Sunday, November 2, 2008

David Gillick Interview

I won't go into too much detail...but essentially I've been getting a bagging on a forum by some exceptional morons...well it isn't so much a bagging...it is more like being slapped with a kipper...annoying but harmless and eventually just funny. These are people who think everything there is to know can be found on the internet. These idiots actually think that by doing a google search on 'Will Heffernan' they can find out everything there is to know about me. They seriously live under the delusion that what they find there shows them everything there is to know about who I work with and who I don't and what I do....these are the same people who think that the the only athletes I work with are the ones that appear here on the blog.

I work with A LOT of athletes from A LOT of different sports. I also work not only with individual athletes but with sporting organisations...I actually struggle to comprehend the stupidity of some people when it comes to not understanding how some of these athletes and organisations might not want to have their business splashed all over the internet. Go figure!

Now...I also have to make a confession...I love the internet...and I love forums. I find them hysterically funny. I LOVE messing with people...I LOVE annoying people...I LOVE ridiculing and belittling people. The thing is I LOVE doing all these things in real life as well...and anyone who actually knows me, has worked or has been coached by me knows this as well. I don't have an internet persona like some people seem to do. The other thing that people seem to do on the internet is exaggerate...now I know people do that in real life as well but in real life at least they have to look you in the eye and lie to your face.

So....back to life on the internet...a certain individual who shall remain nameless it was stated that they worked with Olympians and well as Footballers, All Star athletes and High School champions...now in short it turned out that their definition of 'worked with' consisted of doing warm ups with and being in the same gym as an Olympic athlete...that isn't my definition of 'worked with'. These are the same morons that made the assertion that it was I that was apparently full of it and also named one particular athlete that I said I 'worked with' and went on to comment that all I had done was essentially to injure him...well...that might be true but I only damaged him emotionally.

Here's a link to David's website...http://www.davidgillick.com/

I spoke to David about this and after we both stopped laughing we decided we'd do an interview for the blog to clear a few things up. I was thinking of the things that people might want to know...things like:

'David is it true that before you started working with Will you were so weak you could barely lift yourself out of a chair?'

'David is it true that while you were working with Will he never ever paid for coffee or food any time you met and do you think this was because although you paid him what he asked it was never as much as he was really worth?

'David is it true that before you and Will started working together that your bench press was so bad that he was amazed that you could even push your sheets off you in bed in the morning?'

'David is it true that when you worked with Will he was totally ripped...just a complete man mountain of muscle, sinew and veins?'

'David is it true that you were so infatuated with Will that even after he cast you aside and sent you to Loughborough to slum it with Nick Deakin and his crew of athletes that you followed him on holidays to Thailand and tried to make him jealous by bringing your girlfriend as well?'

So with David's agreement we are opening the floor to questions....just like these...you have any? If you want to know what I mean by 'working with' athletes as opposed to what internet bullshit artists mean by 'working with' athletes than feel free to post your questions here.

I have posted a video below that I found of David on the interweb and all I can say is that....Oh My God....he still whines like a baby.


This is a video from who knows where and when filmed in Loughborough.

Comments
I just realised that there is going to be some real internet gold here in the comments section and I don't want anyone to miss it so I would post them on the main page.

Michael Sullivan said...
I agree about his whining. By what method did you improve this and did were any drugs involved?

Anonymous said...
Why did Gillick say he was leaving you after bad seasons and to get better conditioning?

Will Heffernan said...
Michael Sullivan said...
I agree about his whining. By what method did you improve this and did were any drugs involved?

It was all him...he was a complete natural.

Anonymous said...
Why did Gillick say he was leaving you after bad seasons and to get better conditioning?

Brave enough to ask a good question...just not brave enough to actually use your name. This is what I was getting at with regard to the internet...people think their anonymous...like shouting abuse from a crowd that they would never say face to face. I will put this question to him and we'll see what he says. Because I don't remember it that way at all.

Anonymous said...
How can you claim to have worked with an olympian when when you were working with him he was not an olympian?

He left you two years before becoming an olympian.

Anonymous said...
Did Gillick run an olympic A qualifying time when he was under you?

Will Heffernan said...
Anonymous said...
How can you claim to have worked with an olympian when when you were working with him he was not an olympian?

This is what makes me laugh...I mean besides the fact that you are so gutless that you won't even leave your name...and not even inventive enough to come up with a funny fake one...is that you can't even get your facts right. I never made any claim like that....if I wanted to 'claim' Olympians I could of 'claimed' Olympians that I was working with at the last Olympics or any of the athletes I worked with who went to Athens.

He left you two years before becoming an olympian.
That's correct...he's not the only one...I worked with a lot of young athletes that went on to be Olympians....funny how that happens.

Anonymous said...
Did Gillick run an olympic A qualifying time when he was under you?

I guess we'll just have to ask him now won't we?

Will Heffernan said...
This post and the comments associated with it is going to give all you people who read the blog who don't frequent message boards and forums....the 5 out of 11 of you...a chance to see what a fantastic place the interweb really is.

Here we have some perfect examples.
1. Anonymous posting...posting method of choice for all cowards.

2. Misrepresentation...the argument method of choice for the severely psychologically unstable.

The rest of you who aren't quite this stupid do realise that I'm s strength and conditioning coach now don't you? That I don't coach Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football, Hurling, Boxing, Rugby, Football, Tennis etc etc etc but that I work with athletes from all those sports...you do understand that don't you? Some people seem to struggle with the whole idea of the difference...for example...I work with a tennis pro....he tells people that I am his strength and conditioning coach...and when he's with me we might do two sessions a day everyday...but that I've never been on a tennis court with him. I just say that because some people struggle with that...David and I worked together week in week out when I was coaching him...I never took him for a session on the track.

15 comments:

Michael Sullivan said...

I agree about his whining. By what method did you improve this and did were any drugs involved?

Anonymous said...

Why did Gillick say he was leaving you after bad seasons and to get better conditioning?

Will Heffernan said...

Michael Sullivan said...
I agree about his whining. By what method did you improve this and did were any drugs involved?
It was all him...he was a complete natural.

Anonymous said...
Why did Gillick say he was leaving you after bad seasons and to get better conditioning?
Brave enough to ask a good question...just not brave enough to actually use your name. This is what I was getting at with regard to the internet...people think their anonymous...like shouting abuse from a crowd that they would never say face to face. I will put this question to him and we'll see what he says. Because I don't remember it that way at all.

Anonymous said...

How can you claim to have worked with an olympian when when you were working with him he was not an olympian?

He left you two years before becoming an olympian.

Anonymous said...

Did Gillick run an olympic A qualifying time when he was under you?

Will Heffernan said...

Anonymous said...
How can you claim to have worked with an olympian when when you were working with him he was not an olympian?
This is what makes me laugh...I mean besides the fact that you are so gutless that you won't even leave your name...and not even inventive enough to come up with a funny fake one...is that you can't even get your facts right. I never made any claim like that....if I wanted to 'claim' Olympians I could of 'claimed' Olympians that I was working with at the last Olympics or any of the athletes I worked with who went to Athens.

He left you two years before becoming an olympian.
That's correct...he's not the only one...I worked with a lot of young athletes that went on to be Olympians....funny how that happens.

Anonymous said...
Did Gillick run an olympic A qualifying time when he was under you?
I guess we'll just have to ask him now won't we?

Will Heffernan said...

This post and the comments associated with it is going to give all you people who read the blog who don't frequent message boards and forums....the 5 out of 11 of you...a chance to see what a fantastic place the interweb really is.

Here we have some perfect examples.
1. Anonymous posting...posting method of choice for all cowards.

2. Misrepresentation...the argument method of choice for the severely psychologically unstable.

The rest of you who aren't quite this stupid do realise that I'm s strength and conditioning coach now don't you? That I don't coach Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football, Hurling, Boxing, Rugby, Football, Tennis etc etc etc but that I work with athletes from all those sports...you do understand that don't you? Some people seem to struggle with the whole idea of the difference...for example...I work with a tennis pro....he tells people that I am his strength and conditioning coach...and when he's with me we might do two sessions a day everyday...but that I've never been on a tennis court with him. I just say that because some people struggle with that...David and I worked together week in week out when I was coaching him...I never took him for a session on the track.

Tim said...

What sort of numbers was David putting up for your gym tests at the time? I remember you mentioned a 400 runner doing 50+ squats at bodyweight, were you talking about him in that post?

Also, on a related note, do you use any specific emphasis on strength endurance or other qualitites when working with 400runners/athletes competing in events of 30sec-2min or so in length where strength endurance would seem to be especially relevant?

As another aside, I would assume David would have had excellent strength endurance reative to his max/limit strength, i.e. more reps at a given %1RM than normally expected.

If so, was this prevalence of strength endurance vs limit strength increased/developed with training or was it already this way. Or alternatively was limit strength relatively untrained and therefore caught up with formal strength training?

Lastly, I would assume much added hypertrophy for a 400 runner would be undesirable. Did you take any measures to avoid this in the gym e.g. rep ranges or was it simply a matter of avoiding caloric surplus?

Ian said...

A couple of questions for David...

I expect the main reason for athletes seeking out a new coach is because something isn't right with their current training. So what aspects of your strength and conditioning did you feel were lacking that made you turn to Will?

After carrying out an initial assessment did Will discover any strengths, weaknesses or other issues that surprised you?

Kira said...

Anonymous is pissing me off!

Will Heffernan said...

Firstly I wanted to say sorry I missed these great questions.
Tim said...
What sort of numbers was David putting up for your gym tests at the time?
I have to crack open my old machine and see what his numbers were like so I can embarrass him before heaping praise on his new coach for his great current numbers.

I remember you mentioned a 400 runner doing 50+ squats at bodyweight, were you talking about him in that post?
Yes. I certainly was...I've only seen two people pump out those sort of numbers...David and Rob Smyth a rugby player...both of whom squatted till they collapsed...which was one of the reasons I put a ceiling on the BW squat repetition test.

Also, on a related note, do you use any specific emphasis on strength endurance or other qualitites when working with 400runners/athletes competing in events of 30sec-2min or so in length where strength endurance would seem to be especially relevant?
No. We basically worked on max strength initially then power.

As another aside, I would assume David would have had excellent strength endurance reative to his max/limit strength, i.e. more reps at a given %1RM than normally expected.
Only in his legs...hence the squatting for reps with ease when he had a relatively poor max strength in comparison.

If so, was this prevalence of strength endurance vs limit strength increased/developed with training or was it already this way. Or alternatively was limit strength relatively untrained and therefore caught up with formal strength training?
The latter.

Lastly, I would assume much added hypertrophy for a 400 runner would be undesirable. Did you take any measures to avoid this in the gym e.g. rep ranges or was it simply a matter of avoiding caloric surplus?
Yes and Yes. David doubled some of his max strength PB and did it 2kg lighter than when he started with me.

Tim said...

If possible Will, would you be able to give a broader outline of test results before/after and training focuses in between, and also at what point you shifted from building max strength to power.

With regards to the repetition tests as well, do you use any other tests with more of a relative power focus like repeated vertical jumps (measuring average height and overal drop off) with any of your athletes, I'd assume this would be unnecessary in David's case given most of his trackwork/specific training would cover power-endurance type qualities with more immediate transfer and specificty.

Additionally, do you use exercises with a variety of load/velocity parameters like barbell/weighted vest jumps, overhead medball/shot throws, as well as cleans/squats to build power and in what general circumstances (training experience, strength) would you use these. I understand you have a strong focus on max strength as a basis, just wondering where the rest eventually fits in.

Finally, I'd be interested to know if there was there any correlation between improvements in max strength and power and times in David's underdistance races especially 60 and 100 metres.

Thanks

tingle said...

Couple of questions for Gillick -

1. Many Irish sprinters before you would plateau at 45.5-46.0 and then regress. What is different at Loughborough that enabled you to go low 45's and be on the door of sub 45? Was it just the training environment or what has been different that enabled you to go low 45?

2. Do you slag Rooney about his showboating in the 4 x 4 semi and then subsequent ass whipping by the carribeans in the final? If not, why not?

3. If Hession ran a 400, what do you think he'd run in the morning? If he trained for a winter for 400 what would he run?

4. I presume its great having someone like Rooney as a traning partner once you don't become Boldon to his Greene, but is training encouraged to be competitive by Nick Dakin?

5. Clyde Hart said at the weekend that 400's are now 60-80% aerobic and looking at his training systems you can see he gears it that way. What way does Dakin work it, is there much balls to the walls stuff with long recoveries or is it slower more controlled with shorter recoveries?

Will Heffernan said...

Tim said...
If possible Will, would you be able to give a broader outline of test results before/after and training focuses in between, and also at what point you shifted from building max strength to power.
With regard actual results...I will try to do this. I have them on my laptop I'm pretty sure but I'm sure David will rememeber because I know they were pretty bad when we started and I used to give him shit about it endlessly.

With regard the shift from a strength to rate of force development focus that's easy...the same as everyone else...my plan right from the outset with David was to improve his lower body strength and power...make sure his trunk development and control was rock solid and ensure that his upper body anterior and posterior strength was as balanced as possible.


With regards to the repetition tests as well, do you use any other tests with more of a relative power focus like repeated vertical jumps (measuring average height and overal drop off) with any of your athletes,
Nope...none.

I'd assume this would be unnecessary in David's case given most of his trackwork/specific training would cover power-endurance type qualities with more immediate transfer and specificty.
That covers it...I had absolutely NO input into David's on track training...all the work we did together we did in the gym...this is one of the things that I think is funny about the critism I get...people don't even understand what I do...I was giving an example in a presentation today...I have 2 athletes currently involved in the same sport...roughly the same height, weight and age...one of them competes at an international level...the other competes at a club level...I look after their GYM work...that's it...their testing results are almost identical...am I a great coach for producing international level players or a crap coach who can't get a player into the first team at club level...I don't actually think I'm either...I think I've done MY job...they are both very balanced athletes...the thing that differentiates them is their skill...that's not MY job. I was David's weights coach while he was here in Ireland...the whole time he was here...there's a hint in there for those spending there time trawling the internet looking for dirt...have a look at what David won and when he won it and the times he ran and when he ran them...to the day he left Ireland...I was his strength and conditioning coach...so if people want to blame me for his injuries...that's fine...but that being the case you can give me the credit for his victories and Personal Best times while you're at it...in truth...I don't take the blame or credit for either...I just do what I get paid to do and love every minute of it...no matter what level the athlete is competing at...if someone is willing to do what I tell them and give it their best...I couldn't be happier. Sorry for getting sidetracked but it's my blog and I'll do whatever the hell I like.

Additionally, do you use exercises with a variety of load/velocity parameters like barbell/weighted vest jumps, overhead medball/shot throws, as well as cleans/squats to build power and in what general circumstances (training experience, strength) would you use these. I understand you have a strong focus on max strength as a basis, just wondering where the rest eventually fits in.
Can I answer with all of the above? If you followed the blog you will see a fair bit of complex work of different varieties...either max effort type work paired with some sort of high velocity work...or velocity plus velocity work...which might be something like speed deads paired with reactive box jumps.

Finally, I'd be interested to know if there was there any correlation between improvements in max strength and power and times in David's underdistance races especially 60 and 100 metres.
I actually don't remember...we'll ask David. I'm actually going to get on to Jim Kidd David's coach who I worked while David was here in Ireland as well and talk to him about his perspective on what we did.

I hope that answers your questions? If you have more or want specific keep asking..the more specific the questions the more specific the answers.

Anonymous said...

My prediction is that this interview will never happen because Gillick left him after he practically destroyed his career. Everything he's done he's done thanks to Nick Dakin. He is the coach that deserves all the credit.