Strength Performance Network

It doesn't matter what your training for, the reality is that all training is specific to how and in what manner you train.  That's pretty simple right?  I prudent review of comprehensive literature supports this notion.  In this context, using exercises like barbell squats to improve sprint speed almost makes zero sense.  Why, sure barbell squats can improve leg strength, but so can a lot of other exercises.  In a very, very minimal sense barbell squats don't feed-in to a sprint biomechanical and muscle use pattern akin to sprinting.  That's not rocket science is it? 

Yet, there's an immense gravitational pull from traditional lifts or more realistically what we know from our own experience towards these lifts being applicable to other human movements, such as sprinting and explosive sports or tactical movements.  We know or should know this is not true.  Traditional lifts simply are mechanisms, that's it.  Now, further scientific review is needed to understand how mechanisms, in this case strengthening mechanisms, relate to other mechanisms, in this case sports or tactical movement.  In most cases, they are probably not as relative as we think.  

What really matters is what context we view and use mechanism.  Again, I'll use simply any barbell lift off of the floor as an example.  In the context of working in a sterile, closed training environment, I could point out the power and explosion used to complete the movement from a visual perspective.  However, upon actually measuring power, one might be amazed at how little power is actually generated at times and at certain points of movement.  I could also measure torque on various points of the body, especially the low back, and point out fault patterns that contribute to L3, 4, and 5 injury patterns.  Lastly, we could use biomechanical analysis and compare kinematics of any of these lifts compared to free movement and really see they are nothing like free, reactive movement in open space.

Now, I don't point this out to belittle any lift.  The reality is that mechanisms to train the body are just that, mechanisms.  We should really take a look at mechanisms in the bigger context of how they fit into a practical sense rather than a convenience or experiential sense.  This does not mean trying to retrain adults how to move in space as that does not make much practical sense either.  It does mean gravitating more towards understanding the context of how training mechanisms and complex human systems interact with one another and to what extent training can impact systemic function outside of the training environment. 

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