At Force Barbell, have a process of training for everyone that walks through our doors and wants to continue to train with us. We assess and evaluate each individual and make training suitable for their current level of fitness or performance.
We are able to do this because we already have our own built in philosophy of training. Our philosophy is simply a list of needs we believe each individual needs to meet or optimize in order to reach their full potential. You could think of this list in the form of a pyramid. You can’t build a pyramid from the top down. So, the most important qualities that have to be developed first are at the bottom.
Remember, the tallest pyramids have this biggest bases.
Bottom Of The Pyramid Up….
1. Movement Quality
In our Force Barbell hierarchy of training needs number one is movement quality. This is most important. Our goal with every individual that we train is to establish sound movement quality. This is first because nothing else can be optimally accomplished or sustained if movement quality isn’t already established. Think of this as your strongest foundational element when building a building. What we mean by movement quality is developing appropriate patterns of movement to optimize force utilization, reduce the risk of injury, and an increased sustainability to live a thriving life.
2. Movement Quantity
After movement quality is established, the next Force Barbell hierarchal training need is movement quantity. Essentially, movement quantity is just more repetition and practice of movement quality. Movement quality is a skill, and movement quantity is the practice it takes to get better at that skill and make it a normal pattern of movement. For an example, if you have just taught someone how to squat properly, but they can’t hold good positions for any more than five reps or if you put any more load on the bar. Movement quantity is increasing the demands that it takes to establish movement quality. For example; lets try to push that solid squat technique for eight reps this time, or lets try to keep that same squat technique with a little bit more load on the bar. Movement quantity is to make the skill or the quality of movement “stick” for an individual so that we are now set up and in a position to get these individuals strong. Which leads to the next need.
Every athlete and individual needs to get strong. This isn’t anything new to anybody. However, most people get it wrong as to when people need to focus on really getting strong. People see videos on the internet and then want to squat 500lbs, but that doesn’t mean they should go to the gym the next day and get under a bar and start back squatting. That is why movement quality and quantity need to be addressed first. If they aren’t first addressed, then there will be many limitations in regards to how you can get an individual strong and how strong you can get an individual before their body really starts to break down.
If movement quality has been developed over a lot of practice and repetition, then you are in good shape to get someone massively strong. Now is the time to start getting a little crazier with the bigger lifts such as the back squat, deadlift, olympic lifts, etc. (disclaimer, this doesn’t mean movement quality can’t be developed with those lifts). Once strength development on the continuum has been reached, then you can start hitting someone with some higher volume and intensity, and don’t have to worry as much about individuals breaking down.
Strength is easy to develop on an efficient mover.
4. Sport Specific Qualities
Consider needs 1-3; movement quality, movement quantity, and strength the foundational elements of building an effective and efficient human being. Now, we are getting into the needs that are more specific to each human being. If you are baseball player, now is when we focus on developing more specific qualities that are going to make you a better baseball player. If you are a football player, more qualities that are specific to football, and if you are a softball player, more qualities specific to softball, and so on.
A good example of this would be training an athlete a month or two before the season starts in their respective sport. This is when it is most important to try and develop these sport specific qualities, while the beginning of the off season was focused more on developing the foundational qualities such as movement quality, quantity, and strength.
Sport specific qualities include the different energy system demands, strength and velocity demands, and even environmental/psychological demands of each sport. A baseball pitcher needs to be able to produce a lot more rotational velocity than that of a soccer player. A soccer player needs the capacity to utilize force over a longer period of time than a pitcher. A football player needs to develop more physically because he will take more physical punishment than the majority of sports. A pitcher needs more mental focus and less arousal than a defensive end who just needs to get the quarterback by any means possible like a mad man. This is what we mean by sport specific qualities. Sport specific qualities need to be trained for less frequent than the foundational qualities to ensure optimal development of an athlete, and therefore a more effective and efficient human being.
The last quality or need of development is simply playing the sport. As strength and conditioning coaches we have done as much as we can, but we can’t go out on the court and play basketball for them. As coaches, we need to do our best to develop the physical qualities and characteristics that are going to optimize the development of an athlete to be better at their sport skills. We don’t teach a baseball pitcher how to throw a fastball. We develop a higher quality of movement, more strength, more power and velocity that is going to make that pitcher’s fastball a lot faster.
This is the time where the kids need to just go play. If your sport is football then go play football. If your sport is basketball then go play basketball. If your sport is life then go play life.
Our goal at Force Barbell and with our training philosophy is to develop the qualities and the confidence that is going to make you much more efficient and effective at whatever your sport is that you “play.”