Launching this week, Kelly Starrett and Brian MacKenzie co-host a program to investigate the world of high-performance athletics.
Brian MacKenzie is the author of Power Speed Endurance: A Skill-Based Approach to Endurance, and Kelly Starrett is the author of Become a Supple Leopard: Movement, Mobility and Maintenance of the Human Animal. In the new show, “Genetic Potential TV,” the two teachers, coaches and voices from within the world of CrossFit will co-host a twice-monthly program intending to explore what’s going on in the realm of new ideas, concepts and techniques in regard to achieving maximum human performance. Planned guests include stars from a variety of athletic disciplines, from Olympic rowers like gold medalist Erin Cafaro to ultra-running legend, Dean Karnazes. The show debuts this week on GeneticpotentialTV.com. We asked the two coaching stars to describe what we can expect to see.
Brian MacKenzie: We want to open up the discussion and share some of changes we’re seeing in the field of how to approach athletic performance. To perhaps inspire people to do some self-experimenting within their lives as athletes, and maybe do things in a different way that will achieve better results.
Kelly Starrett: The show will be an external manifestation of what’s been at the heart of our conversations: about what comes up around the dinner table with our friends; the experiments that are being conducted today; and the lessons we’re learning from them. There’s this big global experiment happening, and in the world of strength and conditioning, people are talking for the first time. We’re seeing people get better and finding new ways to solve problems. It’s where the rubber hits the road for the thinkers and shakers out there, who are regularly finding solutions for problems that come up in the lives of athletes. How are you managing food at the banquet? How do you perform mobility training in a 6am swim workout? What’s the word on compression tights? We want to extend this dinner table discussion to the really smart coaches and athletes who are out there solving problems on a day-to-day basis.
MacKenzie: They’ll be discussed in depth, but they won’t limit the conversation. At all. As a coach, I want to look at the scientific studies — I want that information — but I also want more. When literature comes out on how to train, how to eat or how to recover, I want more than just a reference to a study. I want to know the details: Who were they working with in the study? How were they being coached? What were their backgrounds? I want to be be able to answer, “Does this make sense?” Does this make sense compared to what we’re seeing? The thing is, I want to see how things work or don’t work in my own coaching and from the coaching others are doing. I watch how Kelly is working with his athletes, for example, and I can see how he operates and the results he’s getting from his approach. There’s no study out yet to support it… but that doesn’t mean it’s not working, because it is.
Starrett: One of the pieces that drives our discussion is our clinical practice and our clinical experience. There’s a divergence between what’s going on in the Ivory Tower and the day-to-day practicalities of coaching. The Ivory Tower is important — it’s important to understand, it’s important to validate — but it’s not commensurate with the sort of rigor or attention to detail being applied by the average coach dealing with situations of practicality in their day-to-day lives.
Starrett: What we want to find out is this: How are you solving certain problems? This is why we want a long format for the show. We want to expose people to this larger conversation. One of the great errors we’ve made in the past is keeping all of this hard-earned information in silos.
MacKenzie: What is the shared common experience and what are the strongest threads within it? That’s what we’re going after. We want to talk with the genius athletes and coaches of our time who are pushing the conversation. Who are making changes in how we can best achieve our potential.