High intensity conditioning (sprints, sled work, circuit training, and a million other bits and pieces) has become very popular over the past few years. This is a great thing, as intense conditioning is a fantastic tool for fat loss and performance training. One of the pitfalls of this type of training is that technique often goes out the window – especially in a group training environment where everybody is encouraging you (which is obviously well intentioned!).
Maintaining proper technique should always be a goal, don’t sacrifice proper form and potentially your health for a faster time. There is no million dollar sponsorship for being the best at exercising! Usually these injuries are slow to build up – not an instant snap, but a slow boil that turns into a persistent injury. Our friends at Crossfit 2147 are a great example of intense conditioning done correctly. Class sizes are kept small enough (15 or less) that the coaches are able to keep an eye on everyone, movements are modified to fit an individuals ability, and before throwing you in the deep end you are taken through the movement skills for a few weeks in their beginner program.
It’s easy to set up challenging circuits or movements yourself as well. Interval training is arguably the easiest way to up the intensity – 30 seconds of sprint cycling, 2 minutes of pacing yourself for example. This can be applied to sprints, swimming, anything you can think of. Circuits are another simple method: just combine a handful of movements together. You could do a squat, pushup, box jump circuit and do as many as possible in 10-15 minutes, for example. There are no hard and fast rules, and even without equipment there are so many bodyweight movements to be done, you are only limited by your imagination!
So when you are getting after it, remember that technique is king. There is no shame in pacing yourself in order to maintain proper position – in fact that is what real training should be! If you would like to give Crossfit 2147 a go, they are offering a free week of classes for the month of Jan 2016 and now have 9.30am classes – just mention InspiredPhysio when inquiring!
Check our their website crossfit2147.com.au and happy training!
Chris Mooney, Physiotherapist