Athletics Development - Vern Gambetta

>> February 24, 2011

If you're coach or athlete or student or teacher  everyone who looking for the most effective methods and prescriptions for each facet of an athletes' physical preparation including:

> sports-specific demands analysis,
> work capacity enhancements,
> movement skills development,
> long - and short-term training program progressions,
> rest and regeneration techniques etc.

I would suggests to read this book: Athletics Development - The Art and Sciance of Functional Sports Conditioning. It's written by the World-renowned strength and conditioning coach, Vern Gambetta.



Chapter 1: A Functional Conditioning Framework
Chapter 2: Factor Affecting Athletics Movement
Chapter 3: Sport-Specific Demands Analysis
Chapter 4: Options and Methods of Testing
Chapter 5: Strategies for Performance Training
Chapter 6: Program Planning and Fine-Tuning


Chapter 7: Energy and Work Capacity
Chapter 8: Movement Aptitude and Balance
Chapter 9: The Critical Body Care
Chapter 10: Full-Spectrum Strength
Chapter 11: Integrated Power Training
Chapter 12: Linear and Multidimensional Speed
Chapter 13: Multiphase Performance Preparation
Chapter 14: Recovery and Regeneration


Here are some review of users (at amazon) on the book;

Review 1: ...This book has great insight in the formation and development of training regimens mostly for elite athletes. However it does glance by initial training steps for the novice...

Review 2: ...The thing that makes this book so very exceptional is its seamless combination of the author's significant personal coaching experience and the state of the art in exercise and sports science...

Review 3: ...This book is a must read for coaches or anyone seeking to develop the total athlete. It is focuses mainly on the science of functional training methods but also details some great thoughts on coaching in general..

Recommended readings:


Teddy Tamgho 17.91m Triple Jump - World Indoor Record (Video & Result)

>> February 22, 2011

Teddy Tamgho broke his own World indoor record in the Triple Jump on February 20, 2011 during the French national indoor championships in Aubiere.

The 21-year-old Frenchman leapt 17.91m and add one cm to the record he set when winning the World indoor title in Qatar, in March 2010.

Following are the full results and videos (17.91m & 17.90m in 2010):


17.91m (WIR)    1989      Teddy Tamgho
17.02m              1989      Yoann Rapinier
16.92m              1976      Karl Taillepierre
16.78m              1991      Gaetan Saku Bafuanga
16.57m              1977      Colomba Fofana
16.54m              1988      Harol Correa
16.39m              1986      Jules Lechanga
15.62m              1983      Davy Manga

Teddy Tamgho 17.91m New World Indoor Record

Teddy Tambgo 17.90m World Indoor Record (2010)

Results & photo courtesy of Federation Francaise d'Athletisme


The Facts of Altitude Training in Ranau, Sabah

>> February 18, 2011

The idea of altitude training began in 1950's and flared up after the 1968 Mexico Olympics which lies at an altitude of 2,290m above the sea level where most athletes broke all types of record likes:
  •  Jim Hines became the first man to break 10s in the 100 metres.
  •  Tommie Smith broke the 20s barrier despite raised his arms 15m before the line.
  •  Again in the 400m, Lee Evans became the first man to break 44s barrier.
  •  Bob Beamon leapt 8.90m in the long jump, eclipsed the previous WR by 55cm.
  •  Olympic records at high jump, pole vault, shot put, javelin and hammer throw etc.
  •  17 World records in track and field and so on.
NOTE: M. Jegathesan clocked 20.92s at 200m during the 1968 Mexico Olympics. The time is notable for the fact that no Malaysia has yet been able to equal it, and has stood as the Malaysian record for more than four decades now.

Controversial Ranau sports complex as MAAU training venue for SEAG
The air is thinner at higher altitude enables athletes to sprint faster, jump higher, throw further etc. However the only problem about altitude training is that the topic has been heavily baffled by beliefs concerning its effects rather than a rational to understand of what really occurred (physiological changes) because of exposure to altitude training.

For general overview about altitude training see the previous article

Benefits of altitude training 

Training effects on metabolic and cardiovascular that occur at altitude (training) are:
  • Erythropoietin (EPO) increases - more red cells production stimulated - carry more oxygen to muscles.
  • Increase of submaximal heart rate and cardiac outputs - more volume of blood pumped by the heart (at one heartbeat).
  • Elevated (increased) capillary volume - creates more blood pathways to muscle cell.
  • Improve oxygenation - muscles activity will be more efficient and recovery time will be shorten. 
  • Body fluids more alkaline (because of less in carbon dioxide) - ability to buffer acid lactic (means lesser lactic at altitude).
  • A higher volume of mitochondria - powerhouses in cells - generate ATP - more energy.
  • An increase in the lungs' ability - exchange gases more efficient - every breath take more oxygen.
Which sports or athletes who would get the benefits?

This is typical question by many people. Which sports or events that can have the most benefit from altitude training? distance runners? sprinters? jumpers? throwers? walkers? footballers? swimmers?

The question is not fully elaborated so the answer would be not that simple. However the best answer might be this, "depend on the specific objective or aim". Hence, a runner who wish to improve the aerobic capacity may perform an altitude training stint. A pole vaulter who wish to break record may choose a competition that is held at altitude due to lower air resistant (e.g. Sergey Bubka WR 6.14m). A quarter-miler may use altitude training to improve the quality of sea level training. All athletes might need to get altitude exposure if the next important competition to be held at altitude (1968 U.S Olympic Trials at Echo Summit comes to mind).

Background of Ranau (as altitude training site)

Ranau is a district that located around 100km from the state capital, Kota Kinabalu. Ranau is known for its hilly geographic structure and has many wonderful places including the mount Kinabalu (4,095m). The average elevation of Ranau is not known but according to Sabah Tourism the place is at 1,176m above the sea level, and it was probably measured at the town. The average temperature ranges from 16°C at night to 24°C in the day. Following is an estimate all-day temperature in Ranau (near Kundasang and some other places):

02:00 A.M - 19°C         08:00 A.M - 20°C         02:00 P.M - 25°C        08:00 P.M - 19°C

 Awesome High Altitude environment at Mesilau Ranau (6560ft above sea level)
Altitude training in Ranau, Sabah

Ranau has several potential sites for altitude training in which are easily accessible from the main road. One of the sites is at Kundasang, a small town (part of Ranau) that situated approximately 12 km from Ranau town, located at altitude (average) of 1,600m above the sea level (2,000m at Kundasang golf club) and this place could be classified moderate altitude.

Another potential site for altitude training is at Bundu Tuhan that located around 30km from Ranau town towards Kota Kinabalu. The altitude for Bundu Tuhan is around 1,770m above the sea level, also classified  moderate altitude.

High altitude meanwhile is specifically classified at any elevation of 2,500m to 3,500m from the sea level. In Ranau, the highest altitude is surely 4,095m (peak of mount Kinabalu), and there are surely many accessible areas at lower altitudes, that can be utilized for running training. For instance, with altitude (average) of over 2000m, Mesilau Plateau may be suitable and a possible place for runners who would like to experience training at higher altitude. This area is situated around Kundasang, not far from the main road (Ranau - Kota Kinabalu) or the Kundasang town, easily accessible and there are many lodges, hotels around (Kundasang town).

High altitude is probably best done with "live high - train low" method. This method will require you to live (not training) at an altitude area for at least 8 hours a day (night, sleep time) for 4-6 weeks long. During the period, the training is done at sea level or low altitude. The physiological changes can occur while you're exposed with the environment when living at altitude.

How about at Ranau Sports Complex (RSC)? 
RSC is located  8km from Ranau town and geographically awesome. This place is surrounded by the crocker range and situated at altitude of 780m or 2560ft (measured exactly at the main stadium). Since the elevation of Ranau sports complex is classified as low altitude, athletes would probably not gaining any physiological benefit (according to scientific findings) from training at there. However, the real benefit of altitude training at this place may be environmental.

RSC has the finest condition setting as a training ground for all sports. The cooler temperature (average of 21°C during standard training times, A.M &  P.M), fresh air, and beautiful scenery and so on would be the advantages for athletes as these conditions may allow the athletes to push the body to a greater extend than that of training at less favorable places or conditions. The peaceful environments can also promote mind and physical comfort and this will surely elevate the training readiness and performance.

Quick notes for altitude training
  • High altitude (2,500m - 3,500m) training shouldn't exceed 4 weeks at one stay.
  • The lower the altitude, the longer time we need to get the maximum benefit of altitude training.
note: photos from unknown sources / original owners.


Asian Athletics - Full Ranking 2010

>> February 17, 2011

Asian Athletics Ranking for 2010 is now available for FREE download. This free edition is courtesy of Mr. Heinrich Hubbeling (A.T.F.S for IAAF and Asian AA) for Asian AA correspondents. The rankings include the top 10 lists at each Olympic events and a few additional non-Olympic events. Click here to download. Malaysia's Top Performers (Ranking) for 2010 also available, click here to request.

Asian Athletics Ranking for 2010 (click image to enlarge)  (download)
However, the more indepth statistics (handbook) for 2010 (and previous years) is only available from Mr. Heinrich Hubbeling. Detailed handbook item are as follows:  (If you're interested please refer to pricing below).

2009 Asian Athletics Handbook

+ Asian Continental TOP 30 at each events
+ Detailed lists for additional best performers from countries other than CHN or JPN (up to best 4 per country for each event)
+ Report for all national records during 2009 season
+ ASIAN Continental records as at 31.12.2009 (Seniors/Juniors / Outdoors and Seniors / Indoors)
+ ASIAN athletes in world lists 2009 (survey)

2010 Asian Athletics Handbook - Soon this year.

Previous Publications / Handbooks

Interested on the previous Asian Athletics statistics ?? A few copies still available from the editions for the seasons 1998, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 at reduced price of EURO 10/USD 15 per copy (while all other Yearbooks are sold out); In addition few copies of the “ASIAN Athletics All-Time Rankings as at 31.12.2000”- Book are still available against reduced payment of EURO 15/USD 23.

Pricing and Order

-EURO 15/USD 23 (surface mail) by payment:
  -in cash (per letter) in EURO, USD or equivalent in other currency     or
  -by International Money Order ( IMO );
  -payments by cheque (banks outside of Germany) not possible due to the very high bank charges.

For more detailed information about the publication / handbooks (and order), please contact Mr Heinrich Hubbeling by email at :   OR   contact me at :  if you have questions. 

Recommended track and field handbooks: 


2nd USM Open Relay - Results, Videos, Photos

>> February 13, 2011

The 2nd edition of USM Open Relay concluded yesterday at USM Athletics Stadium, Bayan Lepas, Penang.

More than 30 teams from the whole country were taking part including the full-strength UPM's women team in the 4x200 metres which comprises top national sprinters, Siti Fatimah Mohamed, Nurul Sarah Abdul Kadir, Norjanah Hafiszah and Siti Zubaidah Adabi.

Special thanks to the organizer for the success in making this event as one of the most popular track meets at the national level at the moment. Also not forgotten about the initiative on the total price money increased from RM 13,000 last year to RM 19,000 this year. ("cough.. cough.") I hope they will add another RM 6,000 to make a total of RM 25,000 price money next year...!!

However, this event could be more interesting and attracts more participants if it be held during the Malaysia's athletics season (April-October). Because competitive athletes are going through the conditioning or preparation phase at the moment and most of them disallowed to take part by their coaches.

Major results are as follow:


4x200 Metres Open
1, Navy Team, 1:30.6s
2, Serantau Striders Team, 1:30.9s
3, University Putra Malaysia (UPM) Team, 1:31.2s
4, PDRM (Police) Team, 1:31.3S
5, Performances Team, 1:31.6s.

4x800 Metres Open
1, Serantau Striders, 08:18.8s.

Medley Open (200m - 200m - 400m - 800m)
1, Serantau Striders Team, 3:32.6s
2, University Putra Malaysia Team, 3:41.1s

Medley Junior
1, SSN Malacca "A", 3:42.7s.


4x200 Metres Open
1, University Putra Malaysia Team, 1:45.2
(Siti Zubaidah, Norjannah Hafiszah, Siti Fatimah, Nurul Sarah)
2, Performances Team, 1:51.2

Medley Open (200m - 200m - 400m - 800m)
1,University Putra Malaysia "B", 4:21.2s.
2, Performances Team, 4:27.7s.


4x100 Metres Open
1, University Putra Malaysia "Team A", 44.7s.


4x200m women final


NOTE: If full results is not available at the games website, you can request your event results via email address below (I've got the full results in the paper format):



Asics Gel Nimbus 12 (Recommended for High Performance Athletes)

>> February 11, 2011

 Asics Gel Nimbus 12 is a new update of Asics’ top cushioning shoe. The updates have been focused on improving the cushioning, the stability features and the upper comfort. The cushioning is mainly provided by the use of the Gel technology.

The Nimbus 12 also features gender-specific engineering. Thus, both male and female could own the Asics Nimbus 12 now.  


1) Impact Guidance System: Asics Gel Nimbus 12 is designed to enhance the foot's natural gait (the natural motion of the running foot) from heel strike to toe-off.

2) Sockliner: Provides a high level of cushioning performance and anti-microbial properties for a cooler, drier, healthier environment (keep the feet comfortable and dry during the heat of a run).

3) Weight: Relatively light, Men 11.9 oz , Women 9.8 oz Asics Gel Nimbus 12 is highly recommended to sprinter, middle distance runners, long distance runner, marathoner, jumpers (high jump, long jump, triple jump), and can be worn by anyone in any activities.  

Review from users:

1) "With the high mileage that I do, it is important I have a shoe that provides me with the best cushioning possible. This shoe does that and more," Lee Troop, Marathoner / ASICS Ambassador.

2) "I've Adidas, Mizuno, Nike and Asics as well but Asics Gel Nimbus is super great. The best cushioning and softest design just to make sure your leg is "supported" and comfortable when  running, jogging, jumping and traveling & shopping, too!," Jad A.W., Sprinter.  

Video Review


Usain Bolt on Rafael Nadal "Laures Sportsman of The Year" Awards

>> February 08, 2011

Renowned tennis player, Rafael Nadal added his second awards of "Lauraes Sportsman of the Year" yesterday in a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi. For the record, he has been honoured the award for the first time in 2006.

The 24-year-old who won the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2010 beat out the Filipino boxer Manny Pacquaio, NBA’s Kobe Bryant, footballer Lionel Messi and others.

Usain Bolt (I'm not gonna waste my time to introduce who the man is!), gives a credit to Nadal but announces a warning to get the same award next year.

Well, it's not arrogant!, it's a sort of encouragement for fans to book the World Championship's tickets and witnesses Usain Bolt smashing the World records. Below is Bolt's 'official announcement' on the facebook:

The complete list of Laureus winners is as follows:

World Sportsman of the Year: Rafael Nadal
World Sportswoman of the Year: Lindsey Vonn
World Team of the Year: Spain World Cup Team
World Breakthrough of the Year: Martin Kaymer
World Comeback of the Year: Valentino Rossi
World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Verena Bentele
World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Kelly Slater
Lifetime Achievement Award: Zinedine Zidane
Spirit of Sport Award: European Ryder Cup Team
Sport for Good Award: May El-Khalil


Altitude Training - Benefits, Methods, Guidelines, Training Sites

>> February 07, 2011

Without getting into very details (because I'll continue to cover the rest in the future), this post will provide only the general illustration regarding altitude training.

One of the reasons for altitude training is to increase the hormone synthesis  (i.e. erythropoietin) to stimulate more red blood cells. The main function of red cells is to carry oxygen from lungs to the tissues and organs.

When the body has more red blood cells, higher oxygen delivery can be effectively transported and this will result in an enhancement of aerobic respiratory, e.g. maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 Max). The improvement in the value of VO2 Max can be translated into an improvement of aerobic or endurance capacity as well as anaerobic capacity.

How do you define altitude?

Altitude is defined as 'height above the sea level' as follow:
1) Low Altitude: Up to 1500 metres
2) Moderate Altitude: 1500 to 2500 metres
3) High Altitude: 2500 to 4000 metres
4) Very High Altitude: 4000 to 5500 metres
5) Extremely High Altitude: Above 5500 metres
+ Death Zone: 8,000 metres (human cannot acclimatize)

Duration of altitude training

Normally, duration of altitude training depends on the height of altitude, training methods, purposes etc.. However, there is some guide to follow. The higher the altitude, the lesser the time needed for altitude training. Based on many findings, for an altitude of 2,500 m, the concentration of erythropoietin in blood will increase during the first day of altitude exposure and continue to rise up to 3rd weeks. It will then reaches the plateau state during the 4th week. Hence, 3-4 weeks could be the ideal duration at high altitude.

Method of Altitude Training.

1) Live High - Train High
The period of time to stay at altitude for this method might be shorter because athletes would get a chronic exposure to high altitude. However, many findings suggested that this method will lead to a 'detraining'.

2) Live Low - Train High
Very seldom used. An athlete would only expose to high altitude for a few hours during training. But again, training at altitude has the negative impact on the training qualities, especially fast and hard efforts.

3) Live High - Train Low
Most effective and commonly used. This method allows a maximum intensity of training and athletes would get enough exposure to high altitude (at least 8 hours). However, this method requires athletes to stay at high altitude for at least 8 hours a day for about 3 to 4 weeks.

Guidelines of altitude training

Swiss scientist, Manuel Bueno recommends the following guidelines for altitude training:

Phase 1: Recovery, 2-3 rest days at sea level prior to departure
Phase 2: Acclimatization, 3-6 days light training after arrival at altitude
Phase 3: Training with increasing loads (14 - 16 days). In the first phase purely aerobic endurance training, in the second phase a return to usual sea level training.
Phase 4: Recovery, the last 2 days at altitude

High load of workouts should be avoided during the first week after returning to sea level.The first important competition should be 2 to 3 weeks after the last day of altitude training.

International Sites for Altitude Training (just to name a few)

1) 2,700 metres - Toluca, Mexico
2) 2,644 metres - Bogota, Colombia
3) 2,561 metres - Cuenca, Ecuador
4) 2,400 metres - Iten, Kenya
5) 2,365 metres - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
6) 2,300 metres - St. Cugat, Barcelona & Spain
7) 2,130 metres - Flagstaff, Arizona United States
8) 2,000 metres - New Mexico, United States
9) 2,050 metres - Sestriere, Italy
10) 1,950 metres - Kesenoi-Am, Russia
11) 1,900 metres - La Loma, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
12) 1,850 metres - Font Romeu odeillo, France
13) 1,800 metres - Kunming, China
14) 1,748 metres - Johannesburg, South Africa
15) 1,675 metres - Nairobi, Kenya
16) 1,600 metres - Secunda, South Africa
17) 1,550 metres - Davos, Switzerland
18) 1,400 metres - Pretoria, South Africa
19) 1,392 metres - Bloemfontein, South Africa
20) 1,360 metres - Thredbo Village, Australia

Potential sites for altitude training in Malaysia

Kundasang Ranau at Sabah located at 1600m (average) above sea level

1) 1,600 metres - Kundasang, Ranau, Sabah
2) 1,770 metres - Bundu Tuhan, Ranau, Sabah
3) 2,000 metres - Mesilau, Sabah
4) 1,500 metres - Cameron Highland (Kea Farm), Pahang

Recommended readings:  
High Altitude Medicine and Physiology 
High Altitude Illness & Wellness
Training Mask Elevation High Altitude Mask for Athletes 
East African Running: Toward a Cross-Disciplinary Perspective
Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance 


13th IAAF World Championship in Athletics, Deagu South Korea 2011 - Entry Standards

>> February 05, 2011

The 13th World Championship in Athletics will be held at Deagu, South Korea from 27 August  to 04 September, 2010. Each member of IAAF is entitled to enter their qualified athletes only. Athletes must be achieve the entry standards during the qualification period from 01.10.2010 (01.01.2010 for the 10,000m, Marathon, Combined Events, Race Walks and Relays) to 15.08.2011. Entry standards are as follow:

1) Defending World Champions (from the 2009 World Championship)
2) Area Champions (E.g: Asian Champion, European Champion etc.)
3) At least one athlete per event for the host nation (South Korea)
4) One wild card (for each gender) will be given to nations who have no qualified athlete

1) A maximum of three athletes per nation with "A" standard will be allowed to participate.
2) A maximum of one athlete per nation with "B" standard + one or two athletes with "A" standard will be allowed to participate.

Read more about entry standard here

Recommended reading materials: 
Runner's World Training Journal
1983 World Championship in Athletics  
Athletics 2009: The International Track & Field Annual 
Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running


Harry Aikines Gym Workouts - Incredible Strength

>> February 02, 2011

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey reminds me about Ben Johnson's exceptional strength. He has the great qualities of strength, power and endurance that are uncommon in ordinary top sprinters.

Harry is the 2006 World Junior champion at the 100 metres, and the 2005 World Youth champion at 100m and 200m. He is part of Great Britain's 4x100 m relay team which won the bronze medal at the 2009 World Championship in Athletics.

To date, the Englishman has a personal best of 10.10s at the century dash. Alright, check out his videos, performing a maximum front squat, power clean at 170kg, 40 chin ups in 46 seconds and "extreme" muscle ups:


Harry performs a 1 rep max (190kg) front squat:


Fast and nice technique at 170kg Power Clean!

So you want to maintain a fast arm swing for 10-11 seconds?!  
40 times chin ups in 46 seconds 

And this is a great example of incredible upper bodystrength: 
it's require a proper technique and strength
(of course), or you can't even do one rep, try it!



To be updated




To be updated



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