Jan 29, 2015
Sound Advice

By Vern Gambetta

Recently, I have been getting many requests to evaluate many of a number of performance training programs. Rather than specifically evaluate individual programs, I think it is better to describe what I think are the essential characteristics of a sound program, which you can use to evaluate and draw your own conclusions.

Progression – You should be able to see clear definitive progression both inter and inter workout. In addition the progression should take into account training age and gender.

Clearly Defined Goals – A sound program starts with the end in mind and clearly works toward that end.

Training is a means to an end – Training should not be an end unto itself.

Individual – A sound training program fits the individual and takes into account trainability and recoverability.

Beyond the Exercise – It is always more than an exercise or a drill. The drill or exercise is a means to an end.

Can Do – A sound program will focus on what the athlete can do, not what they can’t do. Optimize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.

Risk – Manage risk by weighing the risk:return ratio of the training methods.

Variation – Incorporate programmed systematic variations to insure continual adaptation.

Spectrum – Incorporate a spectrum of methods that insure all systems are trained all the time.

Basics – Never stray far from the basics, no gimmicks, no fads and no quick fixes.

Vern Gambetta-120x180.jpgIf you are intrigued by the thoughts of veteran conditioning coach Vern Gambetta, you will want a copy of his exciting book, Following the Functional Path: Building and Rebuilding the Athlete.

Vern Gambetta, MA, is President of Gambetta Sports Training Systems in Sarasota, Fla. The former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox, he has also worked extensively with basketball, soccer, and track and field athletes. He is a frequent contributor to Training & Conditioning. Vern also maintains his own blog.

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