So those that know me will understand where today’s blog is coming from, I’m passionate about what I do and seeing a change in those I coach but also within my own training. I strongly believe in applying methodology into my training and this is why this post is about variance, my thoughts on it and its application.

So my starting question to you is what’s is your variance in your training like or do you even understand all the areas within variance? Whether new to training or a seasoned coach there’s no harm in reflecting on this and how we apply it to remind ourselves of the importance of it within our programme.

It doesn’t matter what you are training for or what your jam is, you can have variance in your training. A powerlifter who only lifts a barbell in three different actions still needs variance within their program such as volume, rep schemes, use of different energy systems and variation within the movements. As a coach, I see people who take part in Crossfit programmes and as athletes, they show biases towards rep schemes or movements. When was the last time they ticked all the boxes in the week, workout variations, rep scheme, different loads and movement patterns?

So why do we need this variance within our training? For us to grow, to get stronger, faster or fitter then we need to stress the body. When we train, we apply stress to our bodies but our bodies learn how to deal with this stress we’ve applied. We’re constantly adapting. If you continuously apply the same stress then you won’t get very far in training and probably not reach your goals.

We know why, so how are you going to check that you have variance to in your training? Well luckily for you, there is many ways we can do this and also consider the many variations there are within our application of each and this gives us an opportunity to grow:
If we consider the variant of movements it can also include stance, the use of different implements and also a range of motion. For example, instead of continually deadlifting in the same conventional way, changing to a sumo stance or adding deficient deadlifts will allow you to increase strength through different movements. Tieing into a change of movements can also be a change of weight. People always want to go heavy, lift large loads but the hardest days for me are those dynamic days. Bringing the load down, increasing accommodating resistance and shortening rest periods adds a tremendous amount of stress on the body.

Time is another variance to consider. If you were to ask 100 crossfitters what time domain they like to train in, I would suspect most would say between eight to fifteen minutes of work. How many people want to train in that hurt locker of under five minutes or that long mental game zone of over twenty minutes. You need to be hitting all time domain variations of workouts because you need to be working all of energy systems to their maximum potential.

So now you’ve considered and programmed to hit movement, load, time and energy systems. You know need to consider structure within the workout, time vs task, the patterns of movement with low and high skill work.

You are now probably getting the general gist of how complicated programming can become but there is a simple way to make sure everything is being hit.

Write down the main sections and go through your program, ticking off all the boxes. It is that simple, it will highlight areas you are lacking within the program and also biases towards certain types and areas of training you might have.

For me, training should be simple. People try to make their program the next fanciest thing and over complicate it! Why?? Make it efficient, make sure it is balanced and most of all, make sure you vary it up!


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