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Tudor Bompa

June 27, 2013

Tudor Bompa is known to many as the man who single-highhandedly revolutionized Western training methods. Name your favorite strength coach and very likely he’s been strongly influenced by the work of Tudor Bompa. Learn his secrets!

By: Mike Mahler
Feb 21, 2003

Tudor Bompa
Tudor Bompa: Photo Credit (The Truestar Health Team)

 

After more than forty years of work in the arena of international sports. Tudor Bompa is widely considered one of the world’s leading specialists when it comes to periodization, planning, peaking, and strength and powerlifting. Name your favorite strength coach and very likely he’s been strongly influenced by the work of Tudor Bompa.

Like many top coaches. Tudor Bompa began as an athlete himself and competed as a rower in the 1956 Olympic Games. As a coach (if one can even use that limiting term to describe him), Tudor Bompa has worked with athletes in eleven Olympic Games and World Championships and has helped create four gold medals and 22 national champions. He’s presented his training theories is over 30 countries.

 

In other words, this guy knows his stuff! Currently, Tudor Bompa is a full-time professor at York University in Toronto Ontario. Luckily, he took the time to sit down to an interview with Mike Mahler.

____________________________________________________

Testosterone: How did you first get interested in strength training?

Tudor Bompa: My athletic background is in track and field, and later on I got into rowing and cross country skiing. I was amongst the first athletes to incorporate a great deal of strength training into training for skiing. That was back in the early 1960s! My improvements were so visible that many other competitors were aghast. Because of my gains in upper and lower-body strength, I was able to use the skating technique for many parts of the race. Equally important was the use of my superior force in the arms.

 

T: How did you first begin coaching the things you learned as an athlete?

TB: 

 

 

 

Yelena-Gorchakova
1964 Olympic Champion Yelena Gorchakova

T: You’ve written a great deal about periodization and its application in strength training. In your terms, what exactly is periodization?

 

TB: 

 

 

Anatomical-adaptation
Milo of Croton Carrying a Bull is a prime example of Anatomical Adaptation.

T: What are some of the most common mistakes that athletes make with regard to training?

TB: 

 

T: Not true?

TB: 

 

strength-hypertrophy
Strength and Hypertrophy number of reps

T: Okay, what’s another major mistake you see?

TB: 

 

T: Give us an example of what you mean.

TB:

 

 

 

T: Good point. Any other mistakes you see that drive you nuts?

TB: 

 

T: Are there any strength-training exercises that all athletes should be doing?

TB: 

 

Toe-raises
Using steps for Toe Raises

 

T: How about abs?

TB: 

 

 

 

T: What are some of the techniques you’ve used to blast through training plateaus?

TB: 

 

  1. •Design a good periodization program with phases of maximum strength and phases of power training, where the objective is to increase the firing rate of fast-twitch muscles. In my strength training book, Periodization of Training for Sports, I discuss that in detail.
  2. If one has a longer preparatory (pre-season) phase, several phases of maximum strength and power could be alternated. This alternation of maximum strength with power would certainly have the probability of breaking the plateau.
  3. Under normal conditions, I wouldn’t suggest a maximum-strength phase for longer than six weeks. It’s quite stressful to cope with. However, if an athlete has reached a plateau, I’d use a nine-week long maximum strength phase. Under these conditions, the muscles are stimulated at much higher levels than before.
  4. Use more eccentric (negative) contraction techniques. Eccentric contractions require a much higher tension in the fasttwitch muscles. Eccentric training shouldn’t be used before the athletes have a better background. Unfortunately, many coaches can hardly wait to use everything they know; in this way, they themselves are contributing to reaching a plateau.
plateau
The model of a Plateau

T: So training and performance plateaus are often the coach’s fault?

TB: 

 

 

T: What about altering tempo? For example, taking more time in the concentric and eccentric ranges?

TB: 

 

 

T: What role does nutrition play in recovery and do you provide nutrition and supplementation advice for athletes?

TB: 

 

 

T: Fair enough. I’ve read that in Bulgaria, Olympic athletes train five times a day, seven times a week and that Russian power-lifters bench press up to 21 times a week. What do you think of this training frequency and would these types of programs be beneficial to a natural trainer?

TB: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T: What books do you recommend on strength training — besides yours, of course? Who are the best strength training coaches out there?

TB: 

 

 

 

T: Do you feel that some or most strength coaches have a tendency to make their programs too general at times and too complicated at other times?

TB: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T: Give us an example of that, please.

TB: 

 

 

T: A “cocktail” strength and conditioning coach, huh? Interesting term. Any other categories of coaches you notice?

TB: 

 

 

 

 

 

T: That makes total sense. By the way, do you have any new projects in the works?

TB: 

 

 

dr-mauro-dipasqualle
Dr. Mauro Di Pasqualle

T: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Tudor.

TB: For more information on Tudor Bompa, go to TudorBompa.com.


 

 

Andrew is an ATFS Statiscian in Athletics with a wide range of knowledge in measurable sports. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And is current editor and chief of Pinoyathletics.info, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Currently, he is coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is working towards his Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles.

He can be contacted on [email protected]

By Andrew Pirie

Andrew is an ATFS Statiscian in Athletics with a wide range of knowledge in measurable sports. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And is current editor and chief of Pinoyathletics.info, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Currently, he is coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is working towards his Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles. He can be contacted on [email protected]

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