Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Some Not-So-Random Thoughts

This is for all of my friends who are Crossfit trainers.

If you don't subscribe to it yet, I highly recommend you subscribe to Catalyst Athletics' Performance Menu journal. This month's issue is particularly good as it has three articles (by Greg Everett, Nicki Violetti, and Dutch Lowy) that deal with programming and planning. If you don't have a ticket, this can be your ticket onto the clue bus.

As Greg says, varied training doesn't have to mean random training. No coach creates elite athlete through completely random programming. Really. Trainers should know how to vary the intensity, volume and load for each client in his or her class/training session. Injuries and limitations need to be understood and accounted for.

I cannot tell you guys how many people (trainers and clients) I have given advice to regarding exercise selection, intensity and volume, after they have completely jacked themselves up doing stupid stuff. After they've attempted workouts that are more like stupid human tricks--not worthwhile training.

Your job is to first do no harm. Yeah, I know you aren't a physician, but you should understand that improper dosing of exercise can hurt people. Many people survive, and some even thrive, in spite of what trainers do with them. More is not always better. One workout will not make an athlete, but one workout can certainly break an athlete.

Every day you should know why you are doing what you are doing with your clients. And you should be able to explain why it is appropriate for that person at the time. You need to communicate with your clients and harp on them for feedback, especially if they have an orthopedic issue that could be aggravated by certain movements. No matter what the name of the workout of the day is, it is not 1985, and you should not be Bonnie Tyler holding out for a hero. I don't know about you, but drama is not an integral part of my training sessions. Purposeful movement and effort are. From these foundations, athleticism and fitness follow.

Think about what you do. Educate yourself. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Know your own limits and those of the people who put their trust in you. And remember, varied doesn't have to mean random.


Allison Bojarski said...

I'm surprised no comments as of yet on this post.

I just wanted to give an Amen as I agree wholeheartedly with all that you're saying. I had already linked up the Plandomization article on our blog and today I linked this one up.

Thanks for the food for thought, as always.

Matt said...

Absolutely. Progression is key!

Personally, I believe progressive overload is the key to maximum training benefits.

Of course, like you mentioned, this progression must be purposeful. In other words, not doing sets of 50 cleans or other silly acrobatics for no reason. However, if someone has a reason for doing EDT (granted, they probably do if they know what EDT is) then go ahead and train that way. If one does not understand EDT or its training effects -- then avoid "workout of the day."

Some people are just stimulation junkies though. Wouldn't you agree?

benjamin said...

Hey thanks for the link to the Performance Menu! :)