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Energy System Training for Athletes

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DOGMA

Pronunciation: \ˈdg-mə, ˈdäg-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural dogmas also dog·ma·ta \-mə-tə\
Etymology: Latin dogmat-, dogma, from Greek, from dokein to seem — more at decent
Date: 1638

1 a : something held as an established opinion; especially : a definite authoritative tenet b : a code of such tenets c : a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds

2 : a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

While the dogma of recreational lifters is slowly being put to rest with the widespread use of the internet, training and conditioning for sports is still very much rooted in the dogma of the past.

Some coaches are getting with the current information but most are still stuck in the ‘This is how I did it so this is how they will do it’ broken record of circular reasoning that gets their athletes nowhere.

A brief overview:

There are multiple energy systems in the body. You can compare conversely this to a car that has only one. There is a single gas tank, one engine, and the only thing that changes the fuel utilization is how fast or slow the operator of the car decides to go. At extended periods of time, going 30 mph the car uses less fuel then when you drive at 100 mph. This is how many coaches view the body. In reality the car (your body) would have multiple ways of producing energy.

For the sake of simplicity I’ll take it down to the basic two systems.

The first way is through through the aerobic (aerobic means with oxygen) system. This system is built for low intensity, long duration endurance exercise. The primary form of energy for this system is oxygen and fat. Any type of long distance runner, swimmer, or biker is going to rely primarily on this system.

The second system is the anaerobic system (anaerobic means without oxygen). This system is built of short periods of high intensity training. It is fueled mainly by creatine and glycogen (sugar stored in the muscle). Sports such as wrestling, track and field (sprinting events), and football all rely heavily on this system of the body.

Each of these systems can be made more efficient and more productive, the question is, are you training the correct system for the sport you or your athletes are participating in?

Considering that the average play during football lasts only 5-6 seconds with 25-30 seconds between plays, do you really need your team jogging 2 miles for conditioning?

The same could be ask for wrestling, basketball, and volleyball. All of these sports require highly efficient aerobic and anaerobic systems for the athlete to be successful. Only training athletes in an aerobic type fashion will only leave them a step behind their competition.

Two Novel Methods

Tabata training was invented in Tokyo by Dr. Izumi Tabata while he and his time were looking at ways to increase the aerobic and anaerobic capacity in athletes. The basis principle of this method is to do 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times. This totals to only 4 minutes of work but it’s brutally effective. When choosing the exercise to be performed, make sure it’s a total body exercise and that it can be performed safely even when the athlete is fatigued. Dumbbell thrusters are an excellent choice while something like deadlifts or cleans would be a fairly poor choice.

Another valuable method is the Fartlek method. This is most often used by long distance runners to increase speed and endurance at the same time. It can however be adapted for athletes who’s objective is a much shorter range. One way is to have athletes sprint the straightaways and jog the corners on a track, sprint the length of the basketball court then walk/job back and repeat, or to sprint 40 yards then walk/jog back and repeat.

One thing to realize is that these are not set in stone. Use distances or times that are applicable to the sport you or your athletes are participating in. If it’s not applicable then what’s the point?

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Sledgehammers, sandbags, and tires oh my!

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Conditioning

Diagonal Sledge Swings- 10 per side
Overhead Swings- 10
60# Sandbag Swings- 10
Push Ups- 10

3 rounds with 1 minute of rest between.

1/5/10 DE Lower/Cardio

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AM- 30 minute walk with dog w/ 16pound pack on.

PM-DE Lower

Box Squats- 185 x 3, 2, 2, 2
Walking Lunges- 115 x 8, 8, 8
Hypers- 35 x 10, 10
Shrugs ss. 2 Hand Plate Pinch
225 x 10 – 25’s x 15 seconds
315 x 10 – 25’s x 15 seconds
315 x 10 – 25’s x 15 seconds

Grip still sucks. Videos to come of the box squats.

1/4/10 ME Upper/Cardio

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AM- 10 minutes fasted cardio

PM- ME Upper

CG Bench- 225 x 2, 235 x 1
DB Floor Press- 75 x 10, 10, 8

Kroc Row ss. Face Pulls-
105 x 20 – 70 x 10
105 x 12 – 70 x 10
105 x 10 – 70 x 10

BB Curls- 75 x 10, 85 x 10
Weighted Planks- 25# x 30s, 30s
Weight Decline Sit Ups- 20# x 10, 10

Choosing a Trainer

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These days you can’t walk into the gym without having some tight shirt, bleach teethed, matched outfit trainer in your face trying to get you to sign up for their “training service.” Many will pitch that they have the secrets to weight loss/muscle gaining that other trainers don’t have or that they can make get you to your goals with barely any work on your part. If that were true do you think they would be scrounging for clients at the local 24 Hour Fatness?

Don’t fall for the gimmicks and waste your money on ineffective and uninformed training.

1. Trainers should be upfront about their prices. Don’t get suckered in by trainers that don’t disclose their prices and the full spectrum of each of their services up front. The last thing you want is to get through the initial phase and get hit with another fee to be able to keep going.

2. Not all certified trainers are qualified to be working with people. BUT, just because someone isn’t certified doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified. All to often people will hire someone just because they have some form of a qualification of some sort. All this means is that they were able to pass the test standards of whatever organization they went through. Their “certification” may only have provided them with knowledge in 1 aspect of training or could have been written as far back as 4-5 years which means it’s not current either.

3. Training and nutrition should be BASIC. If the trainer you are considering is suggesting extremely fancy routines that are based around the latest and greatest machines that just came out and an entire slew of bosu ball exercises to make you “functional”, turn and run for your checkbooks life! While the new research is very informative, the best exercises for anyone to be doing are the tried and true basics such as the squat, push up, pull up, plank, clean, and overhead press. It doesn’t matter whether you want to lose fat or gain muscle either. Programs should be built around the basic exercises and should be progressive.

4. Using big words doesn’t mean the person knows what they are talking about. Anyone can get on the internet and find a couple fancy words to throw at people to wow them into buying what they are selling but that doesn’t mean what they are saying is true. Someone who truly knows their information will be able to relay it to you in a manner which you can understand. If they have to use 5 syllable words in every sentence then they probably don’t truly understand the info they are attempting to regurgitate.

5. Ask for testimonials. If they refuse or don’t have any this could mean a couple different things. A refusal on their part means they probably haven’t trained anyone that had anything good to say about. Not having any may just mean that they just started out. In that case there isn’t anything with taking a chance on a new trainer as long as they meet the above requirements and don’t cost an arm and a leg. I don’t really care how smart someone is, if they are just starting out and are trying to charge you as much as trainers who have considerably more experience, I wouldn’t do it.

6. Working with a trainer should be a learning experience. The goal of the trainer should not only be to get you to get you to the goals you want, but to educate you on being able to do this yourself in the future. A trainer who is unwilling to impart their knowledge to their clients is virtually worthless in my opinion. If you don’t care to learn and just want to be told what to do that’s your call. For me personally I like them to be able to justify what they are having me do with facts that I can understand and use after I’m done working with them.

Conditioning

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Tub Loading-
120 pounds x 5 loads

Tub Load ss. Push Ups
60# x 10 – BW x 10
60# x 10 – BW x 10
60# x 10 – BW x 10

That was it. The temperature was about 20 degrees so I packed it in lol.

Death By Dumbbell Day

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Jump Rope- 100 skips

DB Power Snatch-
45 x 5 each arm
65 x 8 each arm
80 x 4 each arm
90 x 4 cleaned to shoulder, no press
90 x 4 cleaned to shoulder, no press

Dips-
BW x 4 sets x 10

Jump Rope- 100 skips

Didn’t even get the 90 off my shoulder.

I’m gonna do a little conditioning in the backyard so I think I’ll get a video.

My triceps need to be stronger, ASAP!

ME Upper

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Deadlifts-
365 x 1
385 x miss (got it off the ground that only a couple inches)

Split Squat-
60 x 2 sets x 10 reps

Pull Throughs-
120 x 3 sets x 10

Around The World plate pinches

I have to get a video of my DL for shot and posted up for feedback. I am beginning to think that one of the big limiting factors for my DL, aside from form, is weakness in my spinal erectors.

Cardio/ME Upper

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AM- 25 minutes low intensity cardio

PM-
Military Press-
worked up to a 165 x 3 push press

DB Inclines-
50 x 20
60 x 12
70 x 7

Pendlay Row ss Face Pulls
165 x 10 – Green band x 10
165 x 10 – Green band x 10
165 x 10 – Green band x 10

Towel Barbell Curl-
65 x 3 sets x 10 reps

I gotta start doing some more rotator cuff work to work on my shoulder stability. My right shoulder felt fine but after the OH pressing my left one was not having anything to do with the db pressing.

High Octane Abdominal Training

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Over the course of the last 4 years I’ve become more and more aware of what the real function of the muscles of you abdomen. It’s not must there so you can have a “6 pack” to show off at the pool or beach, its an intricate web of muscle meant to stabilize and transfer power from your lower to upper body and vice versa. Building abdominal strength can improve your posture, prevent or correct lower back pain, and improve not only your squat and deadlift but your overhead press and military press as well!

Imagine replacing the middle portion of the space shuttle with aluminum foil. As soon as the rockets fire the foil will collapse, the top section would fall to the side and instead of the shuttle taking off into space, it’s not even going to make it off the pad. The same principle applies to your abdomen when you’re in the gym. If your abdomen can’t stabilize your upper body and the weight you have on your shoulders or in your hands then you aren’t going to complete the lift.

Where most conventional abdominal training falls short is that there is very little stabilization between the upper and lower body. Crunching and 99% of the abdominal training exercises that are routinely performed in todays gyms don’t do anything besides build lactic acid in the muscle and let people “feel the burn” of the exercise which doesn’t do anything except build the endurance of the muscle. If there is no strength to the muscle the what is the point of endurance?

To take your training numbers, posture, and overall badassness to a new level, drop your old ab training routine and throw these in to replace them.

Turkish Get Up
This can be performed with no weight, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, (or if you are ridiculously brave) a barbell.

To start-
1. Lie on your back with legs flat, 1 arm in the air by itself or holding a weight, with the other arm at approximately a 45 degree angle from the body with the palm flat on the floor.

2. Keeping the arm that’s in the air pointed at the ceiling the whole time, go from lying on your back to standing up and back down.

Perform 2-3 sets of 3-6 reps per arm at the beginning and build up as you feel comfortable.

Trust me, it’s easier described then done!

Not only does this drill make you stabilize both the upper and lower body at the same time, it increases coordination levels and is a very good shoulder stabilization exercise.