progamming: establishing point b
Programming to enhance performance starts with establishing reference points. Point A represents the current physical state of the athlete.
Point B is the optimal physical state of the athlete that will ensure a level of success in a sport.
Of course we are aware that there is no one set optimum in a dynamic system. In this case, optimal is a dictionary definition meaning best or most favorable. However, there will be variations of the efficiency of the system that exist as a range of different states that allow for the same level of performance.
Having said that, we can characterize certain attributes or qualities that an athlete should posses to allow them to have the greatest potential to achieve a level of optimal.
The qualities that the athlete should possess to achieve optimal are:
A necessary high level of joint function
Have a required absolute strength capacity (relative to the level of competition)
A high level of speed-strength (rate of force discharge capacity)
The ability to generate a necessary level of reactive strength (stiffness, load bearing capacity, force absorption and dissipation)
When an athlete possess joint function, optimal absolute strength, and the ability to express their strength at the highest attainable speeds without connective tissue failure, they are at an optimal physical state. Point B
PHYSICAL CAPACITIES OF POINT B
Mobility is the foundation to improving movement behavior. Unrestricted movement is necessary to explore the landscape of high quality athletic movement. Every window into new behavior comes through greater range of motion control or mobility!
Absolute strength is the ability of the nervous system to generate an optimal magnitude of force that is efficiently propagated through the internal environment and discharged into the external environment.
This is a prerequisite nervous-system based capacity of the optimal point B.
It is the muscle fibers that generate force but only when those fibers have been called upon (ie recruited) by the nervous system.
Absolute strength is the nervous system's ability to stimulate and recruit the largest motor units and fastest motor fibers to generate force.
Speed-strength is the rate of force development. It is a measure of explosive strength or simply how fast an athlete can develop force. Improving an athletes RFD will make them more explosive as they can develop larger forces in a shorter amount of time. Higher RFDs have been directly linked with better jump, sprint, cycling, weight lifting and even golf swing performance.
Reactive strength is a key strength and power ability driving athletic performance. However reactive strength is unique in that it involves the ability to couple movements that lengthen tissue (eccentric movement) followed by those which shortens tissue (concentric movement). These movements are called stretch-shorten-cycles (SSCs). Reactive strength and plyometric ability are sometimes used interchangeably. Reactive strength is correlated with change of direction ability and the ability to jump high and fast and is a key performance indicator.
TRAINING TO ATTAIN POINT B
Training to obtain the optimal physical state can only occur through conjugate method programming as Point B requires the accumulation of multiple physical capacities simultaneously. Possessing multiple physical capacities through conjugate (both internal and external environments) training can lead to exponential effects.
All of these capacities are specifically trainable meaning, they are completely dependent and reliant on the appropriate training input. Specific training work for each of these physical capacities must be performed to attain optimal levels. You need the necessary tissue prerequisites for effective external pattern training.
Optimal levels of each capacity will differ from sport to sport so it is up to the programmer to create the necessary Point B for that particular athlete.