operational longevity

English: A typical Deutsche Bahn railway stati...
English: A typical Deutsche Bahn railway station clock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I get older and continue to train I find myself considering how to balance effective training with”operational longevity”. For example, during workouts I try to push my limits but sometimes find myself so sore later that I worry about it interfering with my work. Its not due to being out of shape, but what I could shake off in my younger days isn’t so easy to shake off anymore.

Just before my promotion and reassignment to midnights, I was working out in a boxing gym and doing some groundfighting2-3 times a week. With the boxing, I liked to do some sparring, but was unclear on how hard I wanted to go. Getting my bell rung or KO’d on a regular basis wasn’t what I was interested in. I have a job and a family I have higher priorities for. I want the benefits of being able to take and deliver punches but I want to save my 100% for work. I recently recovered from some sore ribs after some MMArolling that had me mincing around for a week. The training was fun and intense and I didn’t feel bad during or immediately afterwards. But latter…oh man! It got me thinking about how I want to structure my training for maximum benefit but with minimum injury or work impact. I don’t want to coast or regress, but I’m looking at staying as fit as possible for the longest possible time.

Perhaps that 40th BD has me in a tad of a mid-life crisis.

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5 thoughts on “operational longevity”

  1. I personally think it is very important to find the right balance in your training. I like you simply cannot be completely busted up day after day due to the nature of what we do. So instead I try to creatively find ways to work out and condition my training so that I can still make improvement without getting things broken. Sometimes that is hard and yes accidents do happen. Still we need to be able to go from zero to sixty at a moments notice and take care of business. Sometimes that is very hard to do if you just blew out a joint rolling the night before. Find a balance and make it work. For myself I do a lot more attribute training coupled with technique training and have found that I do not miss a beat from the days when I was rolling or sparring several hours a day. Now when I roll/spar everything seems easier because I am smoother more relaxed and technically even more efficient. Still in the end we must train alive and make sure that we keep those hard earned skills ready. Find a balance and make it work!

  2. In exercise science, avoiding injury due to over training (generally or specifically) is avoided by a few practices:

    the 10% rule: If working with load/intensity, only make 10% increases of challenge at a shot and ONLY make such an increase when you’ve made a 10% performance growth in the specific activity.

    Ex. If you want to get to 200 push ups at one set, but can only do 25 before puking out, ONLY increase that “25” per set number when you can do 27 or 28 push ups in the same time it use to take to do 25. Set your new goal and keep re-calculating. Increase from 28 to 30 when you can do those thirty in the same time/session … and so on. It sounds simple and “duh” but alot of people set these arbitrary numbers like “I’m gonna do 200 push ups and increase by 10 every week NO MATTER WHAT!” and that only leads to failure and fatigue.

    Frequency, Intensity and TIme are variables that have to be factored and balanced. THere is such a thing as ‘active rest’ which is why you will hear about hockey players riding a stationary bike at target heart rate to “Flush the ache out” after games.

    Periodizaton: Changing up the training at certain time periods to accomplish certain goals is sound. Example: You want to improve the power in your kick so you start out with 4-6 weeks of squats and other basic strength exercises to create a strength base, after that you shift the training focus to plyometrics that make the body recruit that strength and apply it to generating propulsion/force… for about 2-3 weeks, and then you might spend 2-3 more weeks focusing on speed and timing. If there is too much time spent in any phase over training and or boredom/injury are dangers.

    STRETCH! It prevents injuries, increases speed, and is useful in less measurable ways for mental health as well.

  3. The latest they were teaching at the FBINA fitness course was to hold off on the stretching until cooldown. Studies have shown that stretching as a warm-up can reduce muscular strength and increase connective tissue strain. Now they say that improving flexibility is best done after the muscles have been warmed-up. Its also supposed to assist in flushing out metabolic wastes.

  4. Yup. I’ve actually heard (from you as well as other sources more recently) that stretching should be treated as a separate workout all together. So, instead of thinking of stretching as part of the ‘cool down’ it probably should be seen as the last “set” just before the cool down.

    Same with ‘bouncing’ stretches… old theory was that it was okay. Now, it is a huge no go

  5. Thats a good point I forgot about. The “flexibility as workout” point is very true. For years people looked at flexibility as a warm-up. On a time/return aspect though I think people need to look at flexibility as a “range of motion” issue instead of wasting time on “extreme flexibility”.

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