There are more and more 'fit-pros' appearing on social media every day. The majority of them are looking to separate themselves from the pack in order to gain more exposure, and usually that means videos of complex exercises that promise immediate results - physically and aesthetically. So many people fall into the trap that difficulty equals fast progression.
For over 10 years, I have been training in and around professional sporting environments and have learnt that the basis of all successful strength and conditioning programs is simple General Physical Preparedness (GPP). This means improving the athlete's speed, strength, endurance, mobility and skill as a foundation. From there athletes can build into a more specific program that aligns itself with the sport the athlete competes in, as well as maintaining what GPP has been earned initially.
Simply speaking, I have always found that you achieve improvement in those areas using two basic training techniques:
- Basic movements using your own bodyweight or external implements used to build a foundation of strength, power and coordination.
- Sound conditioning that increases your work capacity across the 3 main energy systems. Nothing fancy and nothing ineffective.
*Note: The latter provides more than just a better engine, as mental resilience is built here as well.
99% of the athletes that come in the door at RAW benefit from this training - elite or not. When people are educated in what actually facilitates progression in fitness, and understand that it is not all about complex training techniques, that is when the athlete begins their real training.
Here are some tips to include in your own programming to ensure you are progressing:
1. Use compound movements that utilise as much of the larger muscle groups at the same time as possible. Think of the basics here - they have always been around, and there is a reason for that. Strict press, push up, pull ups, rows, deadlift variations and squatting should be the basis of all strength training for a foundation.
2. Focus on technique initially rather than weight in order to maximise the effectiveness.
3. For strength, you need to make sure you are progressively overloading to create a stimulus and therefore adaptation for the body. This means that you need to either:
a) move more weight in terms of intensity than last week in the same amount of time
b) move more weight in terms of volume than you did last week, OR
c) move the same amount of weight as last week in less time
4. For simple conditioning, in order to increase your work capacity, make sure you understand your current limitations. This can only really be done through testing. At RAW, we use simple testing such as the 2K row or ski on the Concept2 ergs. From there you can use different time domains, rest periods and paces within interval training based on those results to increase the work that you can perform within a given time.
5. Separate your strength work and energy system development workouts. Separating the sessions has been shown to be more effective when chasing down athletic performance in both aspects of cardiovascular levels AND strength.
RAW uses proven athletic performance training methods to train all of our members. If you want to take the thinking out of your programming, and spend your energy on chasing personal achievements and everything that comes along with that, click here for your 7 Day Intro Trial to access unlimited sessions at RAW for a whole week. Limited spaces available at our Mount Maunganui facility.