“Nothing endures but change.”-Heraclitus (540 BCE - 480 BCE)
Ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, was onto something big. Although the quote has been translated in a number of ways, the theme remains the same and encompasses one of the major aspects of the human condition. Ultimately we cannot prevent change, therefore, we are driven by not only the necessity to endure it but also to attack it head on. The same is true in training. We do it because we welcome and embrace the evolution that occurs as a result of our hard work.
Regardless of whether or not your goals are performance, aesthetics, behavioral therapy, or social inclusion, you start at one point and transition to another. That act of changing in an athlete is essential for successful development and is not dictated solely by the physical demands imposed. Other outstanding variables exist in a training environment that are responsible for continued growth.
I like to think of Heraclitus as a thoughtful beardsman complete with flannel tunic.
Now, here's my mantra:
"Those that change, endure."-Cali (AD 1984 - Currently alive and typing this.)
I love change, almost to a fault. I can appreciate those that enjoy the day-to-day routine that allows for a degree of certainty and predictability, but in the grand scheme of things, change is good. Without question, our bodies physiologically respond to the changes imposed upon them in a training setting. We have the recipe for promoting continuous physical adaptation through tools like micro, meso and macro cycling, undulating periodization, various program emphasis (conjugate, accessory, speed/strength). But, there are many other variables in the gym that affect performance in a far less traditional way.
I’d like to examine some of the other components that are key in stimulating significant progress in a training environment. These unconventional approaches are effective in getting your athletes to stay engaged in a way that does not require any change to their actual programming.
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