Random Thoughts: October Edition

Every month I try to put out a post with 10 or so random thoughts in regards to strength and conditioning. Here is the October edition.

  1. As Pablo Picasso famously said, “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.” Look at every single performer better then you and see what they’ve got that you can use. Then make it your own. Steal without apology.
  2. The most important aspect of strength and conditioning is transfer. If the exercises you are doing isn’t transferring over to the sport your athletes are playing and helping the athletes you coach get better at their sport, it might not be the right exercise.
  3. Our field is notorious for arguing over the best training practices, the value/worth of specific exercises, and basically fighting over who is right and who is wrong on every little detail in the world of sport performance. But in reality, at the end of the day the only thing that really matter are results. Are the athletes you coach healthy, successful at their sport, and getting stronger/better in the weight room and enjoying the time they are spending with you? If the answer is yes to all of those questions, I don’t know how anyone can argue with what it is you are doing.
  4. “The point of lifting weights is to force stress into movement patterns.” Gray Cook
  5. To slightly piggyback off the previous thought , so many people complain about certain exercises that hurt them, aggravate them, or don’t feel great when doing them. Here is a real simple thought: eliminate movements/exercises that bother you. People/coaches are way to stuck on certain exercises and think you ‘have’ to be doing them. Again, the point of lifting weights is to force stress into movement patterns. Train the movement pattern, progress it from week to week, and watch people get better.
  6. If a movement is something that you consider functional and you have athletes getting injured in the weight room, either the movement isn’t really functional, it is being performed with too much external load, or the movement is being performed off of a non-functional base. Either way, you shouldn’t be getting hurt in the weight room.
  7. ‘Why’ should be at the center of your circle, not ‘what’. Think about that when programming.
  8. Hamstring injuries are typically because of one of two things; one, people have a weak anterior core and two, they don’t use their glutes well in conjunction with their hamstrings during movement. Think more anti-extension core work like plank progressions, rollouts, and body saws to improve a weak anterior core. Think tennis ball hip bridge with an exhale to (in through the nose at the bottom, bridge, 5 second exhale at the top of the bridge) to improve rib and pelvic positioning (helping people bridge with the hip as opposed to the low back) along with better core contribution when trying to get the glutes and hamstrings to work more synergistically.
  9. Simplicity and systems make coaching extremely easy. Keeping things simple and having a well thought out system of progressions and regressions makes things work extremely well and smooth.
  10. Force is not just expressed concentrically. Isometric and eccentric strength is critical for overall athletic development – yet is overlooked constantly.

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