I routinely get messages from people who want to be powerlifters, weightlifters, throwers, or other things involving advanced athletics. If they want to work with me, I always ask them a series of questions revolving around this central concept: Where are you now?
|This was 2015. She’s still working on squatting better.|
In other words, what are you currently doing? Are you strength training? Training at all? Playing a sport? How is your diet? What are you eating? When are you eating? How much time do you have to train? What is your job? Are you in school? What is your stress level?
It is impossible to plot a course if you don’t know where you are starting from.
The next thing I do is very clearly tell them what steps we need to take. There are usually two very basic steps to take and my new client has to be willing to devote a lot of time to both. These two things are:
1. Learn and practice the specific skills involved in the sport or activity they want to train for.
2. Introduce or continue with basic strength training to help prevent injury.
It really is that simple.
My powerlifters learn how to squat, bench, and deadlift with good technique (which takes YEARS to develop) while also doing appropriate accessory work to strengthen their weaknesses and protect their spine and joints.
My weightlifters learn how to snatch and clean and jerk (which takes YEARS to develop) while also doing appropriate accessory work to strengthen their weaknesses and protect their spine and joints.
My throwers learn how to execute their specific throws with good technique (which takes YEARS to develop) while also doing appropriate accessory work to strengthen their weaknesses and protect their spine and joints.
See what I did there? Its the same for losing weight, playing lacrosse, gardening, or playing the piano. Practice your skills and keep your body strong. Strength training throughout life will strengthen your weaknesses and protect your spine and joints.
Anyway, if you are strength training with machines, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sacks of dog food, or sleeping children, keep it up. And when you are ready to learn how to do it better or different, find a good coach to help you.
***If you are interested in training for Highland Games, you can find some information and some training documents I wrote and presented at Highland Games clinics in 2016 and 2017: http://www.throwshagshag.org/training/