Out of the Groove

In strength and conditioning, we sometimes get too wrapped up in trying to mimic sports-specific movements in our weight rooms, which can be a huge mistake as it creates an effect that is known as groove training.

The training groove only allows an athlete to increase their tissue load-bearing capacity in the given trained Range of Movement. We all know that in the world of professional sports and competition, that movement occurs outside the “standard” reasonable R.O.M. quite often and usually quiet abruptly.

Therefore, it is our goal as strength coaches to train our athletes to be their best on their worst day possible. By structuring strength workouts to prepare an athlete in a general manner or broader approach, we are going to be loading the body in many different planes that might not get any stimulus form a solely S.P.P. based system.

Why is this important?

Injuries will happen. No matter how much we try to avoid them in sports, they will occur, so we must plan accordingly. By training generally to be specific, we have placed load into tissues outside of the regular groove.

That may be the difference between a Grade 3 rupture to a Grade 1 strain. A coach and an athlete will take a simple strain over a rupture any day of the week.

By having a structured general weight protocol, we can also help alleviate the likelihood of small nagging injuries occurring or becoming something more concerning. We adapt our system to tackle the root cause of these and move forward after we address the said issue(s). 

This style of training has been the mainstay for all athletic training here at Westside Barbell. Our overall goal with athletes is to increase athleticism, reduce the risk of injury, and increase overall mental and physical strengths via our training environment.

Other factors that need an in-depth assessment before starting any weight training protocol are the areas of joint function or dysfunction. 

*Remember that if you have poor joint function, your movement will be compromised. 

The body is an adaptable environment that will figure a way around these dysfunctions to execute the given demand placed upon it.

The lack of load capacity is what leads to an abundance of unforeseen injuries, joint degradation, and highly inefficient movements. 

So that is why it is VITAL to have an athlete assessed before undergoing any strength program.



Please note that Specific Physical Preparation is very important and needs to be implemented at the correct time during training, especially tapering for a given event. 

However, it is of our experience that it cannot be the sole basis for strength training.

We base our knowledge on working with countless professional athletes and the ideas and experiences shared with respective peers within the strength industry.


Dan Di Pasqua (Head strength coach of the Melbourne Storm) 

Science and Practice of Strength Training 

Dr. Andrea Spina - https://functionalanatomyseminars.com/

John Quint - http://johnquintnmt.com/


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