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Things I'm Changing My Mind About In Training

They say the definition of insanity is the practice of doing the same over and over again, while expecting it to yield different results. In this vain, I think our thoughts and approaches to matters in training should change over time as new and better information is presented to us.

I do my best to stay fluid in my thought processes and make changes in training. In such, these are the current things I've been changing my mind about in the last few months.

Static Stretching

There's pretty set literature on static stretching leading to decreased power outputs when it is done prior to strength or power sessions. Working with athletes, and having competed in strength sports for the greater part of a decade, I followed the research closely. I never static stretched before a lifting session. As I trained for a half marathon recently, I found the only thing which would relieve chronic aches and pains was pre-lift or pre-run static stretching. Which lead me to this thought: if the limiting factor for output is how you feel, and static stretching makes you feel better, then it likely won't be a negative influence as much as feeling bad will.


I have Tim Kettenring and Missy Mitchell-McBeth to thank as part of this. Their Conditioning Cohort opened my eyes to the applied nature of conditioning, and shifted my perspective on how training for strength and conditioning can be done while making progress in both. I use to think any steady state or "slow" training killed gains. But I was still Front Squatting near double bodyweight, and hitting my old openers on the Snatch and Clean & Jerk a week out from my first half marathon. Can bad conditioning practices kill gains? Probably. But well thought out and planned Zone 2 Aerobic Work can only benefit the body's ability to recover between sets, and between sessions.

What Most People Want

I have been working a much significant portion of the adult general population this year. I have primarily worked with youth, high school, and college athletes over the last six or seven years. This year, my business took a turn and afforded me more opportunities to work with a greater range of adults. Many express goals of wanting a specific physique, a specific weight loss goal, or some form of strength goal. What I've come to realize, most people really just want to feel better. The numbers they chase on the scale, or the image of themselves they see in the mirror, are only a reflection of a deep down desire to feel better. They just don't know how to quantify it or express it, but as training unfolds this is largely what we end up seeing happening.

Those are the big three things I'm changing my mind about currently, or am thinking differently about currently. Some of these things over time may change, and that is inevitably a good thing. We need change and need growth. If we don't have change our training thoughts at some point along the way, we are doomed to not have any positive change in the long term.

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