What I Learned At SST – Part 1

Inspired by Chris Brown’s What I Learned At SST, here is part 1 of my list of the top things that I took out of my time there:

  1. Talent is obvious but training is necessary. You can tell an athlete by watching them move and you can predict performance based on how a person performs certain tasks. While their gift may be sufficient to help them get pretty far in sport, they need training to achieve the highest level. If a person does not have talent, they are fighting an uphill battle to make their mark; drive can make up for the talent gap, it just doesn’t happen very often.
  2. Drive is a shared characteristic among high performance athletes. Regardless of talent, all athletes who want to perform at a high level are incredibly driven. Most of the athletes at SST had exceptionally high drive and this made working with them a breeze. They did everything they were told, they applied the coaching suggestions whenever they could and they pushed themselves to improve. There were a few that required more motivation and it was fairly obvious to the coaching team that these individuals would not enjoy the same level of success as most of the others. Watching elite athletes train made me feel more comfortable with my own training style as I enjoy working-out with a lot of intensity.
  3. A trained body adapts to changes in training very quickly. Larry, the owner, would say that an athlete should never do the same hamstring workout more than once every 4 weeks. His mentor Charles Poliquin says that the body adapts to a particular workout after 6 times. Both of these points of view come from working with elite level athlete so one should keep their training and skill level in mind when they are designing their own program; but the essence of what they are saying applies to everyone. No matter what you do, the body will adapt to it in an attempt to make it very easy and cost effective. This is why people need to change their programs frequently in terms of reps, sets, movement speeds and movement patterns. The more trained you are, the more frequently you need to change things up.
  4. A good base of structural balance should be achieved before proceeding to loaded resistance training. Seems obvious but most people including myself don’t go about it this way. Instead we work on building muscle and only start to fix the imbalances once the injuries start. The fact of the matter is that someone who is well balanced will have much better movement patterns which will result in fewer injuries than someone who isn’t balanced.
  5. People make working at a job either fun or work. Work is what we do to make money that frees us from having to make and grow everything we consume. It’s a necessary evil in life. However, how we engage work and the level of satisfaction we get out if it is impacted a lot by other people. This is not to say that we don’t choose our own attitude. I’m just saying that it is easier to say happy when those around us are happy. The dark cloud will bring down the moral of a successful organization faster than anything while a failing company that has happy workers will be a fun place to work.

Part 2 will be coming in a few days so stop back and check it out.