I was saving my review of Speed & Agility until late because I had something funny to write but, alas, we’ve editing a very entertaining sandbag out of the final program notes. I was probably the one who changed this but, after running through the workouts a bunch, I kind of wish I hadn’t. You may not, but I digress.
You see, Shaun used to refer to Speed & Agility as an active recovery workout. You do it on day one and, in many ways, it’s just as hard as anything in the program. As I’ve already pointed out, Shaun’s definition of active recovery can be liberal. Anyone finishing Speed & Agility and thinking that they just did the recovery workout for the program was probably going to feel as though this Hell Month thing was going to be literal. But this tactic can have a flip side in that if you respond to it positively your head will get more in the game, you’ll focus more in subsequent workouts, and get better results. But, as with all coaching philosophies, what works for one person doesn’t always work for another and this “scare tactic” may have been too much for some.
It should be pointed out that Shaun is technically right. Speed & Agility targets proprioceptive awareness and speed instead of explosive strength. For any of you whom actually have been through a football Hell Week will remember, there were parts of practice that were obviously for strength improvements, like where you hit each other, or sleds, or dummies, with a lot of force. Then there were parts, usually during “breaks”, when you did speed and agility drills that were often more painful than hitting because you had to move very quickly. This workout is about those “breaks.” And because its target is speed as well as accuracy you’ll most likely feel, like me, that there is no end to how much you can improve.
“you shoot a mean game of pool, fat man.”
Sandbagging has a long and glorious history in sports. From the more overt examples, like pool hustlers, to nefarious, like the Black Sox scandal, to downright clever like last year’s Boston Celtics, hiding your clear agenda in order to facilitate an outcome is a tried and true component in sports. We don’t do much of it around here because, well, we offer training programs, not sports psychology. Both Insanity and Asylum, however, have a little bit of a get-into-your-head component. But next time you think the challenge is mean, or over-the-top, just remember that it might have been worse.