Monday, July 8, 2013

Train Simply

Strength is simple, but not easy.

Below is an article that I saw recently in Greg Everetts newsletter from Catalyst Athletics. I like his no nonsense, common sense approach to training. Today we have unprecedented and unlimited access to information. It's a great time to be alive. However sometimes the quantity of information can be so overwhelming that it's hard to sort out what is quality and what is garbage. I like Greg's succinct statement here on how to sort through the glut of training information. In my own experience I have found a few basics to be true. Pardon my cliches, but I think you'll get the message. 
There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Anything works for awhile, nothing works forever.
The best ideas are simple.
Simple is not the same as easy.
Easy never works for long.
Most of what is promoted as new ideas are actually old if you really know your history.
You can't ignore health when you are seeking performance. 
Those are just a few of my training maxims. Below is Greg's take....

Training Tip: Try New Things; Unless They're Stupid

I'm all for experimentation when it comes to training and coaching. I'm always interested in new ideas and am willing to test things out in the real world to see what kind of results they produce. Often I end up experimenting with my own training first, then trying things I've found successful with my lifter; this helps cut down on the dumb things they have to do.

This said, you need to think critically and consider the principles of new ideas before actually implementing them. If you spend a bunch of time trying every single new idea out there, you're going to waste a lot of time moving backwards. Before trying something, think for a moment: Does it even make sense?

There are a lot of ideas floating around in the digital ether these days, most posited by people with zero experience or credentials in the area in which they're offering unsolicted advice. This is a good tip-off right off the bat--if this idea comes from someone who has no experience in the field we're talking about, they would have to impress the shit out of me to even get me to listen. This is classic armchair quarterbacking: eveyone has the answers to everyone else's problems until they have to actually make those answers work with real people in the real world.

When someone says, "This thing works really well," they better have some athletes who have demonstrated that effectiveness. Otherwise it's just more internet pontification and no better than the advice from the next eleven-teen year-old on your favorite forum.

You don't have to be cynical (like me), but be skeptical. Invest your time and your athletes' time wisely instead of acting on every whim or fancy.

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