Tag: Conditioning

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Early records of strength training date back to 3600 BC when Chinese emperors made their subjects exercise daily (Webster 1976). During the Chou Dynasty subjects were required to pass weight- lifting tests before entering the military. There is large amount of evidence that indicates weight training was part of life in ancient Greece and India. In fact, the Greeks built numerous sculptures of people lifting stone weights.

Numerous systems of training have been proposed over the years. The accumulation of experience and different philosophies has led us to the current training methods utilized today. Keep in mind; many authorities have varied greatly from the original purpose of strength and conditioning. Hard work and dedication formed the foundation of earlier training methods. Today the opposite has occurred in numerous settings as easy work and quick fixes form the foundation of most people’s regimens.

During the 16th century in Europe books on weight training began to surface. Sir Thomas Elyot’s book on the topic was published in England in 1531. Joachim Camerius, a lecturer at Leipzig University, wrote several books in 1544 recommending that weight training should be a key activity offered in the model school. John Paugh published a book in 1728 titled A Physiological, Theoretic and Practical Treatise on the Utility of Muscular Exercise for Restoring the Power to the limbs, which pointed out the benefits offered by weight training for rehab purposes. In the 1860’s, Archibald Maclaren, devised the first formal system of physical training with dumbbells and barbells for the British Army.

The showmen and strongman entertainers of the 19th Century heavily contributed to methods used today in the fitness and Sports Conditioning industry. From extensive research iron game historian David Webster credits Italian circus and fairground performer, Felice Napoli as the one who popularized strongman performances on an international scale. Disciples of Napoli include Professor Attila (Louis Durlacher) and Eugen Sandow (Frederick Muller). Attila became well known and he attracted some of the world’s most well known physical culturists and many rulers of Europe. His list of students included King George of Greece, King Edward of England, Crown Prince Frederick who became King Haakon of Norway, the six children of King Christian of Denmark, the Queen Mother Alexandra of England, Princess Dagmar (Empress of Russia and mother of Tsar Nicholas), and the Duchess of Cumberland.

At the time training the wealthy was a much respected occupation. We have what we call personal trainers today. The current protocols used by the majority of today’s trainers are a far cry from the original teachings and benefits provided by trainers. The fame and notoriety of trainers of those days was a result of the public displays of extraordinary physical feats. These events were often attended by royalty and were highly acclaimed for their promotion of physical well-being.

Eugen Sandow, born in Koningsberg in East Russia in 1867, was recruited for his teachings by presidents and rulers from around the world. Nine kings and queens and many princes of Europe, as well as US presidents William Taft and Woodrow Wilson endorsed Sandow’s book Life is Movement. Sandow was a successful strongman as well as a promoter of formal fitness and health management. He emphasized that physical education and sport should be an integral part of the school system. He also toured the world lecturing and promoting physical culture as a means of improving the quality of life.

Most authorities recognize Sandow, as one of the most important figures in the history of fitness, with the history of his work revealing that the modern phenomenon of science based fitness training is not a novel invention. Sandow promoted the importance of strength and skill as being the cornerstone of fitness. A half a century later Dr Kenneth Cooper proposed that being fit was primarily dependent on aerobic conditioning. Approximately 25 years later the important role of strength training has once again been recognized by the academia.

In Russia during the same period Vladislav Krayevsky founded the St Petersburg Amateur Weightlifting Society (1885). Many respected scientists, athletes; artists became his students, including famous strongman George Hackenschmidt, who credited Krayevsky for teaching him all he knew. Hackenschmidt mentioned in his book The Way To …

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I recently was given the opportunity to interview Rob Schwartz, a Team USA Strength & Conditioning Coach for Acrobat & Combat Sports. Rob currently works with Olympic athletes competing in gymnastics, boxing, tae kwon do, judo, fencing, wrestling, synchronized swimming and diving. I wanted to pick his brain and gain some insight into how sports fitness technologies (heart rate, calorie intake, calories burned, sleep monitoring, distance and time tracking, VO2 recording, total vertical gained, etc.) are being utilized in Olympic athlete training and how Mr. Schwartz foresees consumer adoption of similar technologies in the future.

Q. Living in Denver and have previously toured the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, I remember the amount of gadgets and devices monitoring and tracking athlete progression in training. Could you explain the type of fitness technologies that are currently being utilized by your athlete's and how big of a role they play in your daily workout preparation?

A. For daily training activities we mostly utilize video feedback, both in the weightroom and the practice setting. In Strength and Conditioning we are always trying to gauge our athlete's state of preparedness, so we measure power outputs using Tendo units and force plates; this gives us feedback on how intensely we can train each athlete on a given day. At pre-determined times of the year the Sports Dietician tests athletes blood lactate levels during "live" practices to evaluate the physiological demands they face in competition. We've even had some Wrestler's get their blood lactate tested immediately following actual matches. We are currently developing an app for athlete's phones to monitor nutritional, psychological, training and recovery status. This is a short list; we have many other modes of technology we use as well.

Q. It seems as if Olympians have been using technology in their training programs long before the recent consumer craze, would you say that many of today's fitness gadgets are a result from what has been tested and proven in the Olympic arena?

A. Not that I am aware of, when training world class athletes for Olympic competition we simply don't have the time to field test technologies that have not been tested and proven in the field. We will receive some emerging technology from companies such as Nike and Samsung, but are confident when they hit our desk they have been proven effective.

Q. Do you believe emerging fitness and health applications and gadgets will improve our nation's health outcomes and help citizens become more informed and active participants in their personal health?

A. I hope so; it mainly depends on the person and their goals. If the consumer is serious about getting in shape, I suggest they do their research and ensure they are purchasing equipment from reputable companies that are proven in the market.

Q. One last question, any basic tips for those looking to begin personal strength and conditioning training?

A. I would start by joining your local 24 hour fitness and getting some personal training sessions. There is nothing better than an experienced trainer to provide feedback and steps for improvement. It is not suggested to surf the Internet for training advice or tips as there is no professional feedback and the information you are receiving may not be credible or suitable for your personal goals.

I am also a firm believer in video feedback for athletes, as with a current world champion boxer that I train when the fight is over the first thing we do on our plane flight home is review video on our smart phone and begin preparation for the next fight.

To learn more about the United States Olympic Training Center or to plan a tour visit them at TeamUSA.org and possibly rub elbows with America's premier Olympic athletes and coaches.

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Source by Chris M Roussy

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Conditioning is a word that is used a lot in the fitness industry but what does it really mean to have conditioning? There are those that are ripped from strength conditioning, marathon runners have to go through a type of stamina conditioning and then there is the conditioning that is necessary for fighters and martial artists.

Conditioning can come off as this hard core concept of hard work and training to build your body up so it can perform or endure what the sport demands of it.

And it’s true.

However, that is not the whole picture of what it means to be a conditioned athlete. Building your body and it’s performance potentials is only the outcome associated to having “great conditioning”.

The other half of the definition of conditioning is more about the discipline, the standard and the values that you adopt.

“Great conditioning” is the result of adopting and integrating habits, standards and values that slowly, over time changes and transforms the conditions of the body.

Conditioning isn’t so much about building yourself up but rather more about adopting a specific way of being that will serve you in the long run which is beneficial for the performance and execution of the skills in a given sport or physical activity.

So, how do you integrate a great conditioning ritual? One that will meet your athletic needs based on the sport or physical activity of your choice?

A good place to start is by looking at where your values are placed in your sport. By looking at the components that you already have a natural inclination to favour and value, then you have a platform where you can design for yourself a discipline that you are more than likely to commit to.

If for example you naturally favour cardio, then use that as a base to develop a discipline to condition, not only great cardio but also as a way to condition better form, more strength and greater endurance doing the activity that is the source of cardio. It’s also a great way to develop secondary attributes. If, for instance you typically rely on jogging for cardio but you would like to develop another physical skill or work on some upper body, than you might consider cardio boxing. Or you might want to develop better foot co-ordination and do some skip rope.

By focusing on what you already prefer, you are much more likely to build on it and develop a discipline and from a place of discipline is where conditioning can flow from the best.

Also, using discipline is a powerful way to predispose yourself to growth and improvement in a specific skill or attribute. Once you have established a discipline on a particular practice, then it’s only a matter of pushing yourself and upping the ante in order to improve and refine that conditioning.

Let me leave with one final thought, and that is, when thinking in terms of the type of conditioning you feel you may need for whatever fitness goal that you have, think about what habits you need to adopt and how you need to be in the process of the training rather than what you need to do to reach and achieve a goal to finally arrive at. Chances are that when you arrive at that goal, in order to maintain it, you will need to sustain the conditioning by maintaining the practice that got you there in the first place.

Conditioning is a process.

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Source by Clinton Boucheix

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Combat Conditioning was the first book that introduced me to body weight exercises for functional strength and endurance. I was the type of kid in high school sports that was the proverbial “no talent ass clown.” What I mean by this was that I was very strong but natural talent escaped me. I always vowed that there are people that are much more talented but I would never be out worked. Growing up in the work out craze of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Pumping Iron” movie got me into weight lifting with all my friends. Now when you are young and you simple pound out weights to see how strong you are, bad things end up happening. When I received a physical before the starting season of Varsity football, the doctor looked at me and politely said – “Hey idiot, have you ever heard of stretching”? Needless to say the quest began to look for a better way to exercise and gain functional strength. Lawyer Note: I hate these but they are important. With any exercise routines, please check with your Doctor’s to make sure you are able to perform these routines.

Why is this important to me?

This book will help you acquire knowledge on body weight exercises that help in three areas: Strength, Endurance and Flexibility. If these three things are not important to you then please save yourself 5 minutes and shut off the video. Otherwise please continue on with me.

Have you ever seen any of the following: Great MMA fighters, cirque du soleil or a gymnastics competition? All of these phenomenal athletes have functional strength. This means that they can do things with their body that 90 percent of the population cannot. The good news is that 90 percent can do these things if they change up on their exercise routines. Another book you should check out is Convict Conditioning. This focused more on muscle, joint and tendon strength. What is beneficial about that is you can keep that strength well into your seventies.

Don’t get me wrong – any type of exercise is better than none. If you are doing nothing and start doing weight lifting then please keep doing it. But if you want a cheap way to work out with compound results then this book is for you. One big problem with weight lifting by itself is that it utilizes muscle isolation. This means that if you do curling then you isolate the movement to the bicep muscle. This does nothing to create functional strength for your tendons or joints. The human body was engineered to work together so why not shorten your work out and do compound exercises to maximize your results. If you did a simple pull up then you still exercise your bicep but you also engage your back, forearms, shoulders and core along with creating functional strength.

Matt describes his Holy Grail of working out which he coins the Royal Court. I will explain each exercise.

The Hindu squat is an excellent exercise. When you start out you can do a half squat like with your arms in front of you parallel to the floor but as you progress and build up strength in your knees, you will want to do a full squat with the back of your thighs touching the back of your calves.

Strong legs do a body good. When you work on your legs, you engage the whole body and burn calories all day even after the work out. The legs consist of the biggest muscles in your body and it shows the next day when they are sore.

When doing Hindu squats, work up to doing three sets of 100. Doing the royal court in 3 set cycles is a great work out that does not take much time. If you travel then this is a perfect routine because it does not take long at all.

The Hindu pushup is different than a regular pushup. Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart and your butt in the air. Push through in an arcing motion(similar to downward facing dog in Yoga). Try to work up to 3 sets of 50 repetitions. …

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