A couple of questions for anybody who can help me

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A couple of questions for anybody who can help me

Postby Nightshade » Jan 16, 2004 17:23

Sorry this seems to be in the wrong forum, but this is the most active and I have seen other posts like this in here. This is mostly addressed to Mr. Kurz, but I welcome input from anybody. Oh, and to the moderators, if I am in the wrong spot let me know where this should be posted.

This is a copy of a letter I sent to Mr. Kurz, hopefully I can get my questions answered here.

I am in terrible shape. With much grunting and groaning, I can push out about 15 pushups (20 on a really good day), maybe 50 Hindu Squats, 30 back extensions, and 30 crunches. I would be surprised if I could make it jogging 3 miles, and my flexibility is little more than that of a solid block of iron. All of this comes from testing myself recently, as I'm determined to get into shape. My specific goal is to be strong enough to engage in a martial arts school one year from now, early 2005 (I will be moving soon, so it doesn't make sense to get involved before then). By strong enough I mean able to deadlift my bodyweight on a bar and squat my bodyweight on a bar. I dont' know if these are realistic goals, and would appreciate any criticism you have. However, that's just background. Here are my questions for you:

- Since I am in such bad shape, and will not be engaging in a specific sport for about a year (possibly more), my macrocycle is one of general preparation. What I'm not sure of is how to structure a workout around general preparation. Running is easy, I start with the various ways of walking and flexing my arms/hands/wrists to warm up my joints, run lightly in various forms (backward, forward, sidestepping, high stepping, high kicking), do dynamic stretches (leg raises, arm swings), run lightly for a lap or two, then move into my running for the next few miles, followed by a cool down - running lightly, walking, static active stretches to improve flexibility and balance, static passive stretches to improve static flexibility. However, what about general conditioning workouts like just doing Pushups, Squats, Back Extensions, and Crunches as the main part of the workout? How do I warm up for that beyond some light cardio work, or do I need to do more than that? How do I cool down? And should my main workout consist of more than just various sets of these exercises? (Pyramids, normal sets, training sets, etc).

- Many other experts strongly suggest working out the same system on subsequent days. For example, the common running 30/30 plan suggests running every day, the Armstrong Pullup plan emphasizes working out on pullups EVERY day, doing pushups every day, etc etc. I know you mention that one should work out the neuromuscular system and the vegetative system alternately, but with regard to my developement should I be working out the same system every day? If I work out the vegetative system with a heavy load one day, followed by a light strength-endurance workout the same day; a light load on the vegetative the next followed by a moderate load on strength endurance the same day; a moderate load on the vegetative and a heavy load on strength endurance; a moderate load on the vegetative and a light load on strength-endurance; a heavy load on the vegetative and a moderate load on strength endurance; and a moderate load on both followed by a day of complete or active rest, can I get away with it? More importantly, is it a healthy and rational way to work myself out?

- When working out for six days out of the week, should the seventh day be complete rest (with some passive relaxed stretching thrown in to facilitate recovery), or active rest?


Thanks for any help you folks can provide, and thanks for the forums as well.

-Shawn
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A couple of questions for anybody who can help me

Postby Thomas Kurz » Jan 20, 2004 09:55

Your approach is right--first get fit so sport-specific practice won't tear you down.

What about about general conditioning workouts with Pushups, Squats, Back Extensions, and Crunches? Do such workouts on the days between your running days. Observe yourself and adjust your training load (distance, pace, reps, resistance) to your fatigue. If needed skip a workout. Go by the signs and the adjustments given in chapter Control of the Training Process in “Science of Sports Training” ( http://www.stretching.info/science.html ).

How about working out the same system on subsequent days? With those plans you have to look at the whole picture--what is the total training load and how it relates to the assumed fitness of the performer. Up to a certain magnitude of effort (relative to one's fitness) one can do the same exercises every day. Think about menial laborers who do nearly the same physical drudgery every working day.

Should one day per week be a day of complete rest? As a rule--yes. Exceptions are made by elite athletes during periods of intensive training and then not for very long.

The essence of controlling sports training so to reach one's best and to avoid overtraining is to ADJUST the training to MATCH one's response to it. Principles, such as not putting high stress on the same body systems in consecutive workouts, were arrived at by observing thousands of elite athletes. The same goes for training schedules that are in “Science of Sports Training” to illustrate how coaches read athletes behavior and body signs and how then they adjusted training schedules and with what effect.

Your schedule might work for you but I think that you will have to drop some workouts and have only one or no workouts on some days. Use the info from the chapter Control of the Training Process in “Science of Sports Training” to figure out when to work out more or less or different.
Thomas Kurz
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Postby Nightshade » Jan 20, 2004 12:11

Thank you very much for your help.

-Shawn
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Re: A couple of questions for anybody who can help me

Postby Patrick Smith » Jan 26, 2010 19:19

Thomas Kurz wrote:Should one day per week be a day of complete rest? As a rule--yes. Exceptions are made by elite athletes during periods of intensive training and then not for very long.


Does having a day of "complete rest" mean you don't even do stretching on that day?

I know it's 6 years after the last post but someone might see it and answer... :wink:
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Re: A couple of questions for anybody who can help me

Postby Thomas Kurz » Jan 26, 2010 19:32

Patrick Smith wrote:Does having a day of "complete rest" mean you don't even do stretching on that day?


Yes, but don't make it a religion.

Seems like you are either compulsive about stretching or don't believe in the effectiveness of rational training (including flexibility development). Both are the signs of not training right.
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Re: A couple of questions for anybody who can help me

Postby Patrick Smith » Jan 27, 2010 08:58

Thomas Kurz wrote:
Patrick Smith wrote:Does having a day of "complete rest" mean you don't even do stretching on that day?


Yes, but don't make it a religion.

Seems like you are either compulsive about stretching or don't believe in the effectiveness of rational training (including flexibility development). Both are the signs of not training right.


That's very interesting. I will begin taking Sunday off and see what happens.

Thanks, Mr. Kurz.

PS
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