I had a great discussion the other week with @Rocky_Snyder for his Zelos podcast, and one of the things that came up was the influence of an athlete’s build on exercise selection.

It reminded me of this slide from my “Performance Profiling as a Platform for Program Design” talk from our Optimizing Adaptation & Performance seminar series. These are pictures @michael_boyle1959 sent me a few years back of 2 girls that trained at @mbscofficial.

Seated, they’re about the same height. Standing, it’s a much different story. The thigh to torso length relationship will have a significant impact on how these athletes move.

In squatting, for example, the bar needs to stay centered over your mid foot. If the load of the bar is centered too far toward the heel, the athlete will fall back; too far toward the toes, the athlete will fall forward.

Longer femurs relative to torso length (as with the taller athlete here) will require the athlete to lean significantly further forward to maintain the bar over the mid foot. In these cases, the bar isn’t loading DOWN through the spine, it’s loading FORWARD and pushing the torso further toward the thighs. This both changes the loading pattern (e.g. more posterior chain dominant to prevent folding forward), but also increases shear forces across the spine.

Taken together, squatting for the taller athlete is probably training a different pattern than intended AND increasing injury risk. Risk/Reward isn’t favorable for that exercise for that athlete.

Simply, not every athlete is a good fit for every exercise.

There are a lot of different factors that should affect program design and exercise selection. Looking at the athlete in front of you and making adjustments based on their build is low hanging fruit.

Feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. If you’re interested in more information about how to profile an athlete’s needs and use the profile to individualize a training program, check out the videos at Optimizing Adaptation & Performance

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Over the last week, I’ve mentioned that the release of Mike Boyle’s Functional Strength Coach 4 was in our near future. Well, today is the day. The first three DVD sets in Boyle’s “Functional Strength Coach” series have been outstanding, and present complimentary pieces to the foundation of a successful training program and strength and conditioning business. In this DVD series, Mike presents his current training systems, including updates he’s made since the last DVD set, and discusses much more about what it takes to be successful in the strength and conditioning industry that he has in the past.

Functional Strength Coach 4 is broken into two parts:
Part 1: Training Clients and Athletes
  1. Why a facility without a program is doomed to fail (programs beat systems!)
  2. The only 3 goals of any strength and conditioning program
  3. How to divide your time within each training session (for athletes vs clients)
  4. The last 3 things you should do with your clients
  5. Specific effects of Joint Dysfunction you’re probably overlooking
  6. Mobility versus flexibility and why it matters
  7. Why you should foam roll before every session and exactly how we do it.
  8. 7 Patterns of Strength Programming
  9. The Key to Program Design…regardless of population
  10. How we approach Basic and Advanced Periodization
  11. Specific linear speed and multidirectional speed day warm up progressions
  12. The Truth about Functional Training
  13. Why squatting starts on the ground
  14. Why Everything Changes When You Stand on One Leg
  15. Understanding Hip Flexion and the 7 factors affecting performance
  16. Advanced Load and Strength Progressions
  17. Two Things To Avoid with ‘Core Training’ (and why I don’t like that term)
  18. Rotary Training progressions and regressions
  19. Complex Training progressions and regressions
  20. Dealing with Injury – Boyle’s Theory
  21. Single Leg Versus Double Leg…when, where and why
  22. Keys to Conditioning
  23. 3 Simple Rules for  Designing Interval Programs
  24. Off Season Conditioning Protocols
  25. Tips for Hockey, Football, Basketball ‘specific’ conditioning
  26. And much more. Including:
    –  Sample 2 Day In-Season Program
    –  Sample 3 Day Off-Season Program
    –  Full Summer 4 Phase Program
Part 2: Owning your own facility
  1. Why the 10,000 hour rule will make or break your business
  2. The truth about the ‘4 Hour Work Week’
  3. How to run a successful facility
  4. How big your first facility should be
  5. 3 Rules for purchasing equipment
  6. Why you should…or shouldn’t…buy a franchise
  7. Financials and knowing your numbers
  8. How to approach Sponsors…literally and figuratively
  9. The simple truth about managing and developing staff
  10. Why getting clients comes down to the ‘crazies’
  11. 21 suggestions guaranteed to lead to success…in business and life

I’ve learned more from Mike Boyle than anyone else in the industry, about training, coaching, business, and life in general. Interestingly, I’ve met dozens of highly successful strength and conditioning coaches that feel the same way. If you’re serious about becoming the best at what you do, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Functional Strength Coach 4!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. Boyle is throwing in a 60-minute presentation on his “Success Secrets” for those that pick up a copy FSC4 today. I had an opportunity to watch this lecture in person, and it’s worth the price of admission by itself. Check out the whole package here: Functional Strength Coach 4

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