Friday, March 23, 2007

How do I train it all?

You don't - At least not the way you think.

Speed, power, agility, strength, flexibility, endurance - are some of the qualities we want to train.

We all know the body part splits and "areas" of the body we would like to train and add to this our list of "favorite" exercises - pull-ups, dips, bench, dead-lift, squat etc...

How to fit it all in? Like I said above - You don't.

Let me be clear here - Conjugate training (as it is defined in the US) is all about training multiple "qualities" at the same time. However, you adjust your volume for each quality you are training. Take for example a volume squat routine like the Smolov - enough volume to nearly kill most who undertake it (kidding - but not by much) - during this routine don't even think about continuing to train your dead-lift. Don't bother - accept the fact that the Smolov for your squat is a peaking routine designed to be used alone. Your dead-lift will be just fine when you return to it.

If you choice of strength endurance training is Kettlebell snatches - this will also take care of a good bit of your power and explosive training. A single drill can start to training multiple qualities. Just accept that it is true.

Simplify your training and choose 2-3 areas to focus on. Be direct with your programming choices and accept that is you want absolute strength you will be doing very little endurance work...etc....

To make it very simple:
Upper body Push/Pull
Lower body Push/Pull
Explosive exercise
Sports practice
That's it - one exercise for each area then go hit your sport or goal activity - Occasionally have a variety day to mix in some fun.

Don't complicate life more than is already handed to you.


Tommy Shook said...

Brett, so very true. I have made the best gains when I have narrowed my focus in a particular area and trained it adequately to make measurable progress. It can be difficult at times to accept that in order to move forward in one or two areas it is required to put other attributes on the back burner so to speak.

Good post.

Franz Snideman said...

My thoughts exactly. I think there is true genious in the truth that training one movement/quality can build a base for other motor qualities without even training those other motor qualities (at least not directly.)

Great post Brett!

Mark Reifkind said...


you know me, mr minimalist; but I still think one needs to 'keep in touch' with all the other qualities needed to support the main ones. Just with lessened volume. If one totally stops doing all the other support modalities entirely you can lose a lot of the base structure needed to support the main goal.
a little bit goes a long way.good post.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks guys - maybe it is my lack of "brain" power that leads me towards the simplistic approach ;)
Hard to say! Carryover is real and/but I agree with Rif - don't expect to master it all without rotating it into the plan every now and then. The fun continues...

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