4/22/16

The Beautification of Training

The art and science of training is still pretty young. Luckily it’s no longer in that infant or child phase, but it has finally reached that awkward tween stage. You know what I’m talking about. That desire for identity is so great that it winds up stealing your makeup and horribly painting on what it thinks looks good.


Not so pretty. That’s what I see when I get on social media and I watch videos of the newest trending fitness workout. I smile because I see people passionate about fitness, training, and getting better at their craft. But I also cringe because they are in need of some desperate help. Granted, this is better than someone who heads to the gym dressed to impress with the intention of remaining sweat-free for their session. All this tells me is that we are headed in the right direction, but as a culture we need to adjust the sails to get us to where we really need to be.


I feel truly humbled to have been able to add to the body of literature at this point in my life. It’s a small step in hopefully a long journey of publications I get to help with. Sadly, there is a headbutting of getting science to the masses. We’re cracking away at the misconceptions one ‘thud’ at a time, but eager entrepreneurs are selling more snake-oil than we can manage. Most notoriously has to be the introduction of Altitude Training Masks.

How these things still exist, I have no clue. The research is in. It does not increase VO2 max. It does not improve strength. It reduces respiratory muscle efficiency. It acutely helps with anaerobic conditioning. The negatives far outweigh the benefits, but thanks to the beautification of training the WOW factor still causes people to purchase these things. What truly bothers me is that I see high level athletes using these masks because it’s hardcore.

Is hardcore better?

How many times have you seen some obnoxious video of someone doing a medley of agility drills that lasts 15 seconds and uses 12 different ladders, 23 cones, and 17 hurdles. You got me, it looks cool, but it’s carry over is minimalist at best. All that drill means is that some athlete has learned and memorized a series of movements at a high rate of speed. The purpose of ladders, cones, and hurdles is to force an athlete into awkward reactions in a directed movement. That Insta-Famous drill is not a reaction but a memorization. I don’t know about you, but time could be better spent performing drills and doing training that is less pretty and more effective.

Hardcore normally takes the principle that if it’s tough it’s working. A good training session should apply the principle of work smart not hard. You need to get the most out of what you’re doing with the time you have. However, at the end it boils down to cause and effect

If a gimmick or a product feels effective, but then the carry over just isn’t there then eventually that training tool will die. The scientific community will smother it with facts while people realize that the struggle of the workout isn’t improving the struggle of whatever they’re training for. This always reminds me of a story I heard one time.

There were these two football players. One wanted to get in shape so he started running. Another also wanted to get in shape so he went to his coach for running workouts. The football coach made his player run sprints. Ten yards, twenty yards, and forty yard sprints. The other athlete ran one mile a day for the first week. Then two miles a day for the second week. By the end of the summer he was running 8 miles a day getting ready for two a days. He felt like he was in the best shape of his life and everyone was so impressed with how fit he was. The other football player was still running his sprints though. Ten yards, twenty yards, and forty yards. On the first day of two a days all of the boys had to do three 300 yard shuttle endurance tests and then run a 40 yard dash test. Both boys passed the 300 yard test, and the boy who ran miles felt fresh after he finished while the boy who only ran sprints felt tired. Yet the boy who ran sprints who felt more tired ran each 300 yard shuttle test faster. Likewise the boy who ran sprints showed a faster 40 time than the boy who ran miles. The morale of this real example is that doing what works may not make you feel like you’re the most in shape or the most hardcore, but it will make you perform better.

Speaking of performing, do you know what a great training tool is that has been proven effective? DEADLIFTING.



Superset that with some donuts and join us May 7th from 9am-12pm at Endunamoo Strength & conditioning for our deadlift competition. 

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.