Some people get injured when they work out, yet others do not.
Some people get better results from training compared to their peers.
Are these things predictable? Can those who get hurt or see minimal gains tweak their strategies to be more successful?
Injuries that occur through strength and speed training should be rare.
Sometimes they are the result of poor technique, lifting too much weight, or poor program design, but let's assume that none of those are concerns here.
The only other reason some get injured through exercise is because they have one or more underlying dysfunctions in their movements.
Basically, your movement inefficiencies act like 'ticking time bombs' that will inevitably go off some day when you perform a high intensity activity like lifting heavy weights or sprinting full speed.
If you want to massively lower your injury risk from exercise, you need to train to remove these dysfunctions.
Other people do not have these underlying inefficiencies, so training to fix them is a waste of their time. They should be fully focusing on the physical deficits in their game, because it takes a serious amount of time and effort to change them.
Deficits are the things you aren't naturally as good at.
For example, maybe you aren't the strongest or most muscular person in the your sport, but need to be next season.
Perhaps you're a step too slow.
Or you are not as fit as your peers.
The challenge with training to build up a deficit is that you have to push yourself to improve on things that aren't particularly comfortable, and don't come easy for you.
Simply put, you have to work on what you're bad at.
And from a big picture perspective, It is your ability to know when to train for dysfunction vs deficiencies that will help you to train smarter than a large majority of the workout world today.
Here are two examples to illustrate the point.
Training To Parallel Squat 300 lbs.
Before working up to heavier weight, your training focus instead should start by fixing dysfunctions if your:
- knees buckle in under heavy load
- hip mobility or balance limits your ability to squat low
- ankles roll inward
- back rounds due to a lack of core strength or hip mobility
If none of those are an issue, your emphasis should be on progressively increasing weight over time no matter how much you hate the discomfort.
Athletes who desire more explosiveness in their sport can't duck leg day, especially if it doesn't come easy for them.
Improving Your Speed
Many dysfunctions can limit your ability to run fast. Some of the more common ones are:
- Literally ALL of the things listed above for squats
- Deficit in leg strength and power
- Deficit in coordination
- Inefficiency in your sprint technique, like pointing your toes down as just one example.
Any of those will limit your speed potential, and make your sprint training minimally effective.
But if you're good with all those above?
Now we can hammer away at the deficit.
Regular work with resisted sprints, assisted sprints...these training techniques become so much more effective once you move well.
Training at fast speeds will have a much greater impact on your development when you have an efficient stride.
The trick in both of these examples, along with countless other workout-related examples for exercisers of all ages, is knowing when to train your dysfunctions versus when to train your deficits.
All the best athletes have coaches and trainers who guide them through this, maximizing their workout time far beyond what they could do on their own..
To make the biggest progress from training in the shortest period of time, you need to be doing the same.