A General Look at the Puzzle of Programming: Part 1

At FIT Societe we build our programs and workouts around a combination of Applied Functional Science, various lifts, among other functional movements and exercises. We combine all of these to create a fun and functional program. Very simply put (big breath), we create constantly varied 3-Dimensional workouts using a variety of exercises from a variety of programs and theories that we believe, in combination, create the best and safest form of exercise and programming. Was that any better? Well, maybe that’s not so simple, but there is certainly a science behind the madness we try to achieve with each workout to build the best well-rounded athletes to help people reach their goals.

To start, let’s take a look at what defines being FIT.

There are ten recognized general physical skills. They are:

  1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance

  2. Strength

  3. Stamina

  4. Flexibility

  5. Coordination

  6. Power

  7. Speed

  8. Agility

  9. Balance

  10. Accuracy

You are only as fit as you are competent in each of these individual skills. Our goal is to continuously evolve and improve each of these individual skills.

Training refers to an activity that measurably improves performance and overall change in the body. Endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility are all developed through specific training. By contrast, improvements in coordination, agility, balance, speed, and accuracy come about through practice. Practice refers to an activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. Power and speed are adaptations of both training and practice.

Now let’s talk about a few of the training methods we incorporate into our program to improve on each of these physical skills.

Strength Training, or resistance training, works your muscles by using resistance, like a dumbbell, kettlebell, or your own body weight. This type of exercise increases lean muscle mass. This is particularly important for weight loss since lean muscle burns more calories than other types of tissue. Strength training uses resistance, like free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or an individual’s own weight, to build muscles and strength. Strength training is used to improve sports performance and conditioning, treat or prevent injuries, immune function, and also aesthetic appearance.

Metabolic Conditioning, or sometimes spelled (MetCon), is based on exercise programs that make use of the immediate and intermediate energy pathways, or anaerobic response. Metabolic conditioning exercises must be done at a specific time and intensity in order to use and train these pathways. This can be a single, or combination of constantly varied functional movements usually completed within ranges from 1 second and up to 20-ish minutes. This is where the primary focus of conditioning is done at FIT Societe. There are 3 metabolic pathways in the human body – each uses a different method to generate energy:

  • Phosphagen pathway – anaerobic

  • Glycolytic pathway – anaerobic

  • Oxidative pathway – aerobic

Metabolic conditioning is exercising in such a way that prompts your body to become more efficient at all forms of metabolism. Whereas, cardiovascular (or aerobic) fitness does less to improve the function of the phosphagen or glycolytic pathways. Let’s talk a little more about Cardiovascular Fitness and its role in our programming.

Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance - CVRE and Metabolic Conditioning are almost interchangeable, but it’s the application of the science that makes the difference. They are both using the heart and lungs to perform a task, no question, but what’s the difference? Well simple, the answer is time. When we think about cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, we should think of long-duration stimulus like running, cycling, rowing, swimming, jump roping, etc. Exercises that deliver us into the oxidative pathway over a longer span of time.

The term “cardio” itself is very broad, but to put it simply it's the ability for your heart to adapt to stimulus in a variety of different stimulus, short and long. That duration can happen over the span of a 4-hour marathon, or as quickly as 1-10 seconds completing one repetition of the heaviest squat or deadlift possible or fastest 100m sprint. It’s a very broad definition for a reason. So next time you think about the term cardio, think about the bigger picture and what kind of cardio you’re going after. Both Aerobic (with oxygen) and Anaerobic (without oxygen) are both forms of cardio. It's more about what metabolic pathway you are trying to focus on.

Gymnastics are body-weight movements (e.g., air squat, push-up, pull-up, etc.). ... The term gymnastics is applied to any exercise in which you move your body through a range of motion (ROM) or extended range of motion (EROM) without an external load.

Weightlifting, also known as Olympic Weightlifting but simply weightlifting, is a sport in which athletes try to move a barbell from ground to overhead using either the snatch or a combination of the Clean and Jerk. These are very skill-driven exercises that need a lot of practice and drilling to progress. The term Weightlifting is often intertwined or confused with Powerlifting, when in fact they are both specific to their physical skills and movements. Weightlifting in the general sense can be used for both, but it’s good to know the difference.

Power Lifting is a combination of 3 types of lifts. The Bench Press, Back Squat, Deadlift. Focused on 1-10 Repetition Maximum (RM) Athletes work at heavier weights at lower repetitions to build hypertrophy and well… power. Power is the ability to move something or travel a distance with a great deal of force.

Want to know a little more? Stay posted for Part 2, coming this Monday, January 11th!

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