Elad Faltin on Friday, July 8, 2011
Watt & PowerTraining >>>Get out of the BOX !
Most of the Text books, coaching theories, and even research papers in the sports sciences, are usually (but not always) based on accomplished or professional athletes. Nevertheless, it appears that the field of training Masters sports has developed greatly in the last 10 – 15 years. The definition of a ‘masters athlete’ is not so much about biological age. A masters athlete can also be a 22 year old guy who works 8-9 hours a day, but likes sports and competes in races. It has nothing to do with his level of achievements or fitness, it is more a matter of definition – how he perceives himself as an athlete. There are Elite athletes competing in the highest levels in the world while working almost full time (or half time), and there are masters athletes working half-time job and training in very high intensities and volumes, almost like pros.
“Elad, get out of the box!!” I remember those words from Paulo Saldanha, echoing strongly in my head when asked for my opinion about the type of training most suitable for a professional athlete in Montreal, recovering from injury. The injury itself was not so important, neither was the type of sport the athlete used to practice. What was important were the training principles I learned in Montreal, Canada, and the way we can relate them to ourselves – trainees, masters, and even elite athletes.
Now regarding that athlete, he had 3 options for getting back into shape: § The conventional option: working at the gym with specific equipment and exercises, working with awareness and lifting the weights very carefully + aerobic exercise (such as running) for burning calories.
You could also Be A Master Athlete & win An Elite Race – it is perfectlly OK
§ Intermediate option: working at the gym with a personal trainer, doing a lot of exercises using body-weight, elastic bands, jumps and hops, coordination, agility, speed, balance, a lot of core exercises, etc.
§ What else…? Of course, there was the PowerWatts Bike – Working in very high intensity, but in a level-headed and controllable manner. Controllable in a way that even though the work load may be very high, it is still: 1. Measurable in an incredibly accurate way. 2. Since the work is on bikes, the load (body-weight) on the skeleton and muscles isn’t too high.
How does this relate to us? (The Master Athletes…)
I meet many athletes, especially triathletes and Iron-men, who share 2-3 common drawbacks they have to work on: overweight + technique (not only in cycling but also in running and swimming) + flexibility. What happens when an (average) athlete with overweight wants to cut back his time on a 5km run from 32min to 28?
That’s right, he’ll (most likely) increase the volume of his runs in order to “burn fat”, he’ll try to run faster, he’ll start loading and loading… and loading… and loading… He might even feel he’s getting better (which may very well be, partially true), until the injury comes (and that usually happens quite promptly).
He’ll be inactivated for 2-5 weeks (depending on the injury’s severity) and regain 3-4 kg of weight. After recovery, he’ll try to go back the same way, with a lot of motivation, possibly with even greater motivation… and what happens then? Exactly, injury – again!!! (No brains no worries…).
What can I recommend this athlete to do? First of all, he/she should take care of his/her weight problem, with a suitable diet and healthy nutrition, and be able to maintain this normal weight over time… (? Balance ? control?).
Second of all, he/she should concentrate on technique exercises, and maybe even set specific target goals in this training. In case he/she wants to burn fat through exercise – yes, (that’s possible and even recommended) but better be done by cycling. In addition, running interval training (or “quality training”) should also be done on the bike – this will provide high intensity anaerobic stimuli, but without the risk of injury running involves, and with much less damage to the body and muscles. What about flexibility ?
A few papers published recently questioned the significance of stretching for preventing injuries. I believe that to a certain extent this research does injustice with the importance of stretching and flexibility exercises (now when do we do them is already a different question…).
Good flexibility gives a better (more efficient) lever to the muscle, thus enabling better technical performance, so it is possible to increase our speed, create more power, and ultimately also… prevent injuries. One last thing – most masters athletes tend to gain their knowledge and information from: 1. Sports-mates 2. Internet and forums (these two sources nourish each other, with lots of mistakes).
Personally, in the last few years, I’ve managed to learn quite a lot about sports training from two people that don’t even live in Israel. Both are ex-pro-cyclists, none of them published even one article! (That I know about). The Secret of Powertrainig is Know how to control your Power & speed to Increase your Efficiency. The bottom line is – If you want to run or ride faster,endurance training and long distances won’t make you faster.
Intensity will, practicing pace and control – definitely will. However, in case you’re doing it with inadequate technique, lacking flexibility, and excessive weight, don’t expect not to get injured. ” Do you _belive_ that my being stronger or faster has anything” Stay well and train wise. Elad Faltin – PowerTraining – Watt Training For All elad.bike@gmail@com Skype – elad12346 Power is useless without Control The two men mentioned in the article: Paulo Saldanha – , Master Powercoach and founder of Powerwatts. Yehuda Gershoni – The last (& only) Israeli who worked as a Pro Cyclist in the highest level.