T Nation

Athletes 4+ Hours of Training?

I often hear so and so trains for 4 (Ken Dorsey) hours, or even 10 hours (Garciapara)a day. How in the world are these people able to recover and have any kind of intensity? For the most part, everyone here seems to train maybe 45 minutes each session. These sessions also don’t seem to be just throwing the ball around.

I always figured that these hours included stretching, therapy tub, massages and stuff like that.

My guesses would be:

  1. They have world class coaches who know how to traing them this much without totally frying their CNS.

  2. They have access to the absolute best recovery methods during the time they are not training.

  3. They don’t work or attend school full time, meaning they spend the rest of their day resting.

They don’t generally improve much either. The athletes think more is always better and the coaches think because they’re getting paid they have to be doing something all the time regardless. A lot of it is sitting on their ass though in a hot tub and crap like that.

and #4:
steroids aid signicantly in recovery

As an athlete in college we trained about 4 hours a day. Track and Field (shot putter). This including, throwing, stretching, lifting, sprints, video, med balls, plyos, etc etc etc! At certain times of the year we did extreme amounts of volume. Not sure how any of us recovered. It was tough. We were always tired and sore. We had a total of 10 throwers. If one of us was having a bad day, we had another one to pick us up! It was tough to have an off day training with this group. Had fun and I’d do it all over again if I could!

J

i am a sprinter (not an elite obviously) and my training is 14h/week

my intence days are almost 4hours which include warm up 1+2, speed work or speed endurance, some ab work and some plyos and then weights.

my recovery days are 1.5-2 hours and include warm up 1, tempo, a TON of core work.

more is not better, but mind you that athletes spend alot of time waiting around. For excample a 2x150 speed endurance session takes almost 15 minutes 10 of which is recovery.

anjela issajenko used to “train” 8 hours a day pre comp but that included sauna, massage etc

“Most of us here train for 45 minutes and call it a day”

Well, thank goodness that the athletes I pay to watch don’t move and perform like most guys here… no offense, but there is a big difference between lifting weights and training for sport.

If you are a power or O-ifter, your technical work is actually done during the workout, so an entire aspect is eliminated from that training. Plus, in many sports, the skill requirements are much higher, and far more dynamic than performing two lifts… although the Olympic lifts do require great skill.

Someone like Garciaparra, if training correctly, should:

Do an early morning GPP / Dynamic Mobility session, where BW calisthenics or early morning movement training is done. Pavel talks about this in his work. This is a short session (30-45 min), but helps to work out the kinks and set the stage for a great day of training.

Morning Session:

Skill Circuit

Batting Cage / Shoulder Prehab / Easy Throwing or Fielding Work

This alone could take a couple hours once you warm up, pre-hab, throw or hit, and cool down.

Afternoon Session:

Speed and Strength work. Warm - Up, Mobility Work including either Linear or COD technical work, then the meat of either plyos / sprinting / or tempo work coupled with core work

Finally Lifting, which would either be GPP for Recovery / Tempo Days (probably some sledgehammer vs. Tractor Tire Work in all directions to torch the core and correct for imbalances) or Strength Work on Lifting Days

After each session, some contrast or other work may be necessary, possibly adding some EMS on days, then of course some massage and / or ART… and a long stretch session after GPP / Tempo Days

If they would follow this type of training, there would be far fewer pulls and injuries… as the athletes would be conditioned as opposed to soft in the gut…

plus, maybe a monthly session with a PT to do a full movement analysis that would feed the pre-hab / mobility work portion…

Of course, as soon as you sign a guaranteed contract for millions of dollars, who cares about working this hard…?

Yearly Salary: 8,000,000

Knowledgeable Trainer: 150k
ART/Massage (4 Split among Team): 100k
Chef: 100k
Personal Assistant: 50k
Driver: 50k
Ability to Focus on Game: Priceless

Length of Career would be enhanced as would stats which would increase the top line…

Training time per day: Who cares I came from the trailer parks / ghetto / barrio and now I make millions…

Success is:

simple, but not easy.

Don’t forget people in the public eye are always stretching the truth to make themselves look better.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Don’t forget people in the public eye are always stretching the truth to make themselves look better.[/quote]

indeed!!! No doubt that this is true!

In Dan John’s latest online newsletter he talks about athletes peaking after a certain number of years. In his case as with other world class hammer throwers an improvement past a certain number of years in competition was not very fruitful. I wonder how much bang for their buck these guys are getting. For instance, David Boston had a pro bowl career going and developed a bodybuilder physique (sans legs) with no real progress.

On what Jumanji wrote:

I feel like you are talking out of your ass. But let me explain:

The only athletes that have a need to train that long are athletes that compete for that long. Lets face it… training is excessive and often inefficient. IMO it gets worse the better you get.

I’ll give you an example…

I am a collegiate triathlete. Traditional collegiate teams compete at the olympic distance level. 1mi swim, 26mi bike, 6mi run. I run mile times that would easily put me on the GW Cross Country Team. A cross country race is 3 miles. Races usually last about 17 minutes. An elite triathlete would finish OLY distance in under 2hrs.

Here is the point…

I run a significantly longer race… and even after all that swimming and biking I still set up mile times comparable. In all of this… I am training less than they are. Throw in all the epsom salt baths and post-workout naps and I still train less than them. Yet, I still would hand them their ass. Not to sound cocky… but c’mon… the training is excessive.

I’ll let that one sit for a bit.

Dearest Tri GWU,

A) There is no such thing as a collegiate tri-athlete. You are in college and do triathlons.

What I wrote is what should be done… you see, the only aspect of your training that isn’t cyclical is the swimming. This sport requires higher levels of technical training.

Now, let’s dream of a day when your sport required reactivity and skill, instead of the extensive development of a single energy system: aerobic.

Putting one foot dirctly in front of the other in a slow cyclical manner, and pedalling in the same manner requires very, very little skill when compared to the dynamic nature of a team sport such as soccer, basketball, or football, or even baseball.

Baseball also only truly requires the development of a single energy system: a-lactic. This makes it even less demanding than something like soccer which develops two to a great degree. Unfortunately, you cannot train a baseball player like a bodybuilder or an elite powerlifter due to the rotational and explosive nature of the sport.

A powerlifter is never required to start, stop, and change direction in the manner a team sport athlete is…this requires motor skills very different than just mere expressions of power and/or strength. This requires more dynamic mobility, and Onset of Tension Control to avoid pulls after periods of inactivity (standing in the outfield…waiting).

Plus, a baseball player must also be very proficient at other reactive skills, tracking down fly balls, intercepting driven grounders, fielding them, and throwing accurately and with very high velocity to a target. Then we move onto the single hardest skill in all of sports, hitting a baseball…

all this reverance and I don’t even really like the sport.

Plus, as stated in my first post, the development of early retirement due to a low level of conditioning is due to the very thinking you espouse: laziness.

Hell Nolan Ryan never had to leave the mound or hit. He just had to stand in a single place and fire thunderbolts. No real fielding proficiency, no batting, no running to speak of…

so why did he have in his contract that a stationary bike MUST travel with him on the road? Because he understood that you don’t know what you are talking about…he understood GPP, and conditioning…

So Tri GWU, the length of the game has absolutely nothing to do with the level of training required when so many skills must be developed…

When we are discussing doing something slowly, but for a really long time, I will defer to you. But, when we are discussing developing many skills, and many different energy systems, maybe you should let the big boys speak…

Now please, don’t you have to jog somewhere?

And while you do, you can let this post sink in…

If the last post was from my ass, then what does that say about your head?

Here the lesson ends…

Coach JR
CSCS

Like many said above, the 4+ hours isnt all intense lifting or sprinting. During our pre season we practice 6-8 AM, mostly skill stuff, very easy physically, but mentally it is challenging, learning all our offenses, defenses, clears, rides, etc.

During the afternoon we practice 230-530, these practices are fairly intense with alot of conditioning, and hidden running in most of our drills and scrimmages. Then 3 days a week we go in and lift from 6-7. So if you want to say we ‘train’ for 5 hours a day, yea i guess we do, but if you do it smart, and your coach doesnt run you into the ground, it will make you a better athlete.

[quote]Jumanji wrote:
Dearest Tri GWU,

A) There is no such thing as a collegiate tri-athlete. You are in college and do triathlons.
[/quote]
why is there a collegiate championship?

Ever been in an open water swim 1 miles from shore where anything goes?
Ever been going 25 mph on a bike down away from your brakes and the guy infront of you goes down?
Ever only had 15 seconds to go from 2 lengths behind to 2 lengths ahead or else you get penalized?
Tell me what is cyclical about a transition between two sports where drafting is not allowed?

What about this skill dictates that you spend $500,000+ on pampered workouts that last 8 hours?

If you are in the MLB you already have the skill… Thats why you are in the Majors.

My 5 year old nephew plays baseball. He catches fly balls just fine. He isn’t juicing either.

The single hardest skill in all of sports?

What about a sandshot from a fairway bunker to 4in. from the pin?

Kicking a 50 yd. through the pipes?

What about stopping a lacrosse ball clocked at 100+ mph?

What about winning the Tour De France 6 years in a row?

What about a sub 4 minute mile?

What about covering 1 mi swim, 26 mi bike, 6 mi run in under 1h 50m?

It helps me fall asleep. Otherwise… 100+ games is highly insignificant. Tell me why a team that barely won half their games… a team that loses over 50 games… should be called “World Champions”… but we aren’t talking about baseball.

Agreed. Training without purpose.

Funny in all his conditioning… he requested a bike.

Shouldn’t he have requested you?

I can see your point…

There really is no point in a marathoner considering that he/she has to run 26.2 miles.

There really is no point in training a skill that is one fluid motion as one fluid motion. You teach a kid to hit a baseball by having him hit a baseball. Not by horizontal shoulder adductions.

Again… who ever said I did this slowly?

Put your penis back in your pants. You just got a bit carried away there. This isn’t a penis waving contest.

I run. Don’t you have to go shoot steroids in some guys ass?

Just like that needle.

Unlike yours… it thinks independently of your self-proclaimed large cock

[quote]
Here the [/quote]strawman [quote]ends…

Coach JR
CSCS[/quote]

JAB
MD/PhD candidate

Jumanji,
Perfect response. I love the sound of a perfectly executed, electronic bitch slap.

[quote]dyoder16 wrote:
Jumanji,
Perfect response. I love the sound of a perfectly executed, electronic bitch slap.

[/quote]

How cute…

He even has a little midget to clap for him…

I hope I get one with my certification exams

[quote]dyoder16 wrote:
Jumanji,
Perfect response. I love the sound of a perfectly executed, electronic bitch slap.[/quote]

LMAO Yeah right, apparently you posted too soon, young padawan (see response back above). I enjoy the unintentional comedy of the strength coach who knows everything about everything… oh, except getting the first words out of his mouth wrong about collegiate triathletes. That really goes a long way to establishing credibility for the rest of his post (which is self-congratulatory to an obscene degree). I guess he must not work with baseball players much either - I never knew Nolan Ryan had a designated fielder for him to: (1) cover every hit back up the middle; (2) cover first base when the first baseman was pulled off; and (3) back up the catcher on throws from the outfield (wonder how he got all of that worked into his contract). Yup, he just stood there hurling thunderbolts… I guess someone must have made up those 1,000+ plate appearances too.

Enjoy.

You guys rule.

It is perfectly conceiveable for a pro athlete to SPEND 8 hours a day to complete their training. This is entirely different from training for 8 hours. TriGWU, I bet if you had access to world class facilities, trainers, and doing Triathlons was your job that you would spend around 6-8 hours a day training. This does not mean that you will be training any better, worse, or lead to overtraining. Think of it like this: You and I might train in the morning, eat breakfast, go to class, eat lunch, go to more classes, then train in the afternoon. Instead of going to class a pro athlete has to find something to do with their time. Often they feel that more is better so they will lengthen the workouts, add in extra low-intensity skill workouts, or spend extra time receiving therapy. In the athletes mind they think this is an improvement, but it’s really just to occupy time. This serves to keep the athlete’s mind on what it should be and off of what it shouldn’t be. They need something “productive” to occupy their time.

[quote]elars21 wrote:
You guys rule.

It is perfectly conceiveable for a pro athlete to SPEND 8 hours a day to complete their training. This is entirely different from training for 8 hours. TriGWU, I bet if you had access to world class facilities, trainers, and doing Triathlons was your job that you would spend around 6-8 hours a day training. This does not mean that you will be training any better, worse, or lead to overtraining. Think of it like this: You and I might train in the morning, eat breakfast, go to class, eat lunch, go to more classes, then train in the afternoon. Instead of going to class a pro athlete has to find something to do with their time. Often they feel that more is better so they will lengthen the workouts, add in extra low-intensity skill workouts, or spend extra time receiving therapy. In the athletes mind they think this is an improvement, but it’s really just to occupy time. This serves to keep the athlete’s mind on what it should be and off of what it shouldn’t be. They need something “productive” to occupy their time.[/quote]

I agree.

Best explanation of the true reason behind all that “training”.

It just pokes me as “pathetic” when these guys are paying an assload of coaches for the sake of feeling busy.

You managed to nail it right on the button…

No cocky strawman attack… no fancy certification glorification…

Great post.

PS - I have nothing against strength coaches. I will be sitting for my ATC and CSCS certifications as well. I do have something against people who threat their certifications as an “end-all”/“know-all” stamp.