When a new athlete enters our Athlete Development Program, we have no idea of their previous training experience, so we treat them all the same. As coaches, our goal is to ensure every one of our athletes have or develop movement patterns that are of optimal standard before we have them move onto individual programs.
It may slow some athletes down a little but it’s a small price to pay when your body is critical to your performance. Loading up a poor movement pattern with weights will inevitably result in worse movement, and ultimately injury if left unchecked.
Our training programs move through 5 progressions, with each stage incorporating movements, which are more complex, and we take you through these sequentially as you develop. An athlete needs to pass through each progression before moving onto his or her own tailored program. If an athlete moves correctly, they may spend as little as one session on a given progression. If we see a need for improvement, they could spend weeks while we help them correct movement patterns so that their training down the track can benefit.
ESS programs are carefully designed to ensure optimal performance for our athletes, not just in the gym but where it really matters. If we were to impose too much of a training stimulus our athletes would not be able to perform at skills training or on match day.
Our program design is generally governed by the super compensation theory in order elicit a sufficient training stimulus while allowing adequate recovery for an increase in performance to occur (minimal effective dose). We stand by the proven philosophy that weights don’t make athletes strong, recovery does.
By using an undulating, periodised program athletes can achieve the required training stimulus through the manipulation of several factors including weight of a lift, reps, sets, time under tension, speed of the movement and rest times between sets.
So next time you’re complaining about not being able to jump straight into a complex movement, please remember we have your best interests in mind by insisting on correct movement patterns with periodised programs. We take your progress as seriously as you do, just as we do your safety.
Jereme Russell was an Intern and Coach with ESS from 2016-2017