I recently had the opportunity to sit down with my friend Alex Wolf and discuss his brand new book, Strength and Conditioning for Rowing. Alex was previously a guest on Episode 098 and we discussed his book Training the Complete Rower.

This new text includes several key new areas including leadership and communication, principles for a performance based approach, para rowing, and trunk training.

Alex Wolf spent 15 years working for the English Institute of Sport where he held the positions of Head of Strength and Conditioning and more recently Head of Learning. He spent five years working with the GB Rowing team in preparation for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic games.

Part 1 | Updates from 1st Interview

  • Evidence of strength training improving force development and power
  • What skills/lifts give the best return to the rowing stroke?
  • Technique vs. load – Why going heavier does not always translate to greater force production
  • Differences between Training the Complete Rower
  • EIS → Private Consulting
    1. Touching on transition after London Olympic Games 19:00
    2. Changed how we look at people not just technical part of S&C
    3. Head of Learning

Part 2 | Alex’s new book…

  • “Stop making S&C look good” – how this relates to progress in the gym vs. performance in the rowing shell
  • Complementing the rowing coach:
    • 1. How can S&C support the event demands?
    • 2. What is the coach’s model or philosophy on training for performance?
    • 3. How does S&C support the coach’s model or philosophy of performance?
  • Why being a member of the support team (define it) is all about trust?
  • Paul Thompson “It is my job to prepare job to prepare a group of athletes, coaches and support team staff to perform one week in every four years.’
  • Emerging as Leaders
    • Building relationships
      • Why credibility is important
    • Add value to environment
      • How S&C coaches can add value in the gym, as a key member of support staff and into the boat?
    • Critical reflectors
      • Key lessons you learned during your time at EIS
  • Relationship to Rowing Performance
    • Peak handle forces are recorded at the start, suggesting a large impact during this part of the race.
    • 2. Rowing economy can be improved through maximal force expression.
    • 3. Rowers with greater force expression capabilities tend to have greater anaerobic capabilities and fatigue resistance than those with less force expression capabilities.
  • Why technique is important for maximal force expression? (graph on 62)
  • Trunk training
    • 3 key areas
      • Motor control, work capacity, and strength
    • Assessments and breaking into quadrants
    • How to train it with the 8 minute blocks and 30 second increments
    • More time given to the areas of weakness

Show Notes:

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