If you have been following us on the Gram here: @beastsensor you might have noticed an awesome Bobsled Team from Germany who is making moves in their sport: @bobteam_altschaeffl. These guys have a diverse background in sport and have come together and are competing at the National Level! We had the chance to catch up with team Captain and Pilot Korbi Altschäffl while they were on the road traveling and are looking forward to having them visit the Beast HQ for some VBT training!
First let’s meet the team:
Korbinian Altschäffl – Pilot – Played American Football for 6 years as a running back and was a member of the Junior National Team (Germany). In 2015: Semi Final GFL 2015 and Vice Champion European Football League 2015.
Christian David – Brakeman – Junior National Team Member and German National Team Judo- 2011-2014
Dominik Diels – Brakeman - American Football Player (Linebacker) in the GFL
Bobteam Altschäffl :
German Junior Championships 7th Place
2016 Bavarian Vice Champions
2017 Germany Cup 2017:
– 2. Place (Königssee)
– 2. Place (Altenberg)
Beast: Korbi, tell us how you and the team have been integrating Beast in your training?
Korbi: We use the beast sensor in our strength and jump workouts. We always track our main strength lifts. If it’s classic Barbell stuff like Squats, Deadlifts and Olympic Lifts (yeah we actually only train lower body movements – no time for international chestday haha) we’ll measure the velocity. The kind of velocity we aim for depends on the training element, on full range squats and deadlifts we choose the main velocity option. However, we also do a lot of partial squats/deadlifts from different heights, lifts against bands/chains or different olympic lift variations where we focus on peak velocity because of less or non deceleration and we always keep an eye at the power per set. When we are doing machine work like leg press we will only use the sensor to track volume, reps and sets. We don’t track our assisted lifts because most times they aren’t planned before the training but more so depend on how we are feeling and our daily needs. Also, the little extra work that I do daily like 100x hyper-extensions, 100x leg curls, 100x core/abs don’t have to be measured because they’re always the same. Our jumps are often a mix between weighted jumps (Squatjumps, Barbell Jumps, etc.), body-weight jumps (hurdles, broad-jumps etc.) and more specific stuff like speed bounds. We always measure jumps with vertical direction, it doesn’t matter if it’s weighted jumps (for power) or body weight jumps (more reactive orientated) and the beast vest works perfect for jumps. We are focusing again here on the peak velocity and power output (if it’s weighted jumps).
Beast: What is the team training philosophy as bobsled athletes have to have both speed and power?
Korbi: The main goal of bobsleigh athletes is to be as strong and powerful as a weightlifter but as fast and explosive as a 100m sprinter. In the best case scenario, we are the optimal mix of both. So, to summarize our training style: we are training like sprinters with more focus on the strength work. At the same time we need to have a body weight of about 100-110kg which is a lot heavier than a sprinter. So the best fitting motto would be “bigger,stronger,faster”! Our philosophy is to always train smart and optimally. A big problem in our sport is that most training elements (jumps, sprints, main lifts, pushing a sled) have a high impact on the central nervous system so fatigue plays a big role in planning the week of a bobsleigh athlete. A basic rule for us is to be fresh and ready for the more specific sessions (sprint, pushtrack or the race itself). You need to add in the rest factor around these sessions in the most optimal way. Velocity Based Training with the Beast Sensor gives us a great solution to handle this difficult situation much easier. Before an important session like sprints, we can set specific velocity ranges that helps us, for example, prep our CNS for the “big session”. This situation often occurs during the season, which is currently going on. Imagine you have a race every weekend.. during the whole week you wake up at 6:00 – eat breakfast – get yourself and the sled ready for the first runs which are at 9:00-11:30 – eat lunch – go back to the track for another session from 3:00-6:00 PM – eat again – finally it’s time for your athletic sessions – after working out we go back to the garage to our sled to prep it for the next day – and then go to bed at 11:30 PM. If you repeat this process 5 days a week it’ll become pretty hard to do your work in the weight-room or on the track. Sometimes you physically don’t feel ready to hit your normal 75% for power cleans of your PR. Our lifting 1RM changes daily. In race weeks we mostly just choose the mode for the exercise (power, velocity, etc.) and hit the right weight. In the off season or off weeks we plan more specifically with our own velocity ranges to differ more between strength-speed, speed-strength, accelerative strength etc.
Beast: How did you measure performance/results before Beast? And how is your process more optimized after implementing Beast?
Most of us planned it by classic % based method. This wasn’t a bad way but in the end you never know if the weight was optimal without the velocity. We also measured our performance with jump tests (vertical, broad), 1RM tests or sprint times. To be honest in the end the only result that counts is how fast can you push the sled on the track! Our methods worked well, no hate about it, but the with the Beast Sensor it is easier and a lot faster to optimize your training daily. For example you cannot test your 1RM everyday that doesn’t make sense or test by jumps and notice your broadjump and it is 20cm less then normal… what are you gonna do now? You know that you need probably less weight on the bar for your speed squats. But how much % less? That’s why training with beast is a lot more effective even if your try measure your performance with other tests like we did.
Beast: What are your favorite features?
Korbi: Oh that’s hard to say, there are a lot cool features. What I really like is the power per set feature because most of our training is focused on power. It doesn’t matter how much drop there is in my power(if there is one), I will change the weight in order to stay at the top. The second will be the option between main and peak velocity because we focus on both a lot. To be honest there are still a lot more that I like which include the timeclock, the different modes etc.
Beast: How has Beast helped to improve your athlete’s workouts?
Korbi: To choose the weights scientifically based and not by (wrong) feeling. We actually can only use the Sensor for our GPP work.Optimizing our GPP work, improves our SPP like sprints with sled, running style jumps etc. and all that in the end improves our performance at the sled.
Overall, we have really benefited from adding in VBT and the Beast Sensor to our training. The live feedback and scientific data helps us train everyday optimally both for to prepare for the season as well as keeping us in top shape during the season!
Make sure to check these guys out next season and we wish them the best of luck in their offseason training and looking forward to seeing them compete at the highest level next season!