AN EXPERIMENT OF ONE?
Friday, January 14, 2011
This is an oft repeated mantra in the forums but what basis in fact does it have? Where did the phrase or concept originate, does it have credentials or has it simply grown legs from repeated assertion? We all have individual strengths and weakness, physical, mental and emotional however the human body has a basic set of design criteria notwithstanding individual cosmetic variance. The human musculoskeletal system and neurology is the same in all individuals assuming normal development.
While it is true that the physical conformation of the individual will lead to variances in the way a person will swing a tennis racket, a golf club or throw a ball the same muscles and neural pathways are used by every individual. Coaching is teaching each person the closest bio mechanical version of the "ideal" that their conformation allows. A coach or trainer adapts specific courses of action to correct errors in form and to help an individual to strengthen weakness which interfere with proper form.
If everyone was in fact "an experiment of one" when it comes to physical training then no research project studying the effectiveness of any training programme would ever be able to amass the data needed. If a research study uses X number of subjects to evaluate a certain method for improving their bench press results if each was "an experiment of one" then there could be no standard method which would work for all. The maximum effort is put forth to ensure that the variables are controlled. The mass physical training drills used by the military would be a waste of time and no level of physical fitness would be obtained if each was "an experiment of one".
The individuality comes into play when progress is being evaluated which does not negate the bio mechanical effectiveness of any of the exercises used. Genetics come into the equation when it comes to body size and shape, degree of musculature, skeletal bone length and the presence or absence of hormones but does not impact on the way the muscles work when a movement is made. Human biomechanics are a constant, the movement may vary in speed, strength and efficiency but the same neural pathways excite the same muscles and move the same levers.
Are we an experiment of one? Yes and no, yes in the sense that our progress may vary, certain movements are more difficult for one individual than another and we may prefer one form of exercise over another; no in the sense that our biomechanics are the same, the muscles activated and levers moved with the movement completed without the interference of our genetic makeup.
We are an experiment of one when it comes to our motivation, mental attitude toward what we do for exercise and the commitment we put forth to reach our goals but we are all put together the same inside our skin suit. Human anatomy is human anatomy and we all are blessed or cursed by what we were issued
I invite, comments, questions, refutations and open discourse..