Interview with Simon Hunt by Just Fly Sports

Joel Smith is a track and filed coach who specialising in strength and conditioning for jumping and sprinting. You can have a look at his site an bio at the Just Fly Sports web page. Joel first contacted me after seeing all my YouTube videos about jump training and plyometrics. He has a passion for jumping that shows along with great technical knowledge as a trainer. A few years ago he interviewed me about my views on box jumping, plyometrics and weight training for athletes. The full interview on his site you can view here.

Interview – by Joel Smith

Simon Hunt is an athletics coach from the UK, and a guy I have known ever since I started looking up videos on track and field jumping performance on YouTube. A prolific trainer, perhaps his most notable athlete has been Margrethe Renstrøm who is the Norwegian record holder in women’s long jump at 6.68m. I am very excited to pick Simon’s brain with a few questions regarding power training and plyometrics. Here is our first interview.

Joel Smith (JS) – What are your thoughts on box height in depth jumping?

Simon Hunt (SH) – The point of jumping off a box is to add the force of the body falling to preload the muscles so they can contract more powerfully when you rebound off the floor. This requires a quick contact time of under 0.25 sec to utilise the energy stored in the ligaments and tendons in the rebound jump. A longer contact time results in this energy being lost. A good jump is a refection of the power output of a athlete. High jump = high power output. Power is a function of force and time. The relationship between the amount of force and how fast an athlete is dealing with it is crucial in coaching good technique and training. Most studies show that jumping off a box height of over 60 cm does not increase power output. This is because the force the athlete is dealing with is to large for them to rebound off the floor under 0.25 sec, and the resulting jump is no higher than a static jump. The same effect can be observed by increasing the passive weight of the athlete with a weighted vest. Effectively there comes a point where the athlete is not performing a rebound jump but is just jumping off a box landing and then jumping again, as two separate movements. The best indicator that the box is too high and the power output is being reduced is a reduction in the height of the rebound jump. So just follow the simple rule that you must be jumping high to be training your jumping. Low jump training does not work and I don´t like it. So fundamentally the box is there to help you jump higher, not lower which is what happened to most people jumping off a over 60 cm box.

Sets & reps: 200 reps per session (250 max) 2 sessions per week MAX. Most studies show that 3 times a week is detrimental to jumping, this is true in my own experience as well.

Do not start plyometric training until you can skip rope consistently for 5 mins (Approx 150 – 160 light contacts per min = 750 – 800)

JS – What are your thoughts on the practice of single leg depth jumps or single leg hurdle hops?

SH – This is a difficult exercise to get right. Basically you must be technically perfect. Considering the forces that I have described above involved in two legged depth rebound jumping, removing a leg from the equation will lead to a doubling of the force. So to keep the contact time below 0.25 sec you must halve the height of the boxes, and I would halve the number of contacts to begin with as well. The training forces on the body are high doing this which means the performance pay off must be well worth it. I´m not sure it is as you can have the same effect with easier exercises. There is no need to complicate things or add unnecessary risks in my opinion. I personally started single leg hurdle hops when I was recovering from a torn Achilles, using my good leg. This was mainly because it made me mad to watch my training partner Luke Crawley jumping while I could not, so I bet him I can do it off one leg. I like to use single leg contacts in continuous box jumping with a single foot on the box and two feet on the floor. Small technical hopping over very low hurdles is best to start with. If the upper body begins to learn in ANY direction (usually forward first) during the hop then reduce the hurdle height. Above all keep this exercise for training technique.

JS – What are your thoughts on the use of maximal strength training (over 90% 1rm) in track and field athletes?

SH – Brilliant! But only in weight lifting exercises NOT powerlifting. By this I mean clean, snatch and squat. Not deadlift. I use 90% in the competition phase of training that last for 6 weeks. 3 sets of 3 reps each at 90 – 95% max, two times a week. Using 60 sec rest between sets will really train the ATP and neurological systems to their maximum. Using longer rest between sets (2-5 mins) will simulate competition conditions. To understand your athletes power output you need to add up the total weight lifted and the total time. E.g. 3 x 3 @ 100kg = 900kg. Each set is about 12 sec (4 sec per lift) with 2 x 1 min rest. So over a total of 2m36s 900kg was lifted at a rate of 346kg/min. This figure relative to body weight is a great guide to your athletes fitness and power capabilities.

Weight-Phase-3 MR

JS – What do you think of endurance bounding? (Over 30 meters)

SH – This is a plyometric session all of its own. Only to be done when the legs are fresh and rested for 72 hours. I watched Stefan Holm do this over 60m using 17 -18 bounds, on an indoor athletics track. I use up to 10 bounds in most plyometric programmes in combination with other exercises. You need to be incredibly robust to do 17 – 18 bounds, and consistent too.

bounding MR

Most athletes are not robust enough to do this in combination with other exercises. This does not mean they are not good performers in track and field. The surface you do this on is of major importance like any plyometric exercises, soft and responsive tracks are the best, or real grass to start with. Putting greens and firm fairways are perfect surfaces to bound on but most golf clubs won´t allow it. Let me know if you find one Joel!

Posted in Athletics | Leave a comment

Wednesdays Training – Weight lifting and Cricket.

Today I had two training session for my self. On Wednesdays I have training with the Oslo Aliens Cricket Club at Ekerburg nets in the evenings. At my age (I will be 37 on Saturday) the movements in cricket are challenging and I find I perform better in training when it is my second session of the day. So the first session that I did between clients was a 1 hour basic weights session, as follows.

Warm up was 10 mins X-trainer up to 180 watts and around 150 bpm, this really warms my upper back and gets my calfs and achilles working well. These are both area that I require high blood flow to be fully functional. Normally at this point I would do stretching and mobility before lifting the weights. But today I do that part at the start of the cricket training.

Squats (my body weight 74kg). To get my quads and hamstring going I take three sets of ten reps at 60kg. The bar is on my back shoulders and I do full range to the floor. My heels are raised a little my some 2.5kg plates. This helps my keens come forward and keeps my back straight. The same effect is achieved when using weightlifting shoes that have a raised heel. Straight after the ten lifts I super set the squats with a lat pulldown. I face out from the machine and take light weight up to about 25 kg and take 20 good reps. I face out so I do not use my hip flexors and control my posture with my abdominals. I then take 90 seconds rest. This combination really warms my whole back up and prepares me well for the next exercise.

Deadlift. This one I find is important of the cricket as almost all movements in the sport require extension at the hip using the lover back, glutes and hamstrings. Fielding for up to 3 hours requires stamina to squat over 200 times, pace bowling requires good core stability to hold the back straight and batting requires control and power of the mid section when rotating the shoulders into a cover drive. So I take a light weight of 60kg and do 3 sets of 30 reps. In each set I take ten lifts at three different positions before resting 90 seconds. The first is with feet shoulder width and hands just on the outside of the knees, normal stance ten reps. The second position I keep the hands in the same place and take feet wide so my heels are wider than my shoulders and I point my toes out to the ten o´clock and two o´clock positions, wide stance ten reps. This works my adductors well. Third position I keep my feet wide and take my grip as wide as I can as if I were to snatch lift the bar. Wide, wide stance ten reps. This really works my whole posterior chain and lats. I then take up to 3 mins rest. This trains my back and glutes to have strength endurance and the 30 reps keeps my heart rate high training cardio.

Bench. This exercise I have only done in the last few years as it was something I did not use as a high jumper. Each weights session I change the angle of my bench neutral, incline and decline. Today was neutral. I warm up with a 20kg bar by taking 20 reps wide followed by 15 reps narrow to get my triceps going. Every rep on bench press I make sure my abs are engaged, keeping my postural chain closed with my lower back and hips in full contact with the bench. This trains my chest in a functional way that I will use it in throwing and bowling. I take 50 kg with 3 sets of 10 reps. I super set these sets with biceps curl, using a 20-25kg dumbbell for 10 reps then I take a 90 second rest. I press the sides of the dumbbell and only use my fingertips to grip it. This really engages my rotator cuff muscles after I have worked the chest, also working the biceps after the bench press keeps the blood flowing in the muscle group as a whole.

Usually I now do 3-4 sets of ten squats each at 100-120kg down to 90 degrees knee bend. Today I did not, as I was going to the cricket training.

Leg Extensions. This is to train the vastus medialis muscle and tendons around the knees. I do 3 sets of 10 reps at around 70kg using both legs with 90 seconds rest.

Cool Down. 5 mins easy cycling taking my heart rate under 100 bpm.

Cricket practice. This went well and my body felt good. I bowled a lot and batted patiently today which was a more disciplined approach, I need time to watch the ball before I start playing it. We did fielding drills and some great short reactive catches where my left hand did really well. There was good banter and humor with my team mates too. Nothing better than having fun and playing with mates wile keeping fit.

Posted in Aliens Cricket Cub, Cricket, Exercise, My training sessions, Simon Hunt, Strenght and Conditioning | Leave a comment

Front Yard – Majorstuveien 17A 0367 Oslo

New day, new gym, new start.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 16.11.42

Front Yard Facebook

Simon Hunt Coach Facebook  

Today I started work and a really nice new gym call Front Yard. We specialise in one on one training and conditioning, as well as small groups. The studio is well equipped with kettle bells, lots of Olympic lifting bars, rowing machines, squat and bench racks, pull up bars and rings. We have medicine balls, jumping boxes and dumbbells as well for the circuit training. Foam rollers and rubber bands for mobility and active recovery.IMG_7113

Front Yard 1

Have a look at my Facebook pages and drop in or send me a message if you want to train with me.

Posted in Athletics | Leave a comment

NEW Athletics Indoor Arena, Oslo, Norway

Rud Hall Athletics TrackRud Athletics Hall will open for a test week end on the 1-3rd of March 2013, 16km from Oslo in Johs Haugeruds vei, Bærum, Norway. This will be the new home for Tyrving Athletics club, the main team I coach for. We will have a 110m straight as well as a fully equipped throwing area. The high jump will be centre stage and Deitmar Mogenburg and I can´t wait to start coaching on. It will be a great new start for the club as the indoor facilities that we use at the moment leave a lot to be desired. I will hopefully be using this hall for the Oslo High Jump Group training on sundays through out the winter. It will also be a great base for me to train and coach of athletes from abroad. If you are interested I am always open and would love to help

The photos where taken by Trond Ulleburg and from Budstikk a local paper in Bærum, the area near Oslo that the arena is based in.

Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 14.17.44 Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 14.16.41 Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 14.18.27

bilde (13) Rudd Athletics Hall bilde (11) bilde (10) bilde (9) Rud Athletics HallScreen shot 2013-01-29 at 14.18.10 Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 14.19.07 Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 14.18.54 Rud Athletics Hall

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Aliens Cricket Club Bowling Nets at NIH Oslo – Video Analysis

I have been training weekly with Aliens CC, a Norwegian Elite Devision team based in Oslo. To be useful I have filmed some of the bowlers to analyse their technique. We are training in the National Sports Collage (NIH) for our winter nets. It´s great fun and I personally am starting to feel more confident in my bowling consistency and batting ability after a 16 year break for the sport.

The video analysis was performed by Peter Brett, a cricket coach from Pwll Carmenthenshire UK. The remarks are in the order that the bowlers appear on the video. Many thanks Peter for you help form the Aliens CC.


Observations of video footage from side on which restricts areas to observe.

Interesting action – Short run up very little evidence of gather prior to delivery.
Areas to work on – More use of front arm which will assist with completion of action I. E, 180 degree rotation of shoulders toward target.

Appears to have a fluid action. Front leg collapses on front foot contact but does straighten at delivery. Little evidence of bowling arm loading up. Full shoulder rotation however on a couple of occasions just over rotated.
Areas to work on. Experiment in reducing height of jump at pre back foot contact (bound) Sometimes this can limit forward momentum of the action as bowlers tend to stop when landing from height. This can also cause front leg collapse due to impact forces.

Venkat Tarigopula
Simple straightforward action with short run up. Head appears to fall to offside at point of delivery and after which limits the ability to rotate shoulders 180 degrees.
Areas to work on – Pull front arm straight down through line of target and develop technique to enable head to be moving straight toward target.

Ryan Phillips
Short run up, Skips during bound, Good rotation of shoulders.
Areas to develop – Possibly stronger front arm action, lengthen delivery stride

Damon Crawford
Short run up – straight front leg at delivery – appears to fall to leg side (RH batter) on delivery.
Areas to develop – Stronger front arm action driving through target -develop technique to enable head to be moving straight toward target.

Marcus Lyon
Good load up prior to delivery. Simple uncomplicated action – tends to fall to off side
Areas to develop. – Stay on front leg slightly longer to enable arms to drive through to target which will assist the head driving to target as well,

Good action off a short run Everything appears to moving toward target – However shoulders tend to over rotate pulling the hips as well.
Areas to develop – Experiment with a slightly higher jump in the bound ( not too much) which may help to maintain a stronger front side slightly longer. Keeping the front leg braced and not allowing to collapse will also help.
Do you generate a lot of pace ? Unable to tell from footage.

Mitchell de Beurs
Rushed sprint run up. Uses front arm well and front leg appears strong and whole action appears to move to target as evidenced by the follow through.
Area to develop. = Maybe consider a more rhythmical controlled run up only if it does not affect above

Interesting this one. Evidence suggest he is quite quick. Would need to see from behind what causes the back leg action.
Good rotation of shoulders ( over rotated on a couple)
Areas to develop – from this footage possibly develop a sronger back leg at back foot contact as back leg collapses causing the bowler to sink.

Jamie Cameron
The action suggests a spin bowler. If so it is very simple and reasonably smooth. However the front side collapses slightly at delivery.
Areas to develop. Experiment trying to get front leg straighter for longer so that the action is over this front leg toward the target as opposed to bowling ’round’ the front leg.

Footage from behind would assist in a more detailed observations as it helps to see outcome as well.
Good Luck

Video | Posted on by | Tagged | Leave a comment

Oslo High Jump Group Sunday Training Week 4

Week 4 of OHG at Bislett indoors. We trained drills with a pole in the first phase too help the athletes focus on their leg movements while controlling their core not to twist. This also help me to see how much they twist easily. Stretching is combined with the skipping to train abs and keep the heart rate up. The jumping is just shot approach in a straight line and standing flop off a bench. The medicine ball work is basic movements for the abs and back as well as single leg work to train balance. The plyometrics are combined with ankle strength drills and are all small basic movements. This style pf Sunday training is inspired by Mike Dolby of Solihull High Jump Group, the drills are based on a the work of UK Olympic high jump coach Fuzz Ahmed and Dietmar Mogenburg who was 1984 Olympic Champ and world record holder at 2.39m. The plyometrics are based on Darcy Cummings work from Canada, the ankle drills I used with Norwegian long jump record holder, Magarete Renstrøm, to help build her ankle strength. The medicine ball work is also based on Mike Dolby´s routines.

Posted in Athletics, Dietmar Mogenburg, Exercise, Fuzz Ahmed (Alex Caan), High jump, High Jump Drills, Long jump, Margrethe Renstrøm, mobility, Movement Drills, My training sessions, Oslo High Jump Group OHG, Plyometrics, posture, Simon Hunt, Stomach, Strenght and Conditioning, Stretching & Flexability, Track & Field, Training videos, Vertical power, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oslo High Jump Group OHG, The Beginning……

Oslo High Jump Group (OHG) is a group of athletes and coaches that meet once a week on Sundays, who work together to improve the standard of high jumping in Norway. This is an open group that anyone can join and take part in, all are welcome to come and see what we do and how we develop the athletes through out the year. We train at Bislett Stadium in central Oslo, Norway, 14:00 every sunday.

The training consists of 11 sessions in 2012 and will continue with a further 11 session in 2013. These 22 sessions are designed to develop correct movement and jumping technique along with the necessary strength and conditioning to  prevent injury and become a good high jumper.

Frosbury Flop Technique

Frosbury Flop Technique

The quality and standard of the training and coaching is crucial to the development of any high jumper. Because of this it is the aim of OHG to keep the number of athletes per coach as low as possible. This will give more one on one coaching time allowing the athletes to develop faster.

Group Training Principles  

Expression – A safe and friendly environment where athletes and coaches can express themselves both physically and verbally.

Development – To continually educate and develop athletes both physically and mentally towards better performances.

Progression – To increase the jumping abilities of all athletes, to set new personal records and produce the top high jumpers in Norway.

The training plan for the first phase of 4-5 weeks is below, just click the pictures to see full screen. I am working on building the jumpers movement patters using 3000 – 5000 repetitions for each element of the training, before they compete indoors in 2013. This will include 3000+ reps of medicine ball throws at 3-5kg, 3000+ meters of plyometric jump training, 5000+ meters of high jump specific drills, 3000+ meters of ankle and foot strengthening exercises. This, I believe, will give the jumpers the best possible chance of being fit and strong enough to achieve higher heights. Along with this the jumpers are stretching and increasing their mobility allowing them to perform movements more freely and efficiently. Each week the training gradually increases in duration up to 3 hours after 10 weeks.

OHG P1 Time table

OHG P1 Time table

OHG P1 High Jump Drills

OHG P1 High Jump Drills

OHG P1 Stretching Warm Up

OHG P1 Stretching Warm Up

OHG P1 Med Ball

OHG P1 Med Ball

OHG P1 Plyometrics

OHG P1 Plyometrics


OHG P1 Ankle Drills

OHG P1 Ankle Drills

OHG P1 Stretching Cool Down

OHG P1 Stretching Cool Down

Posted in Athletics, Exercise, Files, Fitness, Fuzz Ahmed (Alex Caan), High jump, High Jump Drills, Links, Long jump, mobility, Movement Drills, My training sessions, Plyometrics, posture, Simon Hunt, Stomach, Strenght and Conditioning, Stretching & Flexability, Track & Field, Training videos, Triple jump, vertical, Vertical power, Videos, Weight lifting | 1 Comment