Abbreviations & Definitions
Workouts focused on the development of maximum force production and muscular recruitment. These include One Rep Max (1RM) efforts or similarly low-rep, high-load efforts using a slow movement with the weight traveling a limited distance (e.g. Deadlift). These are typically heavy, slow, grinding movements with no explosive components to them. Contraction time for each rep may be two seconds, or more.
Rest periods between sets should lengthen as weight increases. We specify 2-3 minutes when the load is over 80% of 1RM
Workouts focused on increasing the rate of force production. These workouts are separated into three categories: Explosive Power, Cardiovascular Power, and Litvinov Conversions.
Explosive Power workouts typically refer to single movements (e.g. Clean) that require extremely high muscular recruitment for durations of less than a half-second. These movements can be done as single lifts or within very low rep sets. Explosive Power workouts also use coupled movements that combine a force component with a speed component which both use the same muscles and neural pathways (e.g. Dead Lifts + Depth Jumps).
Cardiovascular Power workouts refer to sub 90-second efforts of maximum cardiovascular output (e.g. 500m Row, 400m Run). These are likely to be repeated.
Litvinov Conversions, although similar to coupled movements, concentrate on the split second phase of changing gears between the force component and speed component (e.g. Front Squat + Sprint). Usually, the emphasis in Litvinov Conversion workouts is on the transition, the quicker the better. Whatever comes after is gravy, and it could be anything from 20 meters of hurdles to a 400m run.
*All Power workouts are concerned with maximum recruitment and force production as quickly a possible. Because intensity is paramount for each lift, set, or conversion, allow a minimum of 3 min of rest between each.
To define Power-endurance (strength x speed x distance) we use three sub-categories:
Short: high-intensity steady-state effort for 1-4 minutes requiring high acid tolerance and buffering capacity i.e. a well-trained anaerobic system (run 400m, 800m, row [ERG] 500m, track ride 1000m, speed skate, etc)
Long: 4 to 30-minute hard and fast, steady-state efforts at a high percentage of MVO2, requiring both high aerobic and anaerobic thresholds (run 5000m, row 2000m, etc)
Intermittent: intermittent, repetitive explosive power production (fighting, hockey and soccer are examples).
*Power Endurance workouts are predominantly cardiovascular in nature, though the cause of stress on the O2 system may derive from any source (row, run, ride, lift, swing, jump, etc). We also use Power Endurance as a catch-all definition to cover “work capacity” when a session does not fall squarely within another category.
The capacity of the muscles to repetitively produce (sub-maximal) force independent of limitations imposed by the cardiovascular system. Failure in a strength endurance workout initiates in the muscles, not in the heart or lungs. An example might be 100x Back Squat @ 40-50% without setting the bar down, or the Deadlift test where the player executes the maximum number of reps possible without setting the bar down.
Our definition of Endurance begins at 90 minutes because this is around the time when fuel, hydration, temperature regulation and a host of other factors begin having a larger influence on performance and outcome. Most can gut it out up to that point.
Endurance sessions typically last longer than 90 minutes and are sport-specific efforts but may be as simple as a hike. Since pace and intensity are the inverse of duration the longer the effort the lower the power output and heart rate. Interval blocks may be included within the Endurance effort. Pace and power output are varied.
If an Endurance effort lasts less than 90 minutes we usually use this term to describe the pace, HR, or power output of the effort. We may also use it to describe the fitness characteristic the workout is designed to support.
If the player rows 30 minutes at a heart rate of 130-135 it is considered an Endurance <90 effort. If the player rowed that same 30-minute piece trying to maintain an HR of >165 the effort would fall into the Power-Endurance category.
Easy effort, typically something smooth (row, bike, swim, Nordic ski, etc) 30-60 minutes long, undertaken at very low heart rate (<65% of MHR) to move blood around, flush by-products of previous day’s effort, and create demand for food. Active recovery is always better than simple rest. Recovery should be considered a significant component of every training program.
LT, or Lactate Threshold
In general we use the old definition of 4 millimoles of lactate per liter of blood volume, and the term is sometimes used interchangeably with anaerobic threshold. High blood lactate values are indicative of muscle cell acidity. Lacate is NOT the problem, hydrdogen ions are the problem.
When blood lactate values increase to 6-8 mmol/L coordination and efficiency may be negatively affected. Regularly high lactate values impair aerobic endurance capacity. However, some individuals have a lactate threshold of more than 4 mmol/L. Threshold values of up to 6mmol/L and higher have been observed. The threshold itself may not be as easy to change as the body’s ability to process lactate: when the amount of time one is able to spend at 9mmol/L increases this may not reflect changes in threshold values, rather it may indicate improved lactate processing capacity.
Specific training structures and intensities are used to increase the threshold. The faster or harder the athlete can go without producing debilitating levels of acidity, the longer he or she can maintain such a pace, and the more fat may be used as a fuel, which does not produce acid.
MHR, or Maximum Heart Rate
This value may be used to scale output for the player who does not have access to a power meter, or in a sport where power measurement is not possible. MHR is tested using sport-specific movements because different movement demands will produce different maximums and they are not necessarily transferable, i.e. you cannot use the MHR from swimming as a guide for running. The test should be repeated once or twice annually (though few ever do so) or information can be gleaned from race data where HR is usually quite high. Do the test 2-3 times spread over a couple of weeks. Allow adequate recovery between tests (one week).
1) Warm-up: 10-15 min easy, several progressions to threshold HR, i.e. â€œOpenersâ€ to open up the circulatory system and prepare the body and mind for the hard effort to come.
2) Two minutes all-out sprint (sport specific)
3) One minute rest
4) Two minutes all-out sprint (record HR during last 20 seconds)
As an alternative Peter Janssen suggests, â€œwarm up, then do an intensive ride/run for 4-5 minutes, sprint the final 20-30 seconds
1RM, or One-Rep Max
One-rep max: the maximum load one is able to lift, pull, move, etc for a single repetition. Several methods of working up to a 1RM test exist. We start with a general warm-up, then a specific warm-up, work up to theoretical 1RM (T1RM), then fire.
General Warm-up: 10-20 minutes low impact aerobic activity, then medicine ball throws
Specific Warm-up: 10x @ 35% of T1RM, 5x @ 55-60% T1RM
Work-up: 2x @ 75-80% T1RM, 1x @ 85-87% T1RM (revise as needed according to feedback), 1x @ 93-95% T1RM
Test: 1x @ Predicted 1RM (if it was easy, increase load a logical amount), 1x @ new predicted 1RM (if it goes take it, if it was missed, reduce load to 90-95% of successful 1RM and fire a perfect lift to set the psycho-physical memory and stop)
Only 5-6 top-end lifts are possible so if it hasn’t happened by then it probably won’t, on that day.
While it may be a PR this 1RM is not the best lift one can make because the stimulus is generally not adequate to “inspire” a true Max Effort. The load should be considered a “gym max” or as Dan John calls it, a “kinda max”. In any case this is the current 1RM and it changes throughout the year.
1RM: One-rep Max
C&J: Clean and Jerk
FS: Front Squat
BKSQ: Back Squat
BGSS: Bulgarian Split Squat
FLR: Front Leaning Rest (top of Push-up, arms locked-out, solid plank position
FSPP: Front Squat Push Press
GHD: Glute-Ham Developer (a bench designed to do the Glute-Ham Extension [GHE], also used for Sit-ups)
GHE: Glute-Ham Extension
HSC: Hang Squat Clean (start from Hang position, Clean the barbell, catch it in full Squat)
HSPU: Handstand Push-up
HSS: Hang Split Snatch (start from Hang position, Snatch the barbell, catch it in a Split position)
KBS: KB Swing (usually means two-handed, standard swing)
MHR: Max Heart Rate
OHS: Overhead Squat
PP: Push Press
SLDL: Single-leg Deadlift
TGU: Turkish Get-up
The majority of my definitions came about through seminars and training at Gymjones in SLC, Utah. For more information on their project visit: www.gymjones.com.