The Truth About Conditioning

A while back I had a four part series discussing conditioning. How we've kind of got it wrong. I discussed the importance of understanding our 3 primary energy systems, and even the fact that the aerobic system is far more important then many realize. It was a good series and if you missed it you can check it out below.

Conditioning is Confusing

Fatigue

Cardiac Capacity

Wrapping it All Up     

However, I realize that I missed the mark. You see I didn't fully clear up all the confusion. I'm not saying I was wrong in what I said during the series. In fact I think the advice I gave is very helpful. What I'm saying is that we've all believed a lie when it comes to conditioning.

Don't get me wrong I've believed it too. And it wasn't until recently that it dawned on me, the truth about conditioning.

You see, for must of us when we hear conditioning we think of hill sprints, long distance running, shuttles, etc. Pretty much anything that gets the heart rate going. 

Well, those are parts of conditioning. But let's not forget the energy systems.

In the above "conditioning" scenario we're training two of the three energy systems. But true conditioning encompasses the oxidative (long distance running), glycolytic (hill sprints) and phosphagen (lifting weights). Also known as aerobic, anaerobic-lactic, and anaerobic-alactic.

So what is conditioning exactly? I hope you've already started to see where I'm going with this, but just to clear the air here's a definition from my good ol' pal Webster.

"bring (something) into the desired state for use" 

 So if we take the proper approach of conditioning, it's truly a time of preparation. To neglect any part of it is not true conditioning.

Conditioning our adult clients, is getting them prepared for life. This includes; all three energy systems, getting stronger, moving better, etc.

Conditioning our athletes is getting them prepared for competition. This includes the same things that we would do with our adult clients.

It really all comes down to semantics. Somewhere along the lines we got a little mixed up and thought that conditioning and aerobics were one in the same. But if we're truly preparing ourselves for whatever it may be, then what we do in preparation is truly what conditioning is.

For more information on conditioning Elite Trainer Joel Jamieson has a complete and free blog post detailing his 8 principles. It's definitely worth checking out. - The Ultimate Conditioning Guide - 

- Dave

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