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Starting a Conditioning Program... Advice Needed

Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:52 pm
by synergy317
Okay I come needing more assistance! I am going to be lifting 3X a week full body and that seems to be set fine. BUT, I really want to substantially increase my Areobic and maybe Anerobic conditioning. In fact, it is main goal. My secondary goal is to maintain/improve strength.

With that being said, I really do not know much about doing this. I mean would it be helpful to cut calories and lose fat at the same time? Does calorie intake have an effect on endurance progress? Also, should increases in intensity/time/distance be increased each workout or weekly?

Any tips even unrelated to my questions would be greatly appreciated.

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:14 am
by hoosegow
Your asking two different questions, I think. You can improve your conditioning without losing weight or strength. All you have to do is run, bike, swim, play basketball, push a Prowler, whatever to get your heartbeat up. So if all you want to do is improve your anaerobic/arobic conditioning, just get up and move. Don't sweat the other stuff.

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 pm
by Immortal
ok this is possible, as with anything but itll take a great deal of focusm what you gotta do is set up 5 days of working out with 1 day of active recovery and 1 day of complete rest

Also one of the best ways to improve muscle conditioning is not by running long distance, running a lot will defiently get ur full aerobics up but it will not really help ur muscles get more powerful and more conditioned while getting stronger.. what you gotta do is run 1 mile trying to keep it under 8 minutes, then stop for 1 minute, and then do a full lap sprint, while resting for 1 minute and 30 second at the end, then repeat this for 4 times while increasing rest by 10 seconds each time, after u are done with the full lap sprints, do 2 half lap sprints with 1 minute and 10 second rest, and finally do 4 100 meter sprints.. but make ur cool down 2 whole nice comfortable pace jobs to get ur body to relax ..

so in total ur workout should be like

<8 minute mile
rest 1 minute
4 full lap sprints (1 minute and 30 sec rest after each one and add 10 seconds of rest each time)
2 half lap sprints (1 min 10 second rest in between)
4 100 meter sprints (1 minute rest

Idk if thats a bit much, if its too hard, decrease the reps but do not decrease rest time :)

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:03 am
by frogbyte
The above is roughly the Tabata protocol.

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:38 am
by stuward
frogbyte wrote:The above is roughly the Tabata protocol.
Very roughly, but only in that it's an interval protocol.

Tabata is very specifically 20 seconds work to 10 seconds rest repeated 8 times.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:03 am
by synergy317
For example, if I do 1 mile at 6.0 mph one day, should the progression increase distance or speed? Or does it even matter?

Will intervals really get me the endurance gains I want? I hear that the effectiveness of intervals are often blown out of proportion.

My goal is eventually get to run 3-4 miles at 8.5-9mph.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:16 am
by stuward
That's a big change and you need to work on both speed and endurance. Speed is harder to train and the carry over to endurance is better than the other way around so you primary focus should be on speed. Start with 1/4 mile at the upper end of your target speed, say 9MPH. Take a measured break, say 60 seconds, and repeat about 4 times at first and gradually increase the reps until you can do 16 reps at target speed and your 60 sec break. Then start decreasing your breaks between laps. You can also progress by increasing the length of your work stages. Eventually you will be able to do the whole 4 miles at close to your target pace. You probably should do this about 2-3 times per week and add a long slow run once a week. As you get closer to your event ( I assume you want to compete), practice runing at about 3/4 of your race length at a higher speed than normal. At race time you should set a pesonal best.

The actual length of the intervals and rest times are not that important. What's important is that you get used to running at your target pace and that your training is progressive in intensity.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:25 am
by synergy317
Thanks! that changes a lot of how I planned to prepare.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:39 am
by stuward
When do you compete? My son is in grade 12 this year and he has track in the fall and spring.

Edit: I just did the arithmetic. 9MPH means that your 1/4 mile stages should be done in 100 sec/lap.

If your race is cross country, or even a road race, you should include hill work once a week or so.

Here's another way to do it. The focus is more on the distance with some speed work.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:27 am
by synergy317
I am not competing in a race, but I MAY be trying for Green Berets or Fighter Pilot Qualifications. Since, it is insanly competetive I am going to get into the best shape I can. And, I think I should begin preperation now.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:37 am
by stuward
OK, in that case, build up your volume of running as well. You need to be able to run fast repeatedly. One way to do that is a long slow run each morning (say 30-45 minutes) and a more intense run in the afternoon. (Maybe alternate intervals or hills with weight training). Try to work up to about 20-30 miles per week including a long run of about 1 to 1 1/2 hours once a week. Along with overall strength, make sure you build up your upper body endurance, push ups and chin ups specifically. Do them daily, building up gradually. Size is not so important and may actually be a hindrance so don't worry if you're not getting bigger. You should be getting stronger though. Slow down the pace if you're not.

The difference in this approach is that you're conditioning yourself to tolerate the volume of training that you will be expected to do. It's something that's not needed if you simply want to run a medium distance at a reasonable pace.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:13 am
by synergy317
Thanks a lot for the advice, chin-ups? I thought pull-ups would be preferred.

And DAMN that is a lot of running... it will take a while

Yeah, one of the hardest parts of deciding to train this way is knowing I shouldn't/won't get any bigger.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:27 am
by stuward
Pull ups are good for strength training, and it's good to include it in that part of your program, but it's dead hang chin ups that you will need to be able to do so include those in your daily conditioning program. I do 5-10 each day as part of my warmup. Push ups are the same, although I do 10-20 each day. I work in a headquarters and I'm not subject to the PT requirements of a combat unit. You'll need a lot more than I do.

I hate running but people in those trades do a lot of it. You need to get used to doing a lot of it.

Work your way up to it. Don't jump right in with that volume. That's your end goal, work up to it progressively.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:38 am
by synergy317
Yeah, the goal is 100 push ups/sit ups in 2 minutes each.

I hate running, but I think I will learn to love it.

Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:03 pm
by ApolytonGP
Check out the couch to 5K program (google it).