Didn’t make it to the Exxentric Summit last week, or are you still digesting all impressions from the world’s main flywheel training event? Read on to gain valuable insights and key takeaways, summarised by the Summit general, Fredrik Correa:
After an amazing two days, I’m both glad and sad that it’s over this time. It is always a bit crazy arranging stuff like this and it’s nice to take a day off relaxing when its finally done. At the same time, it’s sad to say goodbye to people you really connected with and break up the party when you are having so much fun.
At this year’s Summit, the number of attendees tripled from the previous event, with representatives from 14 different countries. We were joined by physiotherapists, personal trainers, gym owners, PhD’s and researchers, performance coaches, resellers and ambassadors – a fantastic mix. This showed that people in a wide variety of fields see flywheel training as a part of the solution in their work.
We were also joined by a number of brilliant speakers, flying in from all over Europe and the US to share their knowledge and experience in flywheel training on the kBox. Online, the Summit was also followed by many of our 12,000+ followers on social media and trended on Twitter.
While it’s impossible to convey the full experience of an event like this to someone who was not there, here’s an attempt to summarise the main sessions and key learning points.
Friday: Course day
The course participants included people who have been working with flywheel training for 10–15 years and almost everybody there could be considered a seasoned user or even a power user. Henrik delivered a great course with some help from Mårten and myself, together with our intern QF.
The course curriculum consisted of about 3–4 hours of theory around flywheel training basics, eccentric training and the more advanced methods for different types of loading (ISO, CON, CON: ECC, and ECC overload). We also discussed the importance of feedback using the kMeter or SmartCoach and how the metrics can be applied in a practical setting.
We were honoured to get some amazing feedback, and several users with long-time experience confirmed that they got new information that they will be able to apply directly when they get back home.
Saturday: Summit day
The Summit day started off with with an introduction by our CEO Erik Lindberg, presenting our team and welcoming our guests.
After that, Henrik Petré presented his brand new – and the worlds first – Meta-analysis on flywheel training and effect on performance outcomes, setting a new baseline for coming MSc students at the University of Sports and Health Science in Stockholm (GIH). Combining the studies fitting the inclusion criteria, it seemed like the hypertrophy from flywheel training is comparable to regular weight training but the gains appear within a shorter time frame. Gains in maximal strength showed the largest effect size (ES 1.40) followed by Power (ES 1.00). Increases in both vertical and horizontal force production showed small effect sizes. Combining the data, it also seemed like younger trained subjects have more effect of training compared to older and less trained persons, which I’ll come back to in a later post. We also look forward to coming research since the underlying studies looking at performance outcomes are still rather few.
Next up was Ben Drury talking about “Eccentric training: Programming, planning and future directions”. Ben gave an excellent overview of the current knowledge, and also some peeks into the future with some really interesting ideas and studies showing how important the brain is during the eccentric contraction and how fatigue effects the brain. Ben gave some really good suggestions on how to implement eccentric training and there were many of us who will follow his coming work at Hartpury University closely. We are definitely going to invite Ben back again for another lecture.
Thereafter, we got to listen to Georgios Kakavas, physiotherapist from Greece, active in soccer and a clinic owner. He shared his knowledge about hamstring injuries, presenting on “Eccentric Training and Evidence Based Hamstring Injury Prevention Using the kBox”. Georgios gave a good foundation for the understanding of the mechanisms behind hamstring injuries and also advocated a more holistic approach by using both single and multi-joint drills and also drills to improve motor control to prevent injuries and in rehabilitation.
James Baker was the next speaker, on “Eccentric Training and The Younger Athlete”. An excellent speaker, James has implemented an innovative progression model for younger athletes at St Peter’s High School in Gloucester and he gave both an overview and details of what that plan looks like. He took us through it from the start with basic motor skills all the way to eccentric overload and gave interesting examples from his students’ development. This systematic approach that has been proven to work was a pure goldmine for attendees working not only with younger athletes, but with any subjects in a progression model since it’s all about assessing a baseline and build from that with a sound progression for long term results.
Mike Young, PhD, former White Caps fitness coach and founder of AthleticLab gave a talk on “Implementing Flywheel Training for Enhanced Athletic Performance and Injury Prevention”. Mike is a real pro and those 90 minutes just flied by. Mike gave a good background on how flywheel training and eccentrics is validated for different groups, not only young elite male athletes. He also showed a bunch of examples of how he used to do eccentric overload before and how he does it now using the kBox at AthleticLab instead. He also brought up several different benefits of feedback systems such as the kMeter, and pointed out that feedback alone increases gains from training, and showed how it can be used for progression monitoring and in season readiness monitoring.
Next was Cas Wolbert, physio and kBox power user from Holland representing his own clinic BijCas, the world’s first flywheel-only facilities. Under the title “From patient to Olympian – Flywheel in the Clinic” Cas showed his setup and what kind of patients they treat. The BijCas clinic cycles through a wide range of demographics, with over 1500 flywheel sessions in the last three months and they have data on every session! He also gave some case reports from subjects including Olympic fencer Bas Verwijlen who Cas treated as a patient and now is qualified for Rio. If you are a physiotherapist looking for inspiration and protocols on how to start incorporating the kBox in your clinic Cas is probably a good person to get first hand info on how to do that.
Then myself, Fredrik Correa, gave a compressed talk, both about how to do a standardized squat power test, the Exxentric education structure and also sharing some insights on our #kBoxPT16 project. In the PT project where we basically brought people off the street and put them into training on the kBox together with a personal trainer. We’ll do a separate post shortly, describing a 4 RM squat power test, with the vision of putting together a database with a wide range of subject from inactive to elite, male and female from young to seniors and how that work will be done.
Last but not least, the stage was entered by Sten Kaiser, PhD and Exxentrics physics advisor. Sten is the man behind the kMeter and the topic of the day was “The Power of Power“. Sten gave a physicist’s overview of the relationship between force, acceleration and power in relation to flywheel training. He also showed how different inertias and ranges of motion on the kBox can effect power outcomes, with crisp clear data from his own training.
To finish things off before the Summit dinner, CEO Erik Lindberg and myself gave a sneak peek into our vision for product development, showing a prototype for a major accessory to the kBox as well as the brand new Squat Hip Belt.
Beyond the attendees present in Stockholm, the Summit was followed by many more on social media. Only the tweets posted from the Exxentric account during the summit days were viewed almost 50,000 times. Also, thanks much to the great sharing work by many attendees, the official hashtag #ExxentricSummit trended on Swedish Twitter on Saturday.
In the evening, we had a great dinner at the Hilton restaurant overlooking the Old Town, and I think everyone made some new friends as the summer sun finally set over Stockholm.
I’m looking forward to staying in contact with all the bright and farsighted attendees, and I will try to pick up all your ideas and suggestions into building new and better products and services to fulfil the great promise of flywheel training.
/Fredrik Correa, Head of Research & Development