Progression in the weight room is not solely based on external loading (i.e. how much absolute weight lifted). Progress can be accomplished in various ways in order to improve performance, movement options, fitness, experience, and may even assist in external loading abilities.
Here are some valuable elements of client/athlete progress:
See the whole forest before seeing one tree:
Then work backwards, learn and coach basis exercises, optimize the exercises that you do, accumulate volume, then use your tools to intervene only when a barrier towards fitness/performance is encountered.
When we learn something new about movement problems during continuing education events or within systems we tend to start with, how can I fix this person’s movement problems?
We tend to want a clean slate to work from but we are not going to give people a clean slate with movement. We have very limited time with people, thus limited influence. The best thing we can do is use the tools to address movement problems to develop fitness.
Addressing movement problems is a need but not a necessity, the majority of the time. Don’t let the tools you have acquired to become the barrier towards fitness.
The use of passive constraints to manipulate a task: External objects are used to assist in finding certain references and muscles.
* The dumbbell behind the foot is used to find heels and hamstrings. The ball between the knees is used to find adductors. The weight in the hand is used to find abs and close a space. The weight of the cable can be used to reach and feel a scapula move.
* Training Principle: Proximal structure position influences movement of distal structures
* Focused Attention: Heels. Opening a side of the thorax and closing the opposite side.
* Guided Experience: Initiate questions before providing feedback. What was that like? How did that feel?
Creating an exercise to match intent. The intent of the exercise is to transition from leg to leg working on frontal plane mechanics.
* The chop will assist in centering over a leg: stacking the nose over the zipper line, over the knee, over the big toe.
* Training Principle: All athletic skill acquisition includes the ability to transition from leg to leg; gait, skating, throwing a ball, or changing direction (push mechanics).
* Guided Experience: What was that like? How did that feel? Where do you feel your weight? Why do you think this is important?
* Focused Attention: Arch of the foot.
* Client accomplished a personal record weight in the Trap Bar Deadlift which was an externally focused activity. To finish the session, we turned to thinking about the body and feeling muscles in specific areas, which was an internally focused activity.
Bring me to the 10th floor from the LOBBY.
In reference to full range of motion at a joint; It’s okay if you start in the lobby and ask for ten floors then return back to the lobby, but what happens if you start on the 5th floor?
This is an analogy for consequences.
We like to make things simple: If I program hang cleans, the athlete will get more explosive and perform their sport better. Boom. It’s as easy as that, right? It is more complex and multi-factorial.
Sports Performance is governed by a complex interaction of variables.
Trainers/Coaches should explore knowledge of how psychological, physiological, biomechanical (Human), and environmental (Environment) factors interact with the performance outcome/result (Task/goal).
A Process for Creativity in Exercise Selection
The goal of the process is to match intent with strategy to create an exercise then coach the exercise with proper execution. An exercise is the loading of tissues for mechanical and physiological benefits. Positions are the shapes in which the body is placed to target specific muscles to move bones and to be able to target as much muscle mass as possible.
The process of exercise selection can be overwhelming without a process. Choosing exercises should have a purpose and we should explore our creativity based upon that purpose instead of choosing exercises and rationalizing them later. We tend to choose exercises based on certain loading abilities and associations instead of a specific intention.
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