T Nation

Performance Training for the Regular Joe


#1

Hello Coach CT,

Until recently I thought that performance training for the regular joe (non athletes, people with desk jobs) would be training to be stronger. But now I think that it is a very narrow view of the subject.

What would you consider training for performance for the regular joe ?
Is it training to be stronger and more muscular ? Or do you think that it all comes down to personal goals ?

Thanks.


#2

[quote]heltonvalentini wrote:
Hello Coach CT,

Until recently I thought that performance training for the regular joe (non athletes, people with desk jobs) would be training to be stronger. But now I think that it is a very narrow view of the subject.

What would you consider training for performance for the regular joe ?
Is it training to be stronger and more muscular ? Or do you think that it all comes down to personal goals ?

Thanks.[/quote]

Performance typically refers to being able to utilize your physical capacities to accomplish certain tasks with a high degree of efficacy.

In simpler words it means that your body is able to “do stuff” (as opposite to aesthetic training which simply refers to looking lean and muscular without any need to be good at using the body you have).

Now “doing stuff” is quite broad. When you are a competitive athlete you sport narrows down the physical capacity you need since performance becomes: “being able to use your physical capacities to perform optimally in your sport”.

But when you are an average Joe you don’t have a precise criteria for what you want to perform at.

So you either need to create your own ideal model OR go for a middle ground approach of being decent in all the basic physical capacities.

Strength is important and is a fondamental/foundational physical capacity. As such it does need to be developed. But simply being strong doesn’t necessarily make you into a high performance human. If you are super strong but have lousy mobility preventing you from doing many athletic movement, or if you have such bad endurance/resistance that you get winded after 45 seconds of effort can you really claim to be a high performance machine (keep in mind that you don’t have precise tasks you need to be good at).

As a “weights” guy, performance on strength and power activities are more important to me than endurance ones. So I value not only strength but also power/explosiveness and agility. I also value mobility since I want to be able to use my power/strength on any movement without being restricted by my mobility.

FOR ME performance is about being decently strong on both the slow (deadlift, bench, squat, overhead press, etc.) and quick (snatch, clean, jerk, push press, etc.) lifts. Be able to sprint fast. jump high and move quickly. I also want to have enough mobility to be able to do all of these without any restriction and I want enough conditioning to be able to do these exercises without fatigue affecting my performance.

People who are more slanted toward endurance sports will have a different view of “performance”, obviously.


#3

This was an enlightening answer.

Your definition of performance is exactly what I’ve been trying to define.

Only thing I would change from that is that I first need to become efficient technically on power movements (Even though I just recently started practicing power movements: SGHP, Muscle snatch and Power Clean)

I think this will be too much to answer here but how could someone organize training to achieve that kind of performance in the long term ?

On a side note, after reading your answer I just realised that one of the main reasons for Crossfit success is that it gives an average Joe tasks to be good at.


#4

[quote]heltonvalentini wrote:
This was an enlightening answer.

Your definition of performance is exactly what I’ve been trying to define.

Only thing I would change from that is that I first need to become efficient technically on power movements (Even though I just recently started practicing power movements: SGHP, Muscle snatch and Power Clean)

I think this will be too much to answer here but how could someone organize training to achieve that kind of performance in the long term ?

On a side note, after reading your answer I just realised that one of the main reasons for Crossfit success is that it gives an average Joe tasks to be good at.
[/quote]

I mentioned the Olympic lifts since I used to compete and love to train on them. But doing any explosive work fits the bill.

As for Crossfit you are right. I think that most people want to “feel like athletes” and “accomplish something” when they train which is the may reason of the popularity of it among the gen pop


#5

I believe I wasn’t quite clear with my question before.

When I mentioned “achieve that kind of performance” I wasn’t talking about power movements specifically.
What I meant was if you could give some advice on how to set goals and proper training cycles to achieve that definition of performance in the long term (decently strong on slow and power movements, sprint fast, jump high, enough mobility and enough conditioning).