Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The WHY!!

In a previous entry I touched on the discussion I have with my trainers about what separates a great strength and conditioning coach from an average coach. Unfortunately, many fitness professionals are taught using a particular training method and never really understand the Why? What is the Why? A good  example starts by picking an exercise that you have performed during your last workout.  Let’s say it is an interval session on the Versaclimber.  By the way, this piece of equipment is an integral part of our training and we use it regularly at Titan. I feel it is one of the best pieces of cardio equipment anywhere.  If you can find a commercial center that uses one it is a good sign.  In most centers this equipment collects a lot of dust. So, you are going to do intervals of 30 seconds with a 15 second rest for a total of 6 min. When you start evaluating this exercise the whys add up quickly.  For example, why 30 seconds? Why a 15 second rest? Why not a shorter interval and a longer rest or vice versa?   What intensity will you produce and why?  How many 6 min intervals will you perform and why.  Why did you perform an exercise or did not perform an exercise before the intervals and why will you do what you do after.  Why is it on this day of the week?   Why are you performing these intervals 1-2-3 times or more per week if at all?  Why are you performing them at this level of volume and intensity this time of the year?  What will follow in the days and weeks to come and how and why does this session impact those exercises.  
The answer to these questions and understanding the science behind the answers is typically where the wheels come off in training.  If you are looking for the best use of your training time you better start asking why you are performing a particular exercise.  Ask a trainer and you will be surprised at the answers or lack of answers.  In many cases it is similar to when you were a child and your mom or dad did not have an answer so they said “because”.   Intensity of a workout is oftentimes the smoke and mirrors and the “because “of poor training.  Many trainers make a workout so hard that you will crawl out of the session and the perceived value will be greater so you will not ask why.

Developing higher levels of human performance is a dynamic process.  There are so many variables that affect the progress of an individual that if a trainer cannot answer the why progress will slow dramatically.
With the concept of “Why” in mind I am going to change the format of the blog.  I am going to begin with a concept that is important to training and discuss the why. 

Train smart, have fun, and you will prevail!

Jacques DeVore, CSCS

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