Belgian Waffles versus French Toast?

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Slow lifting for aerobic energy system training. Explosive pull-throughs or kettlebell swings following deadlifts. Right now I am concerned, as we have Front Squats to 400m runs and other combinations that sound like tuna fish smoothies, good in isolation but not likely to be a good match paired up. Everyone has their style, and yes I believe in some of what people are doing as being possible, but likely I am not sure if it’s better than a good bread and butter program. Instead of contrast and complex, what about simple or straightforward? Another question I have is how many years of data do we have the advanced stuff compared to the more vanilla approaches? I think sometimes the simple organized well is advanced, but it should be clear and effective and not fancy. I have done perhaps the most pragmatic training this summer and the results show that we are not missing the breathing training or the DNS work.

The simple sometimes becomes complex from detail as we all have to adjust training because of a sprained wrist from a game, an athlete that caught the flu from an ex-girlfriend and so forth. Good training covers the basics because it address the athlete, not a hyper specific problem that we love to find. The diaphragm for example works well when athletes are fit and are not doing max reps with redbull every day on a wannabe hardcore powerlifting program. I will defend westside because without them in the early 2000s, we would be stuck on airex pads still, and I see obese kids rolling on the ground and activating when a simple PE program done daily at a recreation program will address the health far better. Crossfit has helped and harmed many, so don’t blame the sport or movement to group exercise when it’s about the coaching not the brand. I know this is a bit of a rant but nobody speaks up because affiliate codes and speaking engagements are coveted.

Good coaching is rare and I find myself visiting the same people after burning money visiting people who claim great things at workshops but warm-ups are social lions, meaning lying around talking in the pride but not doing things to get prepared to sprint or condition. Do we plan water breaks? What about bathroom breaks? Nobody wants to admit the basics are often overlooked because being the bad guy means mutiny, and coaches like firing the strength guy to buy time on their contracts at the professional level. Most of the overtraining is coming from the team coach (as complained privately) but we hope the GPS bubble chart will prove it. What will change is the fact we need more face to face hard conversations. I like the fact hard conditioning tests exist to show some sort of evidence that the athlete isn’t ready because they didn’t do the work. Nobody wants to admit that the stars come in out of shape and those that do all the corrective work hid from the reality that conditioning the lungs and body likely do more than PRI one on one work.

So back to French Contrast and complex work. What are the changes to speed and power before the enlightenment with the majority of athletes? When we hit a ceiling after years of polishing the basics, then we need the advanced training. Of course we are all advanced as coaches, but our athletes are coming in less prepared from culture changes and the rise of corrective training phases that never make the leap out of babying people.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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