Establishing a Paradigm – (Part Two)

Question: Can you change a paradigm?
Answer: Sure, here’s four nickels!

Paradigms don’t just spring out of a box and say, “Here I am!” An idea or plan has to take hold and resonate with enough people to become a framework containing the basic assumption, way of thinking and methodologies that are commonly accepted.

When talking about strength training, we said that doing at least three sets of an exercise in an explosive manner using free weights was how you got results. Why is that?

Here’s my take on how that paradigm evolved: Way back when, weight training was discouraged for fear of becoming muscle bound. The only ones who trained seriously were powerlifters and bodybuilders (and they were musclebound!)

As time marched on, people began to see that weight training could be of benefit to athletes. Obviously, athletes weren’t qualified to train themselves, so the teams/colleges hired people who knew what they were doing to guide their athletes. They hired powerlifters and bodybuilders.

So how was the paradigm put in motion? Powerlifters who lifted really heavy weights to get big and bodybuilders who did lots and lots of sets passed on their methodologies to athletes. In time the athletes stopped playing, but the coaches remained and taught another generation of athletes the same methodologies. Pretty soon it turned into “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

Paradigms do change (note that no one believes that the sun revolves around the earth anymore.) The change that rocked the strength-training paradigm happened in the early 1970’s and was simply called Nautilus. (to be continued in Part Three)

What is a paradigm?  Read Part One.


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