Work Capacity

Posted: May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Boasting about work capacity seems to be a big thing in some fitness circles. The definition of work capacity is the ability to do work over time. Some apply this to exercise by timing workouts and using the same weights, exercises, and repetitions. This all seems quite logical and I even bought into this way of thinking for a while.
This way of thinking breaks down to doing the amount of work in the shortest amount of time. Is this really the goal of an athlete or a life event? A basketball game is 48 minutes, is doing more sprints then your opponent going to have a positive outcome on the final score? I would disagree. Let us use the Crossfit workout Fran, 21-15-9 95lb thrusters and pull-ups. Say the first time you did it in 10 minutes and 6 weeks later it is down to 5 minutes. Both times you finished the workout you were completely wiped out. Have you become a better athlete?
In sport and in life it is hurry up and wait. Sports are sprint/rest/sprint/rest cycles and so is life. My goal as a strength coach is to get people to produce the greatest amount of work with the least amount of effort.
This is done through teaching proper movement patterns. If the athlete mentioned earlier was not screened for proper movement he just got better at working with compensatory patterns. If there is compensation a lot of his energy is being dissipated to extra tightening of muscles and fascia to increase stability and to extra movement to keep the body upright. If this athete was screened and the patterns were corrected he could do the movement and spare more energy. This would allow him to be able to carry on at a higher athletic level longer. If he were that basketball player this means he would still have the ability to jump, explode into a sprint, and shoot a basketball. If he carried on training inefficiently this stuff would all fall off in the fourth quarter. This is increased efficiency and can actually be accomplished without having to push the intensity to the point of wanting to pass out and throw up. Train smart not hard. Focus on doing things right and then build off of that. I will guarantee you feel and perform better.


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