Conditioning mistakes that keep you from feeling your best.

Mistake number 1: ‘Not balancing your conditioning work with your strength work.’

Strength training goes hand in hand with conditioning training. You need both. Pro athletes, amateur athletes, general population. Simply said, you need to be strong for a good conditioning session and you need a solid fitness base in order to get stronger effectively.
Maximal strength carries over to the short burst work. Patterns such as jumping, sprinting, change of direction or punching will benefit from high level of explosive strength. Solid fitness base/endurance allows you to work over prolonged period of time, thus, can help to achieve optimal results.

Mistake number 2: ‘Believing that doing more will bring better results.’

An important role in your training should be to build a solid foundation. Steady aerobic work/the blue and green training zones will increase your aerobic capacity and create an ability to sustain higher intensity for longer. Such sessions have less demands on your CNS (central nervus system). Hence, going ‘all out’ all week is not a smart choice. It will most likely lead to lack of recovery and a quick burn out. It can be easy to fall into the trend of the HIIT workouts because of the misleading way they are promoted. High impact work done every day will make you tired and will cause more harm than benefits. Variety in training is the key. Such as structure and consistency. Not getting enough recovery will slow your progress. The body needs time to adapt. Do the work and stay on the path.

Mistake number 3: ‘Mistaking difficulty for intensity.’

The intensity you work at is very subjective. You may think you are working hard but in fact you may not be working at high intensity at all. You are better off doing 3×5 with solid execution and sub maximal load than failing 7 out of 15 reps at maximal intensity. Put into conditioning, training different energy systems and aiming for improvement can be only achieved if done correctly. The work to rest ratio is very important. Let’s say you want to base your session on improving the a-lactate tolerance. Your peak power occurs during the initial 6-10sec and if you need to go for repeatable bursts you need a sufficient amount of recovery to sustain the difficulty of the session. Cutting the rest or following random rest periods and still trying to flat out on the assault bike or reaching the same time by doing sprints may make it feel intense for you, but you would find your peak power decreasing and the time to cover the same distance increasing. Eventually, the difficulty of the session wasn’t achieved and that’s why you are not progressing.

Mistake number 4: ‘Not knowing when to push and when to glide.’

Unless you train in a group environment with structured programs or with a personal coach who will advise you, this will take some time to learn. Also, this can play a major role at the beginner’s level because the initial training experience can either drag you in or put you off.

It very much depends on the training protocol you are about to follow or the selection of the exercises. For instance, if you are about to accumulate max distance on a rower or max calories on the assault bike and this is followed by an exercise with a given rep range, perhaps, you should push the effort on the machine and then work at a steadier pace with intent through the kettlebell swings.

When you are about to follow an interval training, it could be beneficial to consider following questions. Can you sustain the same effort over 10 rounds? How much work can you fit in one minute/how much recovery do you need to carry on with the rest of the session? Can you cope with the spike in your heart rate or would you prefer to carry on at steady pace? What can you control?

What I advise to people who are new to met-con style training is: 1. show up 2. do what you can 3. use the people around you to motivate you but don’t compare yourself to anyone 4. ask for alternative 5. take a break when you need to and get back on. There is always a way how to get the work in.

Sona x

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