More than an Exercise


This Saturday at the Wisconsin State NSCA meeting one of my presentations will be on Designing Effective Workouts- It is More Than an Exercise. I guess because I have been preparing for this talk over the past several weeks I have been more observant sensitive to what I read and see about training and training programs. I realize it is so easy to get caught up in the trap of the new great exercise or the next great machine, but as I have said many times in this blog, there is so much more to than that. First of all, do you have a plan, a plan for that session, for the mesocyle, for the block and for the year. What are your goals? Are those goals measurable? How will you measure them? When you get down to selecting the actual exercises in some ways that is the easy part, does each exercise have a specific context? Where and how does it fit into the bigger picture? Before I will add new exercises to the menu I test them out myself. Seldom, if ever will I see an exercise and then add it immediately to a program. When I have done that it has been disaster.

Folks it is the same with workouts, what works for me will not work for you. Each workout is designed for the particular sport, the individuals I am working with and part of the plan we are executing today. I just got an email forwarded to me from a very prominent foreign swim coach very popular on the international lecture circuit. It was list of his favorite training sets. I thought, how insane, none of us have his personality, his personnel or his control. Why should we think they would work for anyone else? Frankly that is why when I write or speak I am very reticent to show or print workouts, because people want to copy them and apply them, without any thought to the considerations I previously mentioned. I will put up a couple of workouts this weekend and the audience will try furiously to copy them. My intent will be to show context, but I am sure the audience will be looking for the magic bullet, it is the same everywhere. Coaching is a creative and a scientific process, just like a surgeon gets better by doing more surgeries, the coach gets better by coaching more training sessions. ( I am not implying that coaching is brain surgery) Just like there are failed surgeons, there are failed coaches, probably for the same reason, they failed to keep honing and sharpening their skills. It is work, it takes time and practice, it does happen overnight. Think and keep learning, remember it is more than an exercise.
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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