13 Oct ProBar Software Patch
There is an important myth, for lack of a better word, in the fitness community, revolving around the concept of “sport specific training”.
While this is a concept that has been rehashed frequently in the strength training community, among the groups of trainers and athletic coaches who have survived the average career expectancy of a personal trainer (18-36 months), it still is important to discuss. We learn through rote, repetition after all. After all, even our programs revolve around “reps” 😉
It is our duty to educate others and spread the good word when it comes to sport specific training, as to what it means really and how to properly label a program as “sport specific”
On the more sophisticated side, we have GPP vs SPP: General Physical Preparedness vs Specialized or Specific Physical Preparedness. If that sounds too pedantic to you, allow me to explain the difference: your personal trainer (GPP) will condition you and make sure that your body functions adequately, working on your mobility, your flexibilty, strength, power and endurance.
Your tennis instructor (SPP), in turn, will improve your skill level at the game and make sure you become a better tennis player (if tennis is your sport of choice).
We will go out on a limb here, but most of the people we work with and learned from will agree: we are here to make sure you move well so you can do more of “X”. We can’t make your a better golfer, surfer, fighter etc. We can make you a better “mover” so you can do more of “X”. “We” stands for the collective of personal trainers 🙂
No personal trainer will make you a better surfer if you don’t surf, or better golfer if you don’t golf. I know nothing about golf. But I can look at a golfer and see where his or her movement is dysfunctional and help them unlock all the blockages, help them get rid of any imbalances.
The golf professional will then take that fine-tuned mosheen and make it efficient. If the individual has not taken care of the dysunction, then there will inevitably a deficiency in the sport, the game or whatever your personal “X” is.
The trainer is the mechanic. You are the driver. Then you have the driving coach. The mechanic’s job is to ensure you have a car that runs optimally. But you have to drive the car.
Your coach will then whisper cues in your ear as you drive on that speedway, observing from a distance as you open up that throttle!
Alas, too often, we see trainers develop a so-called “sports specific program” that merely mimics the movements of “X” activity/sport in a gym setting. Intuitively, it makes sense. In practice, because it’s not the same, you are actually distracting from the skill. If your goal is to become better at shooting a rifle, don’t practice with a bow and arrow. OK, it’s target practice, but it’s not with the same weapon.
We’re all the same in the end, regardless of our sport or activity. We have limbs, muscles and a skeleton. Only our proportionsvary, but conceptually, we’re the same. Our individual proportions may make us more efficient for different things (tall and lean basketball players won’t be competing as gymnasts any time soon, which doesn’t stop them from enjoying the practice of gymnastics if desired).
Where does the ProBar fit in all of this? If you provide the hardware (the body and any appendages you add to it: golf club, baseball bat, tennis racket…) and your chosen sport’s instructor provides the software (the skill and education, like how to do a better backhand or serve, or how to swing), the ProBar is the patch bridging the software to the hardware at an accelerated pace.
It allows the “sport specific instructor” to make sure the hardware properly installs the software into the operating system.
For the generalist, the personal trainer, the ProBar allows them to screen & assess, then choose the adequate corrective exercises to remove any imbalances and condition the body for what it needs to do. It can also provide the instant feedback that verbal cueing doesn’t always deliver. I personally have experienced using a variety of verbal cues that did not register with some clients, depending on their level of focus or even my own ability to communicate (different days, different variables of being human), whereas the simple activation of the ProBar turns it into a “Done For You” process.