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Athlete Conditioning Program - Positive Image Training and Fitness

Come on, be honest with yourself and admit that at some point in our lives we have been or wanted to be at the level of fitness of our favourite elite athletes.  In our mind these athletes represent the epitome of fitness .... right?  An in most cases they are!


What do you see in your minds eye when you think of an athlete?  Most likely, with few exceptions you are likely visualizing a lean, muscular, well toned body ... the picture of fitness.  


Read on and I can tell you how you can work toward that image.


Whenever you embark on your fitness journey, always keep in mind what your ultimate goal is. 

For example, body builders focus on muscle hypertrophy (growth), runners and tri-athletes focus on endurance and strength, soccer players on strength, aerobic conditioning, agility etc.  

Regardless of the goal the following is required in your journey to reach those goals:



Primary Fitness Foundation


It only makes sense that the strength of anything is contingent on a good foundation and the same can be said about fitness. Primary fitness foundation addresses cardiovascular conditioning, endurance, strength and flexibility.  

One of the biggest goals being the development of a healthy body composition of fat to lean muscle.  


Secondary Fitness


Is essentially the next level in your fitness journey where training shifts to function and/or performance goals.  To achieve this the focus of training shifts from training muscles in isolation to more dynamic and integrated functional movement types of exercises.  


The components of secondary fitness that are essential to athlete development include :

  • co-ordination

  • agility (the ability to link a series of movements into efficient movement patterns)

  • reaction time (the ability to read and then react to your opponent).  This can be you as a parent reading and reacting to your child getting ready to run down the stairs.

  • balance

  • speed

  • power












Energy Systems


Training as the athlete that you are requires some knowledge of which of the three primary energy systems is being used in order to optimize training.


Immediate Energy System

This system utilizes an energy molecule we call ATP that is stored in our muscles.  During intense exercise all of these molecules are used up within 10 seconds and it takes another 7 minutes of rest for the molecules to be re-generated.


So if you are training in a high intensity event of short duration like a 100m sprint for example, this is the energy system that needs to be trained.


Anaerobic-Glycolytic Energy System

This system uses the carbohydrates (glucose = 'sugar') stored in our muscles. These carbohydrates or sugars act as the 'starting material' to produce the ATP energy molecule.

Balance training exercise

The word anaerobic literally means 'without oxygen' and glycolysis  means 'breakdown' of the glucose.  So the name of this energy system can then be defined as breaking down the glucose (sugars) in our muscles without the need for oxygen.  

This doesn't mean we exercise without breathing but rather that oxygen isn't needed in our muscles to produce the energy molecule.


A second energy molecule, pyruvic acid is produced via this system, is utilized in the third energy system described below to produce even more ATP.

This energy system is only able to function to full capacity for a relatively short period of time, typically lasting from 20 seconds to 3 minutes.

Oxidative Energy System

This is the energy system that is used during activities that most people associate with what they consider aerobic activity. Essentially this is the energy system that is most involved in sustained activity over a time period greater than about 3 minutes.  


This system does require oxygen at the muscular level and is the primary system that is utilized when building endurance and to maximize the number of calories we burn.  


So all this stuff is kind of dry but are important factors that I apply to training everyone of my clients.  


​Finally ... do you have a a young, budding, talented athlete in them making, click on this link to see where your child/young adult is in there physical/physiologic development and how proper training can be applied to maximize their potential.



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