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Skillful Conditioning: Quality Work To Rest Intervals & Intuitive Recovery

Skillful Conditioning: Quality Work To Rest Intervals & Intuitive Recovery

The act of conditioning is a fascinating thing when you think about it. I mean there are so many ways to condition the body. Are you going out for a jog? Are you doing sprint work? Are you jump roping? The methods of stress that we can introduce in order to condition us almost seems limitless at times. It may seem like this, but it all boils down to effective work and rest intervals and today I want to dive into discussing this in a bit more detail.

What Is Skillful Conditioning? 

To me skillful conditioning involves a couple of specific characteristics. First, when I refer to skillful conditioning I’m referring to integrating a form of conditioning that involves some level of coordinated skill and optimal effort. Usually this is some sort of work interval that challenges your coordination, movement, reaction time, and overall body control.

This sort of conditioning may involve jump roping, skipping, sprinting and plyometric variations, or agility drills. One great example of this would be utilizing high knee runs on an agility ladder.

Secondly, you can see the point of performing this is to do so by integrating a certain level of technique and skill. The point is to combine quality run sprint mechanics with good old fashioned effort. You’ve got to work towards being proficient at both in order to achieve optimal results from the interval. If you want to learn more about how to do this the way the BRF camp does it you can learn more about that right here.

Werewolf Legend Bell

Managing Rest Intervals

So having pointed this out how do we go about managing our rest time? Well the NSCA has clear recommendations on managing work to rest intervals based on intensity and the duration of a given work period. This is based on which energy systems we tap into for a given task or drill. You can check this out in greater detail on the table here below.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 1.42.48 PM

As you can see the higher the intensity as we see in the ATP-PC energy system our work, or energy output is only going to last up to 10 seconds. This is because the ATP-PC is broken down after this 10 seconds of all out effort. Once this energy system is broken down then we transition into the Anaerobic system.

Now I know what you’re thinking. So how to do we track our rest interval based on intuition? Fortunately I’ve got a great little tip for you right here loaded up and ready to go in the following video.

Of course a stopwatch, or some other timing device is a great way to measure rest intervals, but those things aren’t always necessary as I pointed out here in the video. Of course the key to optimizing your work to rest intervals means that you’re going to have to invest some time practicing and that is the whole point.

The longer I’ve been involved with conditioning the better I’ve gotten at performing quality “wood chops” and setting up for the next rep, or “chop,” if you catch my drift? It does require a certain level of feel, but after all skillful conditioning is just that…it’s skillful!

The Takeaway

When starting to integrate various forms of skillful conditioning into your training make sure that you work at getting a solid handle on being proficient at performing the given task, or drill at hand. Work and think about what you’re doing. Don’t just mindlessly go through the motions and don’t just hurry through for the sake of finishing a work interval.

Remember that quality always trumps quantity and that you need to be able to apply both with a high level of skill and effort. Also remember that you can intuitively gauge your rest interval by making sure that you are just recovered enough in order to perform the next rep with the same efficiency, effort, and quality as you did the previous repetition. Don’t rest too long, but don’t rest too little either. This is where the experience of practice and feel will come into play for your conditioning.

What sort of skillful conditioning are you including into your training program? Don’t be shy about posting up in the comment section below. Be strong. Be better. Don’t be a victim.

Related Articles:

Common Sense Strength: Harness Your Natural Human Ability

Resourceful Strength: How To Make Gains With Minimal Equipment

Progressing Mobility: A Half Get Up To Optimal Performance

The Keys To Implementing High Intensity Workouts

The Gravity Method: Dynamic Bodyweight Strength Performance

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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