Benefits of Weighted Carries for Strength and Conditioning

January 14, 2016

What this means to you: 

Whether you're a runner or looking to become fitter, don't assume mileage and training volume is the only way to increase your fitness and aerobic capacity. When looking at this research study, high intensity interval training (HIIT) was more successful in increasing V02 max (oxygen consumption) and improving a 1000 meter time trial run than high volume training. In your own training, don't underestimate intensity. Short bursts of work, followed by rest intervals can have a host of benefits such as improving your mile time and improving your fitness. 

What this means to you: 

There is a large amount of speculation whether active recovery or passive recovery is better to restore the body to normal conditions and prepare it for the next exercise bout. When looking at the differences, active recovery can be more beneficial to you for the removal of lactate (acidity) and for the increase of blood flow and oxygen consumption. However, active recovery does not allow glycogen (muscle fuel) to replenish as effectively as passive recovery.


This leads to the idea that if your next exercise bout will be within a few hours, passive recovery may be best in order to replenish glycogen. Otherwise, VERY light, non-excessive active recovery on a low impact mode such as an exercise bike or rower may allow the body and stressed musculature to return to a normal functioning state.

What this means to you:

Fueling our bodies for exercise, training, and competition is crucial in order to have intensity and duration in the activity. Essentially, our bodies are machines and they need to run off of the proper fuel. We know that carbohydrates are the master fuel for activity. Carbohydrates turn into glycogen in the muscle and liver to then be used as energy. When they are burned, we need to replace them... but what's the best way to do this?

Particularly after a long, endurance-like session, glycogen can be depleted and must be replaced in order to perform well during the next bout. The above research shows that high glycemic index foods replace muscle and liver glycogen better than low glycemic index foods. These high glycemic foods do a better job of replacing your energy reserves. 


FIND HERE  the high glycemic index foods to eat after your session in order to REFUEL! 



What this means to you: 

When foam rolling, rolling the front/back sides of the body versus the lateral sides has no affect on performance. However, foam rolling the lateral aspects of the body was more important in successfully increasing flexibility. Therefore, for increasing flexibility in the lower body, a greater focus on the side or lateral aspect of the legs and trunk may be beneficial. 


What this means to you: 

To train the cardiovascular system, traditional treadmill work is often the first choice. However, the research above (link in blue), indicates how effective kettlebell training can be for improving the aerobic system. When tested, bouts of kettlebell exercises produced a GREATER heart rate response than graded treadmill conditioning. Kettlebell training can cause more metabolic demand, adaptation, and calorie expenditure. Additionally, kettlebell training has tremendous benefits for increasing strength throughout the musculoskeletal system. 


One of the most effective kettlebell exercises of all-time: The Kettlebell Swing