Conditioning for Strength Sports: Optimizing Both Strength & Conditioning
The best way to improve your physical condition is through exercise. You can do exercises that are simple and easy to learn, but hard to master. However, if you want to get better at something, it’s always good to have some basic knowledge before starting out.
For example, when learning how to play guitar or any other musical instrument, it helps greatly if you’ve played before. Similarly, it’s helpful to know what types of exercises will benefit your body and mind.
You may think that you already know all there is to know about training, but unfortunately you’re not quite there yet. There are many things that you don’t understand about exercise and nutrition; however, with the right guidance, these concepts can become second nature.
If you take a look around at other people’s routines they seem to be doing everything perfectly well for them—so why aren’t you?
In order to help others achieve their goals, you need to know more than just the basics. And since most people aren’t going to read every word here, I’m going to try my best to provide as much useful information as possible. That being said, I’ll start off with a few basic questions that anyone reading this might ask themselves:
What type of person am I? Do I like working out? What kind of life do I want? Am I motivated enough?
These are all great questions to ask yourself before you begin your training. If you want to succeed in life, then you need to be able to answer these questions clearly. More than anything else, this will help you choose the right plan for you.
Also, I’m not your dad, coach, or mentor, so I can’t force you do anything you don’t want to do. You have to take control of your own life and decide what you’re willing to do in order to succeed. I can tell you how to achieve your goals and offer advice on training, but you’re the one who has to put in the work.
As the saying goes “You can’t gain if you don’t grow” — this applies to both strength and character, so make sure you’re ready for what’s to come.
So What Type of Person Am I?
There are a few different types of people who pick up this book. Some are naturally athletic and have a high degree of muscle mass, while others are underweight and need to put on some pounds. If you find that you can’t remember anything from high school health class, then this section is definitely for you.
More than anything else, I’m going to give you a bunch of tips and tricks to finding the right plan for you. If you try some of them and they don’t work for you then feel free to try something else. However, I’d suggest that you at least try everything before giving up.
A. I’m Skinny & Stupid
You might be skinny, but that doesn’t mean you’re stupid—I just wanted to get that out of the way first. Typically, you fall under one of two categories: hardgainer or ectomorph.
A hardgainer is someone who has a difficult time gaining muscle, no matter how much they eat. On the flip side, an ectomorph is someone who tends to be lanky with a fast metabolism and a low body fat percentage. While these two categories aren’t set in stone, they do apply in most cases.
If you’re not sure which one you are, then read more about the differences between the two below.
If you find that you’re a hardgainer, then the first thing you should know is that you’ll have to work harder in the gym in order to see results. While most people can gain muscle by following a simple program like the one found in “Starting Out,” you’ll need to push yourself a little harder and eat a little more.
Even though this may seem like bad news, it’s actually good news for you! It means that if you ever find yourself struggling to gain weight, then you can use these tactics to help put on mass.
If you find that you’re an ectomorph then you have an opposite problem: it’s easy for you to gain weight, but difficult to pack on muscle. This can occur when someone is very active with a high metabolism. In this case, we want to decrease your energy expenditure through activity while increasing your energy intake through food.
These two factors will help you gain weight, which will then make it easier to gain muscle. This isn’t to say that you have a lot of weight to gain, rather you have the perfect amount of weight to gain—enough to add some nice muscle. Again, if you ever find yourself struggling in this area, then return to this chapter for help.
B. I’m Big & Stupid
If you’re part of the “Big & Stupid” crowd, then you’re probably reading this book because either A) You feel stupid for being so big and are looking for a way to change your life or B) Your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/psychologist/whoever suggested that you should read this book. In either case, welcome!
Now before we get started, I have some questions for you:
Are you over the age of 21?
If you answered no to the above question, stop what you’re doing and go read “Starting Out” by your instructor, Cloud Strife.
Are you technically married to/dating your former elementary school teacher?
If you answered yes to the above question, then I’m afraid that your problems are beyond the scope of this book. I would suggest seeing a marriage counselor about your situation, as well as seek psychiatric help.
Do you have any knowledge of knowing what a chin-up is?
If you answered no to the above question, then I must question your intelligence (see what I did there?
). Improving your strength is one of the best things you can do in order to improve yourself. Not only will you be able to perform better in everyday life, but you’ll also be instilling a quality that will help you in nearly everything that you do.
Again, I must question your intelligence by asking “Can you not read?” (Again, see what I did there?
). If you are literate and still answered no to the above question, then please go see your doctor as soon as possible.
Once again if you’re still here then there is hope for you yet. chin-up bar is one of the best pieces of equipment that you can have in your home. It doesn’t take up much room, is affordable, and can provide a great workout.
One of the first things that you should do is go buy one. When you get home, take the time to read the instructions on how to mount it to your wall and how to adjust it. While chin-ups are one of the best exercises that you can do, they can also be very dangerous if done improperly.
Sources & references used in this article:
Manipulating resistance training program variables to optimize maximum strength in men: a review by B Tan – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 1999 – Citeseer
Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength by AE Hibbs, KG Thompson, D French, A Wrigley, I Spears – Sports medicine, 2008 – Springer
Optimizing rock climbing performance through sport-specific strength and conditioning by KC Phillips, JM Sassaman… – Strength & Conditioning …, 2012 – journals.lww.com
Incompatibility of endurance-and strength-training modes of exercise by GA Dudley, R Djamil – Journal of applied physiology, 1985 – journals.physiology.org
Strength and conditioning considerations for mixed martial arts by P La Bounty, BI Campbell, E Galvan… – … & Conditioning …, 2011 – journals.lww.com
The use of contact time and the reactive strength index to optimize fast stretch-shortening cycle training by EP Flanagan, TM Comyns – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2008 – journals.lww.com