RDL, bent-over-row, etc.) but tried to emphasize the negative or eccentric phase of the lift, while getting a spotter to return it to the start position. Overspeed referred to doing assisted countermovement jumps and sprints down a small grade to enhance jump height and running speed. Traditional speed work was similar but sprinting on flat ground and bodyweight countermovement jumps. More details of the actual training program can be seen in the methods section.

Important Concepts

The researchers talk about eccentric-focused loading for enhancing force production since it is known that the eccentric muscle actions can withstand much greater forces. In the treatments they used in this study, the results echoed this. Power and speed are two different concepts, and should always be treated as such. We often lump them into the […]

Stuart McGill “Why everyone needs core training” – BSMPG

Stuart McGill is a legend. His contribution has shaped many professionals around the globe from the fields of strength and conditioning, therapy, MSK pain and performance researchers, health and safety officers, human resources, and sport scientists to name a few.


It was a pleasure listening to him once again. He delivered what I consider to be the best synopsis of his work to date. I thoroughly enjoyed the talk.

The following notes were taken at BSMPG 2013 Conference.

Disclaimer: These notes where taken during the conference to the best of my abilities and are grossly subject to my interpretation. Items in italics represent my thoughts.

Proximal Stiffness = distal athleticism (examples: rib cage position during a bench press, sprint, COD)
Watch-up for a tiny loss of stiffness and loss of proximal stiffness (trunk) these little energy impact performance and strain tissues in the Kinetic Chain
Not a lot of tension, but tuned
Use of Swiss Balls to develop column stability is questionable based on the %MVC, challenge to stability, and context. (this is not to say there isn’t a place for Swiss Ball training)
SYMMETRIC stiffness determines stability
It must be tuned to the demands of the task
25% of MVC in the trunk, then the muscles don’t gain stiffness
Look for stress concentration (TL, hinge area)
Force and commensurate stability
Which labs measure STABILITY??? RARE…discussed stiffness, stability, and MVC
Need to subclassify in LBP – pain inhibits muscles and can exhit
STABILITY FOR MOBILITY. stabilization increased active hip mobility!!! Creates a better anchor point. (creates better joint centration – sound familiar…punctum fixum, lines of muscle pull, system symmetry?? System stability??)
Stretching does not change movement patterns. (Remember our goals…movement development)
QL is the Hip Abductor on the other side during single leg stance […]

By |May 23rd, 2013|Categories: FITS News, Literature, Random Thoughts and Conundrums|1 Comment

Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group presentation reviews 2013

Art Horne and his colleges put on another amazing BSMPG conference held at North Eastern. If you haven’t been to a BSMPG conference you’re missing out on one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to. I’ve been going for the past three years and each year gets better. Perhaps the most unique element of the event are the socials, where at a local pub / restaurant you get to connect with the rock stars of the industry. This year was extra special because 6 members of the FITS team made it Boston – Cory Kennedy, Lori Silver, Dr. Paul Oh, Dr. Vijay Gopal, Adriana Berla, and our newest member Lisa Menezes.

With each BSMPG new connections are made. I absolutely love BSMPG conference. I’ll be there next year for sure!! This year I’m going to share my notes, I’ll release them one at time, only so I can have a chance to reflect and to clean up my notes. I learned so much and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share and learn. You can expect reviews on:

Stuart McGill: Why Everyone Needs Core Training: Implications for Performance and Injury Prevention

Marvin Chun: Vision Training and Athletic Performance

Adriaan Louw: A Neuroscience Approach to Low Back Pain in Athletes

Marco Cardinale: Strength and Conditioning in the Real World: From Science to Application (I’ll make a summary of all that I learned from Macro from our candid conversations in addition to the formal presentations)

Fergus Connolly: The Art of Applied Sports Science for Competitive Advantages: 7 Principles

Randall Huntington: Developing Power (I found chatting with him outside his presentation to be an unbelievable experience. He’s an unbelievable resource)

Kevin Neeld: Structural and Functional Adaptations Affecting the Hockey Athlete.

There are other […]

The Combine Is A Trap!


As someone who is in the performance enhancement industry (for sport that is…), combine season is kind of exciting. It’s like the little brother of Track and Field at the Olympics. This is a time for the best football players in the NCAA to take a step back from some of the skills and complexity of football, and get an opportunity to display their athleticism for all of the NFL teams. It also proves to be a money maker for supplement companies, apparel companies (Under Armour sponsors it, but Adidas is trying to get in on the action too!), and of course Athletic Performance facilities. While everyone has their eyes glued to the screen of NFL Network for the 4 days, I ask young football players (and athletes of other sports as well) to heed my warning: Forget about combines!

I know how hard it is though. Everyone wants to be associated with their numbers…I jump this high, run this fast, and change direction in under 4 seconds…It is much simpler than just saying, I am really good at football!

The problem isn’t that the combine is broken, or that athleticism is bad, it’s about priorities! The NFL pays players millions, so players need to prepare specifically for this ‘job interview’ in order to ace it. The key take-home though is that these players spent 4 years of high school DEVELOPING…then 4 years of college DEVELOPING…finally 8 weeks mastering the test. Young athletes need to remember there is more to being a great football player than mastering these tests…

Case in point, Athletes Performance, probably the world’s most popular performance enhancement facility. Every year they represent close to the top 100 athletes in the NCAA to prepare them […]

What if you can’t squat

By |February 20th, 2013|Categories: Literature, Random Thoughts and Conundrums|0 Comments