Finally, we come to the last post in this series. I am excited to be done with this topic, not because I’m sick of it, but because I have so many more topics I am eager to share with you all. I have talked about everything I can imagine in regards to in-practice punishments. It may not seem that important to many, but how many times have you preformed exercises like the ones I have spoken of in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3? I am sure it is a countless number of times. To think that the body will not begin change due to these exercises is asinine. Instead of giving you a list of exercises, I will talk about the big picture exercises.
There is no magic recipe for the best exercises, but there is definitely a right and a wrong. An easy way to steer yourself in the right direction is just to ask, “Does this exercises make me better at _________”. Keep it simple – there should not be some free association where, “since I’m running, it’s improving my ‘cardio’ so I’m getting better at ________”. Do NOT get me started on “cardio,” it is such a stupid, generalized, and misunderstood term.
Sidebar: If you are playing volleyball, STOP RUNNING as a method of training. This belongs in a post of its own, in the meantime just take my word for it. Seriously, I hate hearing my volleyball athletes tell me how they just ran for 4 miles, 15 minutes, etc.
Do not think too hard, when you perform some sort of metabolic exercise, you should feel the same as you would when playing your sport.
For weight training, does this directly improve your ability to play _______ sport? For example, would you rather have some big bulky club of an arm or a quick arm for volleyball?
Psst, the answer is quick arm. So why are you still bench pressing? Because you see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweet photos of himself benching enormous amounts of weight? Because it is what your college coach told you to do? Because you saw it in the most recent issue of Men’s Fitness (where they “unleash the 60 secrets great abs and big chests”)? Because you saw some video of an international player telling you that it is his secret to success? (Another topic for a post in the future, but just because it worked for one athlete does not mean it will work for you! Even at the highest levels of sport people are still training incorrectly). Because you don’t know what else to do and follow what every other uninformed athlete does in the gym? Hits close to home, doesn’t it? I know, I did it too. If only I could turn back time.
If you can not make it in for a session with me, then I challenge you from the depths of the blogosphere: Make yourself the guinea pig, try new things (these new things should come from reputable, professional sources in the field. Men’s Fitness is NOT one of these). Experiment! But be careful, do not make the same mistake I made. Do not lie to yourself because you so badly want the results from some “proven,” “elite,” workout routine. I take my athletes through a myriad of exercises and movements, but they all have the same staples: scientifically based energy system training with an emphasis on optimal human movement patterns. The final and often overlooked component is making each session an enjoyable experience. If you are having fun, than you are more likely to continue training and push yourself further.
Train Smarter to Play Harder
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Volleyball Skills & Conditioning Specialist
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