Why The Concept of Biomotor Abilities is Bullshit - Complementary Training
Why The Concept of Biomotor Abilities is Bullshit

Why The Concept of Biomotor Abilities is Bullshit

“You cannot train biomotor ability, because that is a latent construct. You can only perform an exercise”.

Yes, I know this sounds like clickbait. But it is also my genuine opinion, which I will try to elaborate on in the video below.

In my opinion, biomotor abilities are ‘dimension reduction’ of the complex perceptual-motor space. Suppose we perform 500 various tests of performance for at least 5000 athletes. We would be interested in reducing the number of those tests by finding groups (or clusters) of tests that correlate between themselves. That way, we can assume they measure the “same thing”. This “same thing” is a latent variable, or, in our case, a “biomotor ability”.


There are numerous methods of estimating latent variables, out of which the Principal Components Analysis and Factor Analysis are the best known.

Anyway, this sounds all really logical, but there are a lot of assumptions involved and even more cofounders. Without going into details, the results depend on:

  • Number and type of tests performed
  • How testing results are scaled or normalized
  • Who are the subjects (gender, age, experience, height, weight)
  • What analysis is performed

It is easy to figure out that the results of such an analysis are not so clear cut, as we are led to believe. More importantly, even if we know the latent structure of this complex perceptual-motor space, this will not help us much in creating forum for action.

In the following video, I am explaining a very important Hume’s is/ought dichotomy (which I think is very important here), R simulation of the data, how periodization models assume well known and defined building bricks (which is fallacious) and the “way out” using phenomenological approach and heuristics (wrapped in iterative planning, or Agile Periodization).

The video and R script used for simulation are available to members only so please consider becoming a member of the Complementary Training community.


Members Only! Join Us Today and Watch This Video »

Start Your Membership Today

Join Us Today And Claim 2 Bonuses

Standard Membership
$35 per month


Go Annual and Get All Bonuses for FREE!

Join Us TodayAnd Instantly Save $2140

Premium Membership
$350 per year

I am a physical preparation coach from Belgrade, Serbia, grew up in Pula, Croatia (which I consider my home town). I was involved in physical preparation of professional, amateur and recreational athletes of various ages in sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, martial arts and tennis. Read More »

Welcome to Complementary Training Community! Forums Why The Concept of Biomotor Abilities is Bullshit

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Anthony Campitelli 1 year, 8 months ago.

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • 28/10/2022 at 07:22 #37160

    I got very excited running across this post. The first part of your analysis is a good demonstration of how biomotor abilities are actually latent variables which are dimensionally reduced from specific manifest contextual measures (although you are telling the manifest measure seeds to strongly correlate in R, so the model is already mostly pre-determined). This is true and important. The problem here is that the second part, the operative part in refuting the primacy of biomotor abilities in programming and periodization, is based on assumptions that are incorrect. Assumptions inherent to your script: 1) All training adaptations are random, 2) training adaptations occur coterminously in time and magnitude, and 3) all training adaptations can be made equally well concurrently. With those estimation parameters, the FA model was guaranteed to get shuffled around. This is a real problem with modeling. Actual training would likely work on individual or related sets of biomotor abilities (periodization/planning/practical realities), would tend to improve attributes that are already related (specificity), would produce non-random adaptations (SAID), and would happen at differential rates depending on training goal (adaptation time horizons). For all of these reasons, in a real pre-post, clusters in the FA model would almost certainly be preserved about the latent biomotor variables.

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.