Peak Fitness Fast!
More then likely at some stage in your training you will wonder if you have ever achieved peak physical condition. If you have been injured and you are returning to training or if you have never trained before and you are about to start you will also want to know how to become fit, fast. This goes for lapses in training too (Christmas time!). The good news is that if you are fit already then it only takes 4 to 6 weeks to reach peak fitness. If you aren't fit already then it will take about 4 to 6 weeks to get fit. Unfortunately, peak fitness is impossible to maintain all year round. If you try to maintain a peak fitness training program for too long then you will burn out fast. Burn out is bad. It leaves you de-motivated, tired and possibly depressed. Burn out is very common in all individual sports (Martial Arts) so make sure that you try to avoid it. Okay on with the peak training:
Firstly, design your training program. Grab a calendar and mark your goal date on it. It makes it easier to visualise if you are training for a specific event like a competition or a social event (wedding etc.). Next write down some clear goals. Don't go crazy. Keep them simple and small. Several small, progressive goals add up to one big goal. You may want to lose weight, gain muscle, get fitter, increase flexibility, improve kicks or all of the above. Next, you will need to choose how you intend to achieve these physical goals. A good peak fitness program contains cardio-vascular exercise, strength & flexibility training and a healthy eating plan. Now that you have a rough plan it is time to start. The first week or two you should ease into it slowly. Exercise 3 days per week and get plenty of rest. Make sure that each of your training days is separated by rest days. Week three & four you should start to pump it up. Increase your training to five days a week. However, don't go all out in each training session. For example: Monday 100% effort, Tuesday 75%, Wednesday 100%, Thursday 75%, Friday 100%, rest on Saturday & Sunday. You should notice that you need more sleep during this phase of the peak training program. You may also notice that you are eating more (hopefully good food!). Both of these effects are good signs that your program is working and your body and metabolism are developing.
The last week or two of your program (week five & six) you should be pushing it hard. Again, use the five day schedule except this time each day is 100% effort that's exactly why you could never maintain this program all your round. It's only possible to train five days a week at 100% effort for a couple of weeks before burn out/injury sets in. If you have the time then split your training in two so that you train twice a day. For example, strength and flexibility training in the morning, cardio-vascular activity in the evening. Again, eat plenty, sleep plenty, take hot baths and get massages. Lastly, take 2 days off training before your event/function. This way you will be at your fittest and you will have stored up plenty of energy to do what you have trained hard for.
Training for peak fitness is quite straight forward. The hardest part is motivating yourself to start. But, as soon as you do start, it is a lot easier to keep going. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.
By Robert Devane