Sunday, February 1, 2009

Adaptation Paranoia

Sometimes, I run across people who have the idea that adapting to your training is somehow a bad thing. Novelty is good. Change is good. But too much mixing it up and you're going to end up a "Jack of all trades, master of none"-type. Nothing wrong with that, but when people ask me for advice on training, their goals are usually pretty specific - "I want to improve my squat", or "I want to be able to do more snatches with the 1.5 pood", or "I want to be faster". Wouldn't it make sense to spend some time specializing on that one thing? Your other lifts will not disappear as you focus and some time off from them might even be what they need.

Here's how I look at it: I want to be like those borgs on Star Trek who get hammered by photon torpedoes once or twice and then after that they don't take any damage at all. I want Commander Worf to turn to the flight deck crew on the Enterprise and say in that low pitch voice of his "Boris has adapted!".

Adaptation = Good For Borgs ...and YOU!

I want my body to adapt to training because this means progress. I hate acronyms as much as anyone, but SAID (specific adaptation to imposed demands) is a pretty useful one to remember and regurgitate when you want to sound like a fitness professional or if you need a mantra to keep you in the squat racks. Constant soreness and extreme fatigue are fine if you like pain, but that doesn't mean you're making a beeline toward improved performance in your strength related endeavor. Specificity is king and the king maintains rule with consistency.


p5ntangle said...

Hi, I have recently come across your Squat Rx You Tube posts. Thanks for these they are excellent and have been a great help in my training.

PS Love the SKWAT t-shirt.

Boris said...

Thanks p5ntangle!