No Style

13 Jun


That is my favorite shirt, for obvious reasons. I get more compliments on that shirt than any other article of clothing I’ve ever owned. Bruce Lee is a legend, not only for his lightning fast, razor sharp technique but also for his philosophy when it came to martial arts. Considered by many to be the original mixed martial artist, Bruce described having a “style of no style”. Use what is effective from all styles, and discard the rest.

The other day someone asked me what I thought the best style of training was. The answer I gave was not powerlifting, or olympic weightlifting, or kettle bells. In reality there is no “best” style. There is no perfect training.

Disagree? Take a ballerina through a few cycles of 5/3/1 or any other powerlifting template and let me know if she becomes a better ballerina.

One of the most basic and fundamental principles of training is that there must be some degree of specificity involved. Many strength coaches believe that 99% of what goes on in the weight room is GPP, or General Physical Preparation training. General fitness clients may be the exception to this rule, but if we are talking about training for performance, please refer back to our powerlifting ballerina.

A good coach must be able to understand the demands of the sport/activity in question as well as the specific needs of the individual athlete, and from there begin to choose the most effective components of a training program.

Of course we can organize different types of athletes into buckets and create similar programs based on needs. Powerlifting = maximal strength, football/lacrosse = power/speed, boxing/MMA = power endurance/aerobic capacity, and so on.

The point is, there are far too many variables in training to have any one single approach.

Be wary of anyone who has a ‘one size fits all’ approach to training. This person likely does not have a very broad understanding of the training process or, even more dangerous, they do have the understanding and still believe that what they do is best.


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