I sometimes struggle with dreaming up what I think is the best programming for the week.
When I program, I have to balance requests, goals and individual preferences.
Like this week…
Conflicting goals means I have to keep runners, parkour athletes and strength training in mind.
Running and strength training represent a pretty obvious conflict.
Improving strength typically means more load, less repetitions.
Improving endurance typically means lower loads, more repetitions.
Runners want improved endurance, whereas strength wants..
Since strength is explosive in nature, it’s typically not all that conducive to endurance running.
On the other hand, it can be helpful to be stronger if you’re a runner and want to avoid injuries.
Then we have the Parkour athletes.
Most of them feel endurance isn’t all that important (I tend to disagree).
They also feel strength only matters if it serves to improve jumping and climbing.
Again, I disagree.
Why are they wrong?
I disagree because strength focus for a single or small section of the body leads to imbalances.
Parkour is jump – hinge – and push dominant. If you want to get stronger for Parkour, you’ll be told by some to focus on dead lifts, squats, bench dips and pull-ups (on your way towards the muscle-up). Or, some variation thereof.
It’s a simple list of things to focus on.
Unfortunately, if your goal is to be able to perform for a long time, this is a pretty obvious recipe for imbalances.
Imbalances lead to more injuries,over time.
So how will I balance the three requests?
I have a system…
Endurance is achieved with how the set/rep/rest periods are spaced. I use either a 30/30 model, or a 6 + 1 + 2 minute model.
This way we tax the cardiovascular system in a manner similar to a HIIT based program, without overdoing it.
I then individualize the load for the client by changing the weight used during the workout to match their need/request.
Then we use as many different exercises as we need in order to properly round out the routine.
The goal is to minimize the potential for longer term injuries due to imbalances or overload.
There you have it. The “secret” to how I think when I’m designing a program for your training today.
Pretty easy, innit?