Thread: Specificity Sucks
11/29/2005 9:47am, #1
What? Why WhiteShark, why?
All the super top Olympic trainers say it's great!
I'm Glad you asked.
You see little bobby, YOU are NOT an Olympic Athlete! You're a fat **** that needs to run some laps!
Whoa! Laps? but i'm not a runner!
So what, you're not a Fighter either fatty!
"This edition of Coaching Science Abstracts reviews articles concerned with the Principle of Specificity as it applies to training. The general thesis is that the most important form of training for elite athletes is that which matches the biomechanics, energy system use, and psychological control factors of an intended competitive performance. However, it is recognized that such training cannot be endured for extended periods. Its best use in an annual plan is in the latter part of the specific preparatory phase of training and during the competition phase.
The articles represented in this issue serve as a scientific basis for not recommending cross or auxiliary training as an avenue for improving elite athletes' performances. By contrast, two articles using normal individuals as subjects do demonstrate a fitness effect from cross training.
It should be understood that a strong emphasis on specific training is appropriate for elite and mature athletes, a programming emphasis which is directly opposite that which is desirable for young and developing athletes. It would not be beneficial to overemphasize this form of training to the detriment of variety and general capacity training in youngsters. "
YA RLY! If you are not an Elite Athlete stop using Specificity as your excuse to not get your fat ass off the couch.
Last edited by WhiteShark; 11/29/2005 9:49am at .
11/29/2005 10:14am, #2
Thanks for the link. Quite a bit of entertaining reading."KI water is available on request.($20+ donation suggested)."
11/29/2005 10:32am, #3
11/29/2005 10:42am, #4
See, many people mistake training for a MA with training IN a MA.
When you train IN a MA like BJJ for example, you MUST roll and grapple.
When you train FOR a MA like BJJ you must drill.
When you train FOR a MA in general, you must Strength train, and work on your cardio.
Now, sure, running 5 miles will NOT make you last 5 rounds in a boxing match, and adding that run time to sparring or bagwork is certainly better for you, as a boxer, than running, ESPECIALLY when time is limited.
BUT, fact is, very few people are THAT dedicated to their MA that they put in enough intensity and push themselves enough to compensate the LACK of extra-curricular cardio work.
Not to mention that, like El Tibiron Blanco says, the vast majority of us would do well to move our pudgy asses !!
11/29/2005 10:45am, #5
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
- Dayville, Connecticut, United States
What do you people think I have been saying all this time?
Young athletes need conditioning and skills practice more than anything else. Competition practice comes later.
And nobody's athletes are younger than mine! Parents always ask if I scrimmage the preschool soccer, football, and baseball, curriculums' kids for practice. I have actually responded with things like, but not limited to: "are you nuts?" or "why on earth would I do that?" or even the occasional "of course not."
Sometimes I forget that people actually believe that a 3-year-old should train like a professional. Specificity is THE way to go if you are a competetive athlete who has already developed the physical skills germaine to the sport. That makes sense. But emerging athletes (of any age) need the conditioning and skills practice of cross-training and drilling.
Great find, Whiteshark.And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".
--Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
11/29/2005 12:02pm, #6
I'm a huge advocate of "cross training". I agree with everything that has been said already, especially Scrapper's point about young athletes.
I also advocate "cross training" for professional athletes as well. Not in place of specificity, but in addition to.
One point that I don't think has been mentioned yet is the weakest link phenomenon. When a fighter engages in his target activity, he's applying a very complex skill set. There are often weak links either within the skill set, or within the tools needed for application of that skill set. This is true even of professional fighters. There is no perfection, only the quest for perfection.
Ultimately, we are only as strong as our weakest link. Relying on engagement in the target activity alone to improve upon those weak links is inefficient due to the myriad of other things which the fighter must contend with while engaging in the target activity. Better to isolate out that link, improve it, then work it back into the activity. The key is the working it back into the activity. In other words, cross training without engaging in the target activity is suicide, as you may groove inapprpriate motor patterns.
There has been much discussion about the speed bag. I think the opponents of speed bag training are missing the point of that training. I agree that it might be the least useful of all the boxing drills, however that doesn't mean it's totally useless. The point of hitting a speedbag is NOT to improve our punching. It's to improve our ability to keep our guard up by conditioning our shoulders. In order to maintain the rythym on a speedbag, you must keep your hands up. The rythym is the motivator. As soon as you drop your hands, you **** up, and it's obvious to you and everybody else paying attention. We like the rythmic hum of the bag, thus we push ourselves very hard to keep those hannds up, despite the burn in our shoulders, and the bag lets us know when we drop them. The bag provides us with immediate feedback.
Unlike the heavy bag, when hitting the speedbag, we do not visualize striking an opponent. It's purely a conditioning drill, not a punching drill. It's also typically a small percentage of the overall workout.
Incidentally, skipping rope is very similar in the way it motivates us and provides proper feedback when we screw up. It isn't meant to simulate footwork, but to condition our legs, primarily calves and ankles, so we can apply proper footwork more effeciently.
11/29/2005 12:50pm, #7
To echo Lawdog abut the speedbag ( though I do not agree about the crosstraining 100%):
Speedbag work is NOT boxing, heck, Heavy bag work is not boxing, even focus mitt, though very close, is notboxing.
BUT, they all add something to the boxers training.
I don't do any speed bag owrk anymore, or double-end bag work either, BUT I did do them when I was younger and I have NO doubt that my hand speed / timimg / hand eye-coordination was helped BIGTIME by them.
See, beginners need to train like beginners, not like pro's or expereinced athletes.
They need to build a solid base of strengths and techniuques.
When they become more experienced, then you can work on specifics and such.
IF I had 2 hours to work out, everytime I work out, sure I would throw in skipping rope for 3 rounds, but with limited time and with an ALREADY SOLID BASE STRUCTURE to work from, I don't need to skip rope and use the time for other things.
Heck, if I want to work on my footwork I will work on it for 3 rounds, I won't bother with skipping rope, I will go right to the actual footwork, BUT I have that BASE built up for that FROM skipping already.
11/29/2005 1:16pm, #8
So... bau-whats-his-ass-fio was right this whole time. I'll be damned.
11/29/2005 1:31pm, #9Originally Posted by PirateNinja5000
11/29/2005 1:46pm, #10Originally Posted by PirateNinja5000
While this is a huge oversimplification, use the analogy of building a house. You need a good foundation, good materials, good engineering and a builder who's capable of properly using all of the above to build a good solid house. The builder develops this ability and becomes good at it through actually building homes.
You need to start with a strong foundation, then build upon it. While building, you need to make sure that the materials you use are good strong materials, otherwise no matter how good the engenireering is, the house will still fall apart if the materials are weak. On the other hand, even if the materials are very strong, without proper engineering, the house will still fall apart. And lastly, a strong foundation, good materials, and sound engineering is useless without a builder who knows how to bring them all together, which is a direct result of time spent actually building houses.
Strong materials=Cross training
Engineering=Good skill set
Ability to apply them=time spent fighting