The high intensity approach to conditioning has been forced fed to us. From the misinterpreted tabata study that high intensity intervals are the only way to condition for fat loss, we now face the job of re-educating people as to what makes up a healthy approach to training and working out. Here is a good read as to why the tabata approach is destined to fail.
Instead what I’ve used is a more measured approach. It’s not new, it has been around forever. Joel Jamieson refers to it as “High Performance Recovery Training” – I like to go with just “High Performance Training” instead as a lot of people associate the word “recovery” as code for “not working very hard” during a training session. Incorporating this type of training develops the capacity of your aerobic system and increases the size of your heart thus allowing you to do more while exerting less energy when it comes to life, work and or sports.
The good news is, by using a more measured approach in the gym with high performance training I have noticed a lot of benefits in the people I coach on a weekly basis. Some of those benefits include people with resting heart rates of 70 bpm or more reporting the following:
Conditioning in the mainstream has morphed into an idea of high intensity effort until your energy supply empties out and you are sprawled out on the ground with nothing left in the tank. If every conditioning session goes like this then you need to adjust. Conditioning is a skill and something you should measure to see if you are getting better. In my previous article I discussed which energy system is the most adaptable and will also supply the foundation for most of your improvement. So what exactly can we get better at when it comes to conditioning?
Conditioning is a Skill
1 – Resting Heart Rate
A Danish study linked a high resting heart rate to an increased risk of mortality. Without diving into all the details, lets just say that aiming for a RHR of under 60bpm is a benchmark that is research backed and proven to help increase the amount of time you are on this planet by as much as ten years. The right form of conditioning can help lower your RHR. Continue reading →
With summer around the corner and the likelihood that most peoples level of activity will sky rocket – I’m speaking from personal experience here of course. It is important to know what energy systems predominantly fuel your training and which ones you should invest the majority of your time in? What system has the most capacity for improvement and has a knock on effect of improving our lives?
Here is the updated version of “Primed & Ready. An all in one conditioning guide for the collegiate field sport athlete. Initially designed for soccer players this can be adapted to any sport similar to soccer that needs a solid aerobic system, repeat sprint ability and explosiveness.
I wanted to share a complete conditioning plan, its free to download. It’s about that time of year where collegiate athletes start to get ready for next season. I know as a former collegiate soccer player, the hard work was done in June and July. If I prepared appropriately then my conditioning would be at a level where I could go straight into pre-season training without missing a beat. Continue reading →
Summer is still hanging around, barely. If you want to maximize your time outside complexes can be a great way to get your lift in with minimum time spent indoors. Earlier this summer I wanted to get more efficient in the weight room seeing as I was in season for gaelic football. I had a heavy game and conditioning schedule so based on time restrictions I incorporated more complexes. Fast forward to August and we were crowned Champions of Boston, because of these complexes! I joke, but complexes can be a great intermission in your training for the following reasons. Continue reading →
The Airdyne bike by Schwinn is something that if used correctly can have a tremendous impact on conditioning and energy system development. The word “airdyne” strikes fear into athletes and clients alike. This is a typical general reaction when people find out the airdyne will play some part in their workout.
There are some weeks that there are so many books, articles, videos, sporting events and or possibly anything else that catch my eye. This is simply a weekly synopsis of what I came across.
1. Joel Jamieson’s “Ultimate MMA Conditioning”
A must read for all strength and conditioning coaches. Joel breaks down how he gets his fighters in prime condition for their next fight. A great insight into the tailored approach of conditioning he uses. He also dispels the idea that aerobic conditioning is of no use to anyone except long distance runners. You can purchase “Ultimate MMA Conditioning” here.
Colaiste Ide is today known as one of the best resources for American college coaches looking to recruit players to play in the college setting. Jim Conroy and Danny Crowley have to turn people away due to the courses popularity in Ireland. The groundwork was put in by Jim, originally running the course on his own back in the early days of the program. After doing my Leaving Certificate back in 1999 I had no clue what I wanted to do. My points on the leaving had me half way to being a doctor. So close! After seeing a special on Irish television highlighting the purpose of the course my mind was made up. Continue reading →
With the January transfer window upcoming for the English Premier League, many players will undergo a medical to prove they are in good condition physically. What exactly does a player go through in attempting to pass the medical? Four Four Two magazine recently ran an article as to what exactly the typical medical is made up of and Millwall FC physio Bobby Bacic also weighs in with Readings Head of Sports Medicine Luke Anthony. The full article can be found here http://performance.fourfourtwo.com/health/injuries/how-to-pass-a-medical
Test 1: Musculoskeletal stability
“We look in depth at the lower lumbar [back] and pelvic region – as these are areas where hamstring and adductor problems can originate from,” says Millwall physio Bobby Bacic. Score yourself Check for defects in function or muscle tightness when performing simple football moves. “We’ll get players to do leg squats, hop tests and lunges to spot weaknesses,” says Luke Anthony, head of sports medicine at Reading.
Test 2: Heart and health
“A club medical includes cardiac screening with ECG, echo monitor and history questionnaire,” says Dr Ian Beasley, FA’s head of medical services. “There would also be blood tests and a physical examination.” Score yourself “Players have the same regular bloods as a GP would test for during a check-up, along with urine tests that can detect proteins or acids in the urine, giving an indication of issues such as diabetes,” says Anthony.
Test 3: Isokinetic assessment
“We can calculate the output of the quads and hamstrings,” says Bacic. “They work together and identify weaknesses which may predispose injury.” Score yourself Do knee flexion and extension drills at different speeds to determine the strength of your most vulnerable joint. An expected range for flexion would be 130 degrees – touch calf to hamstring. An extension: 15 degrees – straighten out knee as much as possible.
Test 4: Deep scanning
“A club will send a player with an injury history to hospital for a magnetic resonance scan. The MRI will look at back, hip/pelvis, knees, ankles and also neck and shoulders for keepers,” says Dr Beasley. Score yourself If you have private health care, get your heart checked. “Sometimes the transfer fee will also dictate the extent to which a player will have scans. They will have a heart ultrasound if there is a medical history that’s of concern,” says Anthony.
Test 5: Body fat score
“This is something the club dietician would have to look at,” says Bacic. “We would be concerned if a player was over 12 per cent.” Score yourself Use a body fat monitor to send an electrical signal through your body. The signal travels quickly through lean tissue, which has a high percentage of water and is therefore a good conductor of electricity, and more slowly through fat, to record your percentage.
Test 6: Range of movement
“We look at hip extension range and quad muscle length,” says Bacic. “An unrestricted natural movement through the limb’s full range of motion is what we want to see.” Score yourself “In the gym use the crossover cable,” says Bacic. “Attach the lower cable around the ankle and the opposite cable at shoulder height and then kick across the body to the opposite hand.”
Are the current Liverpool squad lacking a physical edge? In every game this season Brendan Rodgers’ men have fallen off the pace quite drastically in the second half of each game. Jonathan Carroll examines what may be behind the apparent lack of match prepardness.
Chip Sanders, pictured above, recently signed for Airtricity League Division One team Waterford United in Ireland. After coaching him in high school and during his college pre-season I know how hard Chip has worked to get to where he is. Keep up the good work Chip and keep progressing. If you haven’t see the 6ft 5in keeper in action before, here’s a highlight tape from his college career with Davidson.