Succeeding in high performance sport requires many people and many things to come together. Working together as a team is paramount in order to ensure success. As a strength and conditioning coach, my job is to create the training plan that is optimal for you as the athlete. As an athlete, you have a myriad other factors you need to work on. You’re putting in the work physically and mentally while also working on specific skills, nutrition, sleep, etc. That being said, the reason I come up with the plan is so that you don’t have to. You don’t need to research the science, set priorities of training variables and set your own loads. This is for a few reasons, but mainly because it’s a lot of work you shouldn’t worry about and because you would have trouble being objective. If you had to choose your own training, my experience has taught me that your emphasis tends to get put on the wrong variables. For that reason, my message to athletes is this: Stick to the Plan!
want power? Train for it
Telling an athlete to stick to the plan seems obvious, of course he would do what the strength coach wants, right? The problem here is that there are way too many variables that LOOK like they matter. In football for example, athletes tend to get caught up in trying to be the biggest, baddest motherf#$*ers on the planet. Look at the NFL, those guys are jacked AND fast. Guess what, they also tend to be very good at football. The problem is, you start to focus too much on size and definition and you are no longer doing all your tasks with the intention of becoming a better football player. In fact, getting “bigger” or heavier could now actually become detrimental to your athleticism. The extra time and sets you put in to get a bigger chest or arms took away from time you could have been sprinting, working on positional skills or learning your plays. I get it though, you want to look like The Rock in Hercules, but guess what, he wasn’t training that way when he played in the CFL – different priorities.
We all know if you go H.A.M. in the gym you’ll probably see some results. Anyone can do that. We aren’t just looking for SOME results , this is high performance sport. We want to be elite. We want to be THE BEST, not second place. This is why you shouldn’t just be doing any workout, you should have a very specific dedicated plan for the exact thing you hope to achieve in that session/block/program.
The plan is what has been chosen for you in that session/block/program. Just like Cory mentioned in his article about Muscle Confusion we must be absolutely clear as to what we want from our body in each movement of each session. The sessions have been programmed for a specific goal or specific goals. The movements in each session, the session in each block and the block in each program has its specific place. If we focus right down to each movement, we should be able to follow each step up the chain until we see the results that we wanted out of the program. If you’re not programming specifically for specific results, then you’re doing it wrong. If you want to be faster, train speed and program to optimize it. Likewise with: strength, power or size/hypertrophy. You can’t do a random program and hope to get specific results. Here’s an example of when Cory worked toward his 35″ vert. This is a video of him hitting a PR on the way; he kept testing and working toward that specific goal…(he ended up at 35.3″!)
This isn’t amateur, this is high performance sport. If you’re not getting someone to make a specific plan for you, then you’re probably not going to improve where you want to. Always remember Rule #1: Stick to the plan.
It’s About Getting Better!