Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Speed & Agility & Sandbagging

I was saving my review of Speed & Agility until late because I had something funny to write but, alas, we’ve editing a very entertaining sandbag out of the final program notes. I was probably the one who changed this but, after running through the workouts a bunch, I kind of wish I hadn’t. You may not, but I digress.

You see, Shaun used to refer to Speed & Agility as an active recovery workout. You do it on day one and, in many ways, it’s just as hard as anything in the program. As I’ve already pointed out, Shaun’s definition of active recovery can be liberal. Anyone finishing Speed & Agility and thinking that they just did the recovery workout for the program was probably going to feel as though this Hell Month thing was going to be literal. But this tactic can have a flip side in that if you respond to it positively your head will get more in the game, you’ll focus more in subsequent workouts, and get better results. But, as with all coaching philosophies, what works for one person doesn’t always work for another and this “scare tactic” may have been too much for some.

It should be pointed out that Shaun is technically right. Speed & Agility targets proprioceptive awareness and speed instead of explosive strength. For any of you whom actually have been through a football Hell Week will remember, there were parts of practice that were obviously for strength improvements, like where you hit each other, or sleds, or dummies, with a lot of force. Then there were parts, usually during “breaks”, when you did speed and agility drills that were often more painful than hitting because you had to move very quickly. This workout is about those “breaks.” And because its target is speed as well as accuracy you’ll most likely feel, like me, that there is no end to how much you can improve.

"you shoot a mean game of pool, fat man."

Sandbagging has a long and glorious history in sports. From the more overt examples, like pool hustlers, to nefarious, like the Black Sox scandal, to downright clever like last year’s Boston Celtics, hiding your clear agenda in order to facilitate an outcome is a tried and true component in sports. We don’t do much of it around here because, well, we offer training programs, not sports psychology. Both Insanity and Asylum, however, have a little bit of a get-into-your-head component. But next time you think the challenge is mean, or over-the-top, just remember that it might have been worse.

5 comments:

InsaneXer said...

Who needs speed when you got mass? lol The workouts are very different, different from doing 20 rep squats or heavy deadlifts. I have only done the Vertical Plyo and Strength. I'm subbing one workout a week (since I'm bulking) instead of my 2-3 20 minute cardio session a week.

Steve Edwards said...

It would probably be an interesting experiment to see how much you can turn your bulk into speed and explosiveness. This and X2 would both do it.

If you took an entire cycle to work on muscle cell motor unit recruitment and agility you would increase your ability for more mass.

Steven said...

I am curious to see what level of hypertrophy could be attained with MC:2. I read that you were looking to target both those that are looking for muscle growth and those that are looking for more sports specific training, i.e., that is what all the PAP inclusion is about. I did one round of the X and got great results. Since then, I just keep doing 3 on, 1 off weekly cycles; it is really addicting. I don't want to stop.
Also, I read that you were supposed to come out with a Vol. 3 martial art video. I read on a coach's blog that is was called "MMX". Is there any word on if that might be released.

InsaneXer said...

I'd lose mass pretty easily if I did too much explosive/agility work. Eating around 4500 calories (to bulk) a day is a pain itself. You guys at the corporate did a good job coming up with these programs. They have interesting science behind them especially MC2 and the P3 stuff, if Mc2 gains as much popularity as X did, the P3 might gain fame as well. I might come to the coach summit thing just to meet you and talk about this stuff once I turn 18.

InsaneXer said...

Question, My flexibility decreased as I got bigger, to the point where I'm a little above average. I did stretch during that time period (didn't do yoga :( ) but stretched. My question is that will this continue on as I keep gaining mass? I don't like feeling tight as a big block 24/7.