Our bodies are incredible machines capable of incredible feats of strength. We see it across a variety of sports and activities, where people accomplish different shows of athleticism in extremely different ways including; Endurance, Speed, Explosive, Stability, Strength, and a variety of others. These people are able to accomplish these things because of the way they prepare their bodies to perform. An incredible amount of focus towards their desired goals helps them do what is necessary to achieve optimal performance. They take out the fluff, they constantly study and refine the movements and strengths needed to enable their bodies, often times ignoring beneficial exercises with the knowledge that they are not needed to improve THEIR performance.
Performance is a characteristic of human abilities defined in a vast spectrum of ways. The human body can perform at high levels in so many ways. One thing that I constantly drill my clients is focus on their goal. Someone can train all they want, they can do different series of exercises and workout multiple times a week, but if you don’t train towards a specific performance goal, the body cannot change or adapt to enable your performance for that goal. The goal is everything.
Not all Exercises are Created Equal
Someone training for the 100m dash requires a particularly high level of activation of fast twitch muscle fibers, quick nueromuscluar communication and optimal foot position to produce high ground reaction forces, A swimmer requires high mobility in the shoulders and hips with little impact on the joints and a need for body control and buoyancy. Stating that these two athletes can perform the same kind of training and experience the same improvements in performance.
The body is made of a series of joints and hinges controlled by the muscles and the way these muscles are activated through exercise is how they respond when recruited for the activity. There are an infinite number of combinations of exercise variables not limited to sets, repetitions, light weight, heavy weight, slow cadence, fast cadence… etc. It is important to utilize the proper combinations of variables that will prepare the body for the goal activity. Much like a race car, a 1/4 mile Muscle Car is built very distinctly to a NASCAR race car, and if either were placed in anything other than their specialty, performance would suffer. The same can be said for humans and sports.
-High repetitions and lower weights is designed to increase resistance to muscle fatigue and increase higher efficiency of the energy systems.
-Low repetitions and Higher weights is a system that will increase maximal strength output and develop fast twitch muscle fibers.
-Isolated exercises tend to focus on development of musculature at specific points focusing on muscle specific adaptations.
-Compound joint exercises recruit larger amounts of muscle fibers and create greater central nervous system (CNS) adaptations.
-High Intensity Interval Training utilizes a higher average heart rate and diminished rest to test the ventilatory threshold and use fat stores as energy after depleting the blood glucose improving the cardio engine of the body
There are many more ways and variables that need to be taken into consideration, some specific exercises have no place for an athlete, some programming schemes are full of unnecessary movements that will not compliment the desired activity. With the help of a coach, these things can all be planned properly.
Training and performance are directly related to one another, improvements and increases are determined by the efficiency and specificity of the training towards the goal. If you want to run a marathon you shouldn’t train like a powerlifter. Keep focused on the goal and train for it. Stay the course.
Every Day… A Little Stronger