CSCS Practice Questions – Program Design Part 4

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 in Practice Questions, Program Design | 0 comments

The last question I posed to you, the readers, hinted at a principle that is kind of a big deal.  See, strength coaches are apt to say things like:

“Strength is never a weakness!” – Mark Bell, Jesse Burdick (professional powerlifters)

I totally agree and I love this quote, being somewhat of a more meathead inclined individual myself.  Of course there are some nuances that you need to understand about strength to truly know that this is true.  You might fool yourself into saying “but if I weigh 10lbs more….I might be weaker at endurance events.”  True, if you weigh 10lbs more you have more weight to move over the same distance, and yes you would be at a disadvantage.  But strength doesn’t always come at the cost of increased weight.  A lot of strength is purely neurological adaptation.  Strength is indeed never a weakness.

And that is why the SAID principle is so important.  Strength is always good, but it’s best when it’s specific and mimics the sport in question.  Having an athlete do 50 single joint exercises, won’t be as effective as picking a few key exercises that closely mimic the conditions in his or her sport.  So when you encounter a question like the one from my last post:

You are training a sprinter, however due to time constraints you are only allowed to select one strength training exercises  Keeping in mind the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) pick the most sport specific of these exercises.

A.  Barbell lunge
B.  Barbell Row
C.  Seated calf raise
D.  Leg (knee) curl

Now think about which exercise more closely mimics the position and mechanics of sprinting (I’ve added links to each exercise this time).

The answer should, pretty evidently be A. Barbell Lunge.  The positioning of an upright torso, movement across multiple joints, and the added need for balance during the barbell lunge are three very important reasons the lunge more closely relates to the sport of sprinting, and thus according to the SAID principle will be more beneficial.

Next Question
Of the four exercises listed below, which is a structural exercise that can only be performed with free weights?

A.  Back Squat
B.  Snatch
C.  Bench Press
D.  Dumbbell Bicep Curl

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