Podcast #53: Athletic Performance – Taking out the Trash with Will Ratelle


“I was dumb. I was an unintelligent football player… if you go back and look at my Pro Day numbers, I’d be at the top for my position in 40, vertical jump, bench press, the L-Cone, the pro agility… but I was not very smart.”

Hypertrophy: “How often are you able to train close to failure (e.g., 2, 3, 4 RIR) with loads that are 65% or higher?… If you’re doing that at a frequency that is sustainable, you’re probably in good shape.”

Strength: “Lift heavy probably at an RPE of 7-8 frequently and use exercises or use means of loading that are going to give you the greatest global response.”

Power: “Jump for sure. Maximum strength is probably the number one thing I would keep in if you want to train for power… you’re probably good enough if you sprint, jump, and lift heavy.”

“Power is strength x speed. Get strong, get fast.”

Speed: “Just run fast frequently and you’re going to be good.” “Figure out ways to motivate yourself to run fast (e.g., timing, play tag with someone, race with someone).”

“There’s all these paradigms, progressions, regressions that are just made up things.”

“I just reject the premise outright… if you do that, you don’t even have to worry about these nonsense methods or ways of doing things.”

“In order to think outside the box, you have to be in the box first.”

“I’m just going to stay in my quadrant of physical development.”

“I want to give you something for maximum strength, I want to give you something to develop your neuromuscular system, I want to give you something to enhance your energy system.”

“Don’t be lagging behind in outputs generally that’s going to make you fall behind in your sport.”

Periodization: “It’s just not practical. It’s nonsense.”

DB Snatches for power development: “If that’s what you’re using it for, that should be so low on the priority list

Landing Mechanics: “The manner in which you land is going to affect the way force is distributed through your body… but you can’t prepare for that.”

“You think they’re thinking about how they’re going to land to be safe? No.”

VBT: “These are made-up categories that have been made-up to make people feel more important about themselves.”

Your vertical jump height doesn’t matter: “My standing vertical jump height is probably lower now than when I was training for the NFL, but I can dunk a basketball better.”

“Everything you do in sport is extensive plyos.”

“Not to say there’s something wrong with spending 10 minutes to do extensive plyos, it’s just redundancy for the most part.”

Agility training: “If you’re playing basketball, you’re getting agility.”

“A mirror drill is cool… but if you’re playing sports, it’s just redundancy.”

“I think it gets missed” Sprinting for vertical jump.

“There’s power. Rotational power, you’re just putting an adjective in front of it. Rotational power isn’t a thing.”

“How can you put intent to doing 8 exercises in an hour?

“Why am I going to do 6 or 7 things when only the first 1 or 2 exercises I actually have the energy to put real intent into it.”

Working college: “It forces you to abandon your real principles because you have to please someone else.”

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