Purposeful, Goal-Oriented Training

20 Aug

One of our first action items, at ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE TRAINING CENTER, is to request that our new clients complete a questionnaire.  In addition to the usual, basic demographic information, I like to understand his/her past and present sport(s) participation, and level of athletic and training experience.  Most importantly, I ask them to list their training goals and objectives:  What do they want to accomplish as a result of their Strength and Conditioning training?  You should be asking yourself the same question.  Developing strength, speed, agility, and athleticism is great, as long as it helps you improve your performance in your sport(s) of choice (or, facilitates your “functionability” in your activities of daily living).  Additionally, understanding my clients’ goals is an important consideration in the development of their Strength and Conditioning plan.  Your training plan – including intensity, frequency, volume, exercise selection, nutrition, and rest & recovery – should be aligned with your goals.

It All Starts With Your Core.  It doesn’t matter what sport you play or, for that matter, if you even participate in sports at all.  A strong core is essential for virtually all functional movement.  And when I use the term “core,” I’m not just talking about abs.  I’m referring to the area between your shoulders and hips.  Rotational and Core Strengthening exercises should be an integral part of your Strength and Conditioning program.

Develop Strong and Powerful Legs.  Want to run faster?  Jump higher?  Throw the ball harder and farther?  Improve your bat speed?  Core and lower extremity strength and power is the key.  Whether you’re running, jumping, throwing, or hitting, your hips and legs initiate and generate the power.  And a stronger core and legs can also decrease the amount of torque on your shoulder when executing the throwing motion.

Be Smart With Your Cardio.  I work with a lot of athletes, teams, and programs whose idea of cardio training involves jogging a mile or two, a few days per week.  How do they think this approach is going to help them reach their goals?  I have no idea.  I won’t argue that every sport has an endurance component, but how many sports are played at a slow steady pace, without any intermittent bursts of strength and power?  Even distance runners benefit from incorporating High-Intensity Interval Training into their conditioning regimen, according to volumes of data.  Your training plan should include alternating intervals of high- and low-intensity cardio.  Generally, we use a 3:1 ratio (low:high) in most of our cardio training.

Be Wary of the “Boot Camp” Approach.  Training to the point of exhaustion/fatigue has become fashionable in some workout programs, even though there is no data that supports training to the point of exhaustion.  In fact, Sports and Conditioning research indicates that full muscular activation can be achieved before you reach the point of exhaustion.  Additionally, as fatigue sets in, technique tends to suffer.  Poor technique has been shown to compromise training results and increase the potential for injury.

Have a plan.  Follow your plan.  Your training should reflect the demands of your sport.


Your thoughts?

4 Responses to “Purposeful, Goal-Oriented Training”

  1. sterling August 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM #

    Thats great to know. Most people want to get there arms and legs stronger but with this artical it lets you know that the core is just as important.

    • Brian Lebo August 21, 2012 at 7:11 AM #

      Thanks for the feedback, Sterling!

  2. John August 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM #

    Brian… Tucker turned me on to your site. Great stuff for all athletes here. Just included a link to the blog under our resources link on our site!

    • Brian Lebo August 21, 2012 at 4:46 PM #

      John – thank you for your feedback, and for including my blog as a link on the OhioBasketball.com website! I’m thankful for my relationship with Tucker Neale and the SMAC Basketball organization!

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