Sign that a strength training program will work

Posted: January 7, 2017 in From my vantage point

There are many factors that will make a strength and conditioning training program successful. Some of it are controllable while some are not.

One factor is the willingness of the athletes to carry out the program. It now seems that this is hugely influenced by social media. And guess who controls the social media? It is the big businesses who have money to pay public relations firms, advertising companies, and similar entities who can make people believe in something just by constantly feeding them the information about products they are selling. They present it in a very entertaining way. Ideas can be presented as scientific facts even if it is only partially true. Or worst, not true at all. Observe the advertisements and ads on TV and social media.

mid-air-split-jerk

The Split jerk is a very quick lift but it takes a few sessions to get it right. Sometimes you have to be good in 2 or more exercises  in order to do the split jerk well. It takes time to learn this.

 

I feel that as a Strength coach, I am fighting an uphill battle. Athletes sometimes come to the gym with a lot of preconceived notion of what is strength training. Some of them are grossly misinformed. It takes time to explain to them the process that they are undergoing. The worst situation is when their coach and even other support staff are also misinformed about strength training. It takes even longer to notice lasting effects. But not everyone is patient enough.

Sometimes I hear remarks that the strength training program is boring. Isn’t there a more fun way of doing it? I guess this is where science has to be blended with art. Sometimes the strength coach would make things entertaining. But only to a certain point. A very fundamental principle is that if we are to excel in anything, there should be consistency of effort. That needs consistent stimulus which is progressive in nature. Translated simply in strength training as: lifting consistently with gradually increasing intensity or volume. You have to train with the same exercises for a considerable amount of time, like months to years, in order to elicit a significant change. If we keep changing the exercises every session without having established a good lifting habit, skill, and strength, we end up doing an inefficient training program. This is because positive adaptations, if any,  would be minimal.

A strength training program would lead an athlete from their current zone into uncomfortable levels so as to make them adapt and perform better. It is mostly not fun. It is usually boring. Even intimidating at times.  Egos get hurt.

These training programs usually make use of the same free weight exercises. The may take many weeks before there seems to be some change. But they also change the athlete into someone who is stronger, and more resilient. Sometimes the athletes themselves may not notice the change. But if they have been writing down their training loads, they would realize it.

So if your strength training program uses almost the same barbell, or dumbell, or kettlebell exercises for weeks to months at a time; and is hard and boring, stick with it. It will make you stronger. You are in the gym to train. You are not there to be entertained.

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