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Anton Emery
12-12-2008, 12:55 PM
Hey All,

Recently while surfing sherdog.com i came across the website of Joel Jaimeson, who runs www.8weeksout.com He is a trainer up in Seattle and has worked with a ton of high level MMA fighters.

His articles made me really think about my approach to conditioning, and i wanted to run it by you all. I may be way off base.

As far as conditioning in the past i have just cherry picked from a pool met con workouts i have, stuff from Ross Enamait and Crossfit and inserted them into my conditioning days during the week. I tried to retain a mixture of weighted conditioning and BW stuff, as well as keep in mind muscular endurance and explosive strength. For grappling i need to cover all the bases.

In his article Metabolic Conditioning: One size does not fit all, Joel talks about the equation cardiac supply + muscular metabolism (demand) = energy production. So if i understand that equation correctly you need both a strong heart to supply oxygen to the muscles, and well conditioned muscles to utilize the oxygen. If the cardiac output of the heart is not up to par, the muscles turn to the anaerobic systems, which fatigue quickly. Conversely, you can have a good cardiac output but if the muscles are not conditioning then you can go long but with minimal power. Obviously for MMA/Grappling we want a mix of both.

So if ones cardiac output is poor does that mean we need some extended lower volume sessions to develop an aerobic base? Something like rowing, jogging, or rounds on the heavy bag. Basically something that is more aerobic centric than anaerobic centric. I'm not saying do this all time, but something like once or twice a week. Is it possible to be far towards the anaerobic side of the curve?

Hope that makes sense. I could just not know what i am talking about at all.

I found his website interesting, i would like to come at my conditioning from more of scientific point of view, rather than here are a few hard metcons i have, lets do them.


Anton

Mike Prevost
12-12-2008, 03:23 PM
Anton

Cardiovascular capacity is not a limiter in performance except at the absolute maximum power output in activities like running. It is doubtful that most can reach a work rate that is limited by cardiovascular capacity during other activities unless you are very well trained in those activities. Even well trained triathletes generally cannot max their cardiovascular system on the bike like they can on the run. You can take an elite competitive swimmer and put them on a bicycle and they will havce a hard time keeping up with novice but reasonably trained cyclists. THey have the cardiovascular capacity but lack specific metabolic fitness in their cycling muscles.

Fitness is generally in the muscles, not the heart. The heart does adapt to the demands placed on it, but it is rarely a limiter. You don't slow down because your heart is tired. You slow down because of metabolic fatigue in the muscles. You train the muscles you use in competition across the same time and intensity domains you experience in competition and you will be well prepared.

Steven Low
12-12-2008, 08:16 PM
I would pretty much agree with what Mike said.

Kevin Perry
12-12-2008, 09:51 PM
Anton

Cardiovascular capacity is not a limiter in performance except at the absolute maximum power output in activities like running. It is doubtful that most can reach a work rate that is limited by cardiovascular capacity during other activities unless you are very well trained in those activities. Even well trained triathletes generally cannot max their cardiovascular system on the bike like they can on the run. You can take an elite competitive swimmer and put them on a bicycle and they will havce a hard time keeping up with novice but reasonably trained cyclists. THey have the cardiovascular capacity but lack specific metabolic fitness in their cycling muscles.

Fitness is generally in the muscles, not the heart. The heart does adapt to the demands placed on it, but it is rarely a limiter. You don't slow down because your heart is tired. You slow down because of metabolic fatigue in the muscles. You train the muscles you use in competition across the same time and intensity domains you experience in competition and you will be well prepared.

I like the way you broke this down.

Derek Weaver
12-12-2008, 10:17 PM
Anton

Cardiovascular capacity is not a limiter in performance except at the absolute maximum power output in activities like running. It is doubtful that most can reach a work rate that is limited by cardiovascular capacity during other activities unless you are very well trained in those activities. Even well trained triathletes generally cannot max their cardiovascular system on the bike like they can on the run. You can take an elite competitive swimmer and put them on a bicycle and they will havce a hard time keeping up with novice but reasonably trained cyclists. THey have the cardiovascular capacity but lack specific metabolic fitness in their cycling muscles.

Fitness is generally in the muscles, not the heart. The heart does adapt to the demands placed on it, but it is rarely a limiter. You don't slow down because your heart is tired. You slow down because of metabolic fatigue in the muscles. You train the muscles you use in competition across the same time and intensity domains you experience in competition and you will be well prepared.

Welcome to the board Mike. I guess this more or less fits the "broad time and modal domains" approach then...

Mike Prevost
12-13-2008, 06:28 AM
Welcome to the board Mike. I guess this more or less fits the "broad time and modal domains" approach then...

Yes, definitely. The main point though is that performance fitness is in the muscles, not the heart. Unfortunately the fitness industry has been unduly influenced by the "cardiovascular training mafia." This has lead to ridiculous concepts like cross training, not for GPP, but for specific competition prep. For example, using swimming as a cross training activity to improve run performance. If you want to run better, you run, you don't swim. They both have a cardiovascular impact but swimming does little for run muscles, and fitness is in the muscles.

I am reminded of a post recently on another board where an injured runner inquired about using swimming to maintain his run cardiovascular fitness, so that when he was able to run again, he would have maintained his performance. Not going to work. Swimming does not work those run muscles enough to produce metabolic adaptations in them. However, water running does, mainly because it is recruiting and training a similar set of muscles, so they are metabolically challenged.

Long way of saying yes...it is all about recruiting and metabolically challenging the muscles across a variety of time and intensity domains. The heart will take care of itself.

Mike

John Hansen
12-17-2008, 07:10 PM
Glad you posted that question, Anton.

I've been reading Jamieson's articles, and would like to see what other knowledgable people think. However, I have to ask if the folks that commented have actually read Jamieson's articles, or whether they just commented on Anton's summary?

I don't expect too many on this board to fully endorse his ideas, as they are very different from the CF/CA model. However, he's had some (a lot?) of success with top fighters, is releasing a DVD soon, and appears to be gaining some traction on the interweb, so perhaps a deeper, critical look at his ideas is warranted.

http://www.8weeksout.com/articles.html (WFS) but you have to register to read the articles.

The articles "Explosive MMA Conditioning" and "Secrets of Muscular Endurance" would be the two that best represent his ideas.

Anton Emery
12-19-2008, 08:24 AM
Thanks for the input everyone.

Donald Lee
03-03-2009, 07:58 PM
Bumping an old thread.

http://www.8weeksout.com/articles/31-sac/65-intervals.html

First, before I get into the details of the this method let me make it clear that contrary to popular belief these days, intervals themselves are not the only way to train and there are benefits to old school "road work" type training that you do not get from intervals. Although it's become extremely popular lately to bash longer slow aerobic work as worthless and inefficient, the truth is that this type of training is still absolutely necessary to build the aerobic foundation that interval training should be built on.

What many "experts" these days don't seem to realize is that longer slower aerobic work is the most effective way to increase the size of the heart (specifically the left ventricle) and increase the ability of the body to deliver blood to the working muscles. The intensity of interval training is too high and the volume is too low to achieve these very important training effects so if your resting heart rate is still in the 60s, or even worse in the 70s, you need to be doing longer slower aerobic work before getting spending all your time doing intervals.

I got a resting heart rate of 73 and 66. I'm going to test it again in the morning. I retook my PFT today and got 24:48, which is pretty bad, but markedly better than my 33:35 from 1.5 weeks ago. I'm trying to figure out how to optimize my conditioning in the 2.5 months I have left.

Could anybody explain the effects of different methods on VO2 Max and Anaerobic/Lactic Threshold? They have a table here (http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/aerobic-endurance-training.html) that describes all the different forms of aerobic endurance training: LSD, pace/tempo, interval, repetition, and fartlek. I can't seem to find much info on the net on what I'm looking for.

According to the descriptions, it seems like the Marines pretty much focus their training on pace/tempo most of the time. Basically, push yourself as much as you can on every long distance run. I'm wondering what would be the smartest training approach.

Steven Low
03-03-2009, 09:26 PM
What are you trying to do? Just drop your run times? What's the distance?

Donald Lee
03-03-2009, 09:32 PM
What are you trying to do? Just drop your run times? What's the distance?

I need to get my 3-mile time under 24 min to pass, but I need to get it at least in the mid 21 min range by May 22.

Gant Grimes
03-04-2009, 07:05 AM
Welcome to the board Mike. I guess this more or less fits the "broad time and modal domains" approach then...

No, not unless you're doing GPP. The majority of your sport training should reflect the time, intensity, and activity of your event.

Glad you posted that question, Anton.

I've been reading Jamieson's articles, and would like to see what other knowledgable people think. However, I have to ask if the folks that commented have actually read Jamieson's articles, or whether they just commented on Anton's summary?

I don't expect too many on this board to fully endorse his ideas, as they are very different from the CF/CA model. However, he's had some (a lot?) of success with top fighters, is releasing a DVD soon, and appears to be gaining some traction on the interweb, so perhaps a deeper, critical look at his ideas is warranted.

I like Joel's stuff. I've been reading him for a few months now.

Remember, this is for sport (even though that sport has a lot of crossover with GPP). CrossFit isn't ideal for fighters.

Read Robb Wolff's post yesterday.
http://www.cathletics.com/forum/showpost.php?p=52143&postcount=11

George Mounce
03-04-2009, 05:52 PM
Yes, definitely. The main point though is that performance fitness is in the muscles, not the heart. Unfortunately the fitness industry has been unduly influenced by the "cardiovascular training mafia." This has lead to ridiculous concepts like cross training, not for GPP, but for specific competition prep. For example, using swimming as a cross training activity to improve run performance. If you want to run better, you run, you don't swim. They both have a cardiovascular impact but swimming does little for run muscles, and fitness is in the muscles.

I am reminded of a post recently on another board where an injured runner inquired about using swimming to maintain his run cardiovascular fitness, so that when he was able to run again, he would have maintained his performance. Not going to work. Swimming does not work those run muscles enough to produce metabolic adaptations in them. However, water running does, mainly because it is recruiting and training a similar set of muscles, so they are metabolically challenged.

Long way of saying yes...it is all about recruiting and metabolically challenging the muscles across a variety of time and intensity domains. The heart will take care of itself.

Mike

I wonder though...what about all those people who got a heck of a lot better at running times...and hardly ran? I'm one of them. I didn't run at all and went from a 11:45 1.5 mile and a half to a 9:25...all without running. Heck most of my "engine training" is on a rower...not running. Yet my running steadily improves via rowing.

I think there is more to it then just doing something. I'm not arguing that you get better at running by running, you sure can. But it isn't the only way to skin the cat.

The engine is just as important as the transmission...you need both to get a car going.

Steven Low
03-04-2009, 08:39 PM
I need to get my 3-mile time under 24 min to pass, but I need to get it at least in the mid 21 min range by May 22.
I'd personally do 2-3 days/week of 800m-1200m intervals/repetitions and 1 tempo run day... maybe one light recovery run day.

Donald Lee
03-04-2009, 08:55 PM
I'd personally do 2-3 days/week of 800m-1200m intervals/repetitions and 1 tempo run day... maybe one light recovery run day.

Thanks.

Donald Lee
03-04-2009, 09:03 PM
I've been reading more of Joel's stuff, especially his long Sherdog thread.

His approach is largely influenced by Soviet and East European texts, although he can't read German or Russian. He's also spent a bit of time with Siff.

He seems to train every aspect of conditioning separately: aerobic, anaerobic, muscular endurance, power, power-endurance, etc.

Circuit style weight training will offer some of the benefits of just doing the cardio but the pressure changes involved with lifting weight change the effects to some extent. There is less improvement in terms of pure cardiac output from doing that type of training than just the cardio. Personally my opinion is that you sholud use weight liting to become stronger, more explosive, or improve local muscular endurance and use cardio to improve cardiovascular system development. That's not to say circuit style training isn't useful, but don't try to improve your strength from doing cardio and don't think you're going to get great cardio from lifting weights. Each has it's own purpose, use it as such.

He places a heavy emphasis on the use of a heart-rate monitor. He emphasizes the development of cardiac output through training in the 120-150s HR and the development of aerobic muscular endurance by training 5-10s below your anaerobic threshold.

From purely the cardiac output side, he says we should have a resting HR of mid 40s to low 50s.

Donald Lee
03-04-2009, 09:04 PM
This is one of his first posts on Sherdog:

How you train (heart rates, volume, loading, etc.) determines exactly which type of cardiac adaptation takes place and is one of the most important factors that determines your conditioning levels.

First, it's important to understand that there are many properties of the heart that determine how well it functions and how well it's able to do its job.

The volume of your heart chambers (most importantly the size of the left ventricle), thickness of the cardiac walls, the specific isozymes of myocytes (types of cardiac muscle cells) the sympathetic vs. parasympathetic tone, etc. are all important regulatory factors that determine how much blood your heart is able to deliver.

Obviously the more blood your heart and vascular network is able to supply to your working muscles (cardiac output) the better your conditioning will be - up to the point that cardiac supply is no longer the limiting factor at least.

There are two categories of structural changes, known as concentric and eccentric hypertrophy, that take place in your heart as a result of how you train. Which category of hypertrophy you have plays a large role in your cardiac output and thus how well conditioned you are.

Eccentric hypertrophy is largely the result of high volume, low intensity, and low pressure training that typically takes place in endurance training programs. This kind of hypertrophy results in greater left ventricular volume and increased blood volume per stroke. This means that every time your heart beats itís able to deliver a greater amount of blood and thus your resting and working heart rates are lower.

Concentric hypertrophy primarily takes place under high load, higher intensity, high pressure (high resistance) training like that of Powerlifters, Weightlifters, and Wrestlers. Concentric hypertrophy means the heartís walls are thicker, meaning they are able to contract with greater velocity, but the chamber volumes themselves are often not any larger than average.

This means that although the heart may be stronger, cardiac output is not improved much, if at all, and the heart must work harder to deliver the necessary blood. The end result is your power can be higher, but you will fatigue much faster.

Keep in mind that thicker walls also means they are more resistant to stretching and makes it much more difficult to increase cardiac output.

Fighters who have the characteristics of eccentric hypertrophy will typically have fairly good endurance (although this depends on many other factors as well) but they will lack power, especially at higher intensities. Those with concentric properties will tend to have greater power but lack endurance and will gas much more quickly.

Training to improve your conditioning depends greatly on your specific cardiac system development. Fighters who have low cardiac output are limited by their heartís ability to deliver oxygen and their conditioning methods should be completely different from those who have good cardiac output. Using the wrong training strategies can reduce your conditioning potential by causing too much concentric hypertrophy Ė as well as other negative adaptations.

The average person can get an idea of where their development lies by looking at their resting heart rate and their heart rate response to increasing intensity of activity. In my experience coaching, the optimal resting heart rates for fighters in the UFC (3-5 x 5 min rounds) is in the upper 40s to mid 50s beats per minute. Because of the longer 10 minute round, the well conditioned Pride fighters I worked with typically had lower resting heart rates (mid to upper 40s and low 50s). I also use a series of heart rate conditioning tests that are very informative as well.

Keep in mind this is only one part of the conditioning equation, but it is a very important part and is a good example of why following a generic conditioning program is unlikely to lead to the best results.

How you train leads to very specific changes in the cardiovascular system, the central and peripheral nervous system, within the muscle tissue itself, etc. For some people following high volume low intensity GPP type programs will work miracles, for others they wonít do much at all.

Likewise, sometimes high intensity intervals are absolutely great, and sometimes they are completely the wrong thing to do and will do more harm than good in the long run.

The key is knowing when and how to use the right methods at the right times. Conditioning and training in general is a science, not a guessing game or a crapshoot.


Anybody have thoughts on this? His approach is antithetical to CrossFit's.

Donald Lee
03-04-2009, 09:19 PM
I thought this was interesting as well:

In the short run stimulants like caffeine can improve performance in certain situations, mainly long distance aerobic work, because it helps increase how much fat your body uses for fuel and thus spares glycogen. At the same time, however, it has negative effects for developing cardiac output becaus invariably your heart rate will end up getting too high during training and go well over 150 for most of the time. Chronic overactivation of the sympathetic system will also supress the parasympathetic drive that is vital for proper recovery and performance. In general, people who are chronically on stimulants of any kind will burn out, get injured, or just not perform very consistently.

Yes 120-150 is the general rate range to train in to improve cardiac output so if that's what you need to improve, that's the range you should be working in. There are a lot of different intervals that are used for different purposes, Fartlek is essentially continued running up close to the anaerobic threshold with short anaerobic busts thrown in. Its purpose is to help increase your anaerobic threshold and it can be effective if used properly. In general, you can only really improve aerobic and anaerobic conditioning at the same time if neither are very well developed. Once they reach a higher level it takes more focused training to maximally tax them enough to improve and you can't train them both to this level at the same time.

Anton Emery
03-04-2009, 10:26 PM
Cool stuff. I have alot of his long thread over at Sherdog. Not sure what to think, i need to think about it more. He also has a good article at EliteFTS where he talks about cardiovascular system training.

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/cardio_training_principles2.htm

I am not really sure what to say, except i might do a bit of experimenting on myself. In the past when i stick to short, heavy metcons in the 3-5 minute range i function well in that time domain, but if i am in a grappling match and it goes longer i start to gas just like everyone else. Perhaps i am running to much in the glycotic domain in my metcons and not doing enough aerobic work?

Just some thoughts.


Anton

Brian Stone
03-06-2009, 08:51 AM
I have only read the highlighted portions in this thread, not all the original source material. In general, though, I'm not terribly surprised at his conclusions.

A lot of the takeaway seems to be that aerobic training improves endurance at the cost of strength and anaerobic training improves strength at the cost of endurance. No real surprise there, generally speaking.

The main thrust of what may be antithetical to the CrossFit model is the idea that metcons/HIIT don't do much to improve overall aerobic conditioning. In fact, that's antithetical to a lot more than just CF.

Regardless, I'd be interested to see one of Coach Glassman's Power v. Time curves done out for athletes training in both styles and see where it takes. This is difficult as the model presented herein is not a one-size-fits-all system but rather based on the athletes' strengths and weaknesses. Be that as it may, the only real major difference I see between the two is the use of Aerobic vs. Intervals to improve overall long-term conditioning and what is more optimal in a cost/benefit sense.

Would be very interesting to see actual data from each system.

Brian Stone
03-06-2009, 08:58 AM
As another note on this: Does anyone know what kinds of resting heart rates are commonly seen in advanced Crossfitters? This may vary greatly, but I'd be interested to know if a heavy interval workout would produce a low resting HR. That would seem to call the hypothesis presented herein into question.

Anton Emery
03-06-2009, 03:18 PM
Yea, that would be interesting to see. Maybe i will ask Scott Hagnas here at CF Portland what his RHR is. He has some damn good scores on alot of the CF workouts.


Anton

Donald Lee
03-06-2009, 04:58 PM
Yea, that would be interesting to see. Maybe i will ask Scott Hagnas here at CF Portland what his RHR is. He has some damn good scores on alot of the CF workouts.


Anton

Mine was pretty high, 58-60s, but I haven't done CF in a while.

I'm gonna do some LSD in the 120-150s zone and see what happens.

George Mounce
03-06-2009, 06:51 PM
As another note on this: Does anyone know what kinds of resting heart rates are commonly seen in advanced Crossfitters? This may vary greatly, but I'd be interested to know if a heavy interval workout would produce a low resting HR. That would seem to call the hypothesis presented herein into question.

Straight CrossFit for 1 1/2 years: 48-52

Not CrossFit before..., not CrossFit now: 48-52

My times weren't the best in everything but I did have a pretty awesome Michael time as that was my favorite workout - and it involves a lot of things done at bodyweight, instead of the move a heavy weight around. Ask Gant what his is, he does heavier short timed metcons.

I can also zazen my way to about a 32 bpm heart rate if I so desire - freaks out techs for my annual physical.

Donald Lee
03-06-2009, 10:29 PM
Straight CrossFit for 1 1/2 years: 48-52

Not CrossFit before..., not CrossFit now: 48-52

My times weren't the best in everything but I did have a pretty awesome Michael time as that was my favorite workout - and it involves a lot of things done at bodyweight, instead of the move a heavy weight around. Ask Gant what his is, he does heavier short timed metcons.

I can also zazen my way to about a 32 bpm heart rate if I so desire - freaks out techs for my annual physical.

48-52 is really good. Joel, the 8weeksout guy, recommends about 45-low 50s for MMA guys.

Brian Stone
03-07-2009, 06:21 AM
48-52 is really good. Joel, the 8weeksout guy, recommends about 45-low 50s for MMA guys.

Right. That's actually where I'm coming from in my comparison.


Straight CrossFit for 1 1/2 years: 48-52

Not CrossFit before..., not CrossFit now: 48-52


Did your Non CrossFit activity have a bias (assuming you had a workout program)? Did you favor one or the other of MetCons or LSD efforts? As Donald noted, that is the range where Joel suggests fighters can live, but he also suggests that most need to do aerobics to get there.

His notes on heart development are intriguing and make a good case.

George Mounce
03-07-2009, 03:39 PM
Right. That's actually where I'm coming from in my comparison.



Did your Non CrossFit activity have a bias (assuming you had a workout program)? Did you favor one or the other of MetCons or LSD efforts? As Donald noted, that is the range where Joel suggests fighters can live, but he also suggests that most need to do aerobics to get there.

His notes on heart development are intriguing and make a good case.

Before CF, I favored either running or playing hockey a lot. I didn't know what the word metcon was before I found CF.

Now - I do HIIT twice a week, and a slow run or major yard work on Saturdays.

Brian Stone
03-08-2009, 06:39 PM
I was thinking about this today and had another thought:

Does anyone know if there is a relationship between lean body mass and resting HR? It seems logical to me that, with muscle actively consuming oxygen even when not actively being utilized, a higher demand on blood oxygen would inherently be present in individuals with larger muscle mass. I considered that this effect could possibly be negligible except in the most extreme cases, but those very cases lead me to suspect that there is a consequential effect to even smaller amounts of muscle mass on resting HR.

I googled this and didn't immediately find anything of use. Any have any thoughts or, better, articles that discuss this? I'd be interested as it would definitely be a consideration when setting a personal target HR.

Steven Low
03-08-2009, 07:20 PM
Hmm, interesting observation Brian. Maybe...

My RHR is ~70/min... I've always been pretty high. I am pretty "out of shape" in terms of metabolic endurance and HIIT b/c of the knee though so that's obviously a contributing factor. Once I start up some HIIT again it should be interesting to see if it drops at all. I am probably around like 5% BF or something though so it's certainly possible that it could have an effect from what you observed. Shrug.