Here is the second part to Will Turner’s last blog post that got some good feedback from facebook followers…enjoy!

In my last blog post, Misconceptions of Conditioning, I went over some of physiological benefits of aerobic training.  The idea of this post is to take the information from the last post and give out specific protocols that can be used to maximally develop an athlete’s aerobic system.  The examples that I am going to give are protocols that I’ve learned from B at Quinnipiac, Ultimate MMA Conditioning by Joel Jamaison, and my other internships as well at my own personal strength and conditioning experiences.

Cardiac Output Method:  To utilize this method, you need to do any type of low intensity movement for 30-90 minutes.

  • This can include anything such as sport specific movements like bag work for a fighter or shooting drills for a basketball player, or even just shuffling, skipping, crawling; basically, any type of movement.
  • Bikes, ellipticals, and treadmills can all be used for cardiac output, all which is necessary is that the athlete’s heart rate is in the 130-150 range and maintained for at least 30 minutes.
  • Jogging on a track or anywhere really is very effective, try to minimize the amount of hills
  • Lastly, any type of body weight movements such as squats, jumping rope, jumping jacks, etc for at least 20 minutes.
  • Remember, this method is used to increase cardiac output by eccentric hypertrophy, allowing a greater stroke volume.
  • Time can be increased by about five minutes from week to week in order to keep progressing

Cardiac Power Intervals: This method is used to increase the oxygen delivery rate and cardiac strength

  • 60-120 seconds per rep, high velocity per rep with max heart rate
  • Again, sport specific movements can be used, this may just be sprints for most sports, but for something like fighting, you can use max effort sparring for 60-120 seconds
  • Sprints from 400-700 meters around a track is very effective, with rest consisting of 2-5 minutes with heart rate recovering to 120 bpm.  4-12 reps per session.
  • Moderate resistance bike sprints or airdyne sprints for time (about 60 seconds) or distance (0.5-1 miles).  Bike sprint reps can go from 4-12 reps and airdynes can go from 2-6 reps.  Again, the lower end of the reps will be towards the beginning phases and increase in latter phases.
  • Hill or stadium sprints for 60-120 seconds can be very effective and will also help increase muscular power-endurance.  60-120 seconds per rep with 2 minutes between each rep.  4-12 reps per session.

Tempo Method: used for slow twitch muscle fiber hypertrophy.  This is important because slow twitch muscle fibers have greater oxidative capacities compared to fast twitch fibers.

  • Tempo training is unlike the first two because it uses weight training.  Compound (core), multijoint exercises such as squat, bench press, deadlift, pull-ups, etc.  Each rep should take about 4-5 seconds utilizing the tempo on one or more of the three phases of movement (eccentric, isometric, concentric).  Each set should be 8-10 reps with 30-40 seconds between each set.  If doing multiple exercises, take 6-8 minutes active rest between exercises.
  • Circuit training can also be utilized in this method.  30 seconds of work paired with 30-60 seconds of rest between each exercise.  Compound and assistance exercises can be utilized; it is recommended to alternate upper and lower body exercises to avoid local muscular fatigue.

High Intensity Continuous Training: HICT increases the oxidative abilities of fast twitch muscle fibers.  This method utilizes high intensity with low speed.

  • Bike or elliptical hill climbs for 10-20 minutes.  This can be done by starting at moderate intensity and increasing intensity every 1-2 minutes for 3-5 minutes and starting over again.  Intensity or time can be increased from week to week for progression.
  • Heavy (and I mean heavy) sled dragging for 10-20 minutes continuous.  Keep the sled moving the entire time.  Athlete can move, forward, backward, left, right, crossover, etc.

Threshold Training:

  • This is very hard to measure because you will need some equipment or at least a heart rate monitor that most people do that have.  First, you need to do type of VO2 max test to figure out what the athletes anaerobic threshold is.
  • Once an anaerobic threshold is found, you can use any type of running, bike, elliptical, sport specific drill.  It is just important that you keep your heart rate with 10 beats +/- of ANT  the entire rep.  Reps should go for 3-10 minutes per rep with 1-5 minutes rest between each rep.

I hope this blog helps to clear up information from the last post, and that it will help you to create an aerobic conditioning program for yourself, your clients, or your teams.  Remember that it is very important to have a great cardiac output and stroke volume as a base to build on.  Then you can start increasing aerobic cardiac power and ananerobic capacity/power.  Now go run!

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