This week’s guest is Yosef Johnson, owner of Ultimate Athletic Concepts and performance coach with nearly 20 years of experience. Many of the previous guests on the show, as well as contributors to Just Fly Sports, have been mentored by Yosef on Russian training methods and the work of Dr. Michael Yessis.
Yosef has a blend of mentorship and communication from “The Big Three” in Russian Sport Peformance methodology (Dr. Bondarchuk, Yuri Verkhoshansky, Dr. Michael Yessis) that is probably unsurpassed by any performance coaches in the Western world. Out of this knowledge and mentorship has come a wealth of knowledge that has trickled down into the methods and means of coaches at a growing number of NCAA institutions. One of these methods that is gathering more and more notoriety is the 1×20 method, but Yosef also has great knowledge of special strength methods, biomechanics and long-term development amongst others.
One of the main reasons I wanted to get Yosef on the show was that so many other guests I’ve had will point to Yosef as a mentor and consultant of theirs, so I really wanted to get to the source of all this great knowledge, and Yosef has been a conduit of the wealth of information, Soviet and otherwise, in this regard.
On the show today, we’ll be talking about special strength training, long term development, maximal strength training in the scope of athleticism, and more.
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- Yosef’s background and mentorship
- Implementation of special strength exercises through an athlete’s career
- Yosef’s spectrum of special strength for building jumping ability for team sport
- Ideas on early intensification and long term development
- How to progress maximal strength work through an athlete’s career
- Yosef’s use of the 1×20 system, and subsequent training implications
“What Michael Yessis always told me if that if it’s taking a long time to recover from a workout, then the workout was too hard”
“Early in an athlete’s career, general strength is more important, and as time passes, specific stuff is going to be more important, because the general has already run its course”
“In the early stages, special strength is more for learning than it is for training”
“We all know that there’s a limit to the amount of transfer we’ll go from a general exercise”
“There is a finite transfer from general exercises onto performance. There is no limit from performance onto specialized movements. There is a point where getting stronger in the squat, the bench press or whatever, this isn’t going to help us anymore.”
“Special strength is like throwing heavy or light hammers, or playing a team sport in weighted conditions, or running uphill/overspeed”
“If you look at a volleyball player, a quarter squat for her or him is a specialized movement, especially if you are moving a weight like 60% of 1RM…. But for sports like swimming or golfing, for them it’s not specialized, it’s totally different”
“Half squat (the first thing we use in our vertical jump development) is what we use, we normally don’t go any deeper than that”
“I’d only be a fan of using Olympic lifts in the velocity based way, the way Bryan (Mann) uses them”
“If we get an effect with a 12” box in depth jumps, and we’re not going to get a better effect with 24”, why would you go to 24”?”
“Like Bondarchuk says, if you use something that’s more intense than you need, then you can never come back (to a lower intensity)”
“Bondarchuk always said 90% (of a 1RM) is just too slow”
“(Regarding 1×20 and Dr. Yessis) He wrapped everything up into one ball, into one set, in the early part of the year… and not only do you do all those things, but you do them better than any targeted program”
About Yosef Johnson
Yosef Johnson has nearly 20 years of sports performance training experience, and began working with Dr Yessis in 1994 as his protege. He formed Ultimate Athletic Concepts (UAC) in 2003 and began publishing books in 2005. Yosef has worked with athletes from child to pro level, as well as consulted with several colleges. He oversees the physical education program for the Reeths Puffer school district.