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Old 08-16-2013, 08:51 AM   #6
Patrick Haskell
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 44

One thing I would add is that, as much as it helps having specific short-term goals, it is also important to have specific long-term goals. For example, you want to improve conditioning, but how and to what end:

Are you trying to improve conditioning to run a competitive 5K, play beach volleyball, play pick-up soccer or ultimate, go for long backpacking trips in the mountains, or not embarrass yourself at a CrossFit throwdown. These all fall under "improved conditioning" but are very different goals.

The same goes for increasing strength. How do you want to apply this strength and in what ways do you feel relatively weak? This can be highly focused wrt deficits in your olympic lifting, can be general for movement patterns you want to improve (e.g., overhead strength, pulling/hinging, squatting, jumping). You may have multiple goals in this regard, but it's good to prioritize them, whether or not you choose to be as specialized as Tamara.

In terms of whether you can pursue multiple goals at once, the answer is yes in the long-term and maybe/sort-of in the short-term. If your long-term goals involve strength, conditioning, and let's call it body composition, those are your goals. It's the job of the programming to fit the goals - with the admittedly significant caveat that the metrics you put on these and the way you approach them in the short-to-intermediate time frame need to be realistic.

Strength takes the longest time to develop and has the most carry-over, so it is logical to start there. However, if your conditioning absolutely sucks and your application is being able to play soccer mid-field for 90 minutes for your company's rec team at some point next year, you probably want to do some base-level conditioning involving running. When you are focusing on strength, this can be mostly light aerobic work, but putting in a little mileage - even a few miles a week where most of it is part of your daily warmup - can provide the strength base for later training to run for an extended period of time. If your conditioning goals are more broad, you might get in your light conditioning with some KB swings, carries, bear crawls, complexes of assistance work, or short metcons, but don't let these eat into your recovery for strength work at least until you begin to prioritize the conditioning work. The olympic lifter may not need much conditioning, but some low-level aerobic work has carry-over to most activities. As for body composition, if you're good making it a lower priority for now, start with food choice and commitment to your program and see whether you need to do much more that that. As the next beach season approaches and your priorities change, you can get stricter with your diet and do more curls, if you want.
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