What is APA all about?
So I am going to carry on with a few more APA Coaching Philosophy bullet points from my Coaching Mandate. Basically this is a document I can give any new coach to bring them up to speed on where I stand with pretty much everything related to Strength & Conditioning.
In the first Post we discussed what the Overall Goal of any S&C programme should be and also what qualities I am looking for in any prospective coach. In this post we discuss programme design which builds on the previous blog on planning and periodisation.
No philosophy would be complete without some sort of position on programme design. We already discussed in the previous blog the need to create a training adaptation and ways we could organise training to achieve this. There are different ways to organise your training but as we know now APA coaches use concurrent training models.
The other key point I make in my coaching mandate is that:
There is no single best method for achieving overload that is used to the exclusion of others in the APA Philosophy
The following bullet points build on this idea that there are many methods available to us and we should examine the benefits of all of them. The most important thing is that you have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve:
>It’s about the plan not the exercise, or the exercise craze
There is always a new exercise that comes along usually using a piece of equipment. I am very open minded and I have found that adding in Swiss balls, BOSU balls and such like can add variety to the programme. I find that anything can be used as long as you are clear on how that exercise fits into the plan. Did your original exercise do a better job of creating the adaptations you wanted and are you just subscribing to a fad?
Below are some notes I took when listening to Mike Boyle present on the topic of Programme Design: What he highlights really well is that as well as being drawn in by gimmics and fads we also see coaches who are only open to one mode of training. Of course this is fine if you are training to become a Powerlifter or Strongman but if you are a regular athlete then I think you can take elements of all of these methods. Remember the Bruce Lee quote:
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
Mike Boyle Programme Design: Schools of Thought
Everyone wants to belong to a group
Instead of developing a philosophy they adopt one
‘In the beginner’s mind there are endless possibilities, in the expert’s there are few.’ Buddha’s Little Instruction Book.
Mike believes that in the majority of quality S&C programmes the coaches are doing things that are very similar.
Just Do It
Lowest form of training- no assessment just do it and work em out!, run around, work hard and get sweaty
Multi-plane instability king
Usually has alphabet soup after his name CSCS, NSCA-PT, CES, CPT, BWLA ……….
He will paralyse you with his assessment and analysis
Likes bodyweight and dumbbells because it is more ‘functional’
No one ever gets hurt because they don’t lift heavy weights and never get strong
Like the just do it but with loads of certifications!
Famous for the split routine
Like the just do it but with really heavy weights
THE PHILOSOPHY should achieve the basic goals I have already outlined of reducing risk of injuries and improving sporting performance.
I am not a cross fit guy, a boot camp guy or any other mode type of guy. I am a coach who wants to develop efficient, strong, explosive and durable athletes and I will borrow from all of the different methods to get the job done in a fun way for the athlete.
So…….back to a few more of my Philosophy Bullet points on Programme Design……..
> One workout cannot make an athlete but one workout can break an athlete
> No one method or physical quality becomes an end unto itself
> Incorporate a full spectrum of training methods (soft tissue work, mobility, flexibility, resistance training, medicine ball and jumping, SAQ training)
> Train all fitness components all of the time but in different proportions
> Variation without constant change
> Planned variation in intensity is important to prevent neural fatigue
> Stagnancy is often confused with stability- some things are not meant to change
Relating to the bullet points about variation, the important point to remember with concurrent training is that all of the different biomotor qualities will be developed in a given training session/week but the highest training load will be assigned to that day’s/phase’s main objective. So you are building in variation in intensity to your programme just by prioritising different exercises each session or phase.
Don’t be frightened to keep the ‘stables’ of your programme in the programme for long periods. Having stability in some aspects of your programme is NOT the same as stagnancy. Yes by all means vary the supplementary exercises every 3-4 weeks but the big lifts can be always there just maybe you cycle through different types on different sessions such as Back squat Monday, Overhead Wednesday and Front squat Friday.
> Good training programmes make you adaptable not adapted to one form of stress
> Keep the knife sharp but not to a razors edge
> It is during recovery when training adaptation takes place
I will get into more detail about the manipulation of Load (volume x intensity) but that’s enough for Programme Design for now!!