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Are You a HIT Guy or an Olympic Guy?

Ten years ago if you were sitting behind a desk being interviewed for a strength and conditioning job, you'd redoubtably would be asked whether your a HIT guy or an Olympic guy. This question would later lead to sworn groups of enemies that had more hatred for each other than the West Coast vs. East Coast gangster rap hatred in the 90s.

Even today, I still receive this question. Granted, most strength coaches know the answer that is probably coming, I have to admit, it's still an issue for some.

My response to this question is unequivocally; "I'm a What Works Guy!". That's right, that is my answer. I am simply a whatever-works type of guy. I also believe you HAVE TO BE. Our industry is changing so rapidly, science is changing quickly, athletic populations with their differences of speeds, agility, biomechanics, physiques, the nature of the game... It's all changing dramatically.

I end up usually making this analogy. In this day and age, simply being a one-methodology guy is like showing up to build a house and only bringing a hammer. You're going to have difficulties cutting wood with a hammer, putting in screws, measuring and cementing.

The strength & conditioning realm is changing and it's our responsibility as coaches to change with it. I'm not by any means saying we cannot olympic lift or we cannot use machines. I love both and use both in my programing. I also don't think we need to build such elaborate variety in the program that adaptation can not occur. There are needs for stability and exercises need to stay constant  so those adaptations can occur.

What I am recommending is that we don't pigeon hole or paint our selves into a corner by limiting the methodologies to only one or two. I think we need to look at what the Olympic guys are doing and say "What Works". We need to look at the HIT gang and say "How can I use this"? Look at the functional, the corrective, the physical therapists, the prehabilitation gang, the movement-based group and simply ask ourselves, "how can we use this with our athletes".

The day I look at something and quickly propose that I'll never do it or never program it will be the day that I have one foot in the grave. Science is improving every day and more and more research is coming out disproving some methods, proving others. The game is rapidly changing. What we know to be working and proven today will be disproved and inefficient and wrong 2 years from now. It's our job to stay as close to science and follow it's groove.

Adam Ringler

Adam Ringler

Adam Ringler, MS, SCCC, CSCS is a hard working, loyal, and competitive Strength & Conditioning Coach at the University of Colorado. Born on Television, Raised by wolves.

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