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Quality or Quantity | Boddicker Performance

Filed under: Running, strength training

Quality or Quantity

by on Aug 3rd, 2009

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Wow!  What a great weekend?  I spent all weekend learning from some incredibly smart people at the Perform Better Summit in Long Beach.  It is always a great opportunity to get out and mix it up with the bright minds in the industry.  I promise a full review to come soon.  In short, Chris Poirier and his Perform Better team did another fantastic job as the weekend was very on point and seamless.  If you are looking for an educational opportunity, be sure to check first with Chris.

While at the conference I had a discussion with another coach, who is a triathlon coach in Southern California.  In discussing the application of strength training to his athletes, he said that he saw it did more harm than good.  Initially, I thought he was like most everyone else in the endurance community who sees strength training simply for bodybuilders and football players, but I let him go on.  Turns out, he had tried numerous methods without success.  He has trained them in a circuit fashion, he tried and succeeded at improving absolute strength by training in the 1-3RM range, he had them jump on boxes and off again  up to several hundred foot contacts a session, but he wasn’t seeing any functional carryover or improved sport success.   When he began to tell me about his swim/bike/run training and all of the volumes, it hit me.

As a consequence of the sport being so quantitaive with both times, weekly running/swimming/biking volumes, the idea that success off the bike must be done so in a quantitative manner leads people astray.  Sadly it doesn’t work quite that simply.  Absolutely, quantitative measures are important, but the reality is that we need to be much more concered with qualitative improvements in movement efficiency.  When an endurance athlete toes the starting line, it doesn’t matter if he can squat 1000 pounds, but rather that he can squat without joint or soft-tissue restrictions; that he can squat with the right muscles activating at the right time; that his body is able to respond appropriately to an endless stream of proprioceptive input.  If we can get an athlete to the line with enhanced quality of movement, my bet is that we’ll run faster every time and our longevity will be much enhanced.

Have a great day.  Train hard!

Yours in strength,

Carson Boddicker

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