Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hump Day & 70% Training

It's Wednesday and I didn't get much sleep last night. II was tired this morning and thus my workout wasn't as stellar as I had wanted. But as we all know that happens from time to time. You suck it up and reengage the next session. I adjusted my training this week, and will be working with lighter weights with a bit higher frequency.

I've been reading a lot about the 70% rule and I'm starting to like the idea more and more. Especiaally as I'm trying to remain injury free (my lower back and it's history of problems). The idea is that the average intensity/weight selection is around 70% for a training block or annually. This goes back to the Eastern Bloc coaches that found athletes below the elite professional levels benefitted more from keeping the weight averaged at 70%. Obviously there are periods where heavier or maximal weights are used or periods of volume with 85% or more. In order to make progress and increase your 70% you have to increase your max.

For most people, there isn't too much of a need for using maximal weights frequently. Certain sports or activities require the ability to move maximum weight, but the majority of people will never need a to do a maximal squat. It took me long time to get over my headstrong SKWAT HEAVY OR DIE mentality, but my own experiences have moved me away from that. I also used to have a strong dislike for endurance sports that I am now overcoming. Maybe it's due to getting a bit older and seeing a bigger picture of health and fitness. Maybe I will get a bike.

Extreme endurance sports are one thing that I will never fully embrace. You will never see me run a marathon. I would rather sprint or do track and field type events. But one of the reasons I moved away from Olympic weightlifting was overall health and fitness. I spent so much time and effort working on the lifts that I neglected other aspects of fitness and I wasn't in the best shape. I go to a point where I was never going to go anywhere with it and it was time to move on. I'm glad I did and feel much better now. I've been able to embrace running a bit more, especially provided some scenery (the Canyon or other local areas around the Mountains here in El Paso).

I love to train and lift weights. But in order to sustain the ability to do so, you can't push your maximum effort and weight all the time and expect to always be ok, especially as you get older. Therefore, 70% will be where most of us need to be most of time, with specific periods dedicated to increasing rep maxes.

This post was a lot of personal rambling, but the bottom line was the adjustment to working in and around 70% for awhile. Sessions may be a bit longer and I am looking at a heavy day every two weeks or so. Plus with the field time and training coming up it will be difficult to commit to a regimented program. I need to be flexible for awhile until everything stabilizes then move back into pushing maxes.

So anyway for hump day:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Motivation

Overslept my usual Monday morning workout. Needed some motivation. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Morning Thoughts: "What Differentiates Effective Training"

I came across a good article this morning: "What Differentiates Effective Training"

The article discusses the most important factor that creates effective training and how important communication is with clients. 

"I realized the differentiator is simple – it is the coach’s ability to digest the science based data and clearly and concisely deliver the message to the clients. Bottom line, athlete-clients need to understand why they are doing particular workouts and consistently be reminded as to how it relates to their overall goals, in order for them to tackle workouts with purpose. It is ultimately the athlete’s understanding and intention which allows them the gain the every ounce out of every workout, contrasting with the client who mindlessly gets through the time and ticks off the box."

This is something I struggle with when I work with people and sometimes subordinates while conducting physical training. One issue is that we are usually conducting training with them instead of coaching. There is a reason for what we do and a purpose for which we are working, but sometimes articulating that reason and purpose is difficult, especially when you are training and trying to get a good workout in with them. People need a purpose and an understanding of what they are doing and why they are doing it. I have to do this for myself when creating my own training programs and be careful not to get lost in having too many end states.

This is critical for leaders to understand and critical to creating an effective work environment. As I transition into the civilian world from the military, I have to make sure I am on top of my game and can deliver effective communication. I will be keeping this in mind this week as I contact recruiters and go after job opportunities.