There just comes a time in all of our lives when we must evaluate what exactly it is that we’re doing and why. When it comes to training, business, and just life in general we’ve got to ask ourselves the question…”Is what I’m doing working worth a damn, or not?”
Well today I’m going to take a stab at answering this very question for you in about 10 different ways. Ok, I’ll try to at least as it pertains to your own strength and conditioning program. So let’s get this party started shall we?
In case you aren’t familiar with my background I’ll brief you by telling you that I’ve been a strength and conditioning coach and trainer now for over 13 years. I’ve been around the block a time or ten and as you may know experience is a hell of driving force when it comes to solving problems. I mean God knows I’ve made enough mistakes over the years, but the beauty of making them is that you should learn from them and I can certainly attest to that.
Also if any coach, or any other person for that matter, tells you that they’ve never made a mistake then they are full of sh*t. The first way to avoid making a mistake yourself is to avoid people (and coaches) like that. Now on to the mission at hand.
So today im writing here on Shreddybrek, Adam has allowed me to tee off on whatever topic geared towards strength that I want to. To me this is a very awesome thing for Adam to do because he’s obviously done a great job with the wealth of information that he offers here on his platform. So I’ll work hard and do my best to not dilute the quality for both you guys (the readers) and Adam.
So right out of the gate I want lean on my experience and education to share with you some reasons (which are some I’ve witnessed with various other organizations and their programs over the years) why your strength and conditioning program may be just flat out sucking! That’s right, I’ve even gone to the trouble here to formulate my own Top 10 list that would make Letterman himself jealous. Ok I’ll let you be the judge of that. So here we go…
10 Reasons Why Your Strength And Conditioning Program Sucks!
1. Lack Of Resources: Now before everyone here gets all bent out of shape let me clarify something. When I say “lack of resources” I’m not necessarily referring to equipment or space. As a matter of fact, I’m not referring to either one of those at all. I’m referring to a lack of sound knowledge, and most importantly the application of that knowledge!
If you don’t know what the hell you need to be doing in order to get better at reaching your goals then your program will suck. Believe it or not I’ve seen strength coaches that struggled mightily in this arena. It’s not about how nice the weight room can be. Trust me, any numb nuts can be put into a nice situation to sit there and look pretty, but the test is that are they able to get the most out of the athlete(s)? I’d rather have a coach that could do a lot with a little rather than it being the other way around.
2. Lack Of Specificity: Dude, do you Crossfit? Dude, do you Powerlift? How about “Dude what is it exactly that you do” and then we’ll determine what we need to be doing in the weight room. Look, don’t misunderstand me because I’m not bashing Crossfit, Powerlifting, or any other model.
I mean if those methods serve the interest of the trainee in question then more power to them. However if they are looking for specific improvements in their performance based upon their sport or physical needs then I’m about addressing those specifics rather than blanketing them with a generic Crossfit, Bodybuilding, or Powerlifting model as the single go to answer across the board.
The fact is that too many people these days are too easily swayed to perceive the most popular training model at the time to be the “end all” answer to everything in the realm of performance and even in the cure of cancer and world peace. This my friend is just simply not true.
3. Poor Programming To Build A Gorilla Posture: Yep, I remember coming up through high school and college and all I remember any of the coaches and players talking about was how much such and such individual could bench. Now thinking back much of that same mindset exists today.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the bench press as a staple of upper body strength, but it can get a bit overused in this day and age while leading to that big bad gorilla! Let me explain a bit further here.
4. False Hope In A Magical Pill Or Solution: Ah ha! You know what I’m talking about here my friend. How many times have you heard about that awesome “NEW” training that’s going on down the street? You know the one I’m talking about!
I’m talking about the Magical Program, or the Magical Pill that’s going to get you twice the results in half the time! I’ll explain further on that myth here.
5. Lack Of Time Efficient Training: God knows I’ve heard this one from many people over the years that supposedly want to commit to a strength and conditioning program. That familiar statement “Well I just don’t have enough time to train!” Look, regardless of what model of training you’re following learn how to stick to the program. Cut out the distractions and focus only on what is necessary. Looking cool in the mirror and playing with your i-pod just ain’t going to cut it!
6. Poor Lifting Technique: To me this one is HUGE. I’m always hammering away on the importance of lifting technique to my students. My program (based on the athletes I train) generally falls in line with being more of a hybrid type of training with parts emphasizing both strength and endurance.
Because of this I love implementing kettlebells into the recipe a great deal of the time. Poor lifting technique is a killer when the application of any training implement falls victim to such nonsense, but I decided to address this specifically with problems I’ve had to correct with the kettlebell swing right here.
7. Lack Of Persistence: This one really makes me want to Thai kick something! As a strength coach I will tell you that I would rather have 10 guys or girls willing to run through a brick wall everyday rather than 10 so-called talented individuals that would rather sleepwalk through an offseason training program.
There is no substitute for hard work, discipline, and a balls to the wall tenacity of fighting to get to a goal. I’d definitely rather work with a ball buster rather than some overly hyped Prima Donna.
8. Poor Nutrition: It seems like that in this day and age people have truly overcomplicated nutrition. People are quick to perceive that it’s this diet or that diet that is the absolute answer to everything. People amaze me at how quick they want to complicate shit.
It’s really simple. Just eat foods that are good for you and avoid the shit that is bad for you, period. Now I know there are exceptions and people have food allergies, gluten allergies, etc. Don’t be stupid. Any individual that knows what those are are going to be avoiding those in the first place.
The key is just making sure you eat what works for you. If you eat a truckload of baked potatoes and cheeseburgers chances are you’re going to put on a lot of weight. On the flip side if you eat plenty of lean proteins, vegetables, and stay clear of the junk chances are you’re going to lose weight, or body fat if you’re training intelligently.
Simplify and persist with the following logic. Which is better for me? The Apple or the Snickers bar? If you use this logic across the board with everything that goes into your body chances are your strength and conditioning program will drastically improve!
9. Overemphasizing Form Over Function: Now I understand this is huge bodybuilding platform and I first want to make it clear that I love bodybuilding. I mean Schwarzenegger himself had a lot to do with me getting into this business in the first place.
Arnold has also been quick to point out (as I am doing here) that many bodybuilders and people in the general fitness community overlook and even avoid the foundational movements needed to build a strong body when it comes to lifting and competing.
I know that a large part of bodybuilding movements consist of single joint movements such as concentration curls, leg extensions, and tricep extensions. These single joint movements, as well as those performed on machines in a fixed plane of motion can serve their purpose to be a great supplement in the development of a complete “Form” or ideal physique.
However, if the foundational lifts and general function of a body is neglected the ideal “Form” of the athlete in question will never be achieved. One thing I always like to point out is that a good looking body doesn’t always equate to a great functioning body, but a great functioning body can always equate to being a good looking body! Let that sink in for a second!
Ok, now go squat, deadliftt, and bench something.
10. Athleticism Equivalent To Frankenstein: Ok I had to throw this one in to round off the top 10. I know I’m a strength guy, but I’m also about being able to move. Just remember that regardless of your sport your body is a machine that is designed for movement.
Over the years I’ve seen many guys lose focus of this. They usually fall victim to this by just solely honing in on their quest for strength (or form) to the point that they allow their ability for optimal movement to degrade faster than Kim Kardashian’s ability to be famous just for being famous. I don’t know what that means, but let’s just go with it.
The point is that you don’t want the athleticism of Frankenstein. You want to train your body for movement and to make sure you include athletic based drills involving agility, plyometrics, and just some form of good old fashioned sprinting. This is what I like to refer to as keeping the blade sharp!
I hope you enjoyed my guest post here today on Shreddy Brek and I hope I didn’t disappoint. I want to once again thank Adam for this opportunity to come on his site and to express the methods behind my madness.
Additionally if you would like to learn more on how you can improve your own strength and conditioning program please make sure you subscribe to become one of my members and to receive my 2 training guides here for FREE one of which is my push up guide the “10 Step Method To Strength: Mastering The One Arm One Legged Push Up!”
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I always like to end by saying that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart! Start your smart training here today my friend.