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My 6 Principles to Progressing Programs

“Methods there are many, principles but few, methods often change, principles never do.”

This quote is a modified and more recognizable iteration of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”

While the methods I use in training do change quite often, the basic six principles that I employ with progressions and regressions are tried and true. They have remained the same since I entered this profession in 1996.

  • Simple to Complex

Work with easy and simple movements that the athlete/client can perform with good, clean movement.

  • Slow to Fast

Start with slower movements, and then progressively increase the speed of the movements. Movement should still be clean.

  • Stable to Unstable

Begin with stable movements or exercises that the athlete/client can easily perform while successfully stabilizing the intended joints. Then progress to movements that are unstable, but again, the athlete/client must be able to successfully execute this new exercise by achieving non-compensatory stabilization throughout the duration.

  • Progressive Resistance to Rate of Force Development

Increase load with the ability to successfully execute the prescribed exercise. After increasing load, seek to increase speed of movement and power.

  • Pre-Programmed to Random

Prescribe movements that are choreographed e.g. run to cone A, then to cone B, and then finish at cone C. Next, progress to drills that incorporate the randomness and chaotic nature of sport/life.

  • Mastery to Next Limiting Factor

Move to the next progression when the athlete/client is able to do so successfully; never sooner and never later.

More to come..

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