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Why you are working out harder and not getting fitter.

Why you are working out harder and not getting fitter.
Published: 29/06/2019

Playing a team sport, individual sport or just at the gym I always thought giving everything I had at each moment would increase my chance of winning or getting fitter. Oh, how wrong I was! It took a lot of workouts and coaching time to figure out how and what goes wrong for so many people that hold them back from their true fitness capacity.

When you go do a workout, particularly in a high intensity format you probably get hyped up and go for it. You think going unbroken for larger sets is best. You go hard at the start and hope that you can hold on towards the end. While you are fresh you want to capitalize. If this sounds familiar I am about to help you unlock a whole lot of fitness you never knew you had!

It's all about being smart. Yes, you need to apply enough stress to your system to force adaptation and become fitter. How you do this is important. If you think breathing incredibly hard, being laid out on the floor and heart beating out of your chest equals the correct stimulus you are missing the point and you are wasting a lot of your energy and time! I can have you feel that way via breathing techniques alone, no exercise required.

I am going to use CrossFit workouts as examples but you can use the same principles through time domains to apply this to your sport or workouts too. Please remember that as a coach, I modify each person's approach to match their capacity in the given task. You can not apply the same approach to every movement, every load, every workout and every distance for everyone.

Pacing workouts doesn't mean you go slow. It means you go at a pace that allows you to finish with the best result. Let's look at some examples below.

In the running workout you see above it's clear that going out at a faster pace and having to rest ends up being slower. I have listed the three energy systems for each column to demonstrate which is being used primarily. Apply this to any 8 minute workout. If you aim to keep moving at a constant pace that keeps you aerobic you will do well. Even if you hold a slightly faster pace and take calculated rest periods you will also be able to finish well. If you choose to "sprint", meaning your heart rate spikes, your breathing is shallow and mouth only your rest periods will become larger and larger while how long you can work for at once reduces. If this was an 8-minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) the middle and third column would accumulate a lot more reps due to so much more time spent working.

CrossFitters will be familiar with this workout. I recommend trying the approach in the right-hand column if you struggle to get your Karen time under 8 minutes. I get it, 10 reps seem silly when you are fresh but now you can see if you hold this approach you will end up with a good time. To do this workout unbroken (providing you a meeting movement standards) is incredibly difficult. The column on the right allows you to use the oxidative energy system as much as possible. To get closer to the 5:00 mark you will need to eventually use the glycolytic energy system however if you can't get under 7:20 yet don't worry about this.

Grace is designed to be a very fast workout. Ideally you will finish in under 5 minutes. As you can see even if you do 1 rep every 10 seconds you can still finish in 5:00 (actually slightly under at 4:52) but it's easier to show it this way. If you choose to modify to an appropriate weight for you, this option should be doable. Depending on your goal time, choose which one will get you there faster than last time. This is a great example of how singles can get you there quite quick still. Up to a point you can do singles the whole way, if you want sub 2 you will need to do some unbroken reps.

Jackie is a classic trap. A lot of people will go quite fast on the row, not realizing that a lot of time can be lost on the thrusters and pull ups if you are very fatigued. If your current Jackie time is over 10 minutes, try the strategy on the right. If you already go unbroken, try slowing down your row to a pace in the second column from the left. Make sure you keep your transitions quick too!

Now as a coach I need to remind you that these are all guides and you should ask your coach what is the best approach for you. In the end the less rest you take and more work you can do = increased work capacity which means you are fitter.

Don't be the reason you are not getting fitter. Work out smarter! If you have a workout you would like me to breakdown for you send Ariston a message on Facebook/ Instagram. Happy to help!

There is even more we coach Ariston members through to ensure they get the most from each workout. If you want to look and feel better while achieving your highest level of fitness book a free intro with us using the button below:

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Ps. The calculations are guides and not designed to be spot on. Everyone moves at different paces. We can help you move faster!

Written by Coach Luke

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