Tag Archives: specificity

‘AND’

I’m sure you’ve heard of this classic phrase –
 
“Quality & Quantity”
 
Notice that whenever it is uttered there is a key word that isn’t changed.
 
– AND –
 
Meaning you need both elements to be successful in a chosen endeavour.
 
It’s never been ‘quality or quantity’, that’s just illogical.
 
This is where you find people who champion one or t’other don’t seem to make much headway, essentially because they’re missing 50% of the equation, that’s a lot to miss.
 
Let us look at nutrition for the example –
 
We can all agree that for optimal health you need a high quality of foods, right?
 
Now there are plenty who say that the quality of food is all that matters and while I personally agree quality it a high priority for a lot of people, the quantity needs to be addressed as well.
 
This being said….
 
If you address the quality you will find the quantity drops as a happy side effect because you can only consume so much nutrient dense, high quality food before you start to feel uncomfortably full.
 
Now this type of food would be things such as lean meats, vegetables, fruits, essentially non-processed or man-made/store bought foods.
 
So things such as peanut butter/nut butters wouldn’t be in here.
 
Despite what the media may say, they’re not that great for you because they can easily be over consumed leading to quite a large calorie surplus, thus no potential shift in body composition or weight.
 
The thing with such thoughts is that is goes against people principles, values, beliefs and biases, which is often he case what ‘best practice’.
 
People want what they want.
 
As such they will see out things that confirm what they want (bias), then wonder why they still look the same or worse than they used too.
 
You can also think of this in terms of ‘Product & Production Capacity’.
 
Product – what you want.
 
Product Capacity – what you must do to achieve/sustain the desired product.
 
Yep, to achieve a specific goal you have to do and then adhere to specific criteria.
 
Of course you can let it revert, however you will then forfeit the basic principle of specificity and get something different in return. This is what you may consider a fundamental law.
 
So tell me, how much of the above do you think about & more importantly, how much of the above do you apply?
 
Leave your thoughts/questions below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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Specialise much?

A short post on specialisation.
 
It’s all about picking something you want to focus on.
 
If you are looking at your gym lifts for example, here’d be some sensible guidelines for the average gym goer.
 
If lifting related:
 
– Pick 1-2 lifts to focus on
– Increase the frequency: 2-3+ times per week
– Use the appropriate loading/rep schemes for the goal
– Set other training at a maintenance level
– Watch out for interference from other exercises
– Set a clear goal
 
If body part or aesthetically related:
– Pick one lagging body part
– Increase the frequency: 2-3 times per week
– Use the appropriate loading/rep schemes for the goal
– Set other training at a maintenance level
– Watch out for interference from other exercises
– Set a clear goal
 
As you can see the guidelines are essentially the same because it’s just common sense.
 
One thing people do when they specialise is to pick multiple things at once, often those things interfere with each other and little to no overall progress is made.
 
Sadly you can’t excel at everything at the same time.
 
If you try to be good at everything you end up being average.
 
It’s not uncommon for people to want to increase strength & cardiovascular performance in tandem, now if correctly planned it’s possible, however most people get it very wrong.
 
Training for multiple goals that may have some conflicting factors – energy system usage, global fatigue etc, is an art and this process is called concurrent training.
 
We won’t be covering that today.
 
This is a large topic to cover, as such here are some good places to start:
 
 
 
 
So some thing to consider if you want to bring up something that’s lagging.
 
If you want to focus on making something better, limit what you want to focus on.
 
You won’t lose your other gains if you set other training at a decent maintenance level.
 
Enjoy,
Ross 

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Training Pyramid Part 1 – Specificity

Morning Guys,
 
Programming your training isn’t the easiest thing in the world but it’s not rocket science either. All it needs is a little care and attention so that it can be crafted in to something of beauty.
 
If I was to ask you what the most important part of a program was, what would you say it is?
 
Total Volume, Intensity, Time spent in the gym perhaps?
 
While you would not be wrong in thinking that those are not the most important things, to begin with that is.
 
The first thing you need to know is what you want to achieve specifically.
 
Now, specificity is all well and good but if you don’t have a defined timescale/goal then you can be as specific as you like but it won’t mean much, however these two are intrinsically linked as you can’t really have one without the other. If you used a body building competition as an example you would know when your comp date is, thus allowing you to appropriately plan your Macro/Meso & Microcycles (training blocks from building to adaptation to realisation/peaking).
 
One of the first things you need to establish and get right in your quest for a solid program is what your desired SPECIFICITY is at that point in time. It’s no good using 1-3reps with 90%+ of your 1RM for the majority of your training if your goal is hypertrophy (for most people), you will be far better off sticking with 6-12 reps in the 70-80% range. As time progresses and you draw closer and closer to your end date you will indeed adapt your training to suit your needs, perhaps it’s adding more sets/reps to increase the total volume and really push yourself to the edge but what ever it is, it will be relevant to your training at that point in time.
 
During your planning stage you will be looking to have a steady increase in overall volume that is stimulating enough to make you adapt but manageable enough so that you can recover, after all, there is no point in going too hard too son and ending up injured or burnt out.
 
Remember, the goal of each training block is to improve your overall performance and help you progress towards your goal, when you start planning what you’re going to do you must think about what you NEED to do and not what you LIKE to do. One will get your the results you want, the other will only massage your ego.
 
Think of this as the base of the pyramid, once you have this you can then go hunting for your sets/reps & intensity or as it is otherwise known Overload (this will be covered another day).
It’s time now for you to go and establish what your goal really is, what stage you’re currently at and how much time you have to achieve it your desired goal. Get these fundamentals sorted and you will be on the right path.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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