Only once mind you but it scarred me terribly as you can well imagine…I’m very sensitive to the needs and feelings of others as you all know very well.
Now I’m very sketchy on the exact details mainly because I’m pretty sketchy at the best of times but it went something like this. Someone produced an article that was published by Elite. Elite for those of you who don’t know was and probably still is to a certain extant a powerlifting orientated site…that’s changing a little of late…that isn’t a good or bad thing…it’s just a thing. They sell lifting equipment and training related gear of all sorts. Elite has also produced and published some excellent articles…they’ve published some articles that I think are crap but keep in mind I am a bit of an a-hole and I think a lot of stuff is crap but on the whole I think it’s a great site. Now I know what you’re thinking…shut up and get to the point…well it’s my blog and I take as long as I like. So anyway…some powerlifter or powerlifters wrote an article on ‘sports training’ and basically they wrote about how powerlifting, the three lifts and powerlifting style programs were perfect for sport.
Now what happened next was that I made a post on a forum about how that was crap and made some comments about ‘proximity bias’. Now the point I was getting at is that 1. there is no ‘perfect’ way to train. Powerlifting isn’t the perfect way to prepare for sport….except for powerlifting. Olympic lifting isn’t the perfect way to prepare for sport…except Olympic lifting. Bodybuilding isn’t the perfect way to prepare for sport…unless you’re gay….not that there’s anything wrong with that. 2. That you see proximity bias everywhere in coaching. If you get a powerlifter to train you for sport or to write an article about training for sport don’t be too surprised when you end up powerlifting or on the benefits of the three lifts when preparing for sport. If you get an Olympic lifter to train you then don’t be surprised when you end up standing in the gym holding weights over your head and if you get a bodybuilder to train you for sport don’t be surprised when you end up helping him paint on his tan and rubbing him down with oil. This is proximity bias.
Any way what happened next was that someone took my post and copied and pasted it over at Elite and a little shit fit ensued. What I was trying to get at is that you need to start with the athlete first…not with the program or ‘training system’.
The thing is I always come back to this point because I get asked a lot what my training philosophy is? What my training style is? Why I don’t do more Olympic lifting? Why I don’t do more powerlifting style programs? Why there aren’t more mirrors in the gym?
I’ve tried pretty much everything when it comes to training. I’ve worked with and under coaches who were influenced by lots of different training philosophies and styles. The stuff that worked I use…the stuff that didn’t I still learned from and still try every once and a while when I think it might or could perhaps work. In short my style is results based. I test all the time…every 6-8 weeks for the full tests and 3-4 weeks for mid cycle testing. Athletes and clients either get better or worse. I prefer better but don’t mind worse because even if they do get worse I get something from it. I get to find out what doesn’t work.
So in short…just because someone says somthing is crap or dangerous you need to do the following in no partiular order:
1. Some common bloody sense.
2. You need to filter those comments or advice through your own experience.
3. Look for proximity bias.
4. Look for a vested interest. I don’t actually trust a lot of researchers as far as I could throw them…and that’s not a long way…because a lot of them are fat and look like they’ve never trained a day in their life and I’ve a dodgy back and or skinny and frail looking and appear as if they’ve never trained a day in their life and that they’d possibly die on impact. I say this as someone involved in academia. I start every project with my conclusion and work my way backwards. If you asked me to prove that bilateral squatting was bad for sport…I bet I could and if you wanted me to find out it was good for sport…I bet I could. Well maybe not squatting….but I’m sure you get what I mean.
5. I’m sure there’s a 5 but it’s late and I have to be up early.