My training lab today SUCKED…and why thats a good thing!!

January 30, 2009

In all honesty I wasn’t going to blog today, but something blogworthy surfaced. To give you guys the abridged version, I just came back from my “elite athlete training” class lab. Today’s lab was about heart rate/lactate threshold training so it involved a 30 minute warm-up “jog” followed by some aerobic & anaerobic intervals (6,4,2 minutes with 90 secs rest between repeated twice). So that was absolutely insane fun!! Right now I’m typing this at my computer feeling some residual soreness in my feet/ankles and knees (also fun), and all in all, I think it was a good and useful experience.

Here’s why:

The vast majority of sports that utilize strength and conditioning as a method of physical preparation for competition are strength or power sports which need high force output usually in a limited amount of time followed by a rest period of some length. Until now, my education (both academic and practical) in fitness/training athletes has led me to believe that for these sports, there is a better way to get the athletes in shape. Looking at cost/benefit ratios, my thinking is that I don’t want to subject my athletes to any risk that doesn’t even resemble the nature of their sport.

Thats all well and good that part of my training philosophy is that, but then what made this lab useful??

It re-affirmed my beliefs about proper training for these athletes! You see, I hadn’t done any sort of long distance running or aerobic intervals like this in probably years (besides a lab or two in the lab couple years). This is important because I learn best by doing so having an experience actually re-affirm my training philosophy or not is a lot more powerful than just gaining the knowledge through reading or listening.

If I experience something, it also tends to make me a better coach since I can relate to what the athlete is experiencing — another plus.

With all this said, I’m not against aerobic training or aerobic intervals, etc…I’m just against these things when they’re the wrong tool for the job. After all you never hear of cross country coaches having their athletes run repeat 100m dashes, but in strength and power sports, its still common to hear of coaches that prescribe long slow cardio.

Thats it for me this week, have a great weekend guys!!



2 Responses to “My training lab today SUCKED…and why thats a good thing!!”

  1. robfitness Says:

    I was just wondering and I have to say i enjoy reading your blog and your stance on subjects. So if someone were to come up to you wanting to just get into shape, lose some weight and get fit; would you not suggest any form of interval training? I was under the assumption that it was a good ay to workout and get your metabolism running faster. just curious. After all I am only beginning to understand this fitness stuff, but love to expand my knowledge.

  2. Chris Brown Says:

    I would definitely suggest interval training if the person was ready for it.

    I don’t run long distances…if I do any cardio its more of a fast interval style, so the running I did in lab was just a much greater volume of it than my body is used to, so thats why I got some sore joints from it.

    I estimated that we covered about 10 km in that lab. If I was training someone and they weren’t already doing some long distance running, I would not say “run 10 km” on their second day or training (or for a while after that either). You cant start at the top of the mountain and not expect your body to get hurt.

    Intervals are good, but after a 30 minute run at the start of the lab, I don’t think it was a very smart thing to do for most of us in the class.

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