Principles of training/heavy ropes

June 22, 2012

Did a presentation today at Texas Woman’s University that was split into two parts, the first was focused around the principles of training and the second around using the heavy rope for training.

We covered the following principles of training:

  • Specificity: Basically you get what you train for.  We covered this in terms of muscles/motions, energy systems, and velocity of training.  Included studies using long-term training and specificity and studies comparing weightlifting to kettle bells to demonstrate specificity.  Also discussed at length the debate behind velocity specificity.
  • Overload: Have to make exercise more difficult to continue making gains.  We went over the pro’s and con’s of how to do this and I tried to get them to think outside the box in terms of using alternate exercises.
  • Progression: Conditioning is a series of steps, each builds on the one that came before.  The examples we covered included how to prepare someone to depth jump.
  • Reversibility: Unfortunately if you can make gains from training, you can lose them real fast.  Great study from 1998 which illustrated just how fast this happens.
  • Individualization: We’re all different, which is why cookie cutter programs don’t work.  Used the circa 1980’s Bulgarian weightlifting program as an example of why individualization is important.
  • Exercise order: There’s a logical approach to this.  Once you know that you can understand when to violate this principle.
  • Muscle balance: You have to do at least something for every muscle around a joint.  Most people train the muscles they can see in the mirror and ignore the ones they can’t…

After covering the principles of training, we went out to the weightroom to cover how to use the heavy rope as a conditioning tool.  This “learn by doing” session began by focusing on fundamental exercises (slams, circles, wood choppers, side to sides, etc.) then showed how to progressively make those exercises more challenging.  Finally, we covered how to integrate the heavy rope in with other conditioning tools such as the TRX, kettlebell, and stability ball for a great total body workout.