Sep
25

Strongman Program Design with Dr.Davidson: Part 2.4 – Program Design

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Here is Part 2.4 of Dr./Coach Davidson's program design series! Be sure to check out Part's 1, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 before reading this one so you're caught up with his thought process.

Q: Since you train with your team, how do they get coached on their exercise technique?

A: In truth, they probably get coached very poorly. I have random people join at random times…at the beginning of the spring semester, half way through a semester, half way through a block…literally whenever. We are a club team, we are open to anyone, and we are looking to increase numbers all the time. Now that being said, we do have a lot of experienced lifters on the team. These guys will talk to the more inexperienced guys when they see something that is terrible. I will talk to people when I see them completely missing a concept.

I have a lot of thoughts on this, and most of them are hypocritical. Part of me believes that new guys need to watch, learn, and figure things out on their own to a certain degree. Then I get worried that they are going to get hurt and perpetuate movement dysfunction. Part of me believes that the exercises are so simple that any idiot should be able to figure them out. Sit your butt back, keep your chest up, grab the bar, tighten your body, stand up…push the bar over your head while not arching your low back too much…look at experienced lifters, copy them, easy. Then I see something that is just deplorable, and I want to fire myself for gross negligence. Part of me knows that if I just leave people alone, let them watch and figure things out that most of them usually start looking better without too much input from me after a couple of weeks. Then I see the few people who have movement dysfunction that supersedes coaching cues, learning through modeling, or effort.

There’s no good answer for this question. I’m a little bit of an old school lifter in that I think people need to educate themselves and that they shouldn’t just be handed every bit of wisdom on day one, but I am really nervous about people hurting themselves. I believe that everyone should receive an individualized plan and should be coached on how to do everything to the highest level in a very cerebral style with awareness being the ultimate driver, but I need to build a team and teams need to work hard and work together. So you could say that I am struggling to find the right thing to do and I am ultimately presenting a plan that is a compromise.

Q: Since you train with your team, do you find it hard to focus on your own training given you're probably worried about everyone else around you as well?

A: No, I don’t find it too hard to focus on my own training. When I am in big contest prep mode I announce that it is probably not a good time to interrupt me and ask me too many questions during training sessions. When I am not in training for an upcoming major competition I’m pretty easy to approach in the weightroom, and I do a lot more stepping back from my own thing and I help coach other guys. Generally, I try to stay away from the guys who I call, “human rain delays”…you know, the guys who talk your ear off during a training session, the guys who take ten years to set up for every work set, the guys who bring everything to a screeching halt. I try to identify those guys and work elsewhere. In general though, I’m not too worried about my own training. I train for strength development four times per week in a block approach…there’s plenty of focus on whatever quality it is that I’m working on.

 

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