Over a few bowls of Samurai Noodle on Friday night, Zach and I discussed the optimal way to maximize training time and fix weaknesses when on a busy schedule. Zach’s jerk needs work, and is probably his weak link. He asked is more strict pressing would help his jerk, since he considers it to be a shoulder weakness. Since he is my younger brother, he is obviously wrong.
A strong strict press will not necessarily correlate with a strong jerk, and according to some Russian scientists, an exceptionally strong press may actually hinder an athlete from attaining an equally strong jerk. Many female athletes who possess a strong jerk, for example, may be relatively weak pressers.(Read more n press vs. jerk here)
The moral of this story is that if Zach can only train 3x a week for 2 hours every session, his time would not be best spent working his press when he actually needs to address errors in the jerk. If you want to be great at something, don’t fill your schedule with 100 different activities that you would also like to improve. Someone actually told us last week, “Hey if you guys want to improve your Olympic lifting, you should work kipping pullups or master the muscle up to improve hip drive.” …..WHAT? To improve Olympic lifting, I should stop doing it and instead do a completely different movements that will have vaguest semblance of carry-over? I will inform the OTC and MDUSA to install pullup bars and rings over their platforms immediately.
if you want to achieve greatness in a few disciplines, then practice those disciplines, along with the necessary accessory work. For most of us, each training session can last no more than a couple hours, and that time must be used as effectively as possible. If you have certain weaknesses to address, then address them. Don’t try to improve your thruster, then see how many situps you can do in 5 minutes, then try to shoulder your first stone and mess your bicep up (you know who you are).
If I want Zach to improve his Olympic lifting (I do) then I will definitely not tell him to waste time trying to perfect his muscle-up when his time can be spent more effectively while working on his jerk weaknesses. Keep in mind that Zach is a Weightlifter and as such he needs to practice things that will help him on very specific movements. If you are part of the GPP crowd, then you have more lee-way in your training, since you aren’t really training for any one thing, except….life?
Just because something won’t necessarily hurt your training doesn’t mean it will help it either. Use your training time as effectively as possible, and stick to your program without adding in chunks of unnecessary activities that won’t help you towards your goal. If you don’t have a program, then get one. And get some shoes too, don’t ask questions, just do it.