I have been around fighters and the Strength & Conditioning community long enough to have just about seen it all when it comes to epic fails on the gym floor. From hilarious misuse of equipment, to career-ending injuries doing innocuous exercises, I've witnessed a lot of shit.
Today I thought it would be fun to share with you my top 5 mistakes I have witnessed fight athletes make in Strength training.
#5 NOT doing strength training at all!
It's really quite simple, if you are not training to be stronger you are going to be left behind in your sport. As the great Mark Buckley puts it, “strength is the mother of all aspects of fitness”, and through the process of strength training almost every area of your physicality and conditioning will improve. I personally believe that every area of your LIFE will improve as a direct result of strength training. So don’t neglect this fundamental element of your success.
#4 NOT training your lower body!
Again, it's really quite simple. As I have said before, if you are not training your lower body then you are cutting off your nose despite your face. The long list of benefits you will see includes (obviously) strength gains, hormonal and metabolic optimisation, improvements in power output, improvements in duration of force output, improvements in energy system efficiency and conditioning, innumerable improvements in performance in competition, and your recovery rates will improve also. There is a whole lot of muscle mass in your lower body, so DON’T neglect it. Include squats and deadlifts in your training program at a bare minimum!
#3 NOT following a structured program.
One of the things that really pisses me off is seeing people waste time on the gym floor. If you are not following a structured program based on your desired outcome, you are wasting your fucking time. Showing up at the gym to ‘throw some weights around’ and chat with other time wasters may sound like a good time to some people, but for FFS have some respect for the science behind what you are doing and pay attention! If you can't afford a respectable strength coach, look for a respectable online coach for a cost effective solution. If you can’t scrape together the funds for that either, invest the time to do some research into how to achieve the specific goals you set for yourself.
#2 Following the same program year in, year out.
Great, you are doing strength training! Great, you are training lower body and following a structured program! But wait, you can’t just work the same program all year round… The human body is an incredibly intelligent and adaptive organism, it will adapt to your program and attempt to return to homeostasis (doing as little as possible). In order to stimulate continual gains in strength, the body must continually be challenged using different training stimuli, intensity/reps/sets/tempo/volume. If all you are doing is the 5x5 strength program for example, pretty soon you will be wondering why your strength gains grind to a halt. Mix it up, invest in intelligent programming to suit your goals.
#1 NOT keeping a detailed training log.
I am going to sound like a broken record here, but “what you can measure, you can master”. Unless you are one of those blessed people with an infallible memory, chances are you will forget the details of your training sessions as time goes on. I can't stress this enough, you need to keep track of every detail of every strength training session you ever do. If you want to make progress over the long run, you need to respect the finer details and keep track of everything.
If you are unclear on how to best keep track of your workouts, PM or email me now and I will share a template with you. It is not overly complicated and it can make the difference between achieving your goals this year, or in 6 years time!
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