Variability is Specificity 02:03

Consider how most parents pick up their kids - they don’t set their feet to neutral, ask the child to position themselves to their midline and then, after bracing, symmetrically load each arm as they pull the child to their non-dominant shoulder as the child stays perfectly still. What parents actually do is pay no attention to their feet, bend over to wherever their child is, grab on however they can, and lift their child to whatever position is manageable at the time.

Let’s also consider our athletes. No matter what sport, there’s a very good chance players do not actually perform the “specific” movement we train them for as they react to opponents, teammates, their position on the ice/court/field, and the whereabouts of the puck/ball. The imposed demand for both the athlete and the everyday person is reactive, instinctive movement into “non-traditional” positions as they adjust to their environment. It’s non-repetitive. It’s different every time.

This is the paradox inherent in the specificity principle (SAID Principle: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) - the movement demands of sport and life are, SPECIFICALLY VARIABLE. The 4Q gives us the necessary framework to bake in variability with a specific training program.