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  #1  
Unread 02-08-2012, 06:33 PM
Tranquil1 Tranquil1 is offline
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Default Quantifying effectiveness of training for athletics

Mostly for mma, martial arts, combat sports, etc and w. some semi-specificity to contrasting against Crossfit.

I've seen a lot of training advice for combat sports. Like anything I figure this will be specific to the domain. Training grappling isn't valuable for a boxer\kick-boxer and so improving grip strength probably won't be relevant either, etc.

What I don't see a lot of is how to relate the training against the event.

For instance if most combat sports are anaerobic in nature and primarily speed\power based (which, in my analysis, most of them are) then we can say that doing drills related to the event in that training range would be beneficial.

That is if you want to get better endurance for grappling then doing 2-3 minute rounds against fresh opponents would be a good way to build that. This is the, "TO get good at X...do more X", type approach.

But then there's the outside stuff. Most places will suggest a variety of basic strength work in the gym to supplement sport specific training. This is what I'm more asking about.

Let's say in grappling grip is important (I think this is true) and that pulling strength is important and that anaerobic capacity is important. So I do deadlifts and weighted chins for grip and I do chins, rows, DL, and such for pulling strength and I do some type of body weight circuit or light (speed-strength oriented) weight circuit to build to capacities.

Let's say my DL improves from X\300 to Y\400. I've increased my 'strength' by 33%...how can I tell if this improves my grappling?

Or more specifically how can I tell how much THAT improved my grappling? Particularly if I'm also training grappling in a sport specific way during that time.

I didn't see much in the search but this is a hard one to think of good search terms for.

So if CF builds conditioning, generally work rate in the anaerobic range, then it could be said that would be a 'good' form of external\general conditioning for MMA\judo\BJJ\whatever, but how does that compare to other forms of conditioning work?

That is....how to you quantify improvement in an unrelated but highly general sport to the physical preparation done in addition to sport specific work?

If I'm a sprinter I can measure sprint times and add Deadlifting and see if my times improve. Fairly linear. Power\Oly lifters have it even easier. Similarly endurance folks.

But how about in mixed sports?

Any ideas? Anybody have anything they've used or seen used successfully for this?

Just to ramble a bit and make this a longer OP....

Running to build aerobic capacity is a standard in most boxing training. That's reasonable. More 'cardio' should allow greater recovery between rounds and cause less anaerobic stress due to greater capacity. So if you were a boxer and added running you could probably see if your heart rate recovered better between rounds of sparring. You could even go by feel and see if you seem to recovery faster.

How could you, for example, measure increased bench press\exercise of choice against increased hitting power?

Or how can you say that doing more\heavier sandbag Turkish Get Ups\fad movement of the moment improves your stability in shooting for take-downs?

Any good links to this sort of thing?
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  #2  
Unread 02-08-2012, 06:53 PM
popupwindow popupwindow is offline
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Look at some of Dan John's stuff on the 'role/influence of a strength coach.' Fact is that some sports are 'fuzzy' and hard to quantify changes. Did you win a fight because your opponent was having a bad day, or did you win because you added farmers walks to your workout? Mixed sports and team sports are very vague in terms of what will help what. Yeah if you're a fighter, being overall strong, with maybe some emphasis on a strong core and a strong neck is good, but how much is enough and what is your best allocation of time, who knows?

In my experience MMA types seem to love to train...too much in fact. They want to roll 3-5x/week, lift weights 3-5x/week, and then do conditioning intervals 3x/week, then technique work, then long distance stuff... this may be an exaggeration for some, but probably not too much of a stretch for others.

I think Pavel used to have a good prescription for people in a similar situation to you, practice drills for your sport that are non-taxing 6x/week, train your sport 3-5x/week, lift weights 2x/week and have 1 day/week of complete rest. In terms of weights do stuff like 5 sets of 2 pressing, 5 sets of 2 deadlifting, plus a little bit of accessory stuff for core/grip/neck. The focus is on getting strong, staying fresh remembering that all the strength and conditioning in the world won't save you if you suck at your sport.
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  #3  
Unread 02-08-2012, 07:55 PM
Tranquil1 Tranquil1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popupwindow View Post
Look at some of Dan John's stuff on the 'role/influence of a strength coach.' Fact is that some sports are 'fuzzy' and hard to quantify changes. Did you win a fight because your opponent was having a bad day, or did you win because you added farmers walks to your workout? Mixed sports and team sports are very vague in terms of what will help what. Yeah if you're a fighter, being overall strong, with maybe some emphasis on a strong core and a strong neck is good, but how much is enough and what is your best allocation of time, who knows?

In my experience MMA types seem to love to train...too much in fact. They want to roll 3-5x/week, lift weights 3-5x/week, and then do conditioning intervals 3x/week, then technique work, then long distance stuff... this may be an exaggeration for some, but probably not too much of a stretch for others.

I think Pavel used to have a good prescription for people in a similar situation to you, practice drills for your sport that are non-taxing 6x/week, train your sport 3-5x/week, lift weights 2x/week and have 1 day/week of complete rest. In terms of weights do stuff like 5 sets of 2 pressing, 5 sets of 2 deadlifting, plus a little bit of accessory stuff for core/grip/neck. The focus is on getting strong, staying fresh remembering that all the strength and conditioning in the world won't save you if you suck at your sport.
Thanks for the reply.

Right. Yes, you have said what I was saying. I get that it's vague and fuzzy, thus my questions. I wasn't (to clarify) really looking for training suggestions, I've got plenty (more than I have time to implement to be sure) so much as looking for\at ways folks have used\use to quantify the effects of supplemental training as relates to those vague and fuzzy domains.



It's the "what is your best allocation of time, who knows?" part of your post I'm seeking to address. "Best" allocation could be determined by working on your weakest weakness (more or less Joel Jamieson's (sp?) approach I think) where you might take a 'weak' external metric (resting heart rate, maybe) and train to make it a reasonable value, but that's still training an external against an external (ie, if your bench\etc is 'weak' at 150lbs and you train it to a 'strong' 250lbs...that still doesn't tell me anything about it's effects on performance in the specific domain) not relating an external to a specific.

I don't know if this question has an answer tho....thus my asking.

Boyle and some of them seem to relate it to on-field performance and reduced injuries, which seems reasonable, to a degree, but requires you be able to quantify on-field performance and\or injury rate.

Any ideas on any of that?
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  #4  
Unread 02-08-2012, 08:17 PM
Jibaholic Jibaholic is offline
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I constantly wonder about the same things. I think that best you can do is find benchmarks for elite performers in your sport and try to do as well as possible against them. A good rule of thumb is that most elite athletes in mixed sports have a double bodyweight squat but there may be more precise research. For fitness, you can find all sorts of goodness by googling "yo-yo intermittent recovery test."

To get onto what is rapidly becoming my hobby horse:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquil1 View Post
For instance if most combat sports are anaerobic in nature and primarily speed\power based (which, in my analysis, most of them are) then we can say that doing drills related to the event in that training range would be beneficial.
I don't think that is correct. Studies of track athletes show that the aerobic system becomes dominant after about 75 seconds (about 600 meters). That means that at 75 seconds, the athlete is using their aerobic system for 50% of their energy and their anaerobic system for the other 50%. Every second beyond that shifts the balance further towards the aerobic system.

Now, track athletes are going steady at 100% effort, but there are peaks and valleys in intensity in combat sports. But I don't think that would be enough to make combat sports primarily anaerobic for 17 minutes. My guess is that combat sports use the aerobic system as the dominant energy pathway by the end of the first round.

What I'm still figuring out is the balance of aerobic training and interval training, and not making much headway. I do think that some of each is better than all of one or the other.
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  #5  
Unread 02-08-2012, 09:16 PM
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Fuzzy means fuzzy. If there was an easy way to correlate something from the gym to performance, then it wouldn't be fuzzy. Evaluate what you're doing and where you're lacking. If you realise you've been doing double-days 6x/week for months without a deload or week off, then plan breaks better to stay fresher.

Ask yourself where are you losing matches? Do you fatigue by the end? Are you being pushed around by physically stronger guys? Are you getting injured all the time? Are poor technical skills holding you back? Do you lack explosiveness? Etc etc.
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  #6  
Unread 02-08-2012, 09:23 PM
Zé Apelido Zé Apelido is offline
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it's a great question, basically the reason that there is and can be so much variance in training regiments is people can't accurately isolate and quantify progress in "functional" movements for a sport. especially in terms of mechanics. It can be done, but would require someone who can do biomechanical analysis and provide quantitative feedback.

for instance, you want to improve "pulling strength", when grappling. The best assessment would be one that can quantify how much force / power / impulse you are able to produce while pulling down an opponent. Once that's quantified, then the training techniques that improve it will more readily become clear.
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  #7  
Unread 02-08-2012, 10:29 PM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popupwindow View Post
Fuzzy means fuzzy. If there was an easy way to correlate something from the gym to performance, then it wouldn't be fuzzy. Evaluate what you're doing and where you're lacking. If you realise you've been doing double-days 6x/week for months without a deload or week off, then plan breaks better to stay fresher.

Ask yourself where are you losing matches? Do you fatigue by the end? Are you being pushed around by physically stronger guys? Are you getting injured all the time? Are poor technical skills holding you back? Do you lack explosiveness? Etc etc.
But simply realize that in the fuzzy sports improving a weakness doesn't automatically mean you will go from winning to losing. Because they are fuzzy.
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Unread 02-08-2012, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lylemcd View Post
But simply realize that in the fuzzy sports improving a weakness doesn't automatically mean you will go from winning to losing. Because they are fuzzy.
Of course. But looking at your weaknesses is a good starting place.
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  #9  
Unread 02-09-2012, 02:38 AM
cxw cxw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibaholic View Post
I constantly wonder about the same things. I think that best you can do is find benchmarks for elite performers in your sport and try to do as well as possible against them.
That has a few problems:
1. You don't know whether what you read about the elites is true. Especially something like lifting where their 500 pound squat might be actually be a quarter squat. Or in MMA, how much weight they cut.
2. The highest number of any of the elites might be presented as a standard for the elites, even though many elites are quite a way off.
3. Related to 2, you might have no chance of getting near the elite "standard" at a certain benchmark.
4. If the sport requires A, B, C and D qualities. You might end up spending too much time on A (e.g squatting) and neglect D (e.g. skills practise).
5. You spend too much time thinking about how much better you'd be if you were at some standard, rather than spending it concentrating on getting better. E.g. rather than actively looking at ways of escaping side control, you start thinking about "if only I squatted 500 pounds I could escape"
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Unread 02-09-2012, 02:57 AM
counterpuncher counterpuncher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibaholic View Post
I don't think that is correct. Studies of track athletes show that the aerobic system becomes dominant after about 75 seconds (about 600 meters). My guess is that combat sports use the aerobic system as the dominant energy pathway by the end of the first round.
Maybe distance runners rely on aerobic energy after 75 seconds, but a combat athelete will be relying on anerobic energy, (working with a lack of oxygen for a time), at certain points during a bout, then relying on aerobic energy to recover that oxygen debt quickly.
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