principles in training

Principles Versus Methods

The correct PRINCIPLES will transcend all training methodologies.

If you learn only methods, you’ll be tied to your methods. But if you learn principles, you can devise your own methods. -Ralph W Emerson

You learn to cook so that you don’t have to be a slave to recipes. You get what’s in season and you know what to do with it. -Julia Child

Their is no ONE WAY to do anything. As with most things in life, principles will always win out over training methods.

The correct PRINCIPLES will transcend all training methodologies.

Sure, there are methods and tools I prefer to use and I have my reasons and empirical evidence for why I do so but I am never one to 100% drink the kool-aid of any one method, coach or guru. I will study their content with pleasure and will experiment with their methodology and formulate my own conclusions and applications.

Principles in Coaching

principles in training


If you are a coach I recommend you do the same. Definitely learn as much as possible from each teacher and mentor but also realize that they too have tested what they have learned through their unique worldview and training lens. That is what each coach must do. They must keep what works and is effective and discard what doesn’t work or bear fruit.

My training methods and teaching style has changed over the years and that is a good thing.

I evolve and grow just like you do and that means I change my mind on things. Many tools and methods I once attached myself to and taught to clients are no longer part of my tool box. I consider this important because it means I am constantly looking at the best practices of other coaches and leaders and experimenting with them in my human laboratory which is FS Athletics.

I continue to experiment with new tools and methods but am constantly reminded that the basics usually work the best and there really isn’t anything new out there. Most of the supposedly new stuff is just rehashed methods and techniques from previous generations. Putting a new twist and a new skin on something doesn’t automatically make it unique.

Now I want to be clear that I do not fault other coaches and trainers for wanting to stand out and be unique as I have attempted to do the same in my career. The reality though is that the basic strength and conditioning science and research from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s is meaty and highly effective. If most people applied what the Soviets were teaching from the 80’s we would be collectively a much stronger planet.

I consider myself a strength and fitness minimalist and essentialist. Rather than focusing on doing the most you can do, I focus on cutting out the fluff and focusing on movements that give a high return on investment. Can you do more? Sure, but why do more when you can get superior results by simply focusing on key fundamental movements that enhance overall body function? Rather it’s wiser to focus on what Pavel Tsatsouline calls the “minimal effective dosage”, and save your energy and resources for other areas of your life. Exercise and movement can and should build health, not tear it down.

There is no “one size fits all” protocol when it comes health and wellness. However, basic human physiology is the same for everyone so we can apply basic scientific principles to all people. The volume and intensity dosages are unique to each person and depend on several factors including the person’s goals, medical history, training background, current health status and their Neuro Type.

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.