Transfer of Exercises
Dr. Anatoly Bondarchuk has written much about the transfer of exercises.
His idea was that the general and directed exercises lead to sport specific exercises that lead to an improvement in the field events. Exercises that did not improve the field events were not used during the competition period. His selection was based on the three main training periods: accumulation, intensification, and transformation.
While Westside only utilizes the three-period system one time, it lasts about 10 months for a new, but advanced lifter or athlete. First, it does no good to be strong in the wrong exercises. When I competed, 80 percent of the training consisted of special exercises, 20 percent squat, bench press and deadlift. Westside’s theory of training is to first box squat then train the muscles individually. To raise my squat to a new standard, I would increase my reverse hyper volume by adding extra reps and adding more weight.
For the inverse leg curls, I would remove weight off the device until I was doing actual Russian leg curls while holding weight.
At the same period, I would add weight to my calf-ham-glute raises. Also, I would add standing leg curls and regular leg curls with as much weight as possible. I was always trying to exceed the volume and intensity from my last meet.
Back raises were also pushed going into a meet. I would use as much weight as possible breaking new barriers with the amount of weight used, as well as pushing Goodmornings. I was always working up in shrug weights along with heavier abs.
And last but not least, I was constantly adding weight to my power sled walks, going from six to 10 trips of 60 yards. This covers the box squat and deadlift training.
For the Bench
I always pushed for new records in the J.M. press. I did one on a four-inch piece of carpet and one in the power rack two inches below chest level by using a cambered bench bar. Next, I worked on breaking new records on tricep extensions with dumbbell rollbacks and elbows out to the side. My last indicator was a very steep incline press with hands touching the smooth part of the bar.
When I broke records in these special exercises, I broke a record in the meet. It made no sense to stop doing exercises that made me the strongest at meet time where I had to perform my best. This made it possible to make top ten benches from 1980-2002, top ten squat from 1971-2000, and top ten deadlifts from 1972-2005 at 57-years-old.
But what about other sports such as track?
I have worked with several top sprinters. Their coaches make at least two critical mistakes. One, after doing weight training they stop weight training, losing their strength base doing only running and it almost always leads to an injured athlete. If weight training is at all important, why stop it? It is much better to cut back on some running and maintain correct weight training. Some experts suggest reducing running by 35 percent. When this was done, speed increased and injuries decreased.
The definition of a sprint is to run as fast as possible for a short distance. Explosive weight training is a good transfer of exercise. Running a mile is not a good example of a transfer of exercise. A mile run is not building a base for a sprinter. It is only a base for running a mile. A sprint is two things, for top sprinters acceleration and hopefully maintaining top running speed.
A sprinter-specific muscle type is not conducive to running long distance due to the fact that they not only cannot maintain top speed but suffer from constant deceleration. This is not sport specific for a sprinter. Remember a sprint must always improve strength and power. A top male sprinter produces up to 1,000 pounds per step while sprinting. Most cover 100 meters in 43 to 45 steps. That’s 43,000 to 45,000 pounds in 10 seconds. No sprinter can lift 1,000 pounds in a squat, let alone on one foot. They must maintain a large base to prevent injury.
There are far too many injuries from track. This falls directly on the coach. Too much sport-specific work leads to a speed barrier. This is not a good example of what Bondarchuk was thinking when he wrote Transfer of Training in Sports (2007).
What is a good example of transfer of exercises for a 100-meter or 200-meter sprinter?
For a 100-meter sprint, keep records for 30, 50, and 60 meters. This should be a test for their acceleration. After 30 meters could also be tested to gauge progress. Box jumps are very important. If you can jump on a higher box at the same or heavier body weight, you are more powerful.
Standing long jump and standing triple jump should also be tested.
For a 200-meter sprinter
A Jamaican 200-meter Olympic sprinter who ran in the 2016 Olympics told me he ran twice a week and concentrated on sprinting 50, 100 and 150 meters for acceleration for time. He did a lot of sled work in grass also for time. Plus he did jumps—single and multi-jumps. For both the 100 and 200 meter, the sprinter increased the maximal strength and a lot of light weights 30 to 40 percent for increasing explosive strength. After perfecting technique one must improve their strength and power. The Jamaican team uses our inverse curl for hamstrings and a bent pendulum reverse hyper for low back plus hamstring and glute isolation. They use the ATP for all matter of strength training, from jumping, running in place, step-ups, and static poses in the correct leg angles for sprinting. This is a proper example of a correct transfer of exercise.