An Introduction To Conditioning Properly

Today’s post concerns conditioning.

This often-avoided practice can send you to new heights in your program if properly implemented.  It can also completely destroy strength gains and adaptations that can occur from the rest of your training.  To avoid negative conditioning effects, try the following methodology.

Have a “Low and Slow” Conditioning Day

This day is often avoided by the “I hate running” crowd.  Long aerobic exercise can be the biggest fear of a trainee.  To avoid this fear, find ways to make this practice enjoyable.  

Longer duration aerobic training doesn’t have to mean 60 minutes on a treadmill.  It can be a beautiful hike in the woods, a day skiing at the mountain or a bike ride with your cute significant other.  

You don’t need to be caked in sweat to reap the rewards of longer duration conditioning but it’s important that you elevate your heart rate for 20+ to see the benefits from it.  These benefits include faster recovery times, improved stamina and a clear mind to name a few.

Mike Stuart

Have a “Fast and Hard” Conditioning Day

Volume is important here.  It doesn’t take a ton of intervals to get a training adaptation.  A sample interval workout could be the following.

Row Machine:

20 seconds @ 90%-100% Intensity. Complete 8 repetitions. 1 minute rest.

That’s two minutes and forty seconds of total work time.  Brace yourself.

This day trains a different energy system than the previous “Low and Slow” day. This system is   the phosphagen system.  This system allows you to work hard for shorter periods of time.  

Fast and Hard interval days also help you to improve your heart rate recovery, which is the time it takes for you to bring your heart rate down after exercise.  Heart rate recovery is directly related to performance and health in training athletes.

Once you’ve mastered these two types of training methods, start thinking about implementing some lactate threshold training to take you to the next level.  Once you’re conditioning 2+ days per week, it’ll be time to pay attention to where we are putting our training days during the week.  

That’ll be another post. Thanks for reading.    


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