TB12 101: Strength and Conditioning Training
In recent years, extreme strength and conditioning programs (ECPs) have grown in popularity. From high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to cross-training, these programs find themselves on every “Top Fitness Trends” article, but often, where these specialty gyms and programs fall short is in their functionality.
Extreme strength and conditioning programs are a great way to get in shape, increase muscle definition, and lose weight, but some involve a disproportionate risk of injury stemming from a focus on high-load strength training and high-intensity cardio work while lacking an emphasis on a balanced lifestyle.
At TB12, we train functionally to improve our ability to perform acts of daily life. If you are a HIITer or cross-trainer, you could greatly benefit from adopting some of our beliefs into your current training regime.
If you are doing high-intensity, high-load workouts, you are quickly wearing down your muscles, causing soreness and stiffness, while making your body more susceptible to injury. To help prevent this, start incorporating pliability work into your routine. Pliability work using a vibrating foam roller will help your muscles absorb and disperse the forces you’re putting your body through, maximizing your performance and lowering your risk of injury.
NOURISH THE RIGHT WAY
If you strength train, it’s likely you eat a lot of protein, but it’s important to remember not to rely solely on meat and dairy for your daily protein consumption. Focus, instead, on eating fresh fruits and vegetables with occasional hormone-free, antibiotic-free lean meats. There are plenty of non-animal based protein sources — like protein powder, tree nuts, seeds, and pulses — to keep you strong and building muscle.
Ultimately, nutrition is all about balance and moderation. Just like working out, some things will help your body more than others, because everyone’s body is unique. So find what balance fuels your body the best.
WEIGHTS AND BANDS
Also, consider incorporating resistance bands into your training. Band workouts don’t have to replace your weight training — they should complement your weight training. A balance of weights and bands will help you build strength, while also training functionally. Functional fitness also improves your ability to perform day-to-day activities rather than just improving your ability to do specific gym exercises. Bands also allow you to turn anywhere into your gym — so if you’re on the road, you can maintain your strength.
Just by starting to implement some of these training tips, you can bring balance your workouts while staying strong — so you won’t just be fit, you’ll be functionally fit.