I was having a conversation with my intern this week about training, and what it all boils down to when we're programming for success. Especially when working with individuals who come from a diverse background and needs, how do we select how we do everything. We had a great discussion about training philosophy and planning. In reality, I told him, everything we do for each client has to meet the following goal:
Move well, and train today with tomorrow in mind. This is the key to a stronger future.
When we look at this training philosophy, it's important to note how many different ways there are to "skin a cat." But philosophies in training are often just a series of core values, and how the training is delivered has to operate within these bounds. We can utilize as many different training implementations and modalities as we want to for the athletes and clients at Littauer Strength Training, but it does not matter how as long as those tenants are met: move well, and train today with tomorrow in mind.
But why? Why do we focus on this?
Moving well, and addressing the long term overall health of the body is key to everything we do. If individuals move well, we allow the body to increase it's capacity to express force and power through each joint. We allow it to build resilience. When training we'll do this in two main ways:
Periodized and Individualized Mobility Work: We start off every session with two to three active mobility drills designed to work into end ranges and increase a joint's stability there. We periodize this to develop skills at certain positions and to create an awareness of how the body moves. This means layering mobility means in subsequent sessions over time and from session to session.
We Focus on Movement Over Maxes: We steal the phrasing from Zach Dechant's book, because he states it so well. We will not sacrifice positions or stability for the weight on the bar. If we're going to lift heavy, it is going to be within the parameters of what technique and form allow. If we lift fast, it is going to be within the parameters of what technique and form allow. Sacrificing movement for a number is a surefire way to forget about our second guiding principle.
As we focus on movement, we always come back to the main underlying factor of the training philosophy:
Train Today With Tomorrow In Mind: This is the backbone of building stronger futures. In application, this means we will not sacrifice movement for numbers. We will train with a focus on the long-term goal of where we want to go, trusting the process and checking off benchmarks as we go. These benchmarks are either quantifiable numbers such as speeds, power outputs, or body compositions. They may also be qualifying data such as consistency in movement, consistency in feel, or subjective data such as quality of life. We also look at this from a perspective of high-intensity to low-intensity days, ensuring we have "gas in the tank" for each session according to what we do. If we have a high intensity day tomorrow, today's session is going to be a bit easier. If we have a high intensity day today, tomorrow is going to be lower. What we don't want to do is fall into a trap of high-intensity all the time until we burnout and have to take extended time off.
In a nutshell, this is all we do. We can tailor almost any training style to this, and are highly focused on achieving this with all we do. At the baseline, this is the training philosophy of Littauer Strength Training and how we build stronger futures. We move well, and train today with tomorrow in mind.