What is the best training methodology?

Strength coaches, the best training methodology is the one you know that fits your athletes and clients and helps them achieve their desired results safely and efficiently.

I am Phil Tran, championship-winning high school football and strength coach, owner of PT Strength, and NHSSCA Maryland Coach of the Year.

If you have been working in the sports and fitness industry for a while and you are serious about networking and continuing education, you will learn that the titans in the industry all utilize different training methodologies on the same population. These differences can get political and polarized.

One icon in the industry with a large following does not believe in barbell back squats for a multitude of reasons and does not have any of his athletes perform exercises with a heavy spinal load. Another accomplished professional in the industry does have athletes perform barbell back squats and box squats and has reasons to defend that practice.

Some college strength coaches are proponents of Olympic lifting. Some college strength coaches never do Olympic lifting.

Who is correct? For the young coach looking for guidance, which coach should the young coach follow? For the experienced coach looking to get the edge, which of these conflicting methodologies should be implemented?

The answer is up to you.

In football parlance, you tailor your offense to your athletes. If your identity as a coach is to run the run and shoot offense, but you have a running quarterback, lots of good running backs, and few pass-catching wide receivers, you might be better off installing the triple option. Your continued service on that team and possibly your career, will depend on your flexibility and adaptability. No particular offensive philosophy is inherently better than the other. The best offensive philosophy is the one that helps you win more football games.

Let’s bring this back to the strength and conditioning world.  

I don’t see conflicting training methodologies as a threat to my practice. In all my years as a coach, I have certainly grown and evolved. I have increased my knowledge. I have discarded methods that are not very effective. I have also doubled down on what works after examining the methods utilized by coaches I consider to be smarter and much more experienced than me. I have implemented an unorthodox strategy that works at a particular school in a particular context, but I would not carry that with me to other schools. I have also developed some innovations in strength and sport for which I am humbled to share with inquisitive coaches looking for guidance and mentorship.

Part of being a mature, steadfast professional and human being is to know your beliefs, intensively study conflicting beliefs fairly, change when necessary, and come out stronger in your own beliefs when necessary.

I can go to a coaching clinic and maintain the same training methodology on the Monday after the clinic. Was the coaching clinic a waste of time?  No, it was not a waste of time in the least bit. I learned how other professionals think.  I learned the reasons for their practices. I learned the reasons why their methodologies work. I also gained clarity on why my training methodologies, though different, work just as well and have brought my athletes and clients success.

You may support or oppose barbell back squats. You may support or oppose Olympic lifting.  You may like or dislike bench presses. You may feel very strongly about this and might even get political about it. That is great!

Just make sure that before your plant your flag that you study and continue to study all the conflicting training methodologies and ideologies that exist and give them all a fair analysis. Even if you remain committed to your training methodology after examining opposing thoughts, I guarantee you will become a stronger and smarter coach in the process.

Most of the people out there aren’t buying your services because you are publicly supporting or opposing Olympic lifting anyway. Most people don’t even know what that is. Some still don’t know what that is even after performing the same exercises with you over several years! Most people just want results and a great experience.

Know who you are. Know who your athletes and clients are. Design the workout program. Be ready to provide scientific reasoning for every element of your training methodology. Implement the program. Guide your athletes and clients to success.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel at PhilTran22. Follow me on all major social media platforms at PhilTran22. Visit my website at PhilTran22.com for free resources and contact me for speaking, consulting, and training opportunities.  

I am Phil Tran saying ‘so long.’