During this post I will be outlining Tips for Instructing or Conditioning Combatives. I have used these with any fighter involved with Reality Based Combat. I have also adapted them to MMA needs where they are applicable. They are outlined here in no particular order however they are some of the most useful tools I have applied for instilling the Techniques, Skills and Attitudes for Combat Effectiveness. These are by no means all the methods I use,and some may seem obvious like suggesting Impact Training, but there are still many who don't use even these methods to their fullest potential. These are just simple areas of Focus you can employ to begin improving your Combative Application.

1.Room of Pain

 Also known as the "Leadership Room" or "The House of Pain" this is a concept I adapted from the US Marines. For this i do exactly as they do, no need to change a formula that works right? This is perfect for your Combatives Training and Conditioning. Full Contact Techniques and grappling movements are used during these training sessions and each session will also contain "Conditioning Stations". This video illustrates the concept perfectly Leadership Room.

2.The Shark Tank

This is a drill for Conditioning and Technique. The aim is to train for a Duration longer than any real fight may last in order to Condition Mentality for keeping the fight going. This has also been called the "Gauntlet" by some instructors. This involves multiple stations set up in a Circuit fashion with a different item of equipment on each station. There are many ways you can run this drill for example having a set time at each station or by having a set number of repetitions of each Technique/Combination for each Combatant you have participating. This adds an interesting twist as the Combat situations within each can become Competitive. It also adds to Conditioning challenge to switch between Upper and Lower Body Techniques.An example of this Combatives Drill is outlined below is set up below:

Station 1: Strait Palm
Station 2:Knee Strikes
Station 3:Hooks
Station 4:Roundhouse Kicks
Station 5:Escaping the Clinch 

3.Shuttle Drills For Range Transition

If you want to dominate a Combative situation you need to effectively transfer between Ranges in order to close an Opponent. The aim of employing these types of Drills is for each Combatant to run the Shuttle and launch a Combination to close down the Range. One of the best principles you can employ in any fight is to close the distance to most effective and lethal weapons quickly with maximum aggression. Range Transition Drills aim to teach this concept until it becomes a a mentality. One of the favorite principles I apply is to close the distance and employ Knees, Elbows and Head as quickly as possible. This is done for the Psychological impact as up close aggression has its own impact on the Defender and for Maximum Damage. 

4. FMA Flow Drills

I employ these for simple repetition of Technical Movements. Repetition is needed because there needs to be ingrained sets of Movements and Techniques that transition over to Combat situations without thought of the user. They also need to be adaptable to most Common fight situations.I have found Entry Drills such as this one to be very useful as many fighters across many disciplines cross train in Boxing.  These Drills are also used for Practicing Knife Techniques. Combatives Skill needs repetition just as much as any other one, don't neglect repetition of the Basic Movements. As a fan of FMA I would encourage you to find ways to adapt these for your own needs as they can also be trained Solo to maintain some form Technical Skill before Transitioning back to Partner Training.

5.Impact Training

An old instructor of mine used to say in order to hit right you have to hit something because if you don't train by hitting something you wont follow through the Technique. Impact is what he believed was one of the cores of Realistic Training and I always give my Students as much training as possible where they can see as much as possible the real effectiveness of the Techniques they've been learning. One of the Greatest trainers of all time Cus D'amato would have his fighters train on progressively heavier bags to increase Punching Power. This is the case with any form of Combatives Training. Try to use as many different tools for improving your impact Speed and Power as you can. Some bags for example are filled with wool and are particularly Energy sapping to hit. Others like Water bags can also have the same effect. This may be an obvious method of training to talk about, but there are many "masters" who could do with a lot more of this in their programs.

6.Clinch Training

Any person familiar with the Basic components of Combative Principles will be familiar with those of Fighting Distance. We discussed training for closing Ranges in an earlier point, but this time I want to touch on the Specifics of Clinching and what that can do for you. The first reason is Control and Comfort. Intense and Repeated training at this Range of fighting requires several key components to be performed under pressure in order to be successful. Arm Control, Balance, and Body Positioning are all major components that Clinch Training will force you to master.One way I have clients train this when fatigued becuase quite simply your fight may come when you're exhausted Physically. The only way to prepare to Fight when in this state is to Fight with Fatigue to force yourself to have the ability, and experience to be able to Survive at Close Quarters. Another Major element is control of the Fight to prevent or control its decent to Ground level. We should all by now know we don't to a dangerous situation on the Ground. With this in mind one the most important training Focuses should be Entry/Exit and Sweep Training. Improve your Sweeps and Unbalancing work and this will allow you to employ the L Principle, which means your opponents will on the ground with you over him for a Finishing Strike. This gives you the protection of still being Vertical and Mobile while controlling the opponent on the Ground.

7.Open Palm Conflict Management or Other Conflict Resolution

There is a Concept known by British Military(as well as many others) known as "Open Palms" this is  allows for Verbal Control of a Confrontation while positioning for a First Strike. The best conflict is one you don't to Fight, and you always want a way to attempting to ensure a Situation resolves Peacefully. However you still want to be in Control. An element of Conflict Management or Resolution training will round you out as Operator or Person. This is an Element which is forgotten about by many Instructors who focus most of their time on Fighting. Follow the old adage "the best operation is one where no one knows you were there", and I said the same is true for Confrontations the best fight is the one that doesn't  happen. Open Palms is outlined below:

Position:Place yourself in a location where you are aware of and have access to exit routes easily. You can't be hit if you're not there. Never block yourself in. The same for the other Person this applies to not making them feel boxed in.

Attitude:Display a Positive, Helpful, Polite but Assertive Attitude. Projecting Confidence in your language and showing you are giving the chance to move the Conflict forward non violently is a great help. Avoid Aggressive Phrases, and Trigger words. Let them know you don't want the situation to end Violently.Keep the focus on the Solution to Problem.

Look and Listen:This is an Important aspect of Control. Maintain Eye contact but don't Stare, and demonstrate all signs of listening Actively. Head Nodding Etc.This is also where you observe for signs of Conflict Escalation.

Make and Maintain Space:Keep a close observation of your Space in relation to the Other Individual. Do not invade their Space and do not let them invade yours. In order to keep space use the following Questions:

-Can you see their feet?
-Do you feel Comfortable with the distance?
-Will they have to move to hit you?

Doing this will ensure you keep a firm control of Space. Should an Attacker continue to invade your Space you employ other Techniques.

Stance: Stand to the side Palms open one hand in front one hand slightly lowered. This will be a Guard should you be Attacked, and B by turning you give the Person you face the chance to exit. In the event of a need to Strike your Palms are your first weapon. Open Palm Strikes from this position are your main tool here.To your Opponent this has look like you are almost backing away, but this is the position from which to launch  your First Strike.

Open palms is all about "I'm going to allow to Speak, and Resolve the Situation. I'm prepared to hit you, but not yet, and when I do it will be the only resolution". There is always two ways to do ways to do something the first is easy where no one gets hurt, but the second is still easy(for you) but someone gets hurt. Open Palms is their chance to decide.

The list here is not huge, and you may disagree. However I hope it sparks you to think your own training, and what methods work for you or your clients.


It's been a while since I've added new material, but a lot has been happening. I'll soon be in full swing again with new material.

As I continue to expand my work into new areas I've been working and more in an office environment. I have to say the more I look the more I see just how bad the problems of inactivity are not just for adults, but also for children spending too many hours sitting in schools with activity level decreased to a minimum. So this is nothing new and much has been written about it before, and I may not be adding anything new. My aim in writing this is to supplement the readers of my Minutes in Motion Office Workouts (which will be resuming) with ever more reason to continue their assault on the risks of inactivity. I even have to sit to write this as sitting every where we now reaching a time where many adults and children are so in active they are walking time bombs. Don't add yourself to the list of health statistics. Read this post and gain some awareness into just what's happening to your body when sitting is your fitness program. The tune yourself to my Office Workouts in the minutes in motion posts.

What's Shaping you?

A lot of professionals neglect the Office Workout, and such they miss a chance to work with many clients int he environment that can shape them most. The average worker in the average Office based job spends more time in work than they do with Friends, Family and Loved ones. Now that's a lot of sitting down right? and remember that's over an average shift of 9 hours per day for a lot of people.As professionals designing programming for Clients and Athletes we all know your body adapts the most to activity it is repeatedly pressured by.   Your Program is Endurance based you build Endurance. Your Program is Strength training you get stronger I could on but you get me right? Your body will adapt and shape to what ever you  do most often, and that goes for that chair you spend 9 hours a day sitting on in your office. Sitting as agreed by many movement specialists is an unnatural Human resting position. We are not build for and we never been built for sitting. We were built by Squatting, and that is our natural states of rest. So lets have a closer look at just how your Chair is Shaping you:

>Firstly your position and posture forces you into an unnatural half Flexed position that creates a lot of compression in ways the body is unsuited to deal with.
>Your Spine is compressed to a level where the forces exerted on it are between 30-40% greater than when standing.
>.Your Fascia or Connective Tissue begin to tighten and stiffen due to prolonged holding of the same position over hours of the day.
>This creates shortening and tightening of your Hip Flexor muscles.
>Your Glute muscles are exposed to prolonged Stretching due to the 90 degree angles of your Knees.
> This creates muscle imbalances which increase your injury risk leading you to become weaker over time.
>Do this repeatedly over career and these small changes become the platform for the big changes you experience later down the line. Gluteal Amnesia which is a condition where the  Glute muscles do not activate properly is just on of many muscle related health affects that occur due to prolonged sitting. Those Office Workouts are looking like a good idea right? Well if you answered no then read on.

Invisible Killers-The Hazards of Sitting You Don't See

Ok so we've had a brief look into what Sitting for prolonged periods of time do your Muscles. Many Health specialists have linked prolonged sitting to what are known as "Cluster Conditions". These are conditions that are directly linked to and impacted by each other that occur together due to the related conditions that allow them to develop. One study researched the Sitting time of Adults and concluded that A) Adults with 2 hours Sitting time increased their risk of Death from many Conditions by up to 50% and B) Increased risk of Cardiovascular associated diseases by up to 125%. That's just the beginning. Not only are those risks significant, but they are also separate from the causes most commonly associated with these conditions such as as Smoking and poor Diet. And that's just for starters:

Mental Stress

One study conducted in Australia linked prolonged sitting to increased levels of Mental Distress. The risk of such mental conditions increased in some participants by up to 90%. This an impact on everything from your perception of relationships, your self esteem, depression and any other number of Mental Conditions. What creates these risks is unknown and still be studied. However what many health experts believe occurs is a viscous circle of poor health leading to poor Mental Functioning that then reinforces further the negative affect of the health conditions.

Increased Cancer Risk

Increasing your Cancer risk. Studies int he UK and Germany have linked too much sitting to an increase in various Cancers, and if you couple that with obesity that results in many participants of certain Sedentary professions you have a breading ground for Cancer. Studies highlighted significantly increased risk with many Cancer types including but not limited too 30% increased risk of Colon Cancer, 60-70% increase of Uterine Cancer and a 54% increased risk of Lung Cancer.

Increased Diabetes Risk

Your risk of Diabetes increases and if you already have the condition you're at risk of worsening this. Those who sit in frequent long shifts from 9-12 hours per day significantly increase the spiking of blood sugars above levels of those who break sitting periods up with bursts of activity. Researchers have shown the best strategy is for frequent bursts of activity that burn off excess Carbs and lead to better Blood Glucose management. You can find many Office Workouts that take minutes in the Minutes in Motion Section of this site.

Decreased Blood Health

Decreasing Blood health. Ever heard of DVT on long distance flights? This can also develop from prolonged sitting as researchers have shown in the areas of Blood health that sitting leads to increased clotting frequency of the Blood, Selling of Smaller Blood Vessels in the legs and Blood Pooling. If you sit for prolonged periods of time you significantly risk the quality o your circulation. When your sitting your blood flows slower, leading to increased risk of Blood Pooling and an increase in Fatty Acid Deposits.

Chronic Back Pain

As I already stated sitting for long periods increases the compression force on the Spine and can lead to chronic Back pain. Back pain is one of the most reported and treated health problems for both Athletes and none Athletes. Significant amounts of money are lost by companies from time off when employees experience back pain, but a lot of this is created by companies who inadequately equip employees for sitting. The standard office Swivel Chair is inadequately designed to lend support the Back.

So what can you do about it?   

Researchers in the British Journal of Medicine concluded that every hour spent sitting after the age of 25 years off your life if you don't manage around it.you reduce your life expectancy by 22 minutes, but compare that to smoking a Cigarette which reduces life expectancy by 11 minutes per Cigarette. Other than giving up the Office lifestyle and your job there is unfortunately no way to completely offset the amount of sitting you're probably required to do. However there are ways you can repair begin to minimise the damage in the long term. You'll never remove the pressures of it but you can become more resilient to it. Here are some steps I recommend you begin to take:

>Use Office Workouts spread through the day to increase metabolism and help manage Blood Glucose levels. You can find these in the Minutes in Motion Section of this site.
> Decrease your sitting time. One way to do this is to add walking breaks into your daily routine. If you try to spend a few minutes stood up every our then you increase the time on your feet during the day. Also any structured work breaks you do have spend them walking away from your desk get out of the work environment.
>Introduce a low Carb diet. As I'm sure you'll know your diet is where the most impact can be had. If you begin to actively control your Blood Glucose with your diet.
>Introduce Yoga into your lifestyle. If you want to strengthen your body against muscular imbalances and weakness that occur from sitting then I suggest you add Yoga into your workout program. You will also alleviate the negative thoughts which come from sitting as this can be a useful form of meditation also.
>Walk after or while eating. This will improve your digestion and increase your insulin sensitivity positively. As walking following following a meal has shown to have a positive impact  on Blood Glucose management.
>Use a Pedometer set yourself a step goal and aim to keep it by walking as much possible.

For more on this you can contact me via the contact section of this website. 31% more people are now using online Personal Training services to obtain programs and gain advise than when compared to levels in 2010.

This simple workout is designed for Hybrid Conditioning. You're going to work on both Endurance and Strength.

Press Ups x 8
30 seconds Jog on the Spot
Body weight Squats x 8
30 Seconds Jog on Spot
Alternating Lunges x 20
30 Seconds Jog on the Spot
Glute Ham Raises 20
30 seconds Jog on the Spot

Repeat this 3 ties with 30 seconds rest in between. For the Tempo of the movements perform all movements with maximum "time under tension". Use a slow Tempo for  all moves were possible.
In Sport,Life,Business or Careers there are many talented individuals the world over who for some reason fail to achieve  their full potential. There are man with natural Talent, Intelligence or some of other seemingly great Gift that allows them to have the edge over most other people in the same field. The same goes for just the basic events we all go through in daily life such as overcoming Relationship issues, Fear issues, Confidence issues or Health issues.I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point right? One of those key areas that holds us back is own Mind and the "Blocks" we put in our own path. More often than not many more people have "Defeated themselves" before they've really had a chance to start. The purpose of this post is to discuss what we can all do to overcome these blocks and to give you some tools to help get your started.

Recognising that you have a Mental Block

Mental Blocks are any kind of Thoughts or Emotions that impede your ability to improve, solve problems, make decisions or take action in a manner leading to success. It's very important in all areas of life(not just Sport) that we remove our Mental Blocks if we want to achieve potential and get what we want. Mental Blocks can lead to us feeling helpless and powerless without control over our actions. If you've ever reached a stage where you have any repetitive thoughts such as "no matter what I do I just can't seem to get through this".."No matter what I do I just can't seem get this right".."No matter how hard I try I just can't improve". These are the tell tale of the Mental Block. Lets be clear this has nothing to do with cliches like "you obviously don't want this or you would never have failed"...or "it obviously wasn't the right time/place/person etc or we would never feel this way". Mental Blocks can be overcome. The fact is some of sabotage ourselves at the crucial moment before what we've always wanted comes into being,and so we miss out on success.

Freewill..or not?

Now you may be wondering why I bring this up in the conversation about Mental Blocks, but this point is key to understanding what I want you to take from this article. You may well have seen those situations in sports for example when a Golfer nears to his final put then just can't sink it, when the Footballer steps up to take the kick then produces a miss at the most important the kick of the season or that time in your life when you came so near yet tumbled at the last minute. These are the situations where you talk to yourself in the following ways "I was just so close"..."If could just have done this or that at this time". These are the situations where your blocks either Psychological or Emotional somehow allow you to work yourself out of that crucial winning moment. Freewill plays its part, but with all the best in the world Mental Blocks still play their part too.

There was once a famous Soccer player who had a Mental Block when taking Penalty Kicks. He had a habit of missing in big games at the worst times. When asked by a Sport Psychologist what went on within his own head at the time  his response was the following  "I took action by wanting to step up I willing to take responsibility for this, but at the last minute I froze..the Goalkeeper looked huge and the net looked so small I couldn't see a way to get the ball into the net". As you can clearly see from that example with the Soccer player he was experiencing a Mental Block stemming his distorted view of the "hugeness"of the Goalkeeper. Freewill is defined as "the power to act without constraint of necessity or fate, the ability to act at ones own discretion". This is a valuable aspect to have not jut in Sport but in all areas of life. The ability to make our own decisions without being held back. Now in a Sporting context your Mental Block will influence your own ability to act and determine the end result just like the Soccer player.

I want you take three key concepts from this before I explain the tools you will need to give you a helping start :

1-We can only exert our influence or control those areas which fall inside of the boundaries of our Mental or Emotional Block. Once we have a Mental Block we can no longer control what is outside of it, it has determined our decision for us.
2-When we repeat Mental Blocks and repetitive statements that go with them they become behaviour "Models" for our body and our nervous system to act upon creating the habit of repeated negative behaviour which then takes root as false beliefs.In order to break through we need to acknowledge that we are experiencing false beliefs.  
3-As a result of number 1 the first step to take is a debugging of our Mind and Mental process. Our own mind has mechanism's for success if we keep it healthy it will do a lot of the work for us.
4-Once we have debugged our Mental processes we can then work our Strengths. This where actually begin to improve our own ability and become resistant to further Mental Blocks. 

I'm going to give you a few tools to help you overcome the Mental Blocks that occur most frequently.

Performance Tool 1-Mental Debugging

The first step to peak performance is to debug our Mind and remove any mental or emotional behaviours that may be hijacking our behaviour process leading to Mental Blocks.When we think of a negative situation and we have negative mental  responses, negative emotional and negative physical responses this our body and mind telling us how we previously felt in the situations. This is acting as a block giving us a signal to avoid those situations. This is not always a bad thing when it protects us repeating past mistakes, but it is a bad thing when it stops making positive progress. The key factor is to acknowledge that we don't want these reactions all the time. When you face a situation and ask yourself if you want these reactions then answer "No", you are then clearly being hijacked by your negative responses. When we are hijacked we tend to blow up situations and distort the facts, and so situations become distorted by our fears or negative visualisations. You need to remove those and rewire your brain so the logical part takes over. This will bring you back into control and present to you a more constructive accurate perception.

Step 1-10 Minute Mental Dump
Give yourself the freedom here to let the negativity out for 10 minutes only. Grab a piece of Paper and write down every negative mental thought and physical reaction you're having to this situation. Let your Mind run free and dump all of this onto the paper. Once the ten minutes are up take the paper and rip it into to pieces then trash it. Make a choice to no longer allow those thoughts into your head. after the ten minutes.

Step 2-Refocus with Logic
Take another piece of paper and write down the facts ONLY the clear facts of the situation. Write down the positive points, write down the areas where you have concrete control to make a positive difference in overcoming your situation. This will calm your Mind and allow the logical parts of your brain to address your fears by providing a clear logical solution. This is key for breaking negative belief Cycle.

Step 3-Use Breath Control to change your Physiological State.
Changing the Mind is only half the battle. We need to change the Physiological responses and one of the best ways to do that is with a technique called "Tactical Breathing" this a method used by serving Special Forces officers that has served me well. 

Breath in through the Nose for 4 second count
Hold breath for 4 second count
Breath out of the Mouth for 4 second count
Hold breath for 4 second count

Like this...

Breath in 2 3 4
Hold 2 3 4
Breath out 2 3 4
Hold 2 3 4

Perform up to 10 cycles of this and this will control your Heart rate and your Physiology in times of high Stress, Anxiety and Fear.

Performance Tool 2

The fastest parts of your Brain work on Auto-pilot so you need to give it positive Habit to fall back on. You need to add positive habits for your brain. This is where we strengthen the Mind and build on the other tools. Here is a simple process you can use to begin to retrain your Auto-pilot:

Step 1-Acknowledge the conditions you want to change

Step 2-Define the Positive Opposite eg Fear into Confidence.

Step 3-Visualise yourself performing with the new behaviour in the situations you want to change. The write a detailed description of your new set of behaviours. In our example write a very detailed description of how you will act confidently.

Step 4-Repeatedly bring this to the front of your Mind and use affirmations to reaffirm your new habits using the following technique. Use a Stopwatch and repeat affirmations in the "I am-I see myself-I feel myself"  format of affirmation. Back to our example"I am confident".."I can see images of myself acting confidently".."I feel confident now and can really feel myself become more confident as time goes on" Simply keep the format and replace the word confident with your behaviour or quality.

Performance Tool  3-Worst Case Scenario Practise

How do you know you're ready to take the step and the blocks are coming away? The best way is always to do a stress test against worst case situations.  One of the techniques I picked up from a NASA operative when I found myself on a course was "Worst Case Scenario Practise". Take a note pad and pen. Visualise the worst case scenario which we usually associate with Mental Blocks, Fears and Failure. Note down your reactions be they Mental, Physical or Emotional. Also note your attitude towards dealing with situation. Is your attitude positive? Can you look at a situation calmly with good physiology(calm, relaxed) and solve it?Most Importantly do you remain in control and cope with the situation? If the answer is yes then you're ready to face your situation and  training is successful. If the answers to these questions No or they are negative then repeat your mental training with the tools given until you pass the test.

I've given you three simple tools you can use to debug your thinking, keep the logical Mind in control, control your Physiology, build new habits and behaviors. I also provided you with a tool for testing your response to worst case scenario. 
This is a quick Military Press Up Pyramid will boost your Press Up ability. Pyramids like these have been used by many Special Forces Units.

Press Up 2-4-6-8-6-4-2
Press Ups Feet Up 2-4-6-8-6-4-2
Press Ups Hands on Chair 2-4-6-8-6-4-2
Press Ups Hands Diamond Position 2-4-6-8-6-4-2
Press Ups Arms Wide 2-4-6-8-6-4-2
Hindu Press Ups 2-4-6-8-6-4-2

Each work out add one rep to each level off the Press Up Pyramid and your Press Up ability will increase significantly in no time at all.
As a third part to the Military Circuit Training series I'm going to give you a look into a training that I've given to Soldiers to prepare for their selection.

In order to train for their selection Australian forces use a form of Circuit Training. All of these workouts follow the same basic criteria:

  • They're 45 Minutes long at very maximum length.
  • They employ Barbell movements in Circuits to work as many muscles as possible. 
  • There's a core strength element in every workout.
  • There's never more than 60 kg on the Bar at most.
  • Must contain Body weight exercises in line with Military PT Programs. 
Here is a workout program that follows that exact criteria and will give you the same results I've had with elite operatives:

The Circuit Program

-You will workout no more than 4 days per week for a maximum time of 45 minutes per session
-You will perform a mixture of Body weight and free weight movements with an abs workout at the end of each circuit
-Rest between and 2 minutes in between each cycle of each Barbell Circuit.
-Perform each Barbell Circuit 4 times.
-Perform Circuit by doing one set of each exercise followed by the next exercise. 
-Your Abs are trained separately following the Circuit.

Weekly timetable:
Monday=Circuit A
Tuesday=Circuit B
Thursday=Circuit C
Friday=Circuit D
Weekend=rest or light activity such as light run, cycle, swim or a sport activity

The Workouts

Circuit A
Front Squat x 8
Press ups x maximum
Bent over Row x 8
Romanian Dead lift x 8

Plank hold as long as possible
Side Plank Right hold as long as possible
Side Plank Left hold as long as possible

Circuit B
Barbell Lunge x 10
Diamond Press Up x Maximum
Dumbbell Step Ups x Maximum
Pull Up x Maximum

Exercise ball crunch 3x failure
Bow hold for as long as possible
(Lie on your back stretch your arms above your head
hold your legs and arms up until you feel your abs tense
Now hold this position as long as possible)

Circuit C
Back Squat x 8
Incline Press up x Maximum
Walking lunge with dumbbells x 8 each side
Chin up x Maximum

Abs roller 3 x 8

Circuit D
Dead lift x 8
Press up on the bar x Maximum
Split Squat x 8 each side
Standing Barbell Shoulder Press x 8

Hanging Knee raises 3 x 8
Plank hold for as long as possible

Why this workout program will be effective for you

  1. You can use the rep scheme as a template. If you want to increase the reps and work for stamina you can. If you want to decrease the reps and work for strength you can do that to.
  2. You are using your full body. When you use your full body in a workout you speed up the results and you work your body as it was meant to be used-as full unit.
  3. Heavy use of the legs. If you want to scorch calories and get your heart rate up you need to involve the legs to do this best. This program includes heavy leg moves to really crank up the metabolic stimulation.
  4. Short rest periods. This will really challenge and stress not only your cardiovascular system but you will test your your strength and movement ability as you should be aiming to keep strict form in each movement.
You see Part 1 and Part 2 here.

The modern environment facing you the professional in the Fitness Industry is one of information overload. You can type into Google any fitness term you want and you will find hundreds of thousands of results. You can search Amazon for fitness related books and find the same. There a literally thousands of “experts” around the world professing to know the answers, and you may find any number of fads from these experts on any shopping channel, high street “box” or in any supplement company owned fitness publication. That's not to mention the number of Scientific Journals there are to supposedly provide evidence. In order to be truly effective In your application of your tools you need to know exactly which information you trust and which you cant. My aim will be to outline just how the best professionals do this, and I will tell you how I do this in order to maximise my Athletes performance.

Getting your programming wrong can literally lead to serious injury at worst or the loss of a client at best. You as a fitness professional whether you work with Athletes or not should not want either. One famous incident which highlights what poor use of available information can do is the Spinal injury of Crossfitter Kevin Ogar. He was injured in a poorly programmed “Throwdown” which exhibited many facets of a poorly programmed workout with misapplied concepts. There were first a higher number of hip dominant exercise movements than there should have been. Secondly there was the use of Olympic lifting in a low rest situation. Olympic lifters allow high rest between executions of a movement and so are aware of when they need they should the training session. Due to this not taking place a failed Snatch resulted in a severe Spinal injury which could have been avoided with proper programming. I'm not targeting Crossfit to single anything out, and I don't want to give that impression. There is bad programming coming from any one such as GP's to Personal Trainers. This incident merely highlights what happens when we get this truly wrong. It's something the whole industry needs to be aware of. You need a step by step way of getting through the minefield and providing only the best for your Client or Athlete.

The First Rule: I shall do no harm

Your starting point before you apply anything should like Doctors be the first rule of “Do no harm”, and you would be surprised how much injury prevention is a forgotten aspect on many professionals programming outline. The very first part of applying this first rule is sourcing your information. It may be a controversial idea but Fitness Trainers and Strength Coaches are not the best people to provide expert advice on how you should train. These people don't make a career of studying movement in as much as depth as needed to reach correct conclusions. As much as you think they do there is no replacing the knowledge of someone who works in this area day in and day out with many sections of the population whether it's Clinical or Athlete targeted. Your training concepts should be guided by Physiotherapists, Kineasiologists, Biomechanics and other professionals in similar areas. Changing your focus on where you get your concepts from will greatly improve you level of knowledge, the standard of service you provide and allow your Athletes to stay safe during the process of undertaking your programming.

Risk to reward ratio should always be your guide for anything you do decide to use based on how you source your knowledge. If there injury risks or injury rates are higher than the rewards to given to Athlete then there should be no place for the given method within your programming, however if you cant avoid a certain training method then you need to find the safest way possible to manage the loading of it when applying it to your athletes. Of course the factors influencing a methods safety will be affected by age, experience and prior physical conditioning levels.

Focused Application-The 3 Questions

To make your way through the minefield of information that faces you there needs to be a simple, clear and focused way of questioning the material in front you. This will greatly simplify the application of your own concepts and focus your method in a more client focused way. Using this focus you will greatly enhance your knowledge, credibility and the performance of your Athlete through a solid evidence based approach. You can do this following the 3 questions below in the order given. Work through this and draw your conclusions from the right sources as described above.

  1. What will work best for the goals of my Athlete/Client?
  2. Why does this work best? Question this critically. Why does it work best? What is the reason for the use of the method as described? Its place in the program along other methods? The order of application?
  3. Which Specialist/Coach/Program has already achieved the goals I'm looking for and why? In this step you're looking for evidence and successful application over time. You can then adapt and apply.

Your Obligation the Athlete

Our clients put their trust in us as professionals and it is misguided to think we have right to risk their safety by exposing them to many injury risks which can be avoided with correct sourcing and application of information in our programming. You owe it to them to improve your knowledge base and focus with specific questioning towards the right solutions. This is not the only model for searching for solutions but it is by far the simplest and the one I've had best results from. Which ever model you use the concepts of the model still apply. You owe it to those who train with you to take that time find the right solutions. To not do so is letting those down who put their trust in you as professionals.