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Old 10-20-2009, 12:34 PM   #1
Neal Winkler
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 326
Default Progressing the unmeasurable

I made a similar post about this over at Ido's forum. So, I wanted to hear what everyone here thought about this subject.

The subject is the progression of attributes and evaluation of training programs in sports where the variables (other than win/loss) are not measurable.

For example, in sports like running, cycling, cross country skiing, shot put, ect. the outcome is measurable. If I want to know if I am getting better at running 10k's (endurance is improving), then all I have to do is compare two different times. Since time and distance are objectively measurable variables, I can get objective feedback as to my improvement and the efficacy of my training program. Or, if I want to know if my strength training program is making me faster at sprinting, again, just compare times.

In sports like BJJ, wrestling, or MMA, you want to improve your endurance and strength as well. You can look at measures such as VO2max, weighted pull-up, run times, lactate, ect. but there are no measures to correlate back to the sports themselves. That means there is no objective way to determine the impact that your training program is having on sport performance.

For example, Crossfit is big in these sports for improving endurance. I can objectively measure my improvement in crossfit, but I cannot objectively measure my endurance in BJJ or MMA. Improvements in endurance in these sports can only be describes subjectively - "I feel like I lasting longer, " I don't seem to be getting as tired."

Now, obviously you can get a good sense of your improvement between your first day and one year later, but as you improve, improvements become increasingly smaller. As improvements become smaller, I would imagine that our subjective perceptions of this improvement will become increasingly less reliable (has there been research on this?).

So, how would you go about determining the improvement of ones endurance in sports like these, and the effect of a training program on endurance?

It seems like all we can do is do the best that we can and hope that our subjective perceptions are giving us reliable enough feedback to make changes that are necessary.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
Donald Lee
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 646
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal Winkler View Post
I made a similar post about this over at Ido's forum. So, I wanted to hear what everyone here thought about this subject.

The subject is the progression of attributes and evaluation of training programs in sports where the variables (other than win/loss) are not measurable.

For example, in sports like running, cycling, cross country skiing, shot put, ect. the outcome is measurable. If I want to know if I am getting better at running 10k's (endurance is improving), then all I have to do is compare two different times. Since time and distance are objectively measurable variables, I can get objective feedback as to my improvement and the efficacy of my training program. Or, if I want to know if my strength training program is making me faster at sprinting, again, just compare times.

In sports like BJJ, wrestling, or MMA, you want to improve your endurance and strength as well. You can look at measures such as VO2max, weighted pull-up, run times, lactate, ect. but there are no measures to correlate back to the sports themselves. That means there is no objective way to determine the impact that your training program is having on sport performance.

For example, Crossfit is big in these sports for improving endurance. I can objectively measure my improvement in crossfit, but I cannot objectively measure my endurance in BJJ or MMA. Improvements in endurance in these sports can only be describes subjectively - "I feel like I lasting longer, " I don't seem to be getting as tired."

Now, obviously you can get a good sense of your improvement between your first day and one year later, but as you improve, improvements become increasingly smaller. As improvements become smaller, I would imagine that our subjective perceptions of this improvement will become increasingly less reliable (has there been research on this?).

So, how would you go about determining the improvement of ones endurance in sports like these, and the effect of a training program on endurance?

It seems like all we can do is do the best that we can and hope that our subjective perceptions are giving us reliable enough feedback to make changes that are necessary.
One thing you can do is monitor heart rate with a heart rate monitor while you are sparring or grappling. You should know, however, that your S&C needs to become more and more fight specific as your near a competition or bout. By 12 weeks out, ideally, you'd start incorporating some fight specific training means. By 8 weeks out, the S&C would be mostly fight specific. Technique and efficiency play a large role in energy utilization. Think Fedor and how effortless he looks while fighting. You can also think about how crucial a role efficiency is in running.

With regards to monitoring heart rate, you can monitor how much your heart rate drops in 1 minute between rounds in training. Your heart rate should ideally drop to about 130 or so between rounds.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,091
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In all sports, there's a couple things:

1. Strength and conditioning is applied to make the athlete stronger and able to endure.
2. Sport specific training must be used to make sure that the athlete is progressing well within their sport.

The problem is, as you examined, that in some cases it's hard to see what "improvements" are helping where. The only thing I can really tell you is that improvements need to (1) either be handled by a competent trainer who knows the demands of the sport, or (2) learned through trial and error.

As you may know, improvements in S&C numbers will generally show improvement in sports ability GIVEN that it can be applied in the competition arena. This is the fundamental nature of S&C coupled with sports specific training. These two must be programmed well with each other. For sports where S&C improvements cannot objectively be seen as much as something like powerlifting or even running, you need to be more wary of what your specific strengths and weaknesses are and how you can address them with your S&C or sports specific training.

I hope that answered your question.
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