Performance Training is not about Muscle Building

To shave run and swim times, or increase the number of punches, pushups, pull ups, or to last longer in any sport – you must train sport specific with repetitive conditioning – not muscle building with heavy lifting.  A lot of guys showed up at BDO (Basic Dive School) looking buff and able to bench press 300 pounds, but most hadn’t trained specifically for the exercises on the SEAL/Diver PRT (physical readiness test) so they couldn’t max out the test.  And that test was the sole measure of our physical prowess – at least in the beginning.  I on the other hand had trained two years specifically for those exercises so I naturally got quite good at them, as anyone would.  I easily maxed out every phase of the test.  (Actually did 140 more pushups than required for max, 33 more pull ups over max, and swam 3 minutes under the perfect score)  I wasn’t buff, quite the opposite and couldn’t bench press 300 pounds to save my life – but I was highly conditioned for those specific exercises.  Those exercises were are all conditioning exercises – NOT heavy strength exercises.  If you want to build up your stamina, numbers or decrease times, you have to be sport specific with repetitive conditioning. 

Here’s how a trained for pull ups:  Three times a week I conducted 10 sets of pull ups at 30 second intervals, trying for 10 sets of 10.  Of course it started out looking more like 10-10-7-5-4-3-3…etc.  But after a few months I could knock out 10 sets of 10 then I shot for 10 sets of 11, then 10 sets of 12.  IF YOU NEED TO GET CONDITIONED FOR SOMETHING – don’t confuse muscle building with conditioning.  (Muscle building is about muscle isolation) They’re two different animals, but I believe one should always train for both – why not look good, build strength and perform well.     

No muscles here, but well conditioned.  BDO 1990. 

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