Thursday, May 16, 2013

Do What You Need To Do

During a recent conversation, Kelsi told me that one of her co-workers suggested to her that she needed to work on her biceps. He seems to think that her upper arms are lacking a little bit in development. Unsurprising considering this guy spends most of his workouts pumping out preacher curlz and staring at his GunZ in the mirror, waiting for them to grow.

I've never considered the fact that her arms are lacking in hypertrophy; I'm usually more impressed with the fact that in the last year she went from being able to do 0 chin-ups to doing multiple sets of 5 during her workouts. I've also never thought about it because I've been doing her training programs for the last year and I've never programmed a single set of direct bicep work. Why?

Because it doesn't fucking matter.

Kels is still a competitive runner; she finished in 5th place for her age group in both last years BAA Half Marathon (1:28:46) and the 2013 BAA 5K (19:14).  she's looking to place/win in the upcoming Run To Remember. Thus, I train her as such. She's also undertaking a very worthy cause and running every day of 2013; so why would I ask her to do a bunch of extra biceps curls and waste energy and time in the gym? Biceps size has zero correlation to being a faster/better runner. Most of what I have her doing in the weight room is going to iron out imbalances and protect her from injury. 

Asking any athlete to spend extra time in the gym doing unnecessary hypertrophy work for aesthetic purposes is a mistake by the strength coach. There are athletes who need that added mass to be better at their sport: football and rugby players who carry the ball need some armor building in the elbow joints, so do MMA fighters who always have someone trying to break their elbow. Too, football players could always stand to have some added mass around the neck area to help protect it. ("The best way to protect someones neck is to hide it between some traps" - Dan John)

Protect ya' neck: Wendler is doing it right.
So is Wu Tang

If you coach, or are, an athlete who has very specific needs and demands please don't waste their time doing unnecessary stuff. Get them the training effect that is necessary to see progress and then get them out of the weight room and start recovering. Fatigue masks fitness, so you don't want your athletes walking around dog tired.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit.

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