This edition of Coaching Science Abstracts reviews articles concerned with the Principle of Specificity as it applies to training. The general thesis is that the most important form of training for elite athletes is that which matches the biomechanics, energy system use, and psychological control factors of an intended competitive performance. However, it is recognized that such training cannot be endured for extended periods. Its best use in an annual plan is in the latter part of the specific preparatory phase of training and during the competition phase.
The articles represented in this issue serve as a scientific basis for not recommending cross or auxiliary training as an avenue for improving elite athletes' performances. By contrast, two articles using normal individuals as subjects do demonstrate a fitness effect from cross training.
It should be understood that a strong emphasis on specific training is appropriate for elite and mature athletes, a programming emphasis which is directly opposite that which is desirable for young and developing athletes. It would not be beneficial to overemphasize this form of training to the detriment of variety and general capacity training in youngsters.
Alcevedo, E. O., & Goldfarb, A. H. (1989). Increased training intensity effects on plasma lactate, ventilatory threshold, and endurance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 21, 563-568.
Bell, G. J., Petersen, S. R., Quinney, A. H., & Wenger, H. A. (1989). The effect of velocity-specific strength training on peak torque and anaerobic rowing power. Journal of Sports Sciences, 7, 205-214.
Stegeman, J. (translated by J. S. Skinner). (1981) Exercise physiology. Chicago, IL: Year Book Medical Publishers (p. 267).
Rushall Thoughts, 1992.
De Boer, R. W., Ettema, G. J., Faessen, B. G., Krekels, H., Hollander, A. P., De Groot, G., & Van Ingen Schenau, G. J. (1987). Specific characteristics of speed skating: implications for summer training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 19, 504-510.
International Center for Aquatic Research. (1988). Interval training design. The Coaches' Newsletter of United States Swimming, 4(5).
Toussaint, H. M., & Vervoorn, K. (1990). Effects of specific high resistance training in the water on competitive swimmers. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 11, 228-23.
Bulgakova, N. Z., Vorontsov, A. R., & Fomichenko, T. G. (1987). Improving the technical preparedness of young swimmers by using strength training. Theory and Practice of Physical Culture, 7, 31-33.
Maglischo, E. W., Maglischo, C. W., Zier, D. J., & Santos, T. R. (1985). The effects of sprint-assisted and sprint-resisted swimming on stroke mechanics. Journal of Swimming Research, 1, 27-33.
Costill, D. L., King, D. S., Holdren, A., & Hargreaves, M. (1983). Sprint speed vs. swimming power. Swimming Technique, May-July, 20-22.
Troup, J. P. (Ed.). (1990). Energy contributions of competitive freestyle events. In International Center for Aquatic Research annual: Studies by the International Center for Aquatic Research 1989-90. Colorado Springs, CO: United States Swimming Press.
Bloomfield, J., Blanksby, B. A., Ackland, T. R., & Allison, G. T. (1990). The influence of strength training on overhead throwing velocity of elite water polo players. Australian Journal of Since and Medicine in Sport, 22(3), 63-67.
Kame, V. D., Pendergast, D. R., & Termin, B. (1990). Physiologic responses to high intensity training in competitive university swimmers. Journal of Swimming Research, 6(4), 5-8.
Sexsmith, J. R., Oliver, M. L., & Johnson-Bos, J. M. (1992). Acute responses to surgical tubing and biokinetic swim bench interval exercise. Journal of Swimming Research, 8, 5-10.
Beneke, R., Hofmann, C., Strauss, N., Hartwig, F., Hoffmann, K., & Behn, C. (1993). Maximal lactate steady state depends on sports discipline. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 25(5), Supplement abstract 365.
Rushall Thoughts, 1994.
Payne, W. R., & Lemon, P. W. R. (1982, October). Metabolic comparison of tethered and simulated swimming ergometer exercise. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Sports Sciences, Victoria, British Columbia.
Heusner, W. (no date). Specificity of interval training. Unpublished manuscript, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (p. 13).
Pizza, F. X., Holtz, R. W., Mitchell, J. B., Gast, L., Starling, R. D., Braun, T. A., & Forrest, M. (1994). Anaerobic capacity: influence of training status. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 600.
Bauer, K., Sale, D. G., Zehr, E. P., & Moroz, J. S. (1994). Under- and over-load training effects on ballistic elbow extension performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 631.
Kearney, J. T., McDowell, S., Litschert, J., & Fleck, S. (1994). Physiological determinants of performance is slalom paddling. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 670.
Flynn, M. G., Carroll, K. K., Hall, H. L., Kooiker, B. A., Weideman, C. A., Kasper, C. M., & Brollinson, P. G. (1994). Cross training, indices of training stress and performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 858.
Mahler, D., Andrea, B., & Ward, J. (1987). Comparison of exercise performance on rowing and cycle ergometer. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 58, 41-46.
Noakes, T. (1986). Lore of running. Cape Town, South Africa: Oxford University Press.
Fleishman, E. A. (1958). An analysis of positioning movements and static reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55, 213-246.
Noakes, T. D., Myburgh, K. H., & Schall, R. (1990). Peak treadmill running velocity during VO2max test predicts running performance. Journal of Sports Sciences, 8, 35-45.
Town, G. P., & Bradley, S. S. (1991). Maximal metabolic responses of deep and shallow water running in trained runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 23, 238-241.
Velikorodnih, Y., Kozmin, R., Konovalov, V., & Nechaev, V. (1986). The marathon (precompetitive preparation). Soviet Sport Review, 22(3), 125-128.
Rushall, B. S., & Pyke, F. S. (1990). Training for sports and physical fitness. Melbourne, Australia: Macmillan Educational.
Loy, S. F., Hoffmann, J. J., & Holland, G. J. (1995). Benefits and practical use of cross training in sports. Sports Medicine, 19, 1-8.
Macaulay, M. R., Keener, J. R., & Rothenberger, R. (1995). Effect of overspeed harness supported treadmill training on running economy and performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 136.
Bauer, K., Sale, D. G., Zehr, E. P., & Moroz, J. S. (1995). Under- and over-load training effects on ballistic elbow extension performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 126.
Hill, M. R., Osbeck, J. S., Amico, V. J., & Rundell, K. W. (1995). Predictability of roller ski race time in elite female biathletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 589.
Hill, M. R., Gregory, R. W., Amico, V. J., Osbeck, J. S., Goodwin, G. T., & Rundell, K. W. (1995). Differences in physiological parameters between treadmill running and treadmill roller skiing in nordic skiers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(5), Supplement abstract 590.
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