The programming pandemic

Seen as though pandemics are the flavour of the times, we thought why not take a look at what is currently a rather abundant issue in the modern fitness world. And yes, we do have strong opinions on such matters because we pride ourselves on using scientifically backed principles to help teach and generate results for people.

There are a couple of basic rules when it comes to training and performance development: 

- If you want to get faster, train faster. 

- If you want to get bigger, train bigger (more volume and load). 

- If you want to get aerobically fitter, train your aerobic system. 

- If you want to move better, practice better movement.

The list goes on.

The point is, depending on what result you want for your body, if you expose it to a specific stimulus, it will generate a specific result.

Where does the issue lie? 

Well, unfortunately, the trend of shooting for all the desired results possible in one go is far too abundant. If you expose your body to general stimulus it’ll generate a general result. Similar to Jack of all trades master of none, minute improvements over a range of modalities wont feel like much.

Simple logic will help you understand what we’re getting at. If you are trying to jump as high as you can or squat at a decent weight, would you perform either of these better or worse if you ran 2km beforehand?

Doing a circuit of strength, power and HIIT all at once will not only compromise the desired effect of all these training modalities, but put you at potential risk of injury with the accumulated fatigue compromising your ability to perform the associated complex movement patterns at a necessary level.

If you desire a range of results with your training, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Give your body time and focus on one or two modalities at a time. These rules apply on a micro (per session) and macro (per week and 6 week cycles).

You will maximise your power training if you specifically focus on that, likewise with strength or metabolic conditioning.

What is great about exercise, is the crossover effect of a number of training modalities. For example strength and power are closely associated.


What do we suggest? 

Well it depends on what you want. If you want it all, start with strength then consider the rest.

If you consider yourself time poor (you’re not) and you want an all in one type of program break it down from the most complex to the least.

Fast powerful movements like jumps and Olympic lifts are the most demanding on your nervous system.

Next, heavy compound (multi joint) strength work.

Then your more single joint isolated type of movements.

Finally your conditioning, be it longer and slower or shot and fast save it to the end because metabolic fatigue will rock your system.

If you want to improve don’t combine high intensity with strength or power – it is ineffective and potentially unsafe. Separate it and focus on improving one or two pieces of the puzzle.