Using Skill to Access Key Reps


The thing we must not forget in strength and conditioning is that the goal is the result. No real athlete or rational high performance human being wants to train for the sake of training. We train to come out on the other end differently.

With that, a low skill athlete may look at high skill movements like the one legged squat, the clean, the split jerk, the snatch, the muscle up, and so on as “party tricks” that in and of themselves aren’t important enough to pursue. They, after all, aren’t just trying to be the best at exercise, right?

Well, maybe not.

Skill gives access. How do you recreate the speed and power of a bodyweight and a half clean? How do you mimic the body weight explosive extension-to-flexion-to extension of the muscle up without the skill to do the actual movement?

High skill movements are worth our time, in my opinion, because they give us access that we wouldn’t otherwise have. As a coach, I see this all the time with athletic, capable athletes that don’t have high skill movements in their quivers.  The result is that they can’t improve as fast and as far as athletes that can train these movements that allow for load, speed, and precision.

A ripped, athletic student that doesn’t know his way around a barbell, for example, can’t improve in the way that a less muscular, less athletic athlete who’s skilled and can build strength and speed without limits. Develop skill so that you can load the system. Develop skill so that you can train better than your opponent.


Logan Gelbrich