Monday, October 10, 2016

Don't Be An "A"Hole

Alternate Title:
Don't call yourself a strongman if you are NOT!!!

The inescapable theme pervading modern strength training is the idea of "work Your Weaknesses". Very good and practical advice for elite lifters and strength athletes, however for the less advanced it may, in fact, be problematic at best.

   ...…...How can addressing your weaknesses ever be a "bad" idea you ask.......

Let's say Strongman "A" is new to strongman and new to strength sports in general. "A" competes in a local event and does well in the NOVICE division. After reviewing his performance "A" identifies overhead pressing as his prevailing weakness.
        ………...Sounds Logical So Far You Say.................

"A' now prioritizes his training to bring up his OHP to the standards of his other events
(strengths), But remember "A" is a novice and his "good" events are likely abysmal by national standards! So now after a full training cycle "A" is (potentially) a rounded novice.............not MY idea of a well developed long term goal!

I submit that "A's" better course of action would be to implement a more basic and rounded training protocol with the goal of bringing up  his body weight and general strength to a more "nationally" competitive level. It is my experience as a coach that often just training to be STRONG for an extended period of time has the unexpected (too many) effect of "smoothing out" weaknesses!

So many times an "A" type lifter will come to me for coaching and say something like "I'm 100kg and my OHP (or whatever) isn't as good as the other 105kg guys" My response is always YOU NEED 5kg BEFORE YOU CAN MAKE A COMPARISON! 5kg is a WHOPPING pile of muscle, even in unrelated/ correlated muscle groups it will have a measurable impact on OHP performance! Trust me as a coach, no amount of shoulder specialization will pile on 5kg of raw muscle!!!!

My goal here is not to question the value of knowing and evaluation your weaknesses, but rather to question the standard (the prevailing standard that is) definition of weakness!

As a rough guide, I'd say if you do not have a minimum of a double bodyweight squat and deadlift and perhaps a bodyweight or better bench press you may not use the term "Strongman" to describe yourself no matter how many times you've competed!.

Evil Genius Sports Performance, 2016©
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