TheETG Classroom



 Training in a manner consistent with human cellular function makes improvement more controllable, more stable, and more certain.

To be a good track coach one must -first- be a good physiologist.

To be a good medical doctor one must -first- be a good physiologist..

To be a good physiologist one must -first- be willing to…………

— put data ahead of dogma, follow the data -not- the crowd

— put science ahead of indoctrinated tradition

— put logic and reason ahead of faulty assumptions

— put mechanisms ahead of correlations and “risk factors”

— put critical thinking and clinical reasoning ahead of a memorized set of “if–then” statements

— read and apply large amounts of published research

— accept outcomes as the judge and jury of your work



Buyer beware. The quackery of traditional medicine……
“With 150,000 knee arthroscopies carried out in the United Kingdom each year, and about five times that number in the United States, arthroscopic partial meniscectomy…..surgery….to trim a torn meniscus—is one of the most common surgical procedures.”

“Considering the enormous volume, it is natural to think that there is compelling evidence for the procedure being beneficial. Remarkably, this is not so.

“It is barely a decade since the publication of the first controlled trial addressing knee arthroscopy using placebo surgery as a comparator. Since then a series of rigorous trials, summarised in two recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses, provide compelling evidence that arthroscopic knee surgery offers little benefit for most patients with knee pain.”

T.L.N Järvinen, G.H.Guyatt
Arthroscopic surgery for knee pain: a highly questionable practice without supporting evidence of even moderate quality
British Journal Of Sports Medicine — Volume 50 #23 — December 2016


placebo surgery

“This study aimed to compare the force–velocity–power–time relationships of female and male world-class sprinters. A total of 100 distance–time curves (50 women and 50 men) were computed from international 100m finals, to determine the acceleration and deceleration phases of each race: (a) mechanical variables describing the velocity, force, and power output; and (b) force–velocity–power–time relationships and associated maximal power output, theoretical force and velocity produced by each athlete.”

“The results showed that the maximal sprint velocity and mean power output developed over the entire 100m strongly influenced 100m performance.”

“With the exception of mean force developed during the acceleration phase or during the entire 100m, all of the mechanical variables observed over the race were greater in men. Shorter acceleration and longer deceleration in women….”

“This highlights the importance of the capability to keep applying horizontal force to the ground at high velocities.”

J.Slawinski, et al
How 100-m event analyses improve our understanding of world-class men’s and women’s sprint performance
Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sport — Volume 27 #1 — January 2017

“Studies monitoring vitamin D status in athletes are seldom conducted for a period of 12 months or longer, thereby lacking insight into seasonal fluctuations. The objective of the current study was to identify seasonal changes in total 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration throughout the year.”

“52 mainly Caucasian athletes with a sufficient 25(OH)D concentration (>75 nmol/L) in June were included in this study.”

Serum 25(OH)D concentration was measured every three months (June, September, December, March, June).”

“Although all athletes had a sufficient 25(OH)D concentration at the start of the study, nearly 20% of the athletes were deficient (<50 nmol/L) in late winter.

Evelien Backx, et al
Seasonal Variation in Vitamin D Status in Elite Athletes: A Longitudinal Study
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism — Volume 27 #1 — February 2017 — page 6

One of now quite a few studies on high intensity interval training, all showing the same thing whether is interval vs continuous or high intensity interval vs lower intensity interval.
High intensity yields same results with half the training.

“We compared the effects of submaximal and supramaximal cycling interval training on determinants of exercise performance in moderately endurance-trained men.”

— “6 weeks (3 sessions/week) of submaximal (85% maximal aerobic power, High Intensity Interval Training 85 [HIIT85])”
— “supramaximal (115% maximal aerobic power, High Intensity Interval Training 115 [HIIT115])”

“High-intensity training volume was 47% lower in HIIT-115 vs HIIT-85 (304 minutes vs 571 minutes).”

“6 weeks of submaximal and supramaximal interval training performed to exhaustion seems to equally improve VO2 max and anaerobic power in endurance-trained men, despite half the accumulated time spent at the target intensity.”

M. Paquette
Effects of submaximal and supramaximal interval training on determinants of endurance performance in endurance athletes
Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sport — Volume 27 #3 — March 2017

The study below, though done the last few years and published last Fall is on a subject matter that started me down the path that I’ve been on since the mid-1980’s. Back in the mid-1980’s when I first started coaching I was noticing that several of the top world ranked runners were getting injured, missing training, losing fitness, then racing and setting a personal best and/or world record.
This was usually followed by folks in the track media doing stories about the coach’s supposedly perfect training program. Stories where somebody would inevitably claim that the runner’s world record would never be broken.
In not being a fan of group think, it didn’t make sense to me that somebody had an optimal training program or performance level if the athlete got injured or missed training due to illness.

That started me down the road to getting interested in sport sciences.
Going there soon made me aware of how much information -wasn’t- being either acquired or applied by coaches or runners in my sport. To me that meant it was unlikely that anybody had optimized performance or designed the optimal training program. And if no one has done that, it must follow that world records weren’t at the limit of what’s possible.
From there, a rather lengthy quest began.

“Previous research demonstrates an inverse relationship between injury burden and success…..”
“…..33 International Track and Field Athletes….across five international competition seasons.”
“Athlete training status was recorded weekly over a 5-year period.”
“….relationships between training weeks completed, the number of injury/illness events and the success or failure of a performance goal at major championships was investigated.”

“Likelihood of achieving a performance goal increased by 7-times in those that completed >80% of planned training weeks. Training availability accounted for 86% of successful seasons.”

“The majority of new injuries occurred within the first month of the preparation season (30%) and most illnesses occurred within 2-months of the event (50%).”

“For every modified training week the chance of success significantly reduced.”

“Injuries and illnesses, and their influence on training availability, during preparation are major determinants of an athlete’s chance of performance goal success or failure at the international level.”

B.P. Raysmith, M.K. Drew
Performance success or failure is influenced by weeks lost to injury and illness in elite Australian track and field athletes: A 5-year prospective study
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport — Volume 19 #10 — October 2016 — page 778

Just say no to Ice and other forms of cryotherapy.

Avoid group think. Put data ahead of dogma as to follow the data -not- the crowd.

In sport, in post-workout or post-injury, swelling/inflammation is -not- your enemy, and ice is -not- your friend.
Just say no to ice baths and other forms of “cryotherapy”. Been against this stuff since I saw the first studies on it in the late 1980’s when one of my former high school runners was at college where the women’s track program was using it. Data demonstrating damage to motor nerves in the area around muscle. Its now an obsession across many sports, especially college and pro football. Whether its application of an ice pack, bag of ice, pack of frozen vegetables, or a full scale limb or body submersion in an ice bath……contrary to popular belief, swelling and inflammation is -not- your enemy.
The immune system drives workout “recovery” processes. Doing stuff that screws with that makes no sense.

Doing stuff that shuts down local anabolic [tissue building and repair] substances and hormones makes no sense.

Doing stuff that impairs recovery and/or adaptations to training and then saying that it improves same, makes no sense.

The human species didn’t appear on earth yesterday afternoon. We know something about how human cells function.
Don’t be do’in this crap for years, sabotaging your own advancement in your sport, and then claim that the reason you decided to take steroids is because that was your only way forward. Be a jock -not- a dumb jock.
Follow the data, not the crowd.

“….cold water immersion is widely used by athletes for recovery. This study examined the physiological merit of cold water immersion for recovery from high-intensity exercise by investigating if the placebo effect is responsible for any acute performance or psychological benefits.”

“30 males performed an acute high-intensity interval training session, comprised of 4 × 30-seconds sprints, immediately followed by one of the following three 15-min recovery conditions: cold water immersion(10.3°C), thermoneutral water immersion placebo (34.7°C), or thermoneutral water immersion control (34.7°C).”

“A recovery placebo administered after an acute high-intensity interval training session….is as effective as cold water immersion. This can be attributed to improved ratings of readiness for exercise, pain, and vigor, suggesting that the commonly hypothesized physiological benefits surrounding cold water immersion are at least partly placebo related.”

J.R.Broatch, A.Petersen, D.J.Bishop
Postexercise Cold Water Immersion Benefits Are Not Greater than the Placebo Effect
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise — Volume 46 #11 — November 2014 — page 2139

“We evaluated the effect of cold ice-pack application following a brief sprint-interval training on the balance between anabolic mediators [growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I, testosterone], catabolic markers (cortisol, IGFBP-1, and circulating pro [Interlukin-6 and IL-1β]- and anti-inflammatory cytokines [IL-1 receptor antagonist].”

“Twelve males, elite junior handball players performed 4 × 250 m treadmill run, at 80% of each individual’s maximal speed, followed by a rest period with and without local cold-pack application.”

“Local cold-pack application was associated with significant decreases in IL-1β, IL-1ra, IGF-I, and IGFBP-3 and a greater increase of IGFBP-1 during recovery.”

“Local ice therapy immediately following sprint-interval training was associated with greater decreases….anabolic hormones supporting some clinical evidence for possible negative effects on athletic performance.”
D.Nemet, et al
Effect of local cold-pack application on systemic anabolic and inflammatory response to sprint-interval training: a prospective comparative trial
European Journal of Applied Physiology…..Volume 107 #4….November 2009….page 411 – 417

“Several studies analyzed the effectiveness of cold-water immersion to support recovery after strenuous exercise, but the overall results seem to be conflicting. Most of these studies analyzed only short-term recovery effects, whereas the adaptational aspect has been widely neglected.”

“Therefore, we analyzed the effects of repeated cooling after training sessions on adaptations to strength training.”

“Cooling consisted of 3…4-minute intervals with a 30-second rest period.” The other leg was not cooled.”

“Long-term strength training adaptations in trained subjects can be negatively affected by cold-water immersion. However, effects were small, and the practical relevance relative to possible recovery effects needs to be considered in a sports practical setting.”
M.Fröhlich, et al
Strength Training Adaptations After Cold-Water Immersion
Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research….Volume 28 #9…September 2014…page 2628 – 2633

“When ice is applied to a body part for a prolonged period, nearby lymphatic vessels begin to dramatically increase their permeability (lymphatic vessels are ‘dead-end’ tubes which ordinarily help carry excess tissue fluids back into the cardiovascular system).”

“As lymphatic permeability is enhanced, large amounts of fluid begin to pour from the lymphatics ‘in the wrong direction’ (into the injured area), increasing the amount of local swelling and pressure and potentially contributing to greater pain.”
The use of Cryotherapy in Sports Injuries…..Sports Medicine….Volume 3…..1986….page 398 – 414

“The use of ice or cryotherapy in the management of acute soft tissue injuries is widely accepted and widely practiced. This review was conducted to examine the medical literature to investigate if there is evidence to support an improvement in clinical outcome following the use of ice or cryotherapy.”

“Six relevant trials in humans were identified, four of which lacked randomization and blinding. There were two well conducted randomized controlled trials, one showing supportive evidence for the use of a cooling gel and the other not reaching statistical significance.”

“Four animal studies showed that modest cooling reduced edema but excessive or prolonged cooling is damaging. There were two systematic reviews, one of which was inconclusive and the other suggested that ice may hasten return to participation.”

“There is insufficient evidence to suggest that cryotherapy improves clinical outcome in the management of soft tissue injuries.”
Is Ice Right? Does Cryotherapy Improve Outcome for Acute Soft Tissue Injury?
Journal of Emergency Medicine….February 25, 2008…..page 65 – 68


“….the administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or cryotherapy are common clinical practices to control the inflammatory process following connective tissue injury. However, there are contradictory conclusions on the potential of anti-inflammatory strategies to either prevent nonspecific damages or accelerate healing after acute tendon or ligament trauma.”

“Cumulative evidences also show that, apart from releasing catabolic enzymes, inflammatory cells can ultimately favor tissue healing through different biological processes.”

“Indeed, after the clearance of pathogens and other signals of danger, neutrophils will undergo apoptosis and be engulfed by phagocytic macrophages.

Macrophages will then release growth factors that can stimulate fibroblast proliferation, collagen synthesis, and angiogenesis during the early phase of healing.”

D.Marsolais, et al…….Inflammatory cells do not decrease the ultimate tensile strength of intact tendons in vivo and in vitro: protective role of mechanical loading……Journal Of Applied Physiology…….Volume 102 #1……January 2007…..page 11 – 17

“….randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to evaluate if Lactobacillus helveticus Lafti L10 supplementation during 14 weeks in winter can influence the duration, severity, and incidence of upper respiratory tract illness, as well as to monitor different immune parameters in the population of elite athletes.”
“39 elite athletes were randomized either to the placebo (n = 19) or the probiotic (n = 20) group.”
The probiotic group received L. helveticus Lafti L10, 2 × 1010 Colony Forming Units.”
“Lafti L10 significantly shortened the upper respiratory tract illness episode duration and decreased the number of symptoms in the probiotic group…”
“Probiotic strain Lafti L10 can be a beneficial nutritional supplement for the reduction of upper respiratory tract illness length in elite athletes.”
D.Michalickova, et al
Lactobacillus helveticus Lafti L10 supplementation reduces respiratory infection duration in a cohort of elite athletes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Canadian Journal Of Applied Physiology –Volume 41 #7 — July 2016 — page 782

“Sports franchises often value prior head coaching experience as they evaluate head coaching candidates. This paper empirically tests whether prior head coaching experience affects team performance in the National Football League.”

“Accounting for individual coach effects and other relevant factors, I find that team performance is significantly worse beyond a given coach’s initial head coaching spell.”

“While coaches with the lowest levels of success in their initial head coaching spell have the most pronounced negative experience effects, significant negative effects are estimated for coaches at all levels of initial success.”

Does Prior NFL Head Coaching Experience Improve Team Performance?
Journal of Sport Management — Volume 30 #3 — March 201

Effects of alcohol & caffeine in athletes…..

“This study investigated the effects of ethanol consumption on recovery from traditional resistance exercise in recreationally trained individuals.”
“9 recreationally trained volunteers conducted four resistance exercise sessions and consumed a low or a high dose of ethanol 1 – 2.5 hours after exercise on two occasions.”

“Compared with those in the control, cortisol increased and the free testosterone/cortisol ratio were reduced after the high ethanol dose.”

“…the increased cortisol levels and reduced testosterone/cortisol ratio after the high ethanol dose could translate into long-term negative effects.”

A. Haugvad, et al
Ethanol Does Not Delay Muscle Recovery but Decreases Testosterone/Cortisol Ratio
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise — Volume 46 #11 — November 2014 — page 2175

“Alcohol decreases protein synthesis and mammalian target of rapamycin-mediated signaling and blunts the anabolic response to growth factors in skeletal muscle.”

J.L. Steiner, C.H. Lang
Alcohol impairs skeletal muscle protein synthesis and mTOR signaling in a time-dependent manner following electrically stimulated muscle contraction
Journal of Applied Physiology…. Volume 117 #10…..November 2014….page 1170 – 1179

“The purpose of this project was to further elucidate the effects postexercise alcohol ingestion.”

“10 resistance-trained males and 9 resistance-trained females completed 2 identical acute heavy resistance exercise trials (6 sets of Smith machine squats) followed by ingestion of either alcohol or placebo.”

“…..alcohol ingestion seemed to only attenuate resistance exercise-induced phosphorylation of the mTORC1 signaling pathway in men.”

“This study provides evidence that alcohol should not be ingested after resistance exercise as this ingestion could potentially hamper the desired muscular adaptations to resistance exercise by reducing anabolic signaling, at least in men.”

A.A. Duplanty, et al
Effect of acute alcohol ingestion on resistance exercise–induced mTORC1 signaling in human muscle.
Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research — Volume 31 #1, January 2017 — page 54

“The placebo effect— a change attributable only to an individual’s belief in the efficacy of a treatment— might provide a worthwhile improvement in physical performance.”
“The present study explored the placebo effect in laboratory cycling performance….”

“….a likely beneficial 2.2% increase in power associated with experimental trials in which subjects believed they had ingested caffeine. A dose-response relationship was evident in experimental trials, with subjects producing 1.4% less power than at baseline when they believed they had ingested a placebo, 1.3% more power than at baseline when they believed they had ingested 4.5 mg caffeine, and 3.1% more power than at baseline when they believed they had ingested 9.0 mg caffeine.”

“All subjects reported caffeine-related symptoms.”

“Quantitative and qualitative data suggest that placebo effects are associated with the administration of caffeine and that these effects may directly or indirectly enhance performance in well-trained cyclists.”

C.J.Beedie, et al
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise….Volume 38 #12….December 2006….page 2159-2164

alcohol & caffeine

“The aim of the study was to compare the effects of a long warm-up (general + specific) and a short warm-up (specific) on intermediate running performance (3-minute run).”

“Thirteen experienced endurance-trained athletes…..conducted 2 types of warm-ups in a crossover design with 1 week in between…”

“….a long warm-up (10 minutes, 80% maximal heart rate, and 8 × 60 m sprint with increasing intensity and 1 minute rest in between)….”

“….and a short warm-up (8 × 60 m sprint with increasing intensity and 1 minute rest in between).”

“Each warm-up was followed by a 3-minute running test on a nonmotorized treadmill.”

“Total running distance, running velocity at each 30 seconds, heart rate, blood lactate concentration, oxygen uptake, and rate of perceived exertion were measured.”

“No significant differences in running performance variables and physiological parameters were found between the 2 warm-up protocols, except for the rate of perceived exertion and heart rate, which were higher after the long warm-up…..”

“It was concluded that a short warm-up is as effective as a long warm-up….”

“….to increase efficiency of time for training or competition, these short, specific warm-ups should be performed instead of long warm-ups.”

R. van den Tillaar, T. Vatten, E. von Heimburg
Effects of short or long warm-up on intermediate running performance
Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research — Volume 31 #1, January 2017 — page 37


TheETG warm-up —– http://theetgtrackclub.com/documents/TheETGwarmup.pdf