Athletes are reporting to training camp in many sports right now and that often means one thing: grueling fitness tests to check an athlete’s shape. But the testing is getting out of hand. On this episode of the GAINcast we take a close look at fitness and performance testing, with examples of how to do it right and wrong. Read more
Metabolic conditioning was a concept few coaches talked about before Crossfit, but the concept is decades old and worth revisiting. On this episode of the podcast we talk about how we understand and utilize the concept to work on conditioning for power sports. In addition, we open the mailbag and answer listener questions on a variety of topics. Read more
Work capacity is the ability to tolerate a workload and recover from that workload. In order for an athlete to improve they must be able to do a certain threshold amount of work. They must be able to work at a level that will ensure enough stress to achieve an optimum adaptive response. If they cannot do the work, they will not improve. Therefore, the goal with this type of individual would be to build a work capacity base that fits the specific demands of the athlete’s sport. Read more
As the saying goes, you cannot build a strong house without a solid foundation. With pre-season training on the horizon for many sports, we take a look at what that foundation should look like, how it is trained, where it fits into the plan, and more. Read more
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Question: My athlete is on the cusp of breaking into senior elite competitions, but her fitness is lacking. What can I do to improve this? I was thinking about integrating times runs in to build a little fitness? -Coach Henry Read more
It is important to distinguish the development of a large work capacity from the development of an aerobic base. The development of an appropriate aerobic foundation is a component part of work capacity but in sprint sports, intermittent sprint sports and transition game sports it is not anywhere near as significant a portion of the work capacity as conventional wisdom would have us believe. Even in pure endurance sports I believe the means of development of an aerobic base needs to be revisited. It is important to remember that training is cumulative. Work capacity accumulates and builds upon itself from year to year. Therefore with the aerobic component, once the capacity is increased and the aerobic power is elevated that component cannot be significantly raised. The focus needs to shift to efficiency; how the aerobic component can best contribute to performance. Read more
To better understand work capacity it helps to think of it this way. In order for an athlete to improve they must be able to do a certain amount of work. They must be able to work at a level that will ensure enough stress to achieve a positive training adaptation. For example, a sprinter whose general fitness limits their ability to sprint, that would significantly limit their ability to improve. Therefore our goal is to build an extensive work capacity base that fits the specific demands of the athlete’s sport and meets the athlete’s individual needs. Too often this is confused with building an aerobic base. It is much more than an aerobic base; in fact in speed/power/skill sports it is best to forget the concept of aerobic as it has traditionally has been thought of. In the language of training theory work capacity falls into the category of general physical preparation (GPP). Read more