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2/5/2013 3:11:16 PM -
What we forget sometimes

There was an article posted on this site written by Bob Youngs that speaks very well to some things I’ve been thinking about lately with regard to both my own training and our team’s. In it, he talks about what he was told to do when he first went to (redacted) Barbell years ago.

Bob basically wasn’t in good enough shape to do the same kind of volume as the big time lifters when he first got there, so he was put on a weekly template that only gave him three exercises per day. I find this really interesting, and it got me to thinking about some shit.

I think one of the worst things that’s happened to this business is this phrase: “You can’t outtrain a bad diet.”

Is it true? Yes, it definitely makes sense, and if you eat like a jackass, it’s going to affect both the way you perform and the way you look. I’ve learned that the hard way over the years by ignoring proper nutrition and drinking like a damned lush, thinking I was squared away simply because I was training my ass off all the time.

Here’s the thing, though. I think some of these so-called “fitness experts” out there run into issues when they flip this statement, augment it with the whole “less is more” deal, and forget about the role of training your f-ing ball sack off if you want to become a better athlete. I think we misunderstand a lot of these concepts as they’re actually put into practice.

Take Joel Jamieson, for example. Joel’s one of the best all-purpose coaches in the world, but he’s become very well known for being the guy who can get you a massive gas tank if you’re an MMA fighter. Most people, however, kind of misunderstand what Joel actually does to get these guys their gas tank. They seemingly can’t get past the fact that Joel—and Mark McLaughlin—want you to get on a treadmill or an elliptical and move at a steady, moderate pace for an hour every day.

Combine this with the Omegawave state-of-readiness stuff—and the fact that everything is based on heart rate monitors—and a lot of coaches, instead of seeing this type of training for what it is—look at it as the “easy” way to gaining endurance. It’s not. If you train with Joel, you’re going to get tired. You’re going to get VERY tired. He’s going to f**k you up. Check out the conditioning tests he does with his guys. 95% of us wouldn’t be able to even finish the thing, much less turn in a competitive time. The difference is that he’s not going to hurt you by doing this shit indiscriminately.

The point here is that it’s not easy. There’s nothing easy about it, just like there’s nothing easy about the assistance work you’ll do on a max or dynamic effort day at (redacted) Barbell. You’re going to get f****d up tired there, too—but again, you’re going to do so in a way that helps you. Most coaches, when they take this shit into a weight room and use it on their athletes, don’t really know how to use it correctly. It’s either going to be too easy or too hard for any of it to work.

That’s why Bob’s article resonated with me this week, because this is something I think about a lot with my guys. There has to be some kind of balance between training and nutrition based on that “you can’t outtrain” quote. Sure, you can’t outtrain a bad diet, but conversely, you can’t diet yourself into being a good football player. And I think what gets lost sometimes, in all these recommendations from these coaches who preach about keeping athletes healthy is that if you move too far to one end of the pendulum—the one AWAY from proper training—you’re wasting your athletes’ time.

The idea here is a simple and obvious one. Athletes HAVE to work. Everything is individualized, and you have to know your guys as well as you know yourself, but if you’re not properly ramping up their volume from week to week and making shit hard, they’re not going to get anything out of it no matter how many f*****g shakes they drink.

Angry Coach

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