Too many athletes waste time and effort on things like general fitness workouts, six different types of core training, stuff that looks cool or is just really hard, sport-specific training, the list goes on and on.

Any training you do outside of your sport has to have a specific adaptation that contributes to your sport performance. If it does not, it’s a waste of time! And training has to be evaluated from a physiological perspective. You can’t go for a bike ride and say, “I worked my legs. That’s gonna help me jump higher.” “Working your legs” is not a specific, physiological adaptation.

Here’s an example. Jumping is enhanced by neuromuscular strength in the motor units that are fired during the jumping movement. Jumping itself produces some neuromuscular strength, but a higher level can be gained from heavier movements that require more strength in the same motor units, AKA lower body strength training. That is why squatting and deadlifting help people jump higher.

I want to encourage athletes to evaluate training critically. Ask yourself… What is the specific adaptation I’m getting from this? Does that adaptation help me in my sport? Do I already have that adaptation from my sport? Is there a better way to get that adaptation? If you answer those questions honestly, I think you’ll find that (1) there’s a lot of nonsense training out there that doesn’t really accomplish anything and (2) training can be simplified down to just a couple critical pursuits. See How to Jump Higher.

 

Waste of time!