Your training could be making you worse at your sport.

Here are 8 iatrogenics to avoid in your training.

*Iatrogenic = harm done by the healer.

**Healer means anyone with good intentions trying to solve a problem.

1: Postural “correction” in athletes

Too many coaches try to “fix” athletes.

“If I could fix Usain Bolt’s anterior pelvic tilt he would’ve run faster” – Probably not.

Most athletes’ postures naturally adapt to meet the requirements of their sport. Nature isn’t stupid.

2: Over-coaching Mechanics

There is value in cueing speed, but don’t squeeze all athletes into the same technical model.

A 130kg athlete, is going to have a different strategy to a 60kg one.

Humans mostly get better by doing things (you didn’t need a walking coach as a baby)

3: Aiming to Reduce Inflammation

Most post-workout recovery methods work to reduce inflammation.

The problem? Inflammation is the thing stimulating positive training adaptations.

Ice baths have been shown to reduce adaptations to resistance training (Peterson et al., 2021).

4: Mindlessly chasing strength numbers

Strength is important in most sports.

However, mindlessly chasing numbers can be dangerous.

Is increasing your back squat from 250 to 280kg really going to make you a better athlete?

The opportunity cost of the added fatigue is huge.

5: Stimulate, don’t annihilate

Sometimes, more is just more

Once the system is sufficiently stimulated, there’s no benefit to doing “extra” S&C.

You’re just increasing your risk of injury and wasting time, when you could be getting better at the thing that matters – your sport.

6: Hyper-specific training

In an effort to increase transfer to sport, athletes/coaches can try to replicate the sporting movements in the gym.

This not only increases the risk of overuse injuries, but also can negatively alter sports-specific movement patterns.

7: Advanced training methods too early

Would German Volume Training help a 15-year-old novice build muscle? Probably.

Does he need it? Absolutely not.

Furthermore, where do you go next once he’s used every advanced training method before he turns 18. Start simple.

8: Extreme Diets

Most athletes engaging in extreme diets are coming from a good place – they’ll do ANYTHING to get results.

Even completely cut out food groups.

However, most of the time these diet fads are hindering, not helping, performance.

What iatrogenics do you see in training? Comment below