Friday, January 4, 2013

#$“Know thy athletes”

If you want to design a training program that will give the best possible results, you must know the needs and capabilities of a client (or yourself). Ready-to-wear training programs can be a big problem for some individuals. While they can be good, (hey, even I will give you a few program samples in this book!) when it comes to peak performance you must tailor a program to the client (or yourself) perfectly. To accomplish this you must know his weaknesses, strengths, goals, and physiological makeup. Strengths and weaknesses Knowing an athlete’s relative strengths and weaknesses will allow you to choose the training methods best suited to his needs. For example, an individual with a less than efficient nervous system will benefit from training means that will increase his neural drive. Another athlete may have a very efficient nervous system, but a low amount of muscle mass. This athlete will benefit from an increase in the “size of his motor.” Furthermore, some individuals have what are called “muscle imbalances.” If the agonist and antagonist muscles of the same joint are way out of balance it can increase the risk of injury. Knowing which muscles are too weak compared to their antagonist will allow you to choose exercises that will not only improve performance, but also reduce the risk of injury. Goals An individual who wants to gain a lot of muscle will not train the same way as a sprinter! It’s important to know the ultimate goal(s) of your athlete (or yourself) and plan the training program accordingly. A lot of peoples are seduced by the latest training “fad” and will jump from one such fad to the other, never really questioning whether this is adequate for their objectives or not. You improve in what you train for. Thus choose training methods that will give you the best results in your area of specialization.