Change We Can Believe In

Disclaimer: this post is not a political statement.If you look past the oiled up muscles and ads promising the latest and greatest supplements, T-Nation is one of the best resources online for the discussion of new ideas about training. Sure, some articles there are based on inaccurate hearsay or seem written more for the author to hear his own voice, but it also collects together input from some of the top young minds in athletic development looking to teach and learn like Wil Fleming, Chad Smith, and Derek Woodske. All three are former throwers and run their fantastic blogs of their own. But no matter the author, the site always leave you thinking and help on developing your own training philosophy.

A few weeks ago Chris Cralle pointed out an article on change, one of my favorite topics. In the article trainer Todd Bumgardner essentially makes the assertion that changing exercises in training is a bad thing. Merely adjusting volume and intensity is all the change an athlete needs. As he puts it “A new exercise variation typically isn’t the solution; an innovative way to load a proven exercise typically is.” The author makes a few good points: change done to make things interesting is bad and training needs to focused on the event. But after that our opinions diverge. I think change is one of the most crucial factors in developing a good training plan.


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6 replies
  1. robert perry
    robert perry says:

    Good reading, but at first I was hoping you were writing about Obama’s pending resignation or impeachment.

  2. Frederick Hannie
    Frederick Hannie says:

    Martin, I really enjoyed your post. It more clearly dissects the issue. Unfortunately I am too hardheaded to trust the more informed and have to test things out on myself. This year I tried changing weights and sets while keeping the weight the same. The cns stalls.

    After commenting on Chris’ facebook post I looked at my training and decided to finally change the exercises. I had been just changing reps and sets. I haven’t felt much up and down cns wise. Even with changing the ball weights.

    I would be interested in seeing a pool of exercises(not all inclusive bc let’s be honest, what is). I have heard y’all use a squat, and Olympic, a step up, and a couple twists and pud tosses. Could you comment on this?

    I also liked the shout out to Derek and Chad. They are trying to change the way America looks at training and exercise. Very knowledgeable people.

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      Playing around with it is exactly the right thing. Keeping the same exercises can work in the short term and may be the best route for a college athlete not looking to continue towards a long-term throwing career. But after a while, I think 4-6 years is what Bondarchuk has said, you need more change to continue the process. Others may need it sooner.

  3. Todd Bumgardner
    Todd Bumgardner says:

    Good article, Martin.

    I think we see eye to eye more than not–especially in means to progression through exercise selection.

    In my article I state that adaptation dictates the need for change in exercise selection, it’s not the other way around. I’m just making the case that it’s a slow-play and that all of the bullshit articles written about stupid exercise variations are bunk and lifters and athletes need to get back to doing the basics.

    Really appreciate you reading my work and elaborating on it.

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      Well put. I like how you state it, adaptation dictates change not vice versa. I’m sure ill steal that quote at some point in the future.


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