I was explaining the principle of increasing intensity through sophistication to a client to the other day when something dawned on me. Could it be that CST favours this method of escalating intensity because it presents the least wear and tear compared to other methods?
To put things in perspective, this was in the context of a modified version of the FlowFit®-based routine I'm currently using, which I'd tweaked and given to one of my more - I should say most - athletic clients to challenge him further. It worked, of course, and, in total, he'd cranked out close to 150 free squats plus sundry other challenging lower body exercises in less than half an hour and came out the other end completely knackered but not sore anywhere. He was commenting on how the sophisticated nature of the leg swoop left his heart racing after just one rep and I pointed out that the challenge of that one rep to his nervous system was a way of pushing his conditioning in a way that not even twenty free squats in a row could do, and that was when it hit me.
Could it be that an emphasis on sophistication challenges the cardiorespiratory and nervous system so far ahead of the musculoskeletal as to self-limit mechanical trauma by reaching central exhaustion before musculoskeletal? Or does the rapid onset of metabolic and neural equilibrium brought about by high-sophistication training enable the musculoskeletal system to stay under the trauma radar by meeting energy demand, reducing unnecessary forces and disposing of fatigue toxins efficiently? Or, as is often the case, does the answer rest somewhere in between?
All input is most welcome.