I think, as far as coaching philosophies go, just in general, I think the people that make the biggest impact are going to be those coaches’ coaches along the way. I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with some awesome coaches to the likes of Chad Wesley Smith, Mark Theta, Eric Bodhorn.
All different levels and somewhat of a different philosophy there, too. I’ve been able to take that anecdotal experience…I think a lot of coaches take that anecdotal experience with the stuff they’ve done, apply it, and add their own spin on it, in combination with the scientific literature where things are at.
I think that’s really important is to always stay on your toes and never stop wanting to learn, continuing to read articles, continuing to see what’s new and what’s out there, and not getting stuck with, “Oh, this is my way. This is how I do this. This is how I’ve been doing it for 10 to 20 years, so I know what I’m doing.”
I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had come in the door that are like “old school.” They’ve been lifting for 20 years and they’re still doing 5/3/1, or whatever it is, when we should really be taking maybe a little bit of a higher volume of approach there, or different things like that.
I’d say, as far as philosophies go, I definitely have taken a piece from everyone who I’ve worked with along the way, along with what I’ve learned in school, what I’ve learned from the literature, other great coaches online like Alberto Nuñez, Greg Nuckols, Eric Helms, and just applied that.
The other thing is, too, there’s never a right or wrong answer when it comes to programming. Believe it or not, it should be individualized, and a lot of that has to do with the given lifter, what kind of lifter they are, what their MRV is, what they can handle, their life stress, their balance.
There’s so many things at play there, and that’s why I can’t stress the importance enough to, if you really want the highest quality of coaching, it’s important to limit your roster. When you get into those upper echelons of higher client loads, you can’t be on top of it like you should.
As far as philosophies go, of course, there’s going to be little takeaways. There’s going to be some anecdotal experience there, stuff I’ve gone through, stuff I’ve learned. It’s just a culmination of all of that, bringing it together to fit that given client, and learning it along the way.
I like to say, “Programming is a science experiment.” When you’re working with a client, the longer you work with them, the better the programming should get, because you start to understand what that client responds to, how their body responds, how should they peak, all these different things. How’s their recovery?
Just optimizing little things as you go, changing one variable at a time, so you can really elicit the change and see where that change came from. Versus just completely trashing that current methodology, throwing in a new one and seeing, “Oh, does Westside work for this person? No. OK, does 5/3/1 work? Does 5..?”
Just constantly changing what that protocol is. Let’s manipulate a little bit of time and see what can work there.