Fitness: Outcome Based Training

Testing is a non-negotiable aspect of real outcome based training. Without testing, you cannot be sure of the efficacy of a training program. We don't just train to get sweaty. We train for a purpose. The gym is a tool. We should not be striving to simply improve at 'gym fitness' but instead be looking at the time and effort we spend in the gym as a means to an end, with the end being sport, an event, or your profession. In trying to determine how you should spend your time and energy in the gym, first start with the desired outcome. What exactly do you need to be better at? Then ask yourself, does what I'm doing in the gym transfer? 

I'll give you an example (one that we hear often). "I'm training to be (or want to be) a special operator in the military and I'm currently doing a mass gain program." Now, to be fair, I can understand why someone would want to be in a mass gain phase. First - it sounds fun! You lift weights and stuff yourself with pizza and tacos and magically get jacked and lean and strong, and that should prepare you for the selection process, right? Well, that's not quite right. If done properly, a mass phase is not fun. It's really, really hard training. And there are some very real short term sacrifices that you have to make, like a reduction in cardiovascular fitness at the expense of size and strength. Then, on top of the massing phase, there should be a 6-12 week cutting phase where basically every physical attribute, from strength to power endurance to endrunce will suffer as you train in a caloric deficit to lose some of the inevitable fat accumulated during the massing phase. This whole phase will take the better part of a year. The desired outcome of this phase is size. The only problem is, the military selection process isn't about size. It's primarily about power endurance and endurance. You should be appropriately fit for selection and not for looking good on the beach. In fact, According to the Army's Special Operations Command, the average height and weight of an Army Ranger is 69 inches tall and 174 pounds. This is clearly not a large human. As I write this, I'm coming off of my own massing phase (which, by the end of the process will have taken me 6 months) and I'm 69 inches tall and 186#. If I wanted to be a military operator, the first thing I would do is drop 10# and pick up my cardiovascular training. I'm already strong enough for selection. What I'm not at the moment is primed to carry my engine on long runs and longer rucks. That is the truth of outcome based training. This is a long winded way of saying that outcome based training should be predicated on what you need to do and not what you want to do. 

If you're a fighter and you're using the gym to supplement your fight training, I can guarantee you that your opponent doesn't give a shit what your deadlift max is, or how fast you can row 1000m. If you're doing something in the gym, there had better be a damn good reason. Specificity demands specificty. 

If you're like most people and you don't work with a coach in the gym on your specific needs, make sure you're not deluding yourself. Make your time and effort in the gym valuable. When in doubt, ask us. We specialize in truth. 

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