When I first started riding, I noticed a lot of improvements with my body in the beginning. Now there’s not so much, it’s like my body has plateaued.

And I get stiff from riding more easily than I used to, taking me longer to recover; is there anything I can do about that?

If I’m not sure I’ve got the right components or mix of training activities for me, what would I do?

As we grow familiar with our routines, our bodies do not adapt in the same way as they did when we first started riding. Our bodies are highly adaptable given the right environment. Ultimately we want to prioritize our time well, choose activities wisely and aim for the most efficient method to continually improve our bodies, however, the needs of our body change over time. It’s true from the moment we are born our bodies take part in a life cycle which has some predictable series of events, think hormonal changes; puberty and menopause. With knowledge of the body’s ages and stages, exercise has been show to consistently add value to each phase. However the activities need to be structured to the individual. This is an often overlooked component of “training specificity.” The concept of specific to you” has been lost with the development of ‘one size fits all’ training plans. It is the single biggest reason why individuals do not create for themselves the profound change they desire. Training specificity to you, has the ability to catapult your body to profound change, at any age.


Specificity – training specific to your sport and specific to you

This week we will explain Specificity for You, otherwise known as Individualism:


Individualism requires an advanced level of awareness about how YOUR body works. The principle of specificity for you, recommends training should be relevant and appropriate, to you, the individual and is modelled by your current health status, current physical capability, training history, and level of training knowledge. For example, if you found daily that you are feeling stiff and you begin to realize you are not awakening with as much energy as you used to, it would be a good time to have your training reviewed. Regularly reviewing your training practices, asking questions early and undertaking an annual independent evaluation, can reveal insights about your individual makeup and training needs.

Let’s consider what areas of the body might be necessary for two people who both compete in show jumping. Imagine one is show jumping at elite level and the other at intermediate level. How might the training in their programmes differ whilst improving them for show jumping?

Again, as with last week, our metrics become very helpful.

The more knowledge you have about the problem the more knowledge you will have about the solution.

For example look at the two charts in the graphic below and compare the results of the elite rider and the intermediate rider.

If the goal of the graph is to drive the competency score up to 5 in each area (i.e. to increase the area covered by colour) then the activities of attention that help each athlete do this are different.

Looking at the graph for the elite rider, they might choose activities which build their training history and physical capability categories.

In contrast the intermediate rider would choose training activities which would build their long term plan and training knowledge categories (and in doing so help all the other areas bring up their score).

So you can see both individuals are show jumpers training specifically for the sport however their individual start points mean they focus on different areas to drive up their individual competency scores.

If this raises questions about your own rider training decisions, take the current ability test and self-rate your capability in each section of the graph.

You may just find it points you in a new direction.

If you’d like to tell us about your specificity decisions, we love to hear what works for you!

Happy training,

From the desk of EVENT READY BODIES 

For more information contact us [email protected] or 06 3561494


ESNZ Jumping Team

18 May 2020