Saturday, August 16, 2008
Last week, I had the pleasure of giving a workshop for a group of personal trainers. We spent some time discussing the concepts of power "leakage" vs. "linkage" and I asked them the question "When you teach proper technique to someone who's been doing a lift wrong for some time, what happens to their training poundages?" The answer (that many missed) is that the training weights will almost certainly go down temporarily, but it is absolutely necessary for your long-term progress. You are building a foundation for bigger future gains.
As may be expected, Gray Cook does a good job of explaining this in Athletic Body In Balance:
It is possible for an athlete to perform well even when poor form is used, but eventually the athlete will experience breakdown, inconsistency, fatigue, soreness, and even injury. It should be the goal of the training program to create efficient movement in the activity. This will conserve energy, keep the athlete relaxed, and allow the athlete to practice more and compete with less stress.
The problem is that poor form may be easier, more familiar, and more comfortable, and it may even seem to take less energy than proper form. Proper form, however, will take far less energy in the long run. Poor form, even if it leads to some initial success, will eventually rob the athlete and cost far more time and effort than what is required to fix the weak links. Poor form can incorporate less overall muscle activity and therefore seem easier, but don't confuse this feeling with efficiency. Muscles are accustomed to generating the desired movement and maintaining optimal body position. To be efficient, the athlete must fulfill both criteria and then demonstrate the ability to reproduce the activity without a decline in quality. The athlete who understands this will be more efficient and will develop the muscles that were designed to perform the activity.
Posted by Boris at 7:00 AM