Strength and Conditioning (Part 2)

Strength and Conditioning

The second part is to add value to the previous two mentioned strength building methods. The following refers to the next phase relating more to the conditioning aspect with the use of a Kettlebell, why you have to run and a reminder why you should monitor your nutrition. Let’s keep it simple and practical. You should have plenty to keep you busy with your own sports specific skill work I’m sure.

Barbell supremacy for strength training

The two approaches to delivering results have been for a long time the tried and through methods of a sound conditioning program but are not the only ways of getting results. The barbell has for a long time been heralded as the one piece of equipment that has over time been replaced, copied , watered down ( via machines)  and often been challenged, yet it still serves as the only way in getting the job done for the serious types. The following exercises will certainly be of benefit in incorporating in most strength and conditioning programs. Here’s a sample of you can do with only the barbell.

Military Press – Basically this is a standing shoulder press performed with a barbell.  It’s regarded as the prime mover in getting those old fashioned broad shoulders happening and is also one of the assistant exercises in both the Weightlifting and Powerlifting methods. A must have exercise wit any program.

Bent over rows – When you have been working out for a while and have developed great core stability and know how to fold the hips back, this exercise is one of the primary back builders that is a favourite with the bodybuilding crowd. The Lat pull-down has often been used as opposed to this movement due to its ease in application. Within a true strength program why not use them both!

Front Squat – Another exercise that is one of the fundamental movements in the weightlifting method. On its own it’s a great leg builder that promotes a more upright posture and give the core a workout in stability of the upper body. A fantastic option if you don’t want to back squat.

Barbell complex – I thought I might as well sneak in this particular approach to barbell work. It’s generally for a bit of mental conditioning and is a sure fire way in getting the heart rate up. Can be done with a lighter than usual weight and it will be up to you how many repetitions you can handle . A great one to incorporate with a training buddy. You basically have to perform 3-5 reps and then straight away move onto the next movement. Give it a try and see how far you get. Eg: 5 x bent rows. 5 x cleans 5 x front squats, 5 x military press – repeat.

Push Press – Related to the Military press and Jerk the bottom line is that it’s easy to learn, helps you lift the heavier weights above the head and allows you to use you bottom half in generating the power from the ground up . An important skill to utilise for many sports. Performed in volumes it ensures the heart rate will be left elevated for a long time post workout.

Conditioning with the Kettlebell ballistics

My favourite tool in generating the volumes in delivering many conditioning requirements. It sits well with the typical sporting movements and its effects are immediately felt.  A workman like approach that only the Kettlebell can bring to the table. Take the Kettlebell version of the snatch performed with one hand and you are on another level when it comes to an elevated heart rate and the overall effect of owning a pair of wobbly legs.

The highly rated RKC snatch test requires an individual ( male) to perform 100 x 24kg snatches within a set 5 minute timeframe, It also has to be done with a better than average technique in order for you to pass. An impressive feat that is the expected standard of an RKC Instructor.

Another way to condition is to use the complex drills that when performed with a kettlebell seem to have a natural flow. Take for example a set of double swings, double cleans, double snatch, double press and double Squat for reps of 3-5 in a continuous manner.

For  simpler and just as effective conditioning drill , for some there is no need to take it further than the kettlebell swing that activates the posterior chain and develops and excellent overall conditioning . It aids in grip strength and when done in high volumes teaches you mental conditioning – Take my word.  The carry over effect of the swing will allow you to improve on you running as it shares many similarities with running mechanics.

Add in the Turkish get up with the related benefits of mobility, the renegade rows for core development and kinetic chain connection and you are done.

Running

The simplicity of running and the overall physical and mental benefits it brings needs to be appreciated. For a conditioning program it’s an effective cardiovascular workout that you can’t do without. As they say Athletes run, Pure and simple. For general fitness benefits you can use the treadmill or go for a walk, however the reality is if you are serious about your conditioning you have to run. If you don’t know how to run, you have to learn, if you tell me you have bad knees, you should not be doing strength and conditioning work (or  get fixed)and if you have “breathing difficulties” or “not designed to run” and “hate running” you are just not fit , so run – ok?

Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition you have to juggle the food intake that will allow you to fuel you work-out and need to get in the adequate quality of nutrients for recovery. In addition you have to ensure of the incoming calories for health and wellbeing. For a performance athlete you need the extra calories for a proper recovery phase and ensure that your essential Vitamin’s (B’s) are adequate. Your nutrition in recovery is important.

The weight loss nutrition is different to performance so be ready to eat a bit more, so becoming stricter should be expected. Enjoy the carbs ! Simply eating up as you see fit without a plan could potentially be causing a weight increase which is detrimental to bodyweight sports. A sound nutritional approach will go a long way in performance and keep you in good spirits. Eating crappy food will have the opposite effects.

Mobility

An important component that is neglected by many. If you are not able to get into position with no weight there is no point in putting you under loading and “working it out later” the diligent trainer should address any lack of mobility on areas such as ankle, hips, knee ,thoracic region,wrists mobility and work on improving range or positioning. No point in incurring an injury that will prevent you from you training.

No training means no improvement.

Claudefit Personal training is located in Mill Park and operated out from his own private facility catering to the individual who want to take their strength and conditioning to the next stage

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