In the list of building the perfect athlete and attaining fitness goals I focus on strategy and tactics. Strategy is the longer term road map or plan to get you from where you are now to where you would like to be as an athlete or individual. This is the difference between training and exercise. Exercise is random with little time spent on strategy. Strategy and training includes the establishment of goals, the timing and measurement of the progress when and what type of exercise to perform, regeneration through nutrition and rest.
What are your strengths and weakness as an athlete?
Are there any external factors effecting your performance and how are they addressed. Strategy answers the why of a workout on any particular day. It is the architectural training plan so that the outcome satisfies your goal as an athlete or individual. The tactics are many.
What particular exercises?
What is the volume and intensity of a particular movement methodology?
Does the exercise enhance the ability to perform the particular movements required in the sport?
Does it support the goal for strength, power, and body weight?
The answer to that question revolves around the idea of Specificity of Training. At Sirens and Titans Fitness we believe that winning in sports is derived from the development of power (moving your body through space) in a fashion that suits a particular sport. This is (power x an X Factor) The X factor is the amount of times or level of absolute power required to perform a task. For example: Swinging a baseball bat is a much different X factor than throwing a punch for a boxer. The boxer has to produce a smaller amount of power numerous times in a fight than the hitter of a baseball. The mechanical requirements and metabolic requirements are much different and the training must be adjusted to accommodate the different requirements of the different sports.
This accommodation and differences in the training is defined as Specificity of Training. This accommodation ties directly into the concept of correlation and training that I discussed in a previous post. The focus of the training should be on exercises that modify the body’s complex neuromuscular systems to overcoming movements that apply directly to the particular sport.
This requires the analysis of a particular sports movement pattern. Looking at baseball again, the training must evaluate the movement patterns of hitting, throwing, and running bases.
What are the biomechanical adaptations necessary?
What type of movement pattern?
What is the type of muscle contractions necessary?
What are the metabolic requirements ofbaseball?
These requirements are just a small list with many more factors to be considered and addressed when training a baseball player. So you get the idea of specificity. This is not to be confused with simulation. Many strength and conditioning programs are developed to try to simulate the sport and just add a level of resistance to the movements. This can be helpful in certain movements, however if done without foresight the training can actually confuse the neuromuscular patterns that have been developed and therefore result in a diminishment of sport performance especially of a very high level athlete. Simulating the sport with resistance does not take into account all the physics of movement like center of gravity, inertia etc., so be thoughtful and understand the difference between simulation and specificity.
Think about the X factor of your sport and train in a way that addresses the specific needs and requirements of that particular sport. Your tactics should be adjusted so that it addresses the specific requirements of the movements and metabolic requirements of your sport.
Train smart, have fun, and you will prevail.
TRUTH IN FITNESS!
Jacques DeVore, CSCS