Hated Term: Sports Specific Training

One of my most hated terms – Sports Specific Training! It is right up there with “functional training” and “meatless burger”.


First – if a burger is meatless, it is not a burger. That is a scientific fact based on my findings that burgers are made of meat.


Second – functional training has been butchered. Unfortunately, there is no real definition for functional training, but what should be considered “functional” is anything that can help the athlete in his/her sport. Period. It does not mean you are balancing on one foot doing rear raises while standing on a physio-ball, chewing CBD gum, slowly inhaling through your nose and blowing it out your ass.


So why the animosity towards the term “sport specific” training? Well, in large part because it is BS. Most of the time it is a term thrown around by gurus to sell their funky program to others. It is a catch-phrase to get parents and kids excited about training.


This is my viewpoint on “sports specific”. Is a pull-up specific to soccer? Well, it depends. Does the soccer player have a weak back that prohibits him/her from maintaining good posture while running? Is their upper body too weak to effectively allow them to box out? If so, then a pull-up can indeed help this player’s game and I would consider it “sport specific”. However, if this is not an issue for the athlete then a pull-up would be nothing more than a general physical preparation tool for the athlete.


Is swinging a weighted bat sport specific for baseball? I think we would all agree that it is, but if the player lacks adequate strength and movement, is it beneficial? Probably not. For the weak immobile athlete simple body weight movements may be more beneficial and translate over to the game itself more than “specialized” exercises.


The movements in the weight room do not need to replicate the movements seen in sport, they need enhance the movements seen in sport!




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