by Matt Basso | December 2010

The Hierarchy of Training ....As I see it


Training Pyramid

The way I see it everyone wants to be on top...At some point wink. However to get to the throne ( of fitness) you have to work, unless you are a genetically gifted super athlete, in which case you have to work to remain at the top.

Most training programs are going to focus on 1 of 4 things. Getting stronger (strength), creating better force development (power), getting bigger (adding muscle mass) or lasting longer (endurance).

Strength finds itself taking up much of my performance pyramid because it is essential to getting to the ultimate (which is power), and paramount if endurance is your goal because if you plan on running, biking, swimming, or whatever else for long periods of’d better be really strong. If you don’t have strong muscles and stable joints, all the repetitive movements associated with endurance activities will destroy the structural integrity of your body.

For most people...Those that are training for general health and fitness, and not competition...The bottom of the pyramid is a great place to spend the majority of your time.

A quick explanation: Great Power, The ultimate athletic “carrot”, requires one to have an exercise program that requires them to perform lifts (snatch, clean, jerk) that are in essence combinations of strength movements that are performed very very very fast. If you aren’t extremely proficient (most aren’t) at the basic lifts, and you aren’t getting paid to compete athletically....Your time is better served trying to reach your genetic potential in strength to avoid injury and wasting your time.

I say avoid Injury because lifts such as the snatch, clean, and jerk take all out effort. All out effort is extremely taxing on the body. Extremely taxed muscles, tendons, joints, central nervous systems etc etc are at high risk for injury, especially when careful attention to programming isn’t considered.

I’m not saying never try to progress to more advanced movements, I’m saying stay focused on building a strong body that can handle anything. Set specific strength goals to lead you on a path to more advanced movements....DON’T rush to exercises you aren’t ready for. With patience and consistent effort you will reach your goals!

Filed under: Training