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Theo Pickles is the High Performance Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Netherlands Rowing Team. You may recognize Theo as he was a guest on the podcast way back at the beginning, Episode 30 to be exact.

In this interview, Theo and I catch up after our last interview which was four years ago! We discuss how he has implemented velocity based training for the Netherlands Rowing Team and how this allows him to implement autoregulation with these athletes. In addition, we also discuss educational opportunities for strength and conditioning coaches through the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association and how he has fine tuned the warm up for his athletes.

Enjoy the show!

Part 1

  • Updates from 1st Interview
    • Any solid program has these three lifts!
    • Power sessions structure: 2 power exercises, 2 strength (1 push, 1 pull); 45 minutes or so
    • Training in afternoons, rowing in AM. Sync up intensity based on rowing session.
    • Revisiting the interference effect. Why power/strength training alters motor patterns the following day?


Theo uses this VBT leaderboard to create a fun, competitive environment that drives performance and accountability!


Part 2 – Velocity Based Training

  • Model for return to sport from injury.
  • Exercise selection.
  • VBT – why have you gone to this and how has it helped?
    • Are you also tracking RPE and RIR?

Rate of Perceived Exertion and Reps in Reserve Chart by Theo Pickles


  • Fascicle length and pennation angles
  • Individualization of programs by decreasing structure and having an ongoing conversation with the athlete, 
  • changes in emphasis on coaching cues to come more into line with what the coaches want in the boat. 
  • Men’s team’s periodization strategy
  • Bosco strength continuum, force velocity profile,
  • Gym Aware
    • DL not a good choice
    • Integrated over a year
    •  Reactive Strength Index
    • Athletes must be very proficient in movement; not for novice athlete
    • Use mean velocity not peak velocity

Show Notes: