Time Management: Strength or Technique?

Apparently I have to fill out other sections on my website (according to Jenni, who shall remain nameless) so the topic for today will be…. weightlifting. People can say programming is an art form and make it into a magical thing but in all honesty? It’s a matter of:

  1. What does the athlete want
  2. What does the athlete need

In the case of a beginner, they need all the technique they can get their hands on, strength work won’t really need as much attention as they will still be in the stage of “beginner gains” which was awesome! I still remember breaking my personal best in my deadlift almost every month…. and then it hit……. my…. potential. Your potential sucks, it’s a big boot in the balls. Things go one of two ways: you’re technically awesome but you are a weak little bitch, OR you’re strong as a bull but have more mistakes than a vegan party in a butchers… or should I say “missed steaks” HAA!!

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So would the strong but technically lacking athlete benefit from a strength program? Or a technique focused program with enough strength work to maintain their current numbers? Say for instance their snatch is 100kg and they can squat 200+kg, strength is not the limiting factor and how would taking their squat up to 250-300kg help their snatch? In short, it wouldn’t. Plus you are practically giving them more fuel to overload a “bad pattern”. Nothing is worse than someone that is so strong that they actually have the capacity to injure themselves. Some people seem to literally have a CNS off-switch, it’s scary.

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On the other end you’ve got the technically gifted athlete with moves so solid even John Travolta would approve. Ain’t no amount of technique practice at 60% is going to make them lift heavier, they need to get f-ing stronger. Can they catch the weight but not stand up? Then yes more squats, can they not get it off the ground? Then yes more pulls, anything that primes their body to be prepared to hit the numbers that their technique allows, sacrificing just the right amount of technique practice in favour of a full strength program will stop them from banging their heads against the wall.

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The weights used have to be relevant to the athlete, but also the type of programming and supplementary exercises. If you have someone that is naturally a bilateral monster and is just solid, they are going to have less need for split squats and corrective exercises than the person that gets injured every other week. It’s an unfair call to have to make but the safety of your athletes should be your main concern, yes there is a certain element of shut up and squat when it’s competition time but there is no sense in deliberately missing 10 minutes of a “silly band exercise” for the possibility of having to take 6 weeks off with a nagging shoulder.

So in short, be honest with yourself, what you can ACTUALLY do and program for yourself and your level, not someone else’s for $29.95.

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