Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Are your single leg training concepts from the 1990s still relevant?

I recently received a email where the writer asked:

Dear Ian, I've come across your single leg 2 part routine limping into October online. This I believe is the gold dust I have been looking for. I've been attempting to create something similar to this without realizing it!

Is this something you would still recommend as I notice it was posted online in the late 90's? It still seems very relevant to me.

I feel it’s next to exactly what I'm looking for. A routine to follow for a 3-4 week phase that will help reduce any muscular imbalances I have before I start my pre season conditioning early June.

Any advice on this would be very much appreciated. Kind regards.”


This is what I responded with:

“This is a program that changed the way the world trains, and the reason why you were looking to create something similar - because it created a human trend that spread throughout the world. Take the concepts I promoted in the late 1990s about unilateral body weight lower body exercises, lines of movement, speed of movement, control drills prior to strength training and so on, out of those interesting books on ‘functional training’ and books would fall over, and no, despite the complete absence of ethical and professional referencing, that author did not come up with those ideas. What he do however was orchestrate the famous ‘Boston Walkout’….


Is the content of this 1990s program still relevant? I don’t produce trends. I produce concepts that serve forever. So yes, it is still relevant. It will not in itself solve your problems because it only addresses the strength side, and there is so much more to training as an athlete than ’strength and conditioning’, despite the dominant paradigm created by a historical incident of convenience in 1981. Keep in mind also that it is a generic program, not individualised.

On that point, on individualization, it’s ironic that the industry has not only failed to moved towards higher competency in individualization, but the trend based focus is attaches to (and you have been caught up in) has result, I suggest, in a move away from individualization. The art of individualizing training is not taught, and possessed by few. It goes a massive distance further than doing a weekend course with a three digit trademark certification and buying the related testing device.

On the point of relevance I developed these ideas during the late 1980s and early 1990s and published them after over a decade of experimentation and refining in the late 1990s. If you think the ideas may be dated, you are more alone than you may appreciate.

Now it was only about 5 years later, but I nearly fell out my chair and swallowed my protein shaker when I was sent (by a concerned colleague) a video from a 2003 seminar in Nevada where the presenter presented my unique approach to bodyweight exercises and then told the audience the only way to learn more about them was through personal communication with himself or by buying his book (must have had amnesia about the dozen or so resources he learnt them from that he could have recommended, or the actual source of the info…)


I was shattered to see virtually the entire contents of my ‘How to Write Strength Training Programs’ book (1998) repackaged verbatim and promoted as an ‘industry bible’, (verbatim and lightly paraphrased), in 2005 and again in 2009, with the ‘authors’ seeking to pass it off as their own works, sold for 3 times the price people would have paid for the original works.


I was ‘intrigued’ when I noted an article by a certain ‘functionalist’ author promoting the benefits of single leg exercises in around 2011, over 10 years since I championed the concept against industry beliefs, and in the same online magazine. I failed to see how you could publish with such ‘revolutionary’ ideas in the same magazine over a decade later! And then there was the national convention in a large island country where the key note speaker proudly presented on the concept of stability exercises etc., and new strength sub-quality that I published about in the early 1990s, nearly 20 years prior!

So if these otherwise ‘highly regarded’ industry experts (although I not sure how you get ‘highly respected’ when the C+V keyboard buttons are your best friend?) find worthiness to promote off these concepts some 10-20 years after they were first published (and up to 30 years after I began developing them conceptually), and the market didn’t react poorly to them (after all, some will only present on content they are confident will be ‘popular’ and ’trendy’) then this may be a hint of their timelessness!

I trust this answers your question.
--Ian King

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