Lately, for some reason unbeknownst to myself or anyone that knows me, I've spent time reading more in depth analysis about movements and motor patterns and studies that show what is better or worse, etc. My whole sentence there is more ambiguous than Sphinx's double meaning musings to the heroes in Mystery Men. But I believe most people will understand what I am getting at.
Some of these studies are insightful and come away very appreciative of them, and the knowledge I gained from them. Especially when the author or person behind it has a level or degree of strength I can respect. This tells me that he or she not only understand theory, but application. And the latter is probably far important than the former. Mainly because lots of people understand theory or the science of something but don't really understand how to apply it in a functional way.
MMA is a great example of this.
Lots of great teachers can teach a fighter something, but what makes that fighter great is his ability to apply that at a high level in the ring. The teacher has the knowledge, but the fighter is the one that can apply it either in a more superior way, or in a way that is more efficient/devastating than the instructor can.
With that said, I think in strength sports I have always believed that if someone is a "coach" there still has to be a point where the clinical research starts, and the ability to show or demonstrate an appreciable level of strength has been earned, i.e. applied.
This is one of the reasons I don't engage in a lot of conversation online anymore or participate on message boards about training. Because I see so many guys that argue incessantly about what is good or bad, what is wrong or right, what is transferable or not, and then not enough time in the gym figuring these things out for themselves.
I can't really "know" what combat feels like, no matter how many times I read stories about it. It is something that one would have to experience I imagine, in order to be able to really know and understand what a writer is trying to convey when penning about such a thing.
You can argue about benching or squatting or deadlifting until the cows come home, but at some point you need to worry about doing more work, getting more weight on the bar, moving weights with more violence and conviction, and not giving a fuck about every nuance in regards to the lift.
Maybe it's just me but I see so much of this now, where guys just debate and debate and debate on whether something is good or bad, or what exact technique is correct, without ever actually having spent time experiencing those things first hand. A study or a textbook isn't going to tell you everything you need to know in terms of what is truly best....FOR YOU. You will need to determine that through pain and suffering under the bar. A joyous occasion it will not always be. Nor is it supposed to. However it is part of the process of learning and earning in terms of bar discipline.
I get tons of questions a week. And so many guys that send me questions want to know what will work best. The fact is, I can't tell you. You have to be in the gym, with a yearning in your heart and desire in your blood....an unbridled want to, to get better and not spend all day punching yourself in your testes because you don't know if you should tuck your elbows too much on bench, or sit back too far on squats.
This is exactly why Base Building is such a great program in my opinion. I have been in the process of changing my grip on bench, from very close, to moderately close. Like any time that you change a technique in a movement, it feels like shit at first. But when you're using 75% of your EDM, and doing a lot of volume with it, it gives you a chance to learn the feel of it, without wondering all day or debating on what you should be doing different. I can change those things set to set, until I find each sweet spot for the movement.
I understand and appreciate the need for study and science and all of that jazz related to lifting. But eventually you are going to have to close the laptop, and put the textbook aside. Apply chalk and blood to your resume and get a tremendous amount of work done without asking someone's permission if what you are doing is acceptable, and just get stronger.