Sometimes progress looks a lot like going back and reinforcing the fundamentals
This past week I had a few athletes I’ve been working with go back through very basic, fundamental workouts, with a huge emphasis on technique, and how/where they are getting the movements in the body.
The weights were moderate, and the program was incredibly simple and straight forward.
No instructions for breathing.
Just “Let’s hit this at an RPE of 6-7 for the working sets, and get better at the fundamentals”, as the instructions.
These are pretty advanced strength training athletes, with 5+ years of experience in the weight room… Which is exactly why they got excited.
Each one’s face lit up, and they were infused with a jolt of energy like taking the sip of your morning coffee the Monday morning you’ve taken off work so that you can sleep in and let the big weekend of riding take hold.
These guys and gals get IT.
But what is IT?
We keep is simple, and master the fundamentals.
Just like LeBron James or Michael Jordan practicing form shooting for 2 feet from the basket, or John Elway throwing a football through a swinging tire from 20 feet away, the fundamentals are what everything is built on. So while many other athletes and their strength coaches are trying these fun, innovative, and super technical exercises and approaches, we go the other way.
Throw the switch to “easy”, and save the mental energy of these athletes for where they need it: in their sport practice and games.
They show up, focus on feeling great with whichever of the FUNdamental 5+1 movements we’re working on that day (usually the loaded versions there are just 2), and go home.
Don’t confuse the return to the fundamentals to mean that we don’t focus on the each and every time in the weight room: we do.
However, when you take the programming back to purely the fundamentals, it frees up a lot of the brain power, and even nervous system, allowing the individual to absolutely fly, as they’re only focusing on one or two key items to help them improve.
So the question is:
What do you need?
Fancier/more complex exercises, or to take it back to fundamentals and just spend 2-3 weeks getting really good (again) at the basics?