Thursday, February 9, 2012

5 Missing Elements to a Training Program

The more I talk to people about their fitness programs the more I see the missing elements below. If you want to keep maximizing your results, make sure you are implementing the tactics below.

1. Lack of proper warm-up:

(This is not what a warm-up should look like. It will not prepare these athletes for their workout/race)

If you have a lack luster warm-up your workout will be the same. Incorporating a thorough dynamic warm-up will aide in better workouts because you are preparing the body to perform at a high level. It is always good to start with soft tissue work to create blood flow. Tools that can be used are a foam roll, tennis ball or massage rolling stick. For five minutes, simply roll your muscles out, especially in your tighter areas.

(Check out this video where Jesse (CFA Certified Fitness Coach) talks about soft tissue work)

After this, you will run through a series of movement drills that improves mobility, flexibility and stability. These dynamic movements create blood temperature in your body and “awakes” the nervous system.

(A quick description of a few movement drills in this video)

Next, add in “heart rate elevation” drills to elevate your heart rate and prepare if for the bulk of the training session. Examples can be running high knees, butt kicks, skipping, lateral shuffling and tempo runs. If running is not an option, you can do a few quick sprints on a bike or elliptical to achieve the same objective.

2. Correct “Core” Training. First, let’s define the core. The core is not just your abdominals. The core of your body is from your mid-thigh, all the way to your shoulders and starts in the deepest part of your body, your spinal muscles.

Core training is not busting out hundreds of mindless crunches. In fact, if you want a healthy back, you should eliminate repetitive crunching from your program (Stuart McGill Video). You want to incorporate your hips, glutes, deep core muscles, lower back muscles and pelvic floor and get them to work together. Birddogs, hip lifts, planks, core pressouts, chops and lifts and carrying variations are “core” exercises that anyone can implement into their program. (Please email me and I can give you videos of all of these exercises.)

(Ok, not everyone has to do heavy Farmer Walks like this, but this could be one of the best "core" exercises that we prescribe and CFA because of the stability it reinforces on the body; Even our general fitness clients are doing Farmer Walks)

3. Nutrition for peak performance. Nutrition is the missing link for most people. They train hard and do not skip workouts but they go backwards because their nutrition is off. You can train all you want but if your nutrition is not in line with your training objectives, it can derail you from your goal. Create and stick to the plan. Your training levels will increase, you will reach new heights of performance and your energy will be power packed.

(Remember Julie Moss in the 1982 Ironman completely hitting the wall. She was fit and prepared for the race but did not execute the proper nutrition program suited to fit her goal)

(And it still happens today, as you can see Normann Stadler in the 2010 Ironman "hitting the wall" and not finishing the race.)

4. Recovery. You can train all you want but if you are not allowing your body ample recovery time you will force overtraining and lack of performance gains. When you workout, the body is broken down and needs replenishment and regeneration to repair and improve. If you are consistently training (4-7 days/week), recovery becomes a component that cannot be over looked or you will be at more risk for injury and/or burnout.

5. Balance.

(This is not the type of balance I am talking about)

I am talking about your body having symmetry in the posterior (back side) and anterior (front side) chains of the body.

(This guy does not have balance. Notice his posture: sunk in chest, rounded shoulders, neck pushed forward. This type of imbalance can send signals down the rest of the body and create injury)

For your next 10 workouts, make a list of your exercises, one list for work on the front side (push-ups, abdominal work, quadriceps work, etc) and one list for work on the back side (glutes, calves, hamstrings, low back, and upper back). After these 10 workouts see if your lists are balanced. If not, you risk asymmetry and injury down the road. Create a more balanced program to aide in building an athletic and functional body.

Knee Dominant Moves: Bodyweight squats, 1-leg squats, Split squats, Foot elevated Split squats

Hip Dominant Moves: Kettlebell swings, Deadlifts, 1-leg deadlifts, hip lifts

Pressing: push-ups, bench press, alternating DB bench press

Pulling: Chin-ups, pull-ups, any variation of rowing, face pulls

Make sure you have a balance of these main exercises in your program.

1 comment:

David Haas said...

I have a question about your blog, could you email me?

Past writings