Our guest today is Rob Assise, track coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Rob has 17 years of coaching experience, and has been a regular speaker and writer in the realms of track and field, plyometrics and speed training. He previously appeared on episode #95 and #196 of the podcast.
One of the more fascinating ideas that I’ve been working with over time, as a coach, has been the idea of using a “long-burst” training movement of around 10-30 seconds, to help improve the power output of “short-burst” movements, such as a jump or short sprint. Dr. Mark Wetzel spoke about this in depth on a recent episode and his take on it has confirmed things that I’ve seen anecdotally for some time, as well as read up on years ago in the mysterious “Greatest Sports Training Book Ever” by “DB Hammer” with the “AN1” and “AN2” bracket systems.
Rob has taken those bracket systems and has done some creative training work with them recently, where he has also infused “infinity walks” which Dan Fichter talked about on a recent episode, into the mix. Rob talks about that today, as well as ways that this concept can be taken creatively for track and field athletes. In the second half of this show, Rob and I talk plyometric concepts, and how to build bounding and plyometric training “from the feet up” and “from ground contact times upward”.
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Timestamps and Main Points
6:35 Catching up with the struggles of being a high school coach in this period of history
9:50 How Rob has been creating workouts with complementary energy system brackets (i.e. a speed-endurance energy system work recovering a sprint system, and vice versa)
18:50 Ideas on how to optimize track and field events based off of game play and opposing energy systems
28:35 How Rob has observed warmup preferences and tendencies based on an athlete’s neurotype
31:35 Rob’s take on teaching bounding and bound progressions, as well as ideas with bounding with different foot strike emphasis
50:05 Using power metrics in conjunction with bounding using the Muscle Lab Contact Grid, as well as contact time based bound teaching ideas
56:55 How Rob manages contact times for depth jumping, hurdle hops and traditional plyometrics
60:40 How Rob’s thoughts on speed training have evolved over the last few years, as well as “bleed” versus “blast” methods in working flying 10 sprints
“A typical thing we’ll do right off the bat; we’ll do an altitude drop, something intense, then they’ll go into doing something like a speed Russian lunge for 30 seconds, and then they’ll go into doing an infinity walk, or crawl or carry, for about 90 seconds, and then they’ll do something to failure, like hanging from a bar or doing a cross-crawl superman or something like that; something that falls into one exercise recovering another”
“One thing that might be overlooked the most on the infinity walk is the vision component”
“I’ve thought about the idea of, do a couple of (high or long) jumps, then go to a basketball court and play 3 on 3 real quick (and then come back to do more jumps)”
“We would just give athletes at the start of practice on a Friday an option to do whatever they wanted to do in the warmup. The type 1’s would always do something where they were competing. The Type 2’s, it would depend who they were hanging out with. The type 3 would literally go through the same warmup they would go through every day… if you just give athletes 10 minutes and watch what they do, it tells you basically what they are”
“We work heel to toe on a low intensity (to teach bounding)”
“I think you have to rotate through the ball of the first metatarsal when you are doing the lateral bound; you are also getting more of the lateral sling involved with it”