We attended the SPRINZ conference on the 14th and 15th November 2013 in Auckland. This was like a candy shop for fitness professionals! We were in awe of the dedicated presenters and their research quest to produce the “elite athlete“. Power bands, Olympic lifting and Vertical Jumps!
The first day included keynote speakers as well as brief introductions of the workshops for the next day. My workshop highlights were:
Power Bands, with Dr Matt Kritz
Dr Kritz is the man that gave us the MCS programme that should be used by all professionals in the fitness industry worth their salt. This was an ingeniously delivered workshop.
Matt was happy to answer some questions after the workshop:
P.I (Physical Impact): “Matt would you choose bands over plates after knowing what you know?”
M.K (Matt Kritz): “No I wouldn’t. They share an equal part in my arsenal for my athletes’”
P.I: “How long did it take for athletes to see a change in strength, speed and power? What was the programming like for these particular athletes?”
M.K: “Changes were noticeable as little as 5 weeks into the programme with a once a week programming schedule.”
P.I: “Have you seen many injuries with the use of bands; and in conjunction with your MCS programme what would be your recommendation with regards to free weights versus bands in order to make postural corrections?”
M.K: “No injuries at all. For postural correction I start on bands from day one which may also help with technique corrections.”
P.I: “Do you think you have mastered this tool and know all there is to know about bands?”
M.K: “No, this is only the beginning and the types of things one can do with bands is only limited by one’s imagination”
Lower Body Power Training Methods to Develop Vertical Jump, with Dr Jeremy Sheppard
This workshop was engaging and full of take home messages. Dr Jeremy Sheppard is the Sport Science Manager at the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre. He oversees the physical preparation of the national athletes in the Elite Athlete Program. He is a ball of energy and a wealth of knowledge.
His approach to make surfers better at their sport is one of discipline and commitment, and states: “otherwise you shouldn’t be there”. One of his fundamental exercises is the snatch squat. His priming exercises are done with bands and functional movements like bear crawls, spider mans, double and single leg body weighted jumps. His key message to coaches working with athletes: “design the program and work out specific to the individual.” Click to watch a snippet of the video.
Olympic Weightlifting Technique with Dr Adam Storey
Dr Adam Storey is the coach for the NZ Olympic lifting team and it was truly a privilege to be attending his workshop. His cues and pointers for form and technique were spot on and really helpful. His workshop was very hands on and before we knew it we were performing hanging cleans and snatches. Adam emphasised that an untrained individual wouldn’t start off with this type of training, but the pointers helped answer questions that needed to be addressed for training athletes. Things I picked up from here are that even though these moves look easy they are actually very technical, but can be broken down to make simpler.
Adam stressed that you can never have too much form or technique focus with these type of exercises.
I could continue write about all these amazing people for hours but I wanted to just share the guts of what I thought was important. I would like to thank John Cronin and his team at SPRINZ for this priceless workshop. I would advise all coaches and PT’s to attend this workshop in the coming years to stay in touch with current research and dispel any myths they might have regarding S&C.
For more info on all the research going on at SPRINZ check out: http://www.sprinz.aut.ac.nz