Outcome Oriented Training BY ERIC ERNST

We train for specific outcomes. In order to improve performance outcomes all exercises selected and performed, including repetitions, sets, rest time, and order of exercises, should contribute to the overall training goal(s) of increased performance. The amount of training time before target event(s), or season must be critically considered and heavily influences all aforementioned parameters.


The closer the event(s) or season are to the training, the more specific to the activity or sport the exercise selection and programming should be. For example, if your Spartan Race is next month, then we need to be running, crawling, climbing, and being dynamic with relatively short rest periods in ways that simulate the physical demands on race day. When an athlete or client has more time to prepare, programming may include more general/ less specific exercise selection. This training, though “general”, will still be relevant to our performance training outcomes in our chosen activity or sport. That same client preparing for their Spartan Race race with six or more weeks leading up to their event may include more general strength, power, speed, agility, balance, etc in their training. As their target event(s),, or season approaches, training will progressively imitate an athlete’s or client's activity or sport. To use an analogy, this is much like making and sharpening a blade or sword. First a blade must be forged; foundational and general strength and conditioning work. Then, that blade must be shaped; evolving the general training towards more sport or activity specific capabilities. Finally, taking what looks like a blade or sword and sharpening and honing the edge; training event and/or season specific skills.


By properly structuring an athlete’s or client's programming, we raise performance outcome potential by placing sport specific skills on a relevant strength and conditioning platform, all of which is built upon a wide foundation of general strength and conditioning. In fact, this is a very general explanation of periodized training or periodization. The ultimate goal from our vantage point in a performance oriented training facility is building and raising athletic potential and capability. By the time our athletes and clients are including sport or activity specific skills they will possess a sturdy foundation of potential and capacity for them to then apply to their activity or sport specific training.  

Shona McHone