Do You Train 1 Goal at a Time or Many Goals at the Same Time?

Just a general question about either training philosophy or technique or whatever you want to call it.

Do you prefer focusing mainly on one goal/metric at a time and giving it the majority of your attention (most likely periodizing different goals for balance)

Or do you prefer going the generalist route and trying to build up multiple areas at the same time?

Which one have you found to work better? Which one do you prefer? I don’t think anyone is gonna fall on the extreme of either end so where would you say is the best middle ground?

Basically, how many horses with only one a**

I train multiple qualities at all times, but will emphasise certain qualities at certain times

Every training session I do will have:

  • Something athletic
  • Something to build strength
  • Something to build speed/power
  • Some volume work
  • Some endurance work

Personally, I’m not a fan of super strict periodisation schemes. Most of the old Russian stuff which introduced periodisation was developed for athletes in olympic sports who:

  • Had complete, absolute, 100% control over their life (which was entirely devoted to their sport)
  • Needed to be able to perform at one very specific task, at one very specific point in time

I still think varying the focus of training from time to time is essential as it reduces training monotony (important psychologically) and capitalises on the novel stimulus effect (important physiologically).

I also think it is meaningless to arbitrarily change training focus after 4 weeks for the sake of symmetry/tradition. Instead, I think the decision to change training focus should depend on:

  • Whether the athlete is making continued progress
  • Whether the athlete is still motivated to train
  • Whether the athlete has a certain event coming up which requires specific physical qualities
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That depends on your “Big Picture” goals, but for most people and most goals, i believe “little and often over the long haul”, or “time, consistency and effort” are the answer.

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I think of this kind of thing mostly in terms of focus ie: my focus right now is to regain the strength I’ve temporarily lost from having Covid and continue working on getting my incline bench numbers up and then, once I’ve done that I’ll be doing some high end strength work once a week (lowish volume and then some bbing stuff a bit later on in the week etc).

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