Thoughts 8

  1. Academia: If a 135 lbs. Deadlifter walked up to me and gave me tips on my 600 Deadlift, I would dismiss everything they could say. But if someone has advanced degrees in Ex. Phys. and a list of certifications, everyone feels more inclined to listen. Why? Academia doesn’t give someone the right to speak as if they had practical experience. Sitting in a classroom and learning theory often leads to unlearning theory when its application fails. Examples of incorrect absolutes: 1) Don’t let your knees pass your toes while squatting – wrong. 2) Breathe normally while lifting to avoid passing out – wrong (in normal, healthy people). 3) Wait 48-72 hours before training a body part again – wrong. 4) Do I need to go on? No, I don’t.
  2. ‘Applied’ or not: Having classes that are termed: Applied Ex. Phys., Applied Strength and Conditioning, etc. – how applied are these? Sure, we can learn about front planks from a text book, then apply them within the group of students. But the real application comes when the structure of the classroom doesn’t exist and you’re working with a person who doesn’t care one bit about holding a plank, or a plank hurts their back or their shoulders, or they just practiced their sport for 3 hours and you’re asking them to focus on their plank technique. Your applied experience comes when you’re thrown into the real world.
  3. In Thoughts 7 (or 6, idk), I talked about working on movement mechanics/injury prevention in a fatigued environment because this is when athletes are likely to get injured… Anyway, another component that is missed is environmental stress. Competition is often stressful. Stress changes movement patterns. So if there is no stress in movement technique practice, do movement drills actually transfer to competition? You can practice shadowboxing all you want, but what happens when you step in the ring with Mike Tyson? Low-stress drills won’t help you in a high-stress environment.
  4. If the poor-quality-movement-causes-injury argument is true, athletes should be expected to hit every possible movement pattern that sport could present, and then strength coaches should ensure they stay knee-over-foot, hips back, core stable, etc. This is impossible.
  5. Rationalizing exercises. When we justify a movement because it’s: contralateral, involves anti-rotation, stimulates the vestibular system, develops single-leg stability, etc. do we realize how idiotic this is? All the above mentioned are trained when an athlete simply walks into the weight room. If you’re going to rationalize this way, at least make sure it’s applying stress… like more stress than walking.