Friday 121026

For time:
100 Push press, 95#/65#

Post times to comments or BTW.

Is Jean-Claude the perfect athlete?

The Science of Developing An Athlete: Specificity – Luke Palmisano

Last week, with the help of letters, words, and Russians, I tried to describe the science of developing an athlete.  We covered two aspects of that science: Overload and accommodation.  This week, we’ll use those same tactics to cover another very big word: Specificity.  

Specificity is, in a nutshell, changing the exercises to fit the needs of an athlete.  Let us dwell on this concept for a moment.  If someone wants to improve both muscle mass and strength, then specificity would imply that the athlete do strength training.  Strength training helps in both those areas.  Conversely, that athlete probably wouldn’t want to perform 15K runs on a regular basis, because the opposite of mass and strength would be result.  

The other end of that spectrum would be someone who wants to improve aerobic capacity, but is not worried about muscle mass or strength.  Badabing.  Bring on the 15K’s, 20K’s, and kajillionK’s.  Additionally, auxiliary exercises would be adopted or both athletes into a training regimen to improve the abilities specific to a sport.  This is referred to as the transfer of training results, meaning, that the results of exercise A (say, a squat) don’t just improve exercise A.  They can also improve other movements (as in, a squat can improve your box jump, sprint, or swim, albeit to varying degrees). What exercises should be chosen?  The responsibility now lies with the coach to figure out which exercises most efficiently have the most effective transfer of training result.   

Specificity will also change depending on the level of the athlete. For an unconditioned athlete, just about any exercise will make for a good transfer of training.  However, the more elite the athlete gets, the more the specificity must be honed.  Specific exercises and training methods should be used to increase competitive preparedness. For instance, a wide receiver hoping to get in shape for training camp probably wouldn’t simply do body weight exercises and running.  This individual is elite, and has needs going into his season of activity.  The onus would again be on the coach to determine exercises would have the greatest transfer of training to benefit this athlete.  

Next week, I will cover Individualization



  1. Scotty :

    First, Chuck Norris references now pictures of JVD… Luke your awesome! (I’m pretty sure CN would cowar in your presence. That’s right I said it)

  2. Rob b :

    KajillionKs?? Is that a CF Endurance-approved WOD? =8o

  3. Robert :

    His flag “tattoo” is facing the wrong way. He must have been slapped by Chuck.

  4. Cherie :

    My bisceps look that big when I prop them up too!

    Great post Luke!
    Sending love from CrossFit Nurnberg!

  5. slaughter :

    He’s definitely Belgium. And i’m pretty sure the flag is the right way..

    I ran a kajillion K’s once. My legs fell off and then I had to get them sewn back on. It was hardcore

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