On looking outside of parkour for programming training

Craig: Andy, given your thorough grasp of failure then, let’s talk about how do you turn that into tools? Not just what have you done with it, and how do you see a way forward, but how do you look at that? And then what’s your thinking before and after? So at one point you’re uncertain what to do about it, which is very important because if you don’t know that you’re uncertain, then that’s the step you miss. So once you know you’re uncertain about it, what’s the actual next thing? What thought changed, and how are you moving forward to try and dig out of that or flip it over?

Andy: Yeah. So then, I believe the next step, and again, I’m completely unsure with this, but I’ll see how it goes. But now is the time where I think coaches have to look outside of parkour, strongman training, power lifting, Olympic lifting, even crossfit-

Craig: Long distance running, right?

Andy: Yeah. Long distance running, all of these things. These guys have been going for a long time. They’ve been going for a long, long time. And their coaches, they know what they’re doing. They know how to make people stronger. Well, the top ones do. I am now looking more towards that. I’m looking at actual strongman training. I’m looking at real strength training and programming. How to program correctly and then trying to translate that back to parkour, which is actually pretty difficult when you look at specific movements because our movements are not usually just one part of it.

Craig: Yeah. One plain and one’s different.

Andy: It’s nuts. I mean you look at sort of the textbooks on how to do a squat and that’s basically lifting something up. Then you now try and program for that. Then you get, to me it’s okay. It’s not too hard to program. But then you start looking at Kong, Oh my God, there’s about four stages to the movement and-

Craig: Bench press, the dynamic negative bench press that turns into a, I don’t know, a box jump.

Andy: Yeah. Well, I mean when you start thinking that, okay, a Kong can have three different entry points going up to it, going sideways to it and coming down-

Craig: [inaudible 00:14:58] this vision of Chris Keighley doing the Kongs over parking bumpers, [inaudible 00:15:04] think, who would Kong at six inch high [inaudible 00:15:07]? But then I tried to do it and it’s really hard.

Andy: Yeah. Exactly. There were so many variables to that. So looking at a strength coach and how they go about programing somebody getting better at squat, it’s really good for us because I think you start to understand, okay, why are they doing what they’re doing? Why are they making people do the number of repetitions they’re doing? What are the variables in terms of stress upon the body? How many sets they do, how many reps they do, how they measure it through volume rather than sets and reps, and what that volume should be, and all of this stuff.

Andy: What they also recommend in terms of rest and why they rest, how long they rest, all this kind of stuff is very, very important, because if you are now doing precisions and you’re doing broad jump precisions, and you’re starting to get to that point where you’re plateauing, what does most people do, they’ll either stick with whatever they’ve plateaued at or they’ll get an injury and then they’ll just go, forget it. They’ll move on to something else.

Andy: With strength training, that’s not how it works. Actually, I should sidestep perhaps to what strength coaches classify as a beginner, an intermediate, and an advanced, and then an elite practitioner. And I really like this. A beginner is somebody who you can give some training to within one session and they need the recommended amount of recovery, which is 48 to 72 hours of recovery from what happened in that single session. An intermediate person is where you need to accumulate more than one training session, so between two to three or four, to then elicit the same amount of recovery response. An advanced person requires between a week to a month of training, and then elite Olympic level people, you have to program six months plus worth of training to elicit a tiny amount of change in their body to then make them stronger, right?

Andy: I like this because it doesn’t come down to anything other than what you are capable of doing. It doesn’t matter what techniques you’re doing, it doesn’t matter anything. All that matters is how much intensity you are able to take. That’s it. That’s what classifies a beginner or an intermediate or whatnot. Now, for us, if we are doing broad jumps and we have got to the point or a student has got to the point where it doesn’t matter how much broad jumping they do in a session, well, all that’s telling me is they have not put enough intensity on to their session to elicit a response. So we have to now figure out how can we elicit a response and program it, right? And that’s kind of now how it feeds back into parkour.

Andy: There are obviously like the Kong, oh my gosh, how do you program or elicit a response to get somebody to be better at a Kong? Now, we have to break that down. We have to make it more granular. We have to figure out, okay, is this … There’s a jump part of it. There is a hold part in the middle, or a slowing down or a speeding up part, and then there’s a landing part. Now we break that down. We figure out, okay, how do you elicit a response in terms of making the jump harder, the hold harder, and the drop and the landing harder, and now we can start programming that. That’s what I’m now starting to look at, and figuring out how can I make top level people have a change just as much as a beginner can.