Conditioning is key to performance. no one wants to gas out. but how do we assess and program this for our fighters? check out this post to find out.
I think when it comes to testing for strength, people have a rough idea on what to do and how to monitor. 3 rep max, 5 rep max, jumps etc etc it's easy to track progress over time,
But when it comes to conditioning, there seems to be more uncertainty. I know when I started as a coach, it's where I struggled.
So below I will outline one of the conditioning testing protocols I use and how to program based off this.
Alactic system testing
You Alactic system is simply the ATP system or the first 6-8s of work. Any explosive movement we do will use this system.
This energy system is key to fighting, especially professional boxing as it is made up of those explosive bursts, over a long duration. The ability to throw and recover for 36 minutes will determine level of performance.
When we test we are looking at seeing how well the fighter can produce high power outputs and recover.
The protocol is 8 seconds of maximal work, followed by 52 seconds of rest. You will perform 10 rounds. I like the assault bike as it allows the athlete to work at maximal intensity with low risk.
What do we track?
Peak power - what is the highest wattage the athlete can produce. We can monitor this camp on camp and should see this improve. This would signal an improvement in this energy system.
Average power - Take the 10 reps, add them up and divide by 10. This will give you an average wattage. Again, camp on camp this should go up.
Drop off - over time, as the peak power increases, we also want to make sure the drop off isn't too big. This is a sign of good capacity using this system, meaning they are able to produce their force over and over again (very sport specific).
Once you have this data you can set programming up accordingly.
If someone has a peak power that falls below the norm, you want to improve this. Here you would want to do shorter intervals (6s) with longer rest (60-90s) in order to increase the overall power.
You could then look to improve the capacity by decreasing rest time over a block, seeing if the athlete can keep their power high over more reps, with less rest.
This is one way I test and assess my guys conditioning and look to program off the back of it. You need data and a way to monitor. The important thing, no matter what method you use is to keep the test the same and the equipment you use. Using an assault bike at one gym and then at another gym on your second test will be unreliable.
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