How do you condition your athletes?

Q: Hi Joey, what intervals and cardio/ energy system work do you use to condition your athletes? Michael

A: Unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you’d be well aware that long slow distance cardiovascular training is mostly useless for conditioning elite athletes, unless in the very early stages of injury rehabilitation.

Traditional Cardiovascular methods:

1. Can develop non specific, non transferable fitness
2. Can cause over-use injuries
3. Do not develop sport specific skills
4. Can decrease flexibility
5. Can decrease speed, power, strength etc.

With all the drawbacks outlined above, I prefer to use alternative methods. I’ll discuss those in a minute.

Before you design a conditioning program you need to:

1. Understand the physiological demands of the athletes sport and percentage contribution of each energy system, work/rest ratios, speeds/acceleration, heart rates, collisions and body contacts etc.

How do you do this?

1. Through time motion research studies, live performance or video analysis or through GPS game player tracking.

2. Assess-Aerobic Capacity/Aerobic Power (Rec)/Anaerobic Capacity (LT)/ATP-PC Endurance/ATP-PC Power.

Once the above information is obtained you can then develop your energy system conditioning or cardiovascular program for your athletes.

Quite often coaches get their athletes fitter….but they DO NOT make players better at their sport -which is the actual goal of training!!!!

This is because one crucial element has been left out.

The Sport Specific Skill has been neglected, as the focus has been on conditioning.

How do we overcome these problems?

Stay Tuned for Part 2

All the best,

Joey