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Strength and Conditioning for the Endurance Runner

Thankfully, the general misconception that endurance athletes should only perform lightweights for a high number of reps has been exposed for quite a while now. It’s well understood that the majority of an endurance athletes’ time in the weights room is better spent lifting heavy weights (>80% of their 1 Rep Max) for a small number of reps (3-5 typically), as well as plyometric training (lifting a light load, explosively for a small number of reps) as this has been shown to have benefits such as helping maintain one’s running economy in the late stages of races. (Barnes et. al, 2013)

 

However, what isn’t as well understood is how to go from being a runner with little/no experience with weight training to one that can safely and effectively implement it into their training.

 

Firstly, learning correct exercise execution is critical so that athletes know how to do the exercise correctly when under load. This will not only minimise the risk of injury but also allow the athlete to perform the lift in the most efficient way, thus allowing for more weight to be lifted for a given amount of effort.

 

How does resistance training fit into the endurance runners training programme? The comprehensive answer to this question is too long for this article and will differ for each and every athlete. However, to answer in general terms, resistance training can be periodized. This means splitting up the year (macrocycle) into blocks with specific goals (mesocycles). Many runners will be familiar with the concept of periodisation and apply it to their endurance training, the same can be done with their resistance training, alongside their current training.

 

How resistance training is periodised will differ depending on the coaches ideology. In general, however, athletes will perform a strength endurance phase in the off season, a basic strength phase during off-season and pre-season, a strength/power phase during pre-season and then peaking and maintenance phases during competition season. (See Table for a visual representation of this)

 

Period General Preparatory Specific Preparatory Precompetitive Main Competitive Post Competitive
Stage of Competitive Season: Off-Season Off-Season/Pre-Season Pre-Season In-Season Post-Season
Phase: Strength Endurance/ Basic Strength Strength/Power Peaking or Maintenance Active Rest
Intensity: Low- Moderate

30-75% 1RM

Moderate-High

80-95%

1RM

Low to High

80-95% 1RM

30-85% 1RM

Low to High

50-90% 1RM

 

Low
Volume: High:

3-6 sets

12-20 reps

Moderate

2-6 sets

2-6 reps

Low

2-5 sets

2-5 reps

Very Low Low

*Post-Season does not necessarily have to include resistance training.

 

I hope this gives you a better idea of how resistance training can fit into a runners training schedule in order to benefit your performance. If you wish to get a more in-depth understanding on how trainers at SOMA can help implement these concepts into your training, please contact us.

 

References:

  • Barnes, K. R., Hopkins, W. G., Mcguigan, M. R., Northuis, M. E., & Kilding, A. E. (2013). Effects of resistance training on running economy and cross-country performance.

 

How You Can Finally Build Lasting Motivation For The Gym

 

 

 

‘You don’t need motivation, you need discipline!’ Scroll through the fitness pages of social media and quickly you will come across this misguided comment. In reality, when trying to build long term habits, there’s only one significant factor that will influence whether this habit will stick in the long run. This factor is called intrinsic motivation. (Texira, 2012)

Intrinsic motivation can be defined as the innate, natural propensity to engage one’s interests and exercise one’s capacity, and in doing so, seek and conquer optimal challenges (Deci and Ryan, 1985). In other words, intrinsic motivation is enjoyment derived the process of doing an activity, as opposed to partaking in something solely for the outcome goals. In terms of the gym, this would mean the process of attending the gym would have to be enjoyable, as opposed to only attending for the outcome goals of a more muscular body or heavier squat PR (these being examples of extrinsic motivation). There’s

absolutely nothing wrong with setting these outcome goals, in fact it’s openly encouraged as they can help a great deal but having this extrinsic motivation without a plan on how to build intrinsic motivation for the process of achieving these goals often leads to abandonment of these goals for the vast majority of people.

 

So how can you build intrinsic motivation if you don’t actually enjoy going to the gym? Well, in there’s 3 psychological needs that need to be fulfilled in order to achieve intrinsic motivation for an activity: competence, autonomy and relatedness (Deci and Ryan, 1985). As a personal trainer, I strive to achieve all three of these needs with my clients. Firstly, I help them feel competent by teaching correct technique and forming exercise plans bespoke to their anatomy and ability, so that they are challenged but not out of their depth. Autonomy is given, as the client is always in control of what the goal of the programme is, as well as what foods they eat, in order to achieve their nutritional targets. Lastly, myself and everyone at Soma help clients build relatedness by creating a welcoming and supportive atmosphere that clients look forward to being part of.

With extrinsic motivation towards New Year’s resolutions often tailing off at this time of year, I hope this article can provide you with the guidance you need to get back on track!

 

References:

  • Teixeira, P. J., Carraça, E. V., Markland, D., Silva, M. N., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: a systematic review. International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 9(1), 1-30.

 

  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Cognitive evaluation theory. In Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior(pp. 43-85). Springer, Boston, MA.

Written By

Coach Shay Ward

Do this for BIGGER TRICEPS!!!!!

Do this for BIGGER TRICEPS!!!

When training our arms we have to consider the anatomical carry angle of the individual. 99.9% of the time the little rope in the gym is not going to cut the mustard unless you have the shoulder width of a 3 year old girl.

Our coaches here at Soma Fitness take all of these things into account when programming sessions for our personal training clients. These fine details are what separate the average coaches in most facilities to the high level personal trainers that Soma Fitness provides. If we take you through an exercises we can explain to you the intent behind why we are doing it.

The most important FREE muscle building component that everyone should be prioritising.


SLEEP
When consulting with individuals within their fitness and physique goals, A few questions we get asked very often are the following:
What are the best supplements I take to help me build muscle?
What is the best macro split?
What is the best training split I should follow?
How many reps should I aim for?

A lot of times people deprioritise the most important element that if neglected, the best training program from the best coach, with the best supplement protocol will not outperform the importance of a good quality night of sleep.
I will always answer their questions but with the phrase but if you do not prioritise sleep hygiene then the last thing you will do is build muscle.
What are the best supplements I take to help me build muscle?
(in my humble opinion) “Creatine, it has the most research completed on it than any other supplement. What ever can make you relax and place you in a parasympathetic state for the time that you are not training so you can optimise protein synthesis, after we have looked at certain lifestyle factors like SLEEP, stress and digestion then we can know what will be important for you as an individual.”

What is the best macro split?
“The one you can keep most consistent over a long period of time.”

What is the best training split I should follow?
“The one that you can recover from and have more frequency on each muscle group through the course of the week”.

The truth is and I know people hate hearing this is that there is no best of anything when it comes to human physiology, biochemistry, anatomical variance, and genetics. What is best for one individual will not be optimal for another. One thing I have learnt through over a decade of practice is that what is the best for one individual may not be what is best for another. Our linage and genetics all play a factor in many ways.

Why do we need to sleep?

– Improved Cognitive Function (adherence & will power)
– Optimal performance and recovery
– Impaired metabolic function due to lack of sleep
– Managing blood sugar levels
– Immune health
-Reduce inflammation
– Endocrine system function (optimal hormone production and homestasis)
– Increase adrenal function

Tips to improve sleep quality?

– Sleep in a pitch-dark room (blackout blinds/eye mask)
– Manage noise in the room (ear plugs)
– Manage stimulant intake (no coffee after 1 pm)
– Do not eat a heavy meal too close to bed
– Practise Nasal Breathing before bed (10 mins box breathing exercise inhale 4 secs: hold 4 secs: Exhale 4 secs: hold 4 secs)
– Create sleep habits
– Have your bedtime at the same time every night including weekends (Or within a 1-hour window)
– Post prandial walks after your evening meal
– Maintain health blood sugar balance (balanced meals throughout the day)
– Manage your screen time, try and cut out 2 hours before bed
– Limit exposure to blue light. Blue light glasses in the evenings our recommendation: www.blublox.com
– Maintain a room temperature of around 20-22 degrees Celsius
– Do not make the bedroom a centre for entertainment.
– Do not watch scary movies or highly stimulating programmes right before bed.
– Workout hard
– Take power naps or use a meditation app for 10-20 mins of relaxation during your day
– minimise stressors
– Read a book before bed

3 great exercises for a Beginner for building glutes

The glutes are for most individuals the biggest muscle in the body, and for most females an area on their body that they have a preference to develop. That said form a performance point of view you want the biggest muscle in your body to be strong and functionally sound.
Many studies have shown the effects of the back squat at simulating hypertrophy at the glutes. The skill set required to perform a squat to the degree necessary to drive output and range of motion to get the glutes into a lengthened to the point of creating sufficient mechanical tension can only really be reached by individuals who have developed the skill of squatting. As you are reading this article, I would presume you are a novice lifter who would benefit from 3 efficient exercises that require an entry level skill set to stimulate your glutes.
I mentioned how great back squats are at building glutes however don’t think it gives you the licence to jump on the rack and start squatting you really have to earn the skill level to squat correctly and have the ability to stay stable enough so that you can use your glutes to squat. The problem most individuals walk into when squatting is going to an anterior pelvic tilt within their squat, this will disadvantage the ability for your glutes to create hip extension and the hamstrings and the adductor magnus will come into play. When you perform a squat and your knees cave in you are likely going to be an individual who will not grow your glutes via squatting in your program, your glutes will not be contributing to the lift for long enough to create a stimuli for them to create the adaptation for them to grow. This does not throw the back squat in the bin for you I just will require some dedicated time practising the skill of the squat and working on your stability around the hips and pelvis.
1) Leg Press – The leg press enables a relatively novice lifter to work the glutes in their lengthened position without requiring the same level of ability as a back squat would. With the external stability of the machine it gives the individual the opportunity to drive enough stimulus through the glutes to drive the growth through the glutes. Studies have also show that we generally see greater responses in muscle hypertrophy in exercises that challenge a muscle within its lengthened position this is more than likely due as it is where we see mechanical tension at its highest. To get the most out of the leg press a tempo to perform the exercise in would be: 2e:2-2c:0 (2e= 2 seconds eccentric:2 seconds hold at the bottom of the eccentric:2c=2 seconds concentric:0 seconds at the top of the concentric).

2) 45 degree back extension (glute dominant) – When done correctly this exercise effectively work the glutes within their shortened position. The key is limiting the range of motion so that you can remain in a posterior tilt of the pelvis throughout driving the hips into the pad as hard as you can squeezing the glute fibres together and contracting the glutes as hard as you can. This can be done with your bodyweight and still be incredibly challenging when the intent of maintaining the pelvis in that stable posterior tilt and contracting the glute fibres as hard as you can all the way throughout the movement. Some may argue that you are not working the full range of motion of the exercise however this article is for people who are looking to grow glutes and challenge the glutes with enough stimulus to elicit a hypertrophy adaptation, not a mindless pursuit of movement with no true stimulation. The great thing about this exercise is that it requires minimal set up time and you can really push the glutes to failure to stimulate enough metabolic stress and drive your glutes to grow. Comparing this exercise with the barbell hip thrust, which also works the glutes in its shortened position would be the inefficiency of time to set up the hip thrust. 3 mins to set up and 3 mins to clear your equipment away in that time you would have finished your sets on the 45 degree back extension, and more than likely pushed your glutes further into a state of fatigue and moved on to your next exercise hence why I would tend to go for the efficiency of the 45 degree back extension over the barbell hip thrust. Tempo considerations: 2c:2-1e:0

3) Trap Bar Deadlift – The trap bar deadlift would be my hip hinging movement of choice for a novice lifter, the technical requirements are so much less than a conventional deadlift or an RDL. The trap bar deadlift will also exert less force through the lumbar spine than a conventional deadlift but you still get a lot of glute stimulation. If you are a novice lifter who does not have the skill proficiency to squat and your goal is to have a good squat, its more than likely that you will need to work develop the skill requirements for a conventional deadlift also. The position you get into with the trap bar is a lot more upright than a conventional deadlift and may have some carry over to the progression of the barbell back squat as well as the conventional deadlift. It can teach you to keep your pelvis stable and how to brace from hip flexion to hip extension, as you are starting from a concentric phase where people usually break down within a squat which begins in the eccentric. Tempo considerations 1c:2-2e:2

In addition to these 3 movements I would add some unilateral lower body movements to your program on a consistent basis:

– Single leg RDLs
– Split Squat variations
– Lunge variations
– Hip airplane

If the goal is to grow your glutes the journey does not end with these 3 exercises however myself and many other experienced lifters use these movements as a staple in their training programs. Progressing your lifts to more advanced lifts once you have developed the skill prerequisites to perform them rather than fast tracking to exercises that may be more counterproductive for you due to your level of proficiency, this is probably the number one mistakes I see novice lifters make.

INSIDE SOMA FITNESS: Hale & Altrincham Based Private Personal Training Gym

What has been happening inside Soma Fitness while Corona Virus has been keeping our business closed for most of the past 12 months?

We have been updating our equipment and transforming our private gym facility into one of the best kitted out private personal training facilities in the area.

If you never heard about Soma Fitness and this is the first time visiting our site here is a little more insight about how we work:

Soma Fitness is a private personal training facility with dedicated coaches guiding you to reach your physique, fitness, health and performance goals.

We use a bespoke approach to your individual anatomy, lifestyle and genetics.

Contact us to reserve your complimentary consultation.

Minimal spaces available reserve your slot today. Soma Fitness is a private personal training facility with dedicated coaches guiding you to reach your physique, fitness, health and performance goals.

We use a bespoke approach to your individual anatomy, lifestyle and genetics.

Contact us to reserve your complimentary consultation.

Minimal spaces available reserve your slot today.

LEARN TO LIFT PROGRAM

Who is this program for ?

  • Are you new to weight training and want to understand how to get strong or get big?
  • Do you want to learn how to execute exercises correctly and be more efficient with your time in the gym?
  • Do you play a sport and want to improve your physical performance?
  • Receive 1-1 or small group coaching (more cost effective).

Why should you join?

  • Learn to lift correctly and safely.
  • Learn the foundations of strength training and muscle building.
  • Training programs tailored towards you and your goals.
  • Personal bespoke nutrition plans.
  • Get coached from an ex-professional athlete and current sports science student and personal trainer Tim Jeffers.
  • Train in clean and safe private gym.

RESERVE YOUR SLOT TODAY

Soma Fitness COVID 19 Virus Prevention Protocols

We cannot wait to welcome our clients back into our gym. The team have been working hard to produce protocols in order to keep the environment of the gym as safe as possible. Every month the team at Viroclean will be giving our gym a deep sanitation to keep Soma a virus free enviroment. As a private facility focusing on personal training we can manage and have control over making sure all surfaces and equipment are clean and sanitised before any of our clients use them.

Here are a few more protocols we will have in place:

  • We will be leaving 15 minutes in between clients to clean and sanitise equipment, handles and surface areas. We ask clients to please be slightly flexible with us so that we can keep this in place and to be on time for their sessions.
  • On entering the gym please make your way to one of the hand sanitising stations to sanitise your hands before you touch any equipment. Hand sanitising stations will be located at the front section of the gym and at the back section of the gym feel free to apply as often as you feel comfortable.
  • Cleaning procedures for every evening have been put in place 6 days per week after each operational day for sanitation. This will mean we cannot conduct any training sessions past 9.30 pm MON – FRI & 7 pm SAT.
  • Our coaches will be equipped with gloves and visors for any close contact spotting. We will give you a choice if you wish your coach to wear them for the whole session. Please contact your coach prior to let him know what you wish them to do so, we have all the PPE available on site.
  • We will not be performing any assisted stretches with clients that which will require contact, all stretching routines will be demonstrated by your coach with the coaching cues required. (so, there is no getting out of stretching off at the end of your session).
  • If a coach requires to demonstrate technique to you on a piece of apparatus or equipment, prior to the demonstration your coach will then sanitise the equipment before you go to perform the exercise for yourself.
  • Coaches will be washing their hands before, during the middle and end of every session if they are not wearing gloves, Gloves will be replaced after each session if they are required to wear them.
  • Your coach will allocate you to either the front or back entrance to enter the gym if in doubt just press the buzzer at the front of the gym your coach will let you know if to come in through the front or through the back.
  • We please urge if any clients are suffering from any symptoms please let your coach know and do not attend your session.

What can we do for you? – Video

Our personal training coaches here at Soma Fitness can help you overcome all the problems you need solving around your health and fitness goals. Our coaches can help take care of all the areas that require you to succeed:

– Structured training programs tailored toward your goals and your lifestyle.

– Bespoke nutritional plans to fit your requirements and your goals.

– Coaching of correct exercise execution, training is a skill it’s not just about throwing weights around, make your workouts more efficient and effective.

– Improve lifestyle habits that may be hindering your progress.

– Build confidence within your body.

– Feel stronger and healthier.

Contact us to book in your FREE consultation with one of our coaches

 

Client Success Story – Paul Richards Moto Racer Gets Back On His Bike

Paul Richards began his coaching journey with his personal trainer at Soma Fitness originally for some strength and conditioning for his moto racing. After having an accident on his bike and sustaining bad injury, he worked with us to rehabilitate himself and he decided to retire from the sport. After getting back to pre injury condition Paul achieved his body composition goals and is now stronger more muscular and leaner than ever and is back racing his bike again. A true success story that we have been honoured to be a part of here at Soma. If you would like to achieve more, improve your physique and overall health contact us and book in your FREE consultation with one of our coaches.