The Unconditional Truth You Must Follow To Get The Best Results From Your Training

If you are in school and have a test coming up, how do you determine what to study?
Naturally you'd study the subject - history, science, etc - that you are having the test for.
But you wouldn't study just anything, you'd focus on the specific chapter or topic that the test will cover.
Pretty straightforward, right?
Now let's compare that to how many workout programs run today.
Let's say we're training to get stronger, or get faster, or whatever your determined outcome is.
Are exercises just thrown together, or does your workout develop specific skills in the way you'll need them in your sport?
Let's take a few common examples.
1) Using an agility ladder to develop speed.
Yes you can get your feet to move quickly, but speed in sport has much more to do with getting a powerful separation from your front thigh to the back one.
Speed development should focus primarily on power gains, and less on quick foot taps.
Using ladders too often may also create a 'drop foot' running style, where your toes point down too often in your stride instead of staying locked up towards your shin. That will both slow you down, and lead to more lower body aches and pains.
2) Emphasizing strength for your sport almost exclusively through barbell bench pressing, deadlifting and squatting.
All three are great exercises to build muscle mass and overall strength.
The issue here is that your limbs move independently, often counterbalancing each other, during athletic events.
To play strong, you need to train and develop all the stabilizer muscles that allow you to move powerfully one limb at a time.
Barbell drills eliminate the development of these stabilizers.
In many athletes, this leads to careers where they perform far better in the weight room than they do in their sport.
3) Using planks, sit ups & crunches to build your core.
All three are useful for building endurance in your midsection.
True core strength has almost nothing to do with endurance, it is about timing.
Every time you run at full speed, a shockwave of force runs through your lower body and up though your core. Those whose core stabilizer muscles have the ability to both activate immediately AND absorb high forces will play faster, show better posture, and demonstrate less fatigue in games.
To go back to the school test analogy above, in each case you are studying the right subject, but you're in the wrong chapter.
One of the first things sports performance coaches learn is the 'SAID' Principle.
SAID stands for Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands.
Simply put, it means that your body will incrementally adapt to the exact type of training you do, and nothing else.
If you want to play faster, move fast in similar ways to how you play.
If you want to get stronger, incorporate progressive resistance training with exercises that most closely mimic athletic movement.
If you want to get more fit, challenge your cardiovascular system in similar work and rest periods as your sport and position demand.
If you want someone to improve their quickness, train not just their footwork but also their decision making speed the way it would be challenged in sport.
Getting an edge on your competition through training means not just having a workout program in place.
The edge comes from designing smarter workout programs, ones where every exercise, every work and rest period, every rep count, is all prescribed with an eye towards the exact end result you want.
Unlike the school test, a teacher won't be there to immediately grade your workout program.
Ultimately, your grade will come from how much better you get on the field, ice, or court in the coming months and years.

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