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  • Tyler Hakamaki

13 Takeaways from Bondarchuk Principles

13 Takeaways from Jake Jensen’s overview of the Bondarchuk principles; exercise classification, transfer of training, athlete adaptation profiles & periodization models.

1) General exercise selection to specific exercise selection can be thought of as a pyramid.

General exercises at the bottom, building the base for specific exercises towards the top.

2) The most specific way to perform an exercise is to do it the exact same way it’ll be done on competition day.

3) General exercises at the base may not enhance sport outcomes.

4) Novice athletes will improve results with nearly any form training. Elite athletes are well adapted to a variety of training. General exercises might not raise their level of performance and could possibly even lower it.

5) New stimulus for elite athletes need to target specific weaknesses.

6) Exercise Form = The muscle groups involved. Exercise function = Global muscle action.

7) Bondarchuk exercises classification (Specific to general)

Competitive exercise

(Competition style)

Specific development exercise

(Mimics comp movement in either form or function)

Special prep exercise

(Same muscle group as comp exercise but not done in comp equipment or intensity)

General prep exercise

(Builds muscle group related to comp exercise but not done in comp equipment or intensity)

8) As competition gets closer, become more specific in exercise selection.

9) Run test exercises evaluating the progress of the athlete to ensure training effectiveness. “Otherwise the coach would only be able to test progress of training at the time of competition & by then it’s too late”

10) Limit the amount of variables & methods used during a block so you can more accurately understand what aspects of the training are causing the effect/results.

11) “If you as a coach change the weight on an exercise every session (progressive overload) & then change out the exercise every week it’s pretty much impossible to know whether load or exercise selection contributed to the results.”

12) Athletes adapt to training differently. “Some athletes take longer to reach their potential in sets of exercises. If you are constantly switching it up, you are limiting their maximal potential.

13) “Exercise in the special development stage of training are selected with the intent of honing sports skills. When the athlete performs these types of specialized, specific, highly technical movements repeatedly with no change in load or volume, profound gains in sports performance are found.”


- Form follows function

- Weekly single repetitions at prescribed RPE are a way to test program effectiveness for powerlifting.

- Want to get better at a sport? Practice how you play.

- Specificity is important for transfer to sport

Post by:

Tyler Hakamaki, BS Exercise Physiology, Reflexive Performance Reset level 2, USAPL-CC


Jensen, J. (2016, June 20). Making Sense of Bondarchuk-Exercise Classification. Retrieved from

Jensen, J. (2016, July 06). Making Sense of Bondarchuk-Transfer of Training. Retrieved from

Jensen, J. (2016, September 06). Making Sense of Bondarchuk: Athlete Adaptation Profiles. Retrieved from

Jensen, J. (2016, December 06). Making Sense of Bondarchuk: Periodization Models. Retrieved from

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