Author: Jim Bruskewitz
What are you doing this July? I haven’t completed all the details on that at this point, but I do have some general ideas. If this July is like those in the past, I’ll be out exercising in the evenings because it’ll be warm and still light out. I’ll be gearing up for races and events that I’ve already decided I am doing. I’ll have identified areas that I want to improve upon for the remainder of the season and beyond. All of that happens every July in recent memory. Come to think of it, I’ll probably be wishing that I had addressed some things earlier in the year that would make my preparations a bit easier and reaching my goals less of a stretch. What am I doing now? It wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to address those weaknesses that pop up every July.
A tried and true training principle applied to bring out our best in July and beyond, when the races and events pack each weekend, is to work on general adaptations in the pre-competitive season and move to developing specific adaptations once the competitive season is nigh. Come July, a general adaptation that many of us find not as well-developed as we’d like is strength. We’re so focused on endurance training at that time of year that the addition of strength doesn’t fit. Adding training to develop the general adaptations at this late date takes us away from the training for specific adaptations that we need to fine tune our performance.
Strength training can be practiced throughout the year if we’ve become accustomed to it. We can afford to develop it now. It can become part of the training load that we can continue to absorb as we add specific endurance adaptations when we must. Think of it. July rolls around and we don’t find ourselves wanting for more strength when we’re climbing hills or picking up the pace while we develop our endurance.
The specific strength we want in July is muscular endurance. We’ll be engaged in exercise for hours on end sometimes. The general strength that we can develop now is closer to maximum strength (how much work can we do in a very short time). Starting a heavy strength program now, taking enough time to develop this kind of strength, and then gradually moving toward developing muscular endurance in July is a prescription for the addition of muscular endurance in July. If we start now, we’ll be able to maintain strength adaptations while developing endurance specific to our planned events. The key to this approach is developing the strength we want now without supplanting our needed specific training later.
I’ve had many conversations with individuals using Globus Muscle Stimulators in July to enhance their training and performance. If they wait to start their Globus training in July, they’ll miss taking full advantage of what it offers. The Globus programs can be divided into three main categories. One is a group of preparatory programs to be used before an activity like cycling, running, or a Globus training program. Another is a set of programs meant to aid your recovery after training in a sport or training with the Globus. These two groups of programs will enhance your performance throughout the year and can be introduced at anytime. The third group of programs deliver a training load (these are the most prevalent), and, like all training, requires some recovery to gain the full benefit.
The training programs are organized to develop specific kinds of strength. There are Globus models that allow you to develop maximum strength at this time of year and move in a gradual series of steps toward more specific strength needed in July, like the Endurance Program. However, if you haven’t become accustomed to these various strength programs before July, adding this kind of training to the mix can be too much. Why? For one the Globus gives you the ability to contract more muscle tissue than you can willfully. Like any new training, it takes a few sessions to get used to it. Once you are accustomed to it, specific strength training can and should be included in July. The point is work needs to be done now if you want to develop strength and continue to enjoy the advantages it confers later on.
In order for your Globus strength training to be an effective compliment to developing your overall fitness, fit the Globus training in two to three times weekly. Start these training sessions after intense or high volume exercise, not before, so that you can always give yourself enough time, usually 48 hours, before you plan to perform well while training. If you aren’t reasonably well-recovered from the Globus training before a long or hard planned training session in your chosen sport, then you’ll be able to absorb less training in that specific sport. If this practice is continued, the sum of the training that you absorb over time will suffer and you won’t be efficiently building your fitness.
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.