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What is conditioning!

You have probably seen numerous trainers say they’re training strength and conditioning, or they’re taking a strength and conditioning class, but in actual fact they have no idea what they are talking about, they’re putting together a number of exercises just to beast their clients which makes them think they’re getting something out of the session with absolutely no thought process behind the session whatsoever.

This lack of thought process can lead to an increase in stress, decline in performance, overtraining, and injury.

So what is conditioning??

Conditioning is the physical and mental ability to utilise your fitness to meet the demands of the environment.

Over the couple of weeks I am going to provide you with a number of conditioning methods, along with what they are designed to do to the body. The methods here cover the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.

The first method, and most important method for health and longevity in my opinion is ‘Cardiac output’.

Cardiac output

Cardiac output is the foundation of aerobic fitness that allows you to develop the cardiovascular capacities needed for a high level of conditioning.

A key component of all conditioning methods is teaching the concept of “dynamic energy control” or how to manage pacing. The key to the cardiac output method is to keep the heart rate between 130 - 150bpm.

You should be able to maintain a conversation at this pace.

When you perform this method in a seated position, your heart rate is about 10bpm lower than if you were standing. This shifts the heart rate range to 120 - 140bpm. This is a range that should be sustainable for long periods of time yet challenging enough to stimulate improvements in aerobic fitness.

Specifically, the goal of the cardiac output method is to increase the size of the left ventricle. This method will also help develop the vascular system and improve the endurance of the slow twitch muscle fibres.

To make this method more interesting, use a variety of low intensity, low resistance exercises within the same session (5 mins of jogging, 5 mins on bike etc..). You typically need to do the cardiac output method for at least 30 min to stimulate adaption. This method is a good opportunity for beginners to practise dynamic energy control or pacing.


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