Friday, October 24, 2008

Workout Intensity Levels??

There has been a lot of discussion about WORKOUT INTENSITY.  Much of this chatter has arisen from the programming found in the Prison Workout (PWO). First, review these posts about heart rates.  Those two posts on heart rates explain a lot about the prinicples you'll find in the PWO.

The programming of the Prison Workout falls into a category called "metabolic conditioning."  The benefit of MetCon is that it blends the advantages of resistance training for muscles with aerobic and anaerobic interval training for the cardio-respiratory systems.  Lastly, I have included explosive plyometric exercises to increase participants' power levels.  What is generally missing in the PWO is exercises that address overall muscular strength...which can really only be gained through heavier resistance such as added weight.  However, for some beginner participants, these bodyweight exercises offer enough resistance to produce gains in overal muscular strength (ex: pullups).

My education and knowledge about MetCon and other fitness topics has come from reading, discussing, and experimenting with my own and my friends' fitness programs.  There is no single best way to lump together exercises to maximize results.  This is a farce.  Each of us has certain strengths and weaknesses.  If I were to take a handful of PWO participants, I'd probably find those who have strengths and weaknesses in:
  • Explosive power (ex: jumping and burpees)
  • Anaerobics (shorter sprinting ability)
  • Endurance (how long can one last)
  • Strength (how much weight can one lift for one repetition)
  • Flexibility (range of motion; ex: Supermans)
  • Stamina (ex: number of pushups one can do)
  • Coodination (ex: turkish getups)
Because of the wide spectrum of fitness abilities, I expect differences in performances.  For those with less coordination, I'd expect difficulties with the Air GetUps.  For those with great flexibility, one might fair better with Supermans and Air Squats.   

As we approach Week 3 of the PWO, drop me an email with your own personal likes and dislikes of the programming. I'm open for any suggestions...and you might even get your own workout in Week 4   ;)

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