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Strength and Conditioning Practices That Are Over hyped

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Every year, we see old bad ideas repackaged as new ideas, and new ideas that just are not true. Strength and conditioning is a big market for education, and many promote borderline ideas (with good intensions) that just don’t pass the test of time. A number of good ideas look great on paper because they are linked to science, but they are not backed by science. Several ideas and concepts in sports training are worth pursuing, but putting too much effort into the minor details is beyond foolish—it’s just not productive.

In this article, I cover few concepts that are good to know, but not worth your time to worry about. Training principles are about steady rules that help athletes develop, not ways to glamorize training sessions to the point that they’re more hype than substance. Again, I believe that all the methods below have value and I use them in DRS training, but if we are making 1-3% improvements a year, what can be said for the value from minor components of those training elements?

How I Chose the List of Hyped Theories

These topics are not areas that I don’t like; in fact, I address each training theory and believe that these areas have important value. My main problem is that the topics have reached rock star status in training without really delivering much more than a secondary benefit. A fear of mine is that you will see this as a list of myths, rather than a list of very small variables that have an overinflated importance in performance training or rehabilitation.

This is not a Top 10 list either—it’s just a group of ideas that seem to linger too long in social media debates and get way too much attention in coaching education. All of the topics are important to read more about and actually use in training and rehabilitation, but not get too crazy or excited about. Again, I believe in the details and value of the concepts below; I just don’t want the expectations to be so high that when they fail to be magic, coaches no longer value the methodologies.

My suggestion is to read my take on the topics and be honest with yourself: Do you like the theories because they fit your own biases or agendas, or do they deliver a massive advantage or result? Other ideas and concepts could be on this list—like suspension training, animal flow routines, and whatever the flavor of the month is with stretching—but here are my few concepts for now.

Corrective Exercises

I am amazed at the number of coaches who poke fun at corrective exercises but still do them, just with different naming conventions, and who have spent years promoting them as part of their screening solutions. Exercises or training programs are the points of connection for change. What we saw more than a decade ago was regurgitating physical therapy exercises from rehabilitation into a prevention option or a “fix” for problems that may not have existed in the first place.

Most of the corrections consisted of getting a muscle to work better, teaching a motion that was a “movement impairment,” or acting in a way to restore posture. So far, most of the exercises simply wasted time and turned rugged athletes that were fine into mentally frail patients. Now the new normal is to use conventional training in a clever way so it’s a corrective process.

The primary issues with corrective exercises is that they are low in load, low in usefulness, and based on a faulty interpretation of the evaluation of athlete movement. Dysfunctional patterns are easy to find if they are new movements to an