🎓 📝 LAB REPORT-365 📝 🎓
#66 Importance of Weak-Point Training
While the majority of good strength programming is developed around the 3 main lifts – squat, bench and deadlift – the importance of incorporating weak-point training into yours or your athlete / client’s programming cannot be ignored. What exactly do we mean when we refer to weak-point training? As coaches we should be screening our athletes or clients in the main movements before we develop any sort of program, in order to identify movement or form deficiencies and what is causing them. Once these deficiencies have been identified, we can incorporate specific movements or exercises to strengthen the weak areas to help counter these problems – this is what is known as weak-point training.
The initial screening can be done in multiple ways, but should include at the very least the squat, bench and deadlift, with the weight dependent on the experience level of the athlete or client. A beginner with no lifting experience may complete reps with a broomstick initially, moving up gradually to a 5RM; while an advanced athlete may comfortably begin with the bar, and move to a 1RM. Regardless, it is encouraged to increase the load to the point where a) your athlete or client is working at a relatively high intensity, and b) there is some form break-down, as it is only at this point that you are able to identify true weak areas. Note – do not push your athlete or client to complete form breakdown where they are unable to even move the weight, as for an initial screening this is both dangerous and a pointless exercise for what you are trying to achieve.
Once you have completed the screening and identified these weak areas, you can then develop a program that includes relevant accessory work to target such areas. For example, if you noticed a loss of thoracic tightness during the deadlift (upper back rounding) you may include some pendlay rows to help address this. While each athlete or client will have specific individual needs and weaknesses, you will no doubt see a common trend amongst a lot of people (particularly posterior chain weakness); as such, having a ‘bank’ of accessory exercises for specific areas and muscle groups to draw upon as needed is important for effective programming.
* Always screen your athletes or clients to identify weak-points, regardless of their experience or training age;
* Develop custom programs for each client specific to their needs or weaknesses if you truly want them to progress in strength;
* Most importantly – continue to monitor your athlete or client, and constantly review their main movements for progress in existing weak-points and to also identify any new areas that need attention.
Weak-point training is a constant process, and will need to evolve as the athlete or client’s overall strength increases and different / new problem areas pop-up.