Why do we train with variety?

You will hear us talking a lot in training about different training weeks or different training types. I have decided to use the word to get a bit geeky today and talk about what it is we are actually trying to do with your training program in the park. As you will have noticed, the diversity of equipment and sessions in your FEAT training program is massive, meaning you are rarely ever doing the same session twice. As well as preventing you from getting bored at training, the continual change of movements, equipment, patterning and loading is to continually challenge your body in new and different ways.

For the first time in the modern training era, there is an unparalleled cross-discipline exchange among training practices and theories of human movement. For example, most training practices are now an interdisciplinary melting pot of physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, Olympic lifters, gymnasts, Kettlebell lovers, dancers, yogis, pilates instructors and the list goes on. This phenomenon is the strength and conditioning equivalent of the great systems theorist Buckminster Fuller's concept of mutual accommodation - that correctly organised, functionally sound systems are never in opposition. They mutually support one another.

Everyone shares the same basic design and body structure. People's shoulders all work the same way: the principles that govern a stable shoulder position while doing a Slamball Slam are the same in a Dumbbell Push Press; how you organise your shoulders to sit in Lotus Posture at yoga is the same way you organise them when working at your computer. It's just that the same set of problems have been solved from a radically different angle and approaches, until now.

Another contributing factor to this golden age in Strength and Conditioning is that a good Strength and Conditioning program now includes all the elements of human movement. That is, an intelligently structured strength and conditioning program give the athlete full range of motion in her joints, limbs and tissues; the motor control to express those ranges; and the ability to do so under actual physical load, metabolic demand (how have you fuelled your body for training), cardio-respiratory demand (heart is pumping and you're pushing yourself in a set), speed and stress. This is the aim of our 5 week progressive overload of training weeks; Movement and Mobility, Strength, Endurance, Strength Endurance, Speed, Power & Agility.

By consistently and systematically exposing ourselves to the rigours of full-range movements and optimal human motor control (everything that we are testing when we play games), we're able to quickly identify force leaks, torque dumps, bad technique, motor inefficiency, poorly integrated movement patterns; holes in strength, speed and restrictions in mobility. Best of all, the tool we use to detect and prevent injury is the same tool needed to improve a person at training's performance/results. The middle-aged 'tore my heel cord' syndrome is a lot less likely to happen if the person's ankle is regularly exposed to full ranges of motion in movements like jumping, lunges or squats.

So, variety in training practices and stresses on the body, pushing to move at full ranges and trying patterns that you have never before seen or attempted, are an integral part of fitness programming. Don't be afraid to increase the challenge by learning a new movement from a completely different training style or discipline... Go explore your movement!!!

Annandale with Slamballs