Join Date: Oct 2006
This is the interview I did about a year ago. I intended to put it in the PM but some of the answers are...nebulous IMO. I thought about a follow-up but it has not been ubber appealing to me. Anyway, here is th einterview:
Jay Schroeder interview
1-Coach can you share with our readers your background both athletically and coaching?
I have participated in football, track and field, velodrome cycling and powerlifting throughout the years. I have been training and designing training plans for the past 26 years. I have worked with a variety of groups in hospital programs, including the following: exercise programs for psych patients, diabetic patients, grossly obese patients, and long term bedridden patients. I have worked with all types of athletes in sport including but not limited to, archery, distance cycling, distance running, triathalon, throwers, sprinters, baseball, football, badminton, bodybuilding, martial arts, volleyball, rugby, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, etc.
I prefer to work with high velocity and speed-strength activities, as velocity is the most elusive and coveted of all human traits.
2-Your approach to strength & conditioning is quite radical compared to the mainstream with your emphasis on explosiveness and training the ability to receive and absorb loads (external forces?). How did you come to this methodology?
Obviously, all I had to do was look at human movement and I immediately knew this was the direction I must go.
Who has influenced your work (athletes such as Olympic lifters? Specific coaches?).
Only three athletes have influenced me, Valeri Borzov, Jim Thorpe, and Jesse Owens. As far as coaches, Dr. Yessis, has had a major influence on my thinking, not that I agree with his methodologies, but during the many times I met and spoke with him, he created a desire in me to investigate philosophies and methodologies. To pursue what others are afraid to delve into, as the answers are never on the surface, you must dig deep. You must understand not only the meaning of the words experts and athletes used, but their understanding of their use of the words they write and or speak. He nurtured my initial thoughts and feelings so they may be manifested in my system of training. I will always be thankful for this. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to talk with, exchange ideas, and to listen to his words when he would describe situations, involved with training the many elite athletes he has been with.
Another person with a great influence on my career was my mentor Robert Plenty. Without his insight to human performance, I would not be who I am today.
Possibly the most important person, is one I only met 6 years ago. Denis Thompson. He is more like my brother than a colleague or friend. There are sometimes 6 hour conversations late into the night, where we never run out of intelligent, stimulating questions for each other and intelligent and stimulating answers. My system is years down the road from what people see and read about, thanks to my tremendous relationship with Denis.
How has it evolved over time?
Very difficult to say as every human I work with causes evolution to take place. I mention human specifically as I also train dogs for performance.
3-Do you view the Olympic lifts and gymnastics as compatible with your goals of teaching whole-body explosiveness?
I do not consider the Olympic lifts or any sport as having the ability to prepare one to be an elite athlete. I do not consider most people that participate in sport as athletes.
4-How do you approach the training of a novice? Do you address specific areas such as metabolic conditioning, and limit strength individually or do you take an integrated approach? Can you share with our readers a few weeks of programming that would typify a young, generally healthy novice?
5-Similar to question 4 how to you address the needs of your most advanced athletes? How much focus is placed on continued strength/power development? How does this differ from a novice and what standards do you use to monitor and implement changes to programming? What would 2 weeks of training look like for one of your advanced strength athletes?
I approach training anyone, in the exact same manner, no matter what level they claim to be. I evaluate the parameters that I view as being important to the final outcome [performing at high velocity, absorbing high loads, as injury free as is possible, and duplicating this result over and over], determine how their specific parameters inter-relate and intra-relate to the desired outcome. I then make decisions on what I have influence over and what I do not. I do not care what the relationship of all human traits are as long as they can be manipulated to create the correct outcome.
6-How do you address metabolic conditioning and work capacity for various athletes football, wrestling, and volley ball for example? How do you keep athletes in low grade over training to elicit a strong super-compensation?
I train all aspects of humans, as each and everyone is important to the final outcome. I believe that if stimulated in the correct manner at the appropriate time all these little things take care of themselves. I do not care the sport in which they participate, as we all need everything that comprises a human being to create elite performance. If anything is left out then true elite performance is not obtained. So that you know “Elite Performance” to me means, the highest level, most correct, and repeatable response to a stimulus that the specific individual can achieve. Not just better than ones peers.
What are you looking for with regards to the athletes physiology and performance?
7-Do you have any “rules of thumb” that if implemented would make people better strength coaches?
Yes, I suppose one. “Do not expect what you do not inspect”
8-What are your nutritional recommendations for athletes who need to gain muscle mass and or loose bodyfat to be more competitive? How do you structure training to compliment nutrition to these ends?
This is done based on specific response to very specific stimuli.
Are there any populations that would be inappropriate for this type of training or is it universally scalable?
Yes, there is one. Those that are not willing to sacrifice to the same level they wish to achieve, and that do not expect to perform to the highest level in all aspects. [intellect, spirituality, emotion, psychologically, and of course physiologically].
"Survival will be neither to the strongest of the species, nor to the most intelligent, but to those most adaptable to change."