Hammer Nutrition Blog

Power Up With EMS

Posted by Vince Arnone on 06/07/2010 in Electrostimulation | No Comments »
Gary Smith at Coeur d'Alene Duathlon

Gary Smith heads toward a first place finish in the 45-49 age group at the 2009 Coeur d'Alene Duathlon. Photo - Cindy Smith

Author: Jim Bruskewitz

Kicking back, putting the feet up, just adding some extra relaxation to our day gives us a chance to re-charge. After a season of training with a healthy serving of focus (obsession for some) folded into the mix before the final event(s) deserves some release. There is a time for everything. If you don’t take the time to re-group, you’ll likely find that your body and mind are not ready for the customary build to goal attainment when the time is right. So kick back a little-you deserve it.

An active lifestyle once ingrained begs us to do something even when we are kicking back. It’s a good thing. If the focus is scaled back and the routine is fresh, you can get an exercise fix and regenerate at the same time. Maintaining an active lifestyle continues to promote health. While staying active and developing some variety in our training, conventional wisdom suggests that we work on our weaknesses. Once the competitive season is upon us, we won’t have the time to develop our weaknesses and our time is more efficiently used working on our event specific strengths. So if now is the time to keep it fresh and develop our weaknesses without worry of how we’ll perform tomorrow, we’re looking at an opportunity to address that list of shortcomings we’re so aware of when the big events are upon us. For those that want more strength to contribute to their power, resistance training in the fall is a common approach and a reasonable one. Starting up a new routine in May or June is very difficult because all of our energies have been claimed by the specific aspects of our training. Now is the time for functional strength exercises and resistance training. You’ll probably get sore, but it will only last for a few training sessions. Once you become accustomed to it, not only will you enjoy the gains but you will also be able to incorporate this training into the pre-competitive and competitive phases of your training later in the year. I’ve become very enamored with Globus EMS training. Not only the ever popular active recovery program, but also the different strength programs that target particular muscle fiber types. I can choose whether I want to build explosive strength , resistive strength, or endurance to name a few. If I choose, I can deliver anything from a very gentle training dose to a dose that would require placing a leather strap between my teeth until I had months of adaptation to the load. The beauty of this is that I can build those adaptations more quickly than I can with other strength building conventions. This is a result of the superior rate at which I can remove neural inhibition with EMS training. I am also able to develop balance between the force I can exert from both sides of my body. If I need to build strength in a muscle group that involves an injured joint, the EMS strength building programs will develop strength without flexing or extending a joint. Like any new workout, these can make you sore if you go after it. Starting now is the right time.

Any training session that isn’t designed to help you actively recover will require some recovery of its own. There are some general rules that will help guide you to train a muscle group. 48 hours per muscle group is an appropriate amount of time to recover from an EMS strength program. We have an opportunity to strength train a muscle group with Globus EMS three times a week. Throughout the season we should move to ever more specific kinds of training. This means starting with strength, then resistive strength, endurance and ultra endurance on the Sports Plus model to occupy the majority of a yearly cycle of training. Three EMS training sessions to build strength at this time of year can easily fit into your weekly schedule. As we approach that period when the number of traditional quality workouts increases, the number of EMS strength training sessions per week can be reduced to two times weekly. Once in the competitive phase, the intensity of the EMS workouts can be reduced and frequency reduced to one maintenance workout weekly. Active recovery, massage, and the various warm up routines will help you recover from both EMS and traditional training sessions all year long.

We have an opportunity to fit EMS training into our schedule easily at this time of year. I’ve spoken with enough EMS users and can personally vouch for the fact that the strength training makes a big difference in our performance. As a coach and an athlete I hate to miss out on opportunities to find out what someone is capable of. If we don’t make use of our time wisely we’ll never know. Find out for yourself and good luck with the upcoming year.

Jim is a multiple-time World and National Age Group Triathlon champion, a coach (www.enduranceperformance.com), and former lecturer at UW-Madison-Department of Kinesiology. He recently left teaching at UW to study and teach EMS training.

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