Chasing Trends in Strength & Conditioning

Posted: January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

How many fads or trends have you followed in your career?  Are you still teaching drawing-in techniques or did you cycle through them and move onto the next thing of “value?”  Each of us moves on or experiments with something else from time to time.  Look back through the history of training to see if this is an old idea that is been dusted off and marched out in front of the masses to sell product or if this is a new legitimate finding in the world of human performance.  I have been in this field for 15 years now and already i am seeing things cycle back around and being sold as new concepts.  Tweak a few terms here and there put a little more polish on it and voila a new product is born.  Like Mike Boyle once said, “If you want a new idea, read an old book!”

When a new trend comes around do you stop and ask yourself the following questions?

  • Have I done my own independent research outside of what the presenter is telling me?
  • Will it work with the clientele that I train?  Does the presenter work in a one-on-one environment or in a college strength and conditioning environment teaching and implementing this to 25 people at once?
  • Is this new concept so important to you that you’re willing to dedicate a piece of your training time to it every day? We all know that if it is important it should be touched upon every single day.

Every last one of us wants to believe the glossy ad in the magazine promising weight loss or rapid muscle gains but most of us are able to slow ourselves down and realize that we are falling prey to a cool looking ad backed by a great marketing strategy.  If we are really intrigued most all of us will do a little research and realize that the product has its shortcomings so we save our money and move on.  The amazing thing to me is why don’t we do the same when listening to the latest huckster pitch a training program?  Are we enamored with the person because they are standing on-stage presenting in front of an audience?  Maybe it is the fact that they have numerous books or videos being sold at the booth in the back of the room?  Whatever the reason is we are not doing our own research because we are dying to drink Jim Jones’ Kool aid, we want somebody to cling to and think for us.  Just because somebody has a pile of books and videos does not mean that they are an expert or have the advancement of our field in mind. Some of course just may be the real deal but realize that new theories, terminology, concepts and equipment are all means to an end and the end is cash.  If I create a product and happened to be a great speaker with a big platform I would be able to sell a lot of product! The less you understand what I am teaching the better for me because now I seem like some sort of mad genius and now you have to buy everything I sell because I “think on a whole different level.” I am not convinced that there are a lot of people that have your best intention in mind.  I’m not saying that there are not pure hearted well intentioned educators out there because there are, you just need to stop and realize that people are building a brand and creating products to keep food in their mouth and a roof over their head.  I’m not mad at those people, I am angry with the lemmings that blindly jump on the bandwagon because they do not have the desire to conduct their own research.

In any profession the latest and greatest is exciting because as professionals we care about the quality of our work and would like to be on the “cutting edge.” We should realize that many of the most effective ways for getting stronger and improving performance have stood the test of time and are fairly simple and straightforward. Unfortunately for professional hucksters simple is not sexy and therefore does not sell.

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