New year New Standards.
I often ask myself: Does this person need to be able to do more of “this” to achieve the end goals? Am I pursuing valuable improvements or just chasing numbers? This can also sound like: Is a two-times bodyweight deadlift for five reps enough to play catcher in college baseball? Is a one-and-a-half bodyweight bench press for five reps enough to play college basketball? Is a quarter-bodyweight in a goblet squat for 10 reps enough to be healthy, garden and play with the grandkids? Is a six-minute mile important to drive the ball farther in golf ? Why use standards? Standards set expectations, give people goals to strive for and allow us as coaches to ask better questions leading to better choices. The standards I use come from many years of experience, trial and error. I use bodyweight only...and not gender, sport or training age due to the wide range of clients I work with—athletes and adults of all ages and experience levels. Bodyweight is a metric we all share. It doesn't work for all scenarios. There are always outliers, but it works well for the majority of athletes and adults I train. If I was coaching a less-general, more-specific population, I'd take the time to narrow my standards to accommodate the specific context of that population. When I share my approach, I'm often met with questions about applying this body weight metric to women. I don't make special accommodations for women. In fact, I've found that applying this same metric to men and women often results in women proving they're just as strong as men pound for pound. I challenge you to make your own standards based on the specific populations you work with, using my standards as a reference. There are two exceptions to calculating standards based on bodyweight: If you're working with a weight-loss client, use the goal weight as the working number for all calculations, not the current bodyweight. If the person is currently 250 pounds but wants to be 180, use 180 as your working number. As an example, goblet squats with 50% bodyweight x 10 reps would be done with 90 pounds, not 125. The second exception is using standards involving sprint times and jump distances. Bodyweight as a metric doesn't work well here. Therefore, my sprinting and jumping standards accom- modate for the inherent differences between men and women. If you feel compelled to explore this more, consider how you might use lean muscle mass and experience levels to establish additional standards around sprinting and jumping.