Athlete Types || Coach Leigh LeGare
Types of Athletes and The Three Little Pigs?
If you’ve spoken with Aaron Davis, you’ll know for programming purposes, he separates his athletes (after testing) into two categories:
Power athletes: Hard chargers. Strong, fast and can usually handle high amounts of pain. They feel most comfortable leading early and trying to hang on late. Weakness is pacing and fatigue towards the end of competitions/workouts. They lack patience.
Stayer athletes: Endurance minded, strategic and has moderate pain thresholds. Most comfortable in even paces and knowing what to expect. Weakness is playing it safe.
I’m a ‘stayer.’ Those I train with have labeled me ‘Rain Woman.’ I number crunch, come up with splits based on rep schemes/my abilities, and strategize as soon as a workout is released. I pace myself at the beginning of a workout and ramp up as it progresses. Sometimes I play it too safe, compromising my overall time/results.
I didn’t realize how hard wired I was as a stayer until I met with my supervisor last week. I found myself using Aaron’s definition of a ‘stayer’ to define my work ethic. While it has worked for me and gave my supervisor some perspective, I could tell he wanted me to take on some traits of the power athlete. Not play it so safe and lead early.
Cue introspective thinking, past conversations with Aaron, and being reminded of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ (random). The stayer athlete (me) is like the third pig. This pig builds his house on a foundation and out of bricks. He’s strategic and has a plan. It may take longer to build but it’ll sustain. The power athlete is like the first pig. He builds his house out of straw. He does this quickly and without a plan. He comes out fast and strong while throwing caution to the wind (get it? Wind? 😉 ).
The traditional moral of the story states the third pig as the overall winner. But for our purposes, both pigs come out on top. The task was to build a house and they achieved that. However, both have their drawbacks. The ‘stayer pig’ took much more time to complete the project. Yes, it will last longer but if he keeps this mindset for every task (or workout) assigned to him, the time spent being strategic, sometimes costs him valuable time in producing results. The ‘power pig’ took less time and even if his house gets ruined, it doesn’t affect him. He’ll continue to fight/hang on until the job is done or redone.
However, if this is the only way he operates, he sets himself up for quicker fatigue, burn out, and fewer results. Take this blog in whatever way you perceive it but can you classify yourself as one of these athletes? In the gym and/or life? If so, some of us stayers can afford not to be so strategic/safe. In return, producing results faster than we’re used to seeing. While the ‘power pigs’ could afford slowing down a bit and having the patience/plan for more substantial gains. Maybe we can emerge as the second pig and houses made of sticks will be the perfect plan? 😉
Train smart, live smarter, CFA!