I don't think I can emphasize enough that the purpose of an athletic or tactical strength and conditioning program is to facilitate adaptation on some level. The term adaptation means that an alteration has occurred in the structure or function of an organism to increase the chance of survival. Now, we see this on-going all around us everyday in plants and animals, but with humans the change is sometimes less apparent.
Human adaptation during strength and conditioning occurs on many levels. Physical adaptation involves stronger, maybe larger muscles. Physiological adaptation may involve increased oxygen consumption or more efficient use of insulin in the body. Neurological adaptation could include more efficient and refined movement patterns. Psychological adaptation may include better understanding how and when to exert one's self or developing smarter competitive strategies.
All of these are important to some degree aren't they? They point here is if the strength and conditioning program never evolves past attaining lifting load values, then we're really short-changing those we work with. Unless of course the sport one is preparing for is weight-lifting.
Soon, we will see in college and pro football which programs helped their athletes adapt towards the competitive aspect of their sports or if they missed the mark and focused on adaptation not relevant to the competitive environment. Here, injuries are often one of the variables that tells us the story of adaptation. If injuries are early in onset, are non-contact in nature, or are plague-like then we might ask if the fitness-program adaptation headed down the wrong path. Right effort headed in the wrong direction is still effort and still fosters results, it's just not in a smart direction.
So, where are you at in this process? Have you considered the wide realm of fitness adaptation? Is some aspect of the adaptation you seek relevant outside of the training room? If not, why?
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