Any coach or athlete can design a workout that pushes the body to the point of vomiting, always trying to go as long and hard as they possibly can. Although it is a means of conditioning physically and mentally, is it optimal for peak performance? Here at Hillbilly Martial Arts & Gym, we take a systematic approach to develop our athletes.
In our General Preparation Phase (GPP), we work on developing a base for your bioenergetic demands. GPP is typically broken down into three parts, the Aerobic capacity, Anaerobic/lactate capacity, and A-lactic capacity phases. Working these energy systems creates the athlete's ability to do more work, preparing the athlete for the work/load in the next phase.
Aerobic capacity is the most important foundation to have as an athlete or just as a human in general. I tend to view it as the body's ability to do work for a period of time. Working on aerobic capacity creates the body's efficiency to produce ATP. The athletes Vo2MAX will increase, which is the point in time that the body can not utilize oxygen as efficiently and starts to produce lactate.
During the anaerobic/lactate capacity phase, we are trying to increase the body's ability to handle lactic acid and produce less of it. The athlete is working on cycling in and out of lactic acid to increase the rate that lactic acid leaves the body. The athlete will gain more muscle recruitment during this phase, which will, in turn, add strength.
A-lactate is energy stored (ATP-PC) within the muscles. In this phase, we are increasing the number of times at which the athlete can restore ATP-PC before the body starts to utilize lactate as a fuel source. Many coaches will view this as repeated sprint ability. If you were to take two teams that are the same skill level, the team that can hold the same velocity of sprinting at the end would generally win.
I will not have my athletes do any extra conditioning during our maximal strength phase. I instead allow the body to adapt to building strength entirely, so we are not throwing the athlete's system into two different directions. You will also have to remember that this is still off-season training, so we still have plenty of time to increase conditioning.
The athletes will move into aerobic power training after their maximal strength phase. This phase will still be reasonably light when talking about the overall load put on the body, so it is crucial to know when how much aerobic training to do so you don't become overtrained or undertrained. Aerobic power training is simply tempo changes. It is essential to keep the heart rate under the lactate threshold.
Anaerobic/lactate power phase is where the athlete will do a lot of the same style of work as in the anaerobic capacity phase but with different work to rest ratio. The athlete's sport depends on how long they will stay in this phase. It is essential for strength and conditioning coaches to monitor what kind of load is being placed on the athlete during skills practice.
A-lactic power is the last phase of conditioning and is typically viewed more as speed work. Speedwork is the most vital quality to peak with for athletes. Depending on how long the season is and how many significant tournaments the athlete hits, it will determine how many times the athlete will run through the speed phase.
Athletes and coaches must know that there are many different means of what you can do for conditioning, whether it's lifting, rowing, biking, kicking, or punching. Heck, you could even go running, know that running isn't the only way to do conditioning but is sometimes the easiest to understand. Here at Hillbilly Martial Arts & Gym, we will structure a strength and conditioning program designed just for you, your sport, your style, and the position that you play.