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Know Your ZONE: Training for EFFECT or Training for RECOVERY?

Know Your ZONE: Training for EFFECT or Training for RECOVERY?

Jim Warren ACSM, ACE CPT, TRX/ViPR Master Trainer

One of the challenges of the current training world is trying to determine the specific purpose of each workout.  With the advent of Functional Training, HIT, Tabata and EPOC workouts, and the addition of BOSU, TRX, ViPR and other training tools and concepts such as CrossFit, it is a challenge to create a specific workout. Certainly, starting with real specific goals is best, but even then the typical client or trainer will add a laundry list:

‘Jim I want to be faster but also leaner. But don’t forget bigger and stronger. Plus I want

the endurance to run a 10k, the power to ski from the top of Vail, and of course, the

muscle-control to be a scratch golfer…’

YIKES! Where do we start, right?

 In OUTSIDE magazine (Dec. 11’) there is an excellent article entitled ‘Beware the Black Hole’ and it goes to great lengths to try to convince readers that they should train really hard or train really easy and avoid the spaces between. In a nutshell, they use science (not anecdotal stories from body-builders) to explain that your workouts should be very specific and purposeful: hard or easy. One workout, the hard one, is designed to elicit change by exposing you to stresses that make your body desire to grow and adapt. The other workout is easy, designed to ‘assist’ the body in that recovery process.

I have tried to promote this type of training for years by preaching against ‘co-mingling’ or doing allthings fitness in one workout. Now I call it ‘Chaos Fitness’, activity for activities sake. It’s not that all the above options don’t have merit; they all have great potential benefits. But which ones are right for today? At what level? With how much volume?

Here are a couple very specific coaching tips I think would benefit every athlete/client:

1. Buy a heart-rate monitor and use it for every workout

2. Sit down with your trainer or a training partner and write out your goals for 2013

3. Break those goals into attainable 6 week phases around a paradigm I call ‘pick two’. In other words, find two short term goals that are congruent and attainable in the scheme of a 1 year program. 

Ask your Fitness Together Coach for more specific gudelines.