Today’s show features Cal Dietz. Cal has been the Head Olympic Strength and Conditioning coach for numerous sports at the University of Minnesota since 2000, has worked with hundreds of successful athletes and team, and is the co-author of the top-selling book “Triphasic Training”. Cal has a multi-time guest on this show, most recently appearing in episode #168 (one of our most popular episodes of all time) on single leg training methods alongside Cameron Josse and Chad Dennis.
Cal’s ideas on complex training (French contrast and potentiation clusters) have made a huge impact on the formulation of my own programs and methods. French Contrast as a training ideology and method has probably been one of the most consistent elements of my training for many years now. Cal is never one to sit still, and has recently made further advances in his complex training sets as they relate to our neurological and technical adaptations to these movements.
On today’s show, Cal talks extensively about his new methods in complex training for improving sprint speed. As Cal has talked about on previous episodes, even bilateral hurdle hops have the potential to “mess athletes up” neurologically, and so Cal goes in detail on how his complex training sets are now adjusted to address that. Ultimately, Cal has formulated his gym training for the primary purpose of improving sprint speed and sprint mechanics. We will also get into Cal’s take on block periodization, and how Cal uses 5,10 and 20 yard dash markers to help determine an athlete’s primary training emphasis for the next block of work.
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Timestamps and Main Points
05:10 – Breaking a lot of eggs to make a cake: Training Cal and Joel has utilized in that past that may not have worked out so well for the athlete in the process of growing as a coach
12:52 – Cal’s experience with various methods of training + How he trained his son during covid-19
19:56 – Using running and speed to assess athletes, and creating the required adaptations
25:53 – What led Cal to utilizing block method training and block overloads
29:51 – Interpreting and discussing maximal velocity as a training lynchpin
31:45 – Using squats + Examples of “sprint-centric” exercise sets Cal uses
41:34 – What Cal’s working on: Optimizing exercises for your athletes as individuals + Exercises that are best for your brain
43:09 – Quad-dominant vs. Posterior chain dominant athlete assessments + Cal’s 5-10-20 tool
50:45 – The 5-10-20 tool simplified
54:00 – Exercises Cal would assign for Joel, as someone who needs isometric strength? + The best single leg exercise for building leg strength
“Usually I had a download (de-load) week and then I’d change the exercise. Then, I started changing the exercises in the download week so the volume was low… that matched the following week so they didn’t get sore starting with the higher volume… I found that when I implemented a new exercise, that’s when they got sore.”
“I trained an agonistic muscle with an antagonistic muscle… so what happened was, it didn’t cause a compensation pattern and it kept the global neurological sequence of the nervous system in the right pattern the whole time and it optimized it.”
“Running is one of the greatest assessments of any athlete.”
“I call it global neurological sequence,