In the last two articles, we have seen the Footwork Drills, Press-up variations for grip strengths, how Lomachenko prepare for his Mental Exercises and Underwater Breath holds. Today we are going to explain about Low-intensity and low-impact conditioning methods followed by Lomachenko in this blog.
LOW-INTENSITY AND LOW-IMPACT CONDITIONING METHODS
If you’re a keen Lomachenko fan, you may have seen him do a range of different methods for low-intensity conditioning from sand tennis to Canoeing.
This is quite interesting, and definitely an unorthodox way to condition a boxer. Let’s take a closer look…
WHY WE NEED LOW INTENSITY?
Regular readers will know we like to programme a lot of high-intensity interval training, but this is also accompanied by a small volume of low-intensity conditioning sessions. Part of this is undertaken during boxing specific training such as shadow boxing, light-bag work, footwork drills and part of it is structured as running or cycling as a recovery session.
It’s important to incorporate low-intensity training to increase training variability, reduce monotony and strain, provide boxers with time to ‘switch-off’, provide an extra stimulus to improve aerobic capacity and at strategic times provide another opportunity to expend energy and manage weight.
LIMITATIONS OF LOW-INTENSITY RUNNING
What we don’t recommend is plodding or pounding the pavements or treadmill for hours on end. Although this is an effective training strategy for endurance athletes, it’s not time-efficient and doesn’t provide the target adaptations that underpin boxing performance. Plodding also increases monotony, strain and therefore risk of injury, particularly in athletes who are already predominately anterior dominated. Hip flexors, knees and ankles are at risk here not to mention the possibility stress-fractures in the foot (especially in energy deficit).
As well as the mechanical and physiological limitations – athlete’s find plodding very mentally challenging especially if the only time to do it is at 5 am! We want our athletes to be fresh physically and mentally so although low-intensity training has benefits there are many limitations that need to be considered.
BENEFITS OF PERFORMING ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITIES
The activities that Lomachenko uses are great for so many reasons. These have much lower impact forces, so won’t be adding to the wear and tear from the rest of the hard training during camp.
Furthermore, these activities offer more for movement and mobility. The Sand Tennis / Volleyball gets Loma moving in various movement planes, rotating and lunging. The Caneoeing offers good conditioning for the posterior shoulder muscles and trunk.
A final point would be that these are more enjoyable activities than long, steady-state runs. This helps a boxer avoid psychological stagnation during challenging 10-12 week training camps.
Overall, you’re getting more bang for your buck utilising these alternative conditioning methods whilst reducing impact forces. Here are some examples that you could implement into your camp;
- Beach Volleyball
- Table Tennis
- Intensity Football (non-competitive)
The only thing you need to do is to make sure you’re monitoring and controlling these factors;
- Heart Rate between 65 and 75% HRmax
- Controlling High-Impact Forces
- Rate of Perceived Exertion 1-2 (very easy)
STILL PREFER TO RUN?
There are many ways you can still perform long, steady-state runs but break up to make less tedious and avoid plodding. We like to use ‘match-burners’ where the goal is to find the fastest running speed and slowest running speed that doesn’t exceed zone 1 (first threshold).
30 s @ 15 kph : 30 s @ 10 kph x 10 min > aim 130 bpm (75% HRmax average). 10 min easy at 75% HRmax. Repeat sequence 2 to 3 times.
This allows also to maintain some intensity with the session but the overall physiological demands are limited to zone 1.
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