In this special episode of 8WeeksOut TV, guest Martin Bingisser joins us to share his insight into the training principles of one of the best coaches in the history of sports, Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk. Never has a coach been more dominant in a single sport than Bondarchuk, watch the video to find out why.
The Transfer of Training & Exercise Classification
Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk has made many contributions to training methodology, but one of the most important is his concept of “transfer of training.” The idea is simple: train with exercises where an increase in results will transfer to better results in your sport.
All coaches aim to do this, but the difference is whether their decisions are based on anecdote, intuition, or science. Bondarchuk studied thousands of athletes to determine what exercises had the best correlation to high performance in track and field and the results were often surprising.
His findings were specific to track and field, but his methods can be easily applied to other sports.
In order to incorporate transfer of training into a program, it is helpful to first categorize each exercise. Bondarchuk has developed a system that places each exercise into one of four categories depending on various characteristics:
General Preparatory Exercises. These exercises use both energy systems and movements different from the athlete’s competitive event.
Specific Preparatory Exercises. This category of exercises is closer to the competitive event in that they use the same muscles and systems, but in the form of a different movement.
Specific Developmental Exercises. This group, often referred to as “specific strength” or “special strength”, combines the same muscles and systems as the competitive event, as well as parts of the competition movements
Competitive Exercise. The name of this category is self- explanatory. This group includes the competitive event and slight variations.
There are a few important things to note with this system. First, the classification of an exercise is entirely dependent on what event the athlete is training for. What might be considered a specific development exercise for a linebacker could be a specific preparatory exercise for a baseball player or even a general preparatory exercise for a marathon runner.
Second, the categories get progressively more event specific as they move from the general preparatory exercises to competitive exercises. As this happens, the number of exercises to choose from in each category decreases.
Finally, as training becomes more specific, they also allow for the simultaneous development both of the technique and the body to meet the demands of the event. Specific and general preparatory exercises, on the other hand, prepare the body to meet the demands of training and contain no technical element.
About Martin Bingisser
Martin Bingisser is a tax attorney, track and field coach, and five-time Swiss national champion in the hammer throw. He has been training with Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk since 2005 and writes frequently about Bondarchuk and other training topics on his blog