If you want to get better at something…

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If you want to get better at something do more of it. This is another simple observation but it’s frightening how few take it to heart. Within that statement are hidden several fundamental tennets of training theory. The something implies both specificity and intensity while more deals directly with volume and frequency. If I want to get better at sprinting I need to sprint either more, with greater frequency or a combination of the two. Lifting weights, swimming, and even running slowly or sub-maximally won’t cut it if the goal is to sprint faster. Likewise if you want to be stronger. Pick a lift and do more of that lift with an intensity that closely matches whatever your goal is.

If you look at some of Loren Seagrave’s old sprint training programs from his time at LSU the volume of high intensity sprint efforts can be shockingly high compared to what most are accustomed to. But that was by far the greatest collegiate women’s sprint group of all time. If you look at the fabled Smolov squat routine you’re squatting almost every day with volumes and intensities that would seemingly crush a person…yet people regularly add 100+ lbs on to their squat max in a very short period. Soviet (including breakoff countries) hammer throwers have been known to do as much as double the hammer throws in a training year as their lesser counterparts. Guess what? They occupy 7 of the top 8 all-time performers.

There are few exceptions to this rule (in my experience, more high jumping does not equate to better high jumping and based on West Side Barbell training methods, more deadlifting isn’t necessary for better deadlifting) but they are rare. If you want to get better at something do more of it. Your body will tell you when you’ve done too much. When you have, back off, allow for adaptation to occur and fill in the blanks with training that ‘supports the cause’ and balances the hyper specificity needed to progress in a single activity.

Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young

@mikeyoung

@AthleticLab Owner. Fitness coach for @NorthCarolinaFC & @TheNCCourage. Former MLS Fitness Coach. Sport Scientist. Entrepreneur. Coach Educator.
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Mike Young
Mike Young
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