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Eastern Bloc Model

of Development:


Powered By Tradition
Friends & Mentors
Yosef Johnson
Ultimate Athlete Concept

Dr. Michael Yessis

First to translate and bring Soviet material to the U.S.

Jesse Ackerman
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach

Matt Thome
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach

Jeff Moyer
Dynamic Correspondence Sports Training

Everyone I’ve ever stole from

What’s my interest in adapting an
Eastern Bloc Philosophy
• To get results the world has never seen before
• Proven Method
• Researched by the best
• Guaranteed to improve athletes in their sport
How I learned about Eastern Bloc Training
– Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky
(Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches, Supertraining,

– Dr. Anatoly Bondarchuk

(Transfer of Training I and II, Periodization in Sports I, II, and III,

– Dr. Michael Yessis

(Build A Better Athlete, Soviet Sports Review,,

– Yosef Johnson
– (, Sells books and videos of all of the authors I
mention and other eastern bloc sport coaches, Mentor)
Where to begin and why?
Paradigm shift in development
in U.S. athletes
• Early specialization
– AAU (not enough skills being

No classification of development
and progression
• No governmental oversight

Have to shift classification of

incoming football players to the

It’s all about The Process of

Attaining Sports Mastery (PASM)
The Start

Disclaimer :

To understand why in the quickest and most

productive way, it is necessary unlearn
everything you have learned on this topic
The Start
Dr. Yessis 1x20 concept
• It’s not a system; but a developmental modal of PASM

Why 1x20?
• Efficiency – Highest result obtained at the LEAST amount of
time and energy
• Because everything you read is about XYZ, the end result of
the journey
• Best way to teach and introduce: New and Specialized
"The most frequent coaching error is when he strives to obtain an
increase in the athletes physical fitness level as soon as possible;
increasing the training loads volume. However, "nine pregnant women
together cannot assure the baby's birth after one month."
- Dr. Verkhoshansky

Literally practicing low dosing!

Cliff note version of the 1x20 science
“Increases in the quality and quantity of
• Less intensity
connective tissue may improve the transmission of
force from individual muscle fibers to the skeletal
• Ability to do more exercises system.”

• More repetitions for better learning of new - Dr. Mel Siff

“Many people are puzzled when a man exhibits great
• Greater capillarization strength but does not quit look the part, by which I mean
the performer’s measurements are not particularly
impressive. The explanation is invariably to be found in
• More muscular endurance development the tendon strength, and several instances of this
immediately occur to the mind –“
• Greater ligament and tendon strength
development - Inch (Secret Strength, pg. 9 published in
1915),Chapter : Tendon Strength - A Great Strength
• More suited to effective exercise technique
“When using maximum intensity training loads, there is a
• More suitable for strengthening all the fast expenditure of life essential substrates as a consequence
of which fatigue arises first of all to the CNS. This shows up
muscles and joints of the body negatively on the process of learning and improvement of
technique. Such conditions make the correction of motor
actions more difficult and the athlete cannot remain in a
• Athletes are less susceptible to injury state of optimal preparation for long period of time”

• More time available for other training - Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk

How does a Single Set Work for Strength, Power, and
Speed Development

• The Size Principle Theory of Strength Training

• 3 main principles
– Recruitment order; Only recruited MU’s trained; MU’s need fatigue
Size Principle – RE vs. ME

a. Repeated Method (RE) – 10-12 reps (Failure)

b. Maximal Effort (ME) – 1-3 reps
a. Science and Practice of Strength Training. V. Zatsiorsky & W. Kraemer.
How does a Single Set Work for Strength, Power,
and Speed Development
• 1x20 establishes a base of full recruitment of all slow and fast
fibers. It’s the foundation on which intensity and volume now
can be built upon.

• Single Set work has been documented for decades

- Transfer of Training in Sports Vol. 2 by Dr. A.P. Bondarchuk (pg. 145-146)

Examples of the Process
Back Squat: 455 x 8 Back Squat: 415 x 8
Examples of the Process
Bench Press: 265 x 16 Glute – Ham Raise: 25lb x 14
Terms and Definitions
– General Physical Preparation (GPP)
• Phase where exercises are used as a general overall body
conditioning tool. They are not directly related to the sporting

– Special Physical Preparation (SPP)

• Phase where exercises are designed and selected so that the
movements closely match those seen in the sport skill

– Special Strength Training (SST)

• Using specialized resistance exercises to improve the athlete’s
competition performance in his/her sport
• An important component of the SPP phase
Specialized Exercises
What are they?
• Dr. Nikolai Bernstein
– First to look at movement
– Key movements

• Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky

– Dynamic Correspondence

• Dr. Anatoly Bonderchuk

– Categorized exercises from General to Specific (GE/SPE/SDE/CE)

• Dr. Michael Yessis

– Picked up where the Soviets left off
Specialized Exercises
Dynamic Correspondence
- Dr. Y. Verkhoshansky

1. Same muscle groups

2. Same range of motion

3. Emphasis portion of the range

of motion
– Starting position of the SST means

4. Magnitude of force and

duration applied ( Load & Time)

5. Same type of muscular

Specialized Exercises
Dr. Anatoly Bonderchuk

General Exercises (GE) Competitive Exercises (CE)

• Used to condition the body and do not • Sporting Event/Competition
repeat the sporting actions as a whole or • Repeat the sport skill in a easier or heavier
parts. Do not improve sports skill, except for condition
low level athletes

Special Preparatory Exercise (SPE)

• Do not repeat the sports skill as a whole or
• Similar muscle groups and regimes of work
participate in the execution

Special Development Exercises (SDE)

• Repeat separate parts of the sports skill
• Same muscle groups and regimes are used
• Specialized developmental exercises more or
less recreate elements of the competitive
Specialized Exercises
Dr. Michael Yessis
• Goal is to find exercises that Criteria to be a Specialized Exercises
duplicate the exact joint motion
seen in the skill 1. Duplicate the exact movement
witnessed in the sports skill
• Put it all together
2. Exercise must involve that same
muscular contraction as used in
execution of the skill

3. Strength developed in the same range

of motion as in skill
• Determine the range of motion of when
the muscles are contracting
• Where it is actively contraction

Found that magnitude of force-effort and

time applied used by Verkhoshansky were
only relevant to high level athletes
Special Strength / Special Exercises
Special Strength / Special Exercises
Special Strength / Special Exercises
Special Strength / Special Exercises

Close – Stance ¼ Squat x445 Explosive Glute-Ham Raises x25

General to Specific
Sprint / Jumping Cutting

General General
• Classic Lunge • Hip Abd/Adduction (SPE)*
• High Box Step – Ups • High Box Step-Ups
• Olympic Lifts • Olympic Lifts
• Back Squats • Back Squats

Specialized Specialized
• Close – Stance ½ / ¼ Squats • Close – Stance ½ / ¼ Squats
• Knee Drive • Russian Side Lunge
• Paw Back
• Russian Lunge
SPP to Competitive
SPP is the main phase for training speed, power, and explosiveness

Special Explosive Exercises

• All previous exercises can be made Explosive
• All previous exercises can be made Plyometric

Sprinting -
Sprinting in lighter or heaver conditions

Cutting -
Ziz-zag sprints
Sprinting or running into the cutting drills
Cutting in lighter or heaver conditions
UW – Whitewater Football
Classifications of athletes
• Key questions for placement
• How many off-seasons and summers did they spend
with me
• How many in-seasons with me
• Feed back for position/head coach
• Did they transfer in from another university
• Did they transfer from another D3 school and did they
have a strength coach
• What I see
Classification Levels
• Yellow - January “Walk-On” & Freshman “Grey
Shirt” groups

• Grey - Arrived in August and made the roster in the

fall, first off-season

• Black - Second off-season

• Purple - Third off-season

Third or Fourth off-season

• Green - pro day or pro guys

2016 Warhawks Off-Season
2014 / 2015 Off-Season 2016 Off-Season

• 3-day Split • 4-day Split

– Monday/Wednesday/Friday – Monday/Thursday
• Jumps • Change of Direction Drills
• Total Body Special Strength • Jumps
• Total Body General Strength • Lower Body Weight Room

– Tuesday/Thursday – Tuesday/Friday
• Long Extensive Warm-Up • Upper Body Jumps/Throws
• Cutting Technique • Upper Body Lifting
• Conditioning • Conditioning
– Mile Progression – Mile Progression
Exercise Innovatory
Exercise Inventory
Lower Body Exercises Midsection Exercises Upper Body Exercises Upper Body Exercises Continued
Combination Knee/Hip Joint Abdominal Combination Shoulder Joint Wrist/Finger Joints
Back Squat Sit-Up (Curl Up) Bench Press Supination – Pronation
Front Squat Reverse Sit-Up with Arms at Side Military Press Wrist Curls
Delay Squats A. Arms Overhead - Elbows Forward Reverse Wrist Curls
Leg Press B. Hanging Knee Tucks - Elbows Out Ulnar Flexion
Russian Lunge C. Hanging Leg Raises Incline Bench Press Radial Flexion
Russian Side Lunge Reverse Trunk Twist Decline Bench Press Finger flexion/extension
Step-Ups A. Bent Knee Reverse Trunk Twist Chin/Pull-Ups Finger Add/Abduction
Bulgarian Split Squat B. Straight Leg Reverse Trunk Push-Ups Thumb Squeeze
Glute-Ham Raises Twist Dips
Glute-Ham Sit-Ups
Medicine Ball Exercises
Ankle Joint - Upper Abs: butt on pad
Calf Raise - Lower Abs: upper ham on pad Shoulder Joint
Toe Raise Russian Twist Seated Row 90/90 Backward Rotation Throw
Seated Calf Raise Bent-Over Rows
Lower Back Backhand Toss
Ankle Adduction Lat Pulldowns
Back Raises Chest Pass
Ankle Abduction Chest-Supported Rows
Back Raises with Twist Drop Pass
Reverse Fly’s Groundstroke Toss
Knee Joint Glute-Ham Reverse Russian Twist Shrugs
Leg Extensions Side Bends (deep/short/wide/open stance)
Front Raises Side-Facing Side Throw
Leg Curls - Standing - Full Range of Motion
- Floor Overhead Throw
Hip Joint and Pelvic Girdle Lateral Raises Pullover Pass
- Glute-Ham - Full Range of Motion
Knee Drive Reverse Back Extensions (Low Abs Front-Facing Side Throw
Paw Back Pullovers T-Bench Medial Rotation Throw
on pad) Chest Fly’s
Hip Extension - One Legged Reverse Hyper T-Bench Lateral Rotation Throw
Hip Adduction Upright Row Twisting One Arm Pass
Hip Abduction Hip Raise
Goodmornings - One Legged Hip Raise
Deadlift Superman’s
Romanian Deadlift - Alternating Superman’s
Bird Dog
Jumps/ SST - Cords / Upper Body Plyo's & Throws
Conditioning to Speed
Mile Progression
• Aerobic Abilities • Transition to Speed

January – March Early July

– 1600m to 1200m – Multiple 200m
– Multiple 100m
March – May
– 1000m to 800m Late July to Early August
– Full Recovery/Timed
June – July
– Resistive/Assistive
– 600m
– Contrast
– Multiple 400m
– 30-60yds
– Multiple 200m
Combine Averages
40yd Vertical L-Drill
CB 4.52 4.85 CB 36 30 CB 6.96 7.15
WR 4.49 4.92 WR 36 29 WR 6.90 6.94
RB 4.53 4.87 RB 35 31 RB 6.99 6.97
LB 4.70 5.05 LB 35 29 LB 7.11 7.29
TE 4.75 5.19 TE 33 28 TE 7.17 7.40
QB 4.81 5.09 QB 32 27 QB 7.13 7.22
DL 5.00 5.41 DL 28 26 DL 7.53 7.69
OL 5.24 5.68 OL 29 23 OL 7.79 8.07

225 Rep Out Broad Jump Pro Agility

CB 16 13 CB 10'1 9'4 CB 4.21 4.29
WR 15 7 WR 10'1 9'2 WR 4.24 4.27
RB 20 17 RB 9'11 9'4 RB 4.27 4.21
LB 23 20 LB 9'8 9'0 LB 4.31 4.45
TE 21 20 TE 9'7 8'9 TE 4.36 4.52
QB 22 13 QB 9'2 8'6 QB 4.33 4.42
DL 26 18 DL 8'11 8'4 DL 4.55 4.66
OL 26 21 OL 8'6 7'11 OL 4.76 4.89

2016 Off-Season Testing Results

What’s Next?
• 42-2 record

• 2 WIAC Titles

• 2 Stagg Bowl Championships

• 3 Semifinals Appearance

• 1 NCAA Trifecta
(Football, Men’s Basketball, Baseball)*
*all in the same academic year

•Over 20 All-Americans

•3 NFL Invites (1 making the roster)

General Outline and Time Frame used with Jr.
High and High School Athletes

• 1 x 20 for maybe a month or 12 months + (athlete and age

• 1 x 14: 8-12+ weeks
• 1 x 8: 6 – 12+ weeks
• 1 x 8 + 1 x 14 or 2 x 8 or 2x14, etc
– This is where the art of coaching comes in

• 10-15 Accessory exercises per workout

– Slowly increase in volume while intensity is constant
– Then increase intensity while volume stays constant
– Don’t normally increase both at the same time
Thank You!

Ryan Bracius, MS Ed, CSCS, USAW-SP
Cell: 847-347-1421