OK…I want to go back a little

Kira was talking about Muay Thai training and what I thought of it and the fact that a lot of it seems counter intuitive by today’s standards and what we know about strength and conditioning. Basically stating what is the ‘standard’ training method in Thailand and the fact that by current standards Kira thought it could be done better or improved. Kira also noted that it was the way that most ‘champions’ in the sport trained. I think I mentioned boxing and the use of ‘road work’ and the fact that people often mention to me how stupid and inappropriate they think it is with what we know these days of training ‘specificity’. The fact that basically all ‘champions’ still do it seems lost on these people.

I want to blend a few things together here…firstly one of the reasons I started this blog is because 1. I am a terrible writer…and it seemed like a good way to practice…and to annoy people along the way. 2. I find it really difficult to articulate my views and thoughts on strength and conditioning…and it seemed like a good way to practice…and to annoy people along the way. The second of these points hit home tonight when Cookies & Killer asked me in the middle of their intervals why I had put so much effort into getting them bigger only to start breaking them down running the arse’s off of them. It made me realise a couple of things…1. How much faith athletes have in me to put their training and by extension to some extent their sporting careers in my hands. 2. How poorly/badly I get across to them why I have them do what I do. That isn’t good…not on any level…I will add that to the list of things that I need to improve upon.

Now I’m going to step out onto the thin ice here now and mention the post I made about periodisation…you know the one where bunch of people got their panties in a twist and everybody told me that I didn’t understand what I was talking about…well anyway…what I was talking about was peaking in team sports and the fact that everybody involved with teams is preparing their teams as best as they can and they are all obviously trying to do the best they can. They are all trying to ‘peak’ their teams to win the championship/final/series…but obviously somebody wins and everybody else loses.

Are you all still with me? What generally happens next is that whatever the winners did is now best practice…Michael Jordan did this…the New York giants trained this way or that…I had some one mention to me today that some NFL team in the US is doing their entire pre season with kettlebells…you have the champion team who did all their weight training with machines…the other team in some other sport who did nothing but Olympic lifting…only to be beaten by some other team who’s training revolved around power lifting etc etc etc.

If I have to listen to someone tell me one more time what the All Blacks do in training I might just go postal. Every time I here someone mention this I immediately know that they don’t actually have a clue about training and or coaching. I feel the same way every time someone comes to me and shows me the pre season program that was given to their team….and this happens a lot. I mean I have athletes in the same team who are 125kgs and others who are 70kgs and everything in between…do you think you could write a program that is perfect for all of them? I couldn’t. One that was right for the guys who need to lose fat and those that need to gain lean muscle mass? Actually…if you can…send it to me.

You see this all the time though…as an aside…can anyone tell me who this NFL team is that is doing their entire pre season primarily with kettlebells? Think about it…now I use kettlebells in training with ‘some’ athlete…’sometimes’…are you telling me that they are the perfect training apparatus for everyone? That every player on that NFL team is going to benefit equally from kettlebell training? Give me a break.

Same with the All Blacks…if every team were to run endless 150’s will they all win World Cups? Sorry…bad example…the All Blacks have only won one World Cup…and that was years ago. Once again supporting my point that I made in that post about periodisation…the All Blacks throw enormous resources both human and financial into peaking for a World Cup and the last one they managed to win was a couple of decades ago…yet everyone keeps telling me that they are the best team and the best players and best coaches in the world? What am I missing? Are they the best players and coaches in the world or not? Which is it?

Anyway..it is late now. I’m going to post this now so people can tell me I’m an idiot then come back and finish this post tomorrow.

Now where was I?
Firstly I can’t believe I didn’t get any Kiwi hate mail…but that is probably because they don’t have the internet in New Zealand yet so I shouldn’t be too surprised.

I’ve seen lots of guru’s do there ’10 Things I Know’ articles…and since apparently I supposedly aspire to gurudom…or so I was told today…I thought I better get with the program. Now…I don’t know if I actually know 10 things…I’m just going to start at 1 and play it by ear after that.

1. There is no such thing as a perfect program.
2. There is no ‘best’ training methodology.
3. There is no best set and rep scheme…no best training frequency or volume.
So what do I know…I hear you ask.
4. In the majority of cases athletes that complain about ‘over training’ are really suffering from ‘under recovering’.
5. Coaching is a cross between science and art…you need to understand the science…I mean understand it…this is different from knowing the names of muscles and their origin and insertion etc…I mean ACTUALLY understand it…you also need the artistic flair to apply it. There is a reason that most graduates of sport science end up getting a job in the construction industry. It is the same reason that if I went to university to study art instead of sports science I think everyone who knows me knows the only thing I’d be painting is houses…and that’s if I was lucky.
6. There is no best training methodology for a particular sport…only effective ways for individual athletes to train. This is where a lot of mistakes are made…if someone wants to get good at cycling…giving them Lance Armstrong’s program is not the best way for them to achieve that…if someone wants to get into MMA…doing GSP’s program is not the best way for them to achieve that.
7. There is nothing new in training and nutrition but the way that the information is expressed and communicated is definitely unique and stealing other peoples work is a no no…unless you want to make boat loads of cash…in which case it seems like it is definitely the way to go.

Once again…it’s way passed my bedtime…I’ll come back to this post tomorrow and see if I can make it to 10.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “OK…I want to go back a little

  1. When do I get a cool nickname like Cookies, Killer, etc.?

    The only problem with your writing style is that is exactly the same as the way you speak minus the laughing when you crack yourself up.

  2. Your point about how conditioning is just a part of athletic success is, no doubt, spot on. The winner doesn’t always have the best program.

    I have had a lot of discussions about boxers and roadwork. The new breed of fighters, the MMA guys, are more into newer methods, intervals etc. My only observation is, watching both in the ring – so far, the boxers are better conditioned. Again not necessarily because they have a better program – but they do seem to have better results.

    My point is people feel like they’ve got the superior program in theory, but they lose sight of their outcomes. If your interval training is so much better than the nitwit who still does roadwork – shouldn’t you be able to beat him in a 5k run?

    Here is where the bookworm will cry about specificity but seriously for most athletes that compete on their feet it’s BS. Running is a pretty basic skill, in a 5k it’s pretty much the guy with the best wind that wins.

    Yes, it’s true: being better conditioned doesn’t mean you’ll win the game; but also:

    Having the “best” program doesn’t mean you’ll be the best conditioned.

  3. boxers are better conditioned? or MMA is a sport thats fucking hard to get into the same level of conditioning for?

    upper body strength/power/endurance however you want to clasify it VS whole body repetitive/maximal/strength/power/endurance/flexibility etc etc etc

    you cant compare them IMO

  4. Boxing and MMA have completly different requirements.
    Most MMA matches last less than 5 mins , 10 mins is very rare where as in Boxing a fighter has to have the cardio to go the whole 10-12 rounds if necessary.
    MMA is much more anaerobic than boxing, much more a power sport. You would do better to think of it as more akin to wrestling or judo in terms of conditioning.
    If you are trying to throw someone/ stop them throwing you keep someone pinned down/escape from being pinned down you expend an enormous amount of energy in a very short time.
    you need the power and the skill.
    There is no need to do roadwork .
    That being said in an mma/grappling context the first person to gas will lose. But intervals /tabatas /circuits and sparring/grappling multiple 5-6 min rounds are sufficient for most people.
    I have also heard from boxers/Muay thai guys that roadwork is more to keep the weight off than anything else.

  5. Kira said…
    More good stuff to think about WIll, thanks.
    Hang on…I’m not finished yet…I’m going to come back and ramble on about this for a while yet.

  6. Running might be a basic skill but that doesn’t mean that specificity doesn’t apply:

    The guy who runs will probably be the best runner; the guy who does burpees will be better at that; and the guy who does HIIT kettlebell training will do better there.

    The question is, which has better carryover to your sport? I far pfrefer compound, explosive, grip-intensive, lifts on the anaerobic side for BJJ/MMA conditioning to running. Upping your VO2 won’t make you stronger but training for strength endurance will up your VO2.

    Otherwise I am agreed – the winner certainly doesn’t always have the best program.

    I’m not an expert or even a trainer – just want to jump in on the dialog.

  7. After all this time I still have no idea how you would train a sprinter over the course of a year where he has 6 races with the final race being far and away the most important.

    All’s I know is that trying to “peak” him/her is stupid…

  8. To those saying that boxing and MMA are totally different, or that MMA matches are not aerobic – have you ever participated or competed in these sports?

    I am not suggesting that if you don’t participate in these sports, your opinion is not valid, and maybe better than mine! I am just curious. We’re just kicking it around here right?

    I did pretty well at judo, not so great at boxing, and occasionally train some of the firebreathers at a local MMA gym.

    Most MMA matches go past 5 minutes unless you are very very good or very very bad.

    Anyway people have this idea that aerobic power is only involved in marathons and etc. That is silly. Anything past I don’t know about two minutes of hard effort has a big aerobic component. Fighting just has a big anaerobic component too, unlike running marathons.

    The strength components of boxing and wrestling are more different than the energy systems. You can’t coast or set a nice even pace in either game.

    Running is a good tester and developer of aerobic power. Doesn’t matter if it isn’t specific to the activity. By that logic, squats would be a bad idea for a shotputter, there is nothing on their backs when they throw.

    So many people are morons about specificity. Would it be better if they occasionally punched themselves in the face while they ran? The idea is to build up a big aerobic capacity.

    High level MMA fighters we see on TV are currently often gassed before the end of their first round. And not just when they are badly outmatched, or get unlucky and take a shot that takes a lot out of them. In my opinion, the conditioning of most pro boxers (and high level amateurs) is simply better. I believe as the sport matures this will even out, but for now, the luddites doing their roadwork are in better shape.

  9. yes i have participated in both.

    in boxing you have a narrow set of possibilities of what may happen in a fight, you know you will be standing up throwing and defending punches. in MMA many more variables, anything can happen, ground game demands are different to stand up, get caught in a position/technique you arent used to and youll try to use maximal strength to get out of it, try to finish off someone with a submission and pacing goes out the window even moreso if you come into the game after years based in one discipline or the other. MMA guys when doing standup (ie: boxing) usually have sloppier technique – sloppier = less efficient = more energy demand

    Also id say youd find most guys do roadwork or some form of low intensity shit just the same as boxers, many have the same boxing coaches

    i dont see how you can say that boxers are better conditioned when the only similarity between the 2 is that the object is to hurt the opponent

  10. Here’s a quote about Phelps that I’ve found interesting, concerning conditioning . . .

    “In testing conducted by physiologists from USA Swimming, Phelps scored as one of the weakest elite swimmers they had ever measured, but that was on such traditional tests as the bench press and how much weight he can lift with his legs. ”He’s fine on land,” Heinlein says. ”He can walk. He can do all the things you want him to do. But he’s not extraordinary in any way. What Michael excels at takes place in water . . .”

    carryover of conditioning is something I’ve been thinking a lot about—and one of the reasons I asked the initial question.

  11. I compete in BJJ.
    The club I train in has a lot of MMA fighters.
    Running long distances is far far down the list of priorities . if you have time after doing everything else then sure do it. but in a sport that can be brutal on your joints why bother.
    Sprints and intervals and sparring multiple rounds and circuits are sufficient.
    I also still think mma has a much greater anaerobic component than you think.
    Anaerobic training carries over to aerobic not vice versa.

  12. Kira said…
    Here’s a quote about Phelps that I’ve found interesting, concerning conditioning . . .
    “In testing conducted by physiologists from USA Swimming, Phelps scored as one of the weakest elite swimmers they had ever measured, but that was on such traditional tests as the bench press and how much weight he can lift with his legs. ”He’s fine on land,” Heinlein says. ”He can walk. He can do all the things you want him to do. But he’s not extraordinary in any way. What Michael excels at takes place in water . . .”

    carryover of conditioning is something I’ve been thinking a lot about—and one of the reasons I asked the initial question.
    I don’t remember what the original question was…although I’m sure it was good. I don’t know what else there is to say about this other than…I agree with the statement. The fact that I can do 3 chins with 100lbs like GSP doesn’t mean I’m ready for the UFC.

  13. Will said . . .

    “The fact that I can do 3 chins with 100lbs like GSP doesn’t mean I’m ready for the UFC.”

    No, but what if GSP could only do 1 chin with 100lbs and all his opponents could do 5 with 150lbs? Perhaps his opponents are doing too much conditioning . . .

    That was sort of what I was trying to get at with the Phelps story. His opponents are better ‘conditioned’ but still can’t beat him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s