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How To Not Do Random Crap: Program Design

4 Keys to a Complete Program

As an athlete and coach program design is a held in high regard.

A well built program can meet an athlete where they're at and pull out their hidden potential, highlighting the strengths while strengthening the weaknesses. But unfortunately there's no book that prescribes the perfect perfect program for every athlete. So how do we know what will work?

Follow these 4 keys and find out:

Goal Set

"Macro-to-Micro". Always start your design from the goal or event and work backwards to the start date. From there we look at the primary physical attribute needed to be achieved and break it down. For example an olympic weightlifter competing needs to achieve peak power. Power = Speed x Strength so in order to accomplish our goal one or both of these attributes must be improved.

Analyze 

We begin by taking video analyzing the athletes strengths and weaknesses. Once we identify the needs we can create a program that strengthens those weaknesses and maximize efficiency. With our example of the olympic lifter let's say he has a strength athlete background. He has a 500lb squat and 600lb deadlift but can't seem to clean and jerk over 275lb, assuming the technique is correct we can narrow down the program focus to activation and speed to maximize his strength creating power.

Research

Read. Read. Read. Read. No matter how experienced of a coach or athlete you are research is key, whether that be back in old programs or new information all together. Be meticulous about the information taken in because it is the final piece to the puzzle, which is why exercise selection was the first article. (Go check it out!) Coaches such as Everett & Ursula over Catalyst Athletics are amazing resources as well Christian of Woodford Sport Science. I would urge anyone looking to expand their training and coaching knowledge to give them a follow!

Create

Now finally the moment we've all been waiting for!

Continue to keep "Macro-to-Micro" in mind because it applies here as well, starting with the primary attribute and what it is made up of, then dissect it into the parts needed to be improved.At the end of the day our strong olympic lifter must clean, jerk and snatch, so everything must feed into improving power in those particular movements.

Whether that means speed in the 2nd & 3rd pull or weak lats it all comes into play here. This tends to be the most natural part, as our goal setting and analysis works been done, brining it all together so relax and trust your work!

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"3 Steps to Exercise Selection w/a Purpose"

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"3 Steps to Exercise Selection w/a Purpose"

Why we do what we do may be the question of the ages and fortunately I'm not being asked to unfold the mistery of life to the world.

However, I hope to reveal the answer to another one of life's daunting questions..."What should I train today?"

So here are 3 steps to keep in mind your next training session:

 

Step 1. Define Your Goal.

I'm sure that came as a huge shock, but this is the first and most crucial step to ensuring you get your goal accomplished. So ask yourself questions:

Are you adding size?

Improving strength?

Getting fast?

Certain exercises, such as Olympic lifts, when used properly will have a better carry

over to speed in sport than say a hammer curls. In order to get the most bang for your buck each session have a clearly defined goal and choose accordingly.

This way next time you hit the field you have something to show for your work other than some sweet Bi's.

 

Step 2. Evaluate Yourself.

"A mans got to know his limitations" - John Wayne

There is a certain segment of people that are my Instagram trainees, whatever's new, whatever's cool is what you do.

The top athletes in the world are who they are because they execute the basics to near perfection. Choosing exercises within our current skill set ensures efficiency in training as well as taking the conscious effort to improve technique.

The flip side of knowing your current ablities is in knowing where you lack and attacking it head on! All too often I catch athletes (myself included) favoring particular exercises and body parts because we are good at them... Which makes me ask.

"How does this make a bit of sense?!"

If there are holes in our game we must suck up our pride, dial back and bring them up to par. This will not only make your bigger, faster, stronger but it will also ensure we don't allow those weaknesses to cause injury.

This is what takes you from ok to good and good to great.

 

Step 3. Order of Importance.

Ok. The goals defined, you've self evaluated and realized you were better at some things than you thought. But now how does it all come together?

Prioritizing exercises based on the previous two steps of course.

When selecting exercises we have to think macro to micro... aka big movements to small ones. If our goal is to jump higher we have it first identify the main movers and train them first and go down the chain from there.

Macro to micro is more than the exercise itself, but how we execute the exercise as well. The more specific we can train the better, if we have a strong squat the jumping issue clearly isn't weak legs, but the time it takes to convert that strength to speed could be stopping us. So build your training specifically!

Whether this just unlocked the 5th dimension of training or made you question everything you know, keep in mind that a goal without a plan is just a wish, so plan accordingly.

Define your goals, evaluate your skills and bring order to your training!

 

Be on the lookout for Pt. 2 of the series: Program Design... Coming Soon!

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3 Ways to Set Meaningful Goals in 2017

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3 Ways to Set Meaningful Goals in 2017

Like most, setting goals has been a daunting task for me, after all I'd be known as a failure if I don't accomplish them right?

But what if I found a way to guarantee your success?

No, I don't have a crystal ball and my name isn't Miss Cleo. But I do have 3 sure fire ways to achieve your goals this year and every year for that matter.  

 

1. Ask Yourself "Why?"

Every year millions of people around the world take January 1st to set goals for their lives, goals that often look something like this:

  • Get Organized
  • Make More Money
  • Get Ripped (Summers Coming!)

But how many have stopped to ask ourselves why we want these things? I understand there is an obvious answer so let me rephrase my question; "How do my goals cause change in my life and the life of those around me?" If we choose goals that have a life altering purpose then we have skin in the game, we have leveraged not only our own destiny but the destiny of those surrounding us as well.

So I challenge you to let the future in and ask yourself, "How will my goals effect the world around me?" 

2. Define Your Vision.

A vision is a definite goal about where you want to be in the future, but no matter who you are, your vision requires real steps today. This means that if we do not clearly define the goals we are wanting to accomplish that dream will remain just that, a dream. Serious thought must be dedicated to transform our vision into reality and we we must allow the corresponding time to accomplish our goals. Meaning, the vision is only the beginning, we must develop strategies and build a plan to see that it comes true.  

3. Fight!

Ok, so now you've chosen meaningful, life altering goals, you've defined the vision of your future and even dedicated the time and energy to create and follow the perfect plan...

But you've hit a roadblock, or 10.  But there comes a moment in every dreamers journey where we are called to fight. Dreams aren't for the faint of heart, they require faith. They require valor. They require us to go against our rational and "better judgement" so you better make sure they are worth it! A great athlete or team cannot be considered great until they have defeated a worthy adversary or two or three or all of them. In the same fashion we must fight for our life altering goals and should take on each setback as a test of love for your goal. Take on each challenge as an opportunity to sharpen your skills and squeeze every bit of weakness from your life. How bad do you want it?

 

You don't need a psychic or some prophetic word to guarantee the success of your life. It takes a God sized dream, a plan and the will to fight for what you believe in no matter what challenges come your way.

So I challenge you to take today as the first step to meaningful change. Your future is waiting...

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