MOMENTUM: Making You a Better Athlete
Posted in Program Design & Theory on August 14, 2019
Last month, we were all about the D.
Ok, remove your heads from the gutter. What we mean to say is, we dropped some insight behind the purpose of our Durability intervals and why it’s important to slow the hell down…despite how unsexy those long, gritty work periods can be.
This month, we’re all about that M.
Much like the Durability theme, once you’re able to execute a Momentum day correctly, it’ll no doubt hold a special place in your MAD heart and be a day you look forward to.
We’ll start by saying this: if you think Momentum intervals are the hardest style we run (which is comment we hear often)…you are NOT attacking the interval the way it’s intended to exist. For those of you that fall in this camp, we’ll put money on the fact that you likely don’t pace yourself, and – either intentionally or unintentionally – completely disregard our request to start at that 70% pace.
Here’s a scenario you’ve likely found yourself in a time or two:
Your trainer ascends onto his/her MAD soapbox in front of the white board and demands “a gradual build in pace, starting at a 70%, finishing at a 90%...blah-blah-blah…respect the build…yada yada yada.”
The clock starts and you get to work. You're hauling ass right out of the gates, either because you’re either new to the program and don’t fully understand what your 70% output looks and feels like, OR you interpret the 70% pace to feel “too easy” and you want to "challenge yourself more". What you're not considering, however, is the fact that you're leaving little to no room to get any stronger or faster in line with the interval's purpose.
The 90% cycle hits and you’re out of gas…likely moving slower than you were in the 70% or 80% cycle. You start moving at each station several seconds after the work period begins, and stop moving several seconds before the work period ends. The workout finishes, and you roll onto your back deciding this was the hardest workout of all time.
Here’s why that happens...
Every single M.A.D. time domain is appropriately applied to the interval theme. It’s calculated and rooted in science. As far as Momentum goes, it will always be a 2:1 work to rest ratio (:40 work/:20 rest).
Simply put: you do not have enough rest time factored into the interval to sustain your sprint throughout the entire workout. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Furthermore, next to a :40 second work period, :20 doesn’t even give you the opportunity to tackle a 100% pace, which is why it’s important to distinguish between your 90% pace and your 100% all out sprint (save that juice for an A day).
When we say we specialize in energy systems and work to rest ratios, we mean it. We're not cocky, we're just educated in this field, so we ask that you trust our direction! If the communicated goal is to stay in motion, move well, and successfully find your 90% controlled sprint...respecting the build is pivotal.
Well, for starters, we’re in the business of strength and athleticism. And there’s no aspect of our program that more appropriately mirrors the training style of a true athlete than Momentum. All the jumping patterns, foot work, and agility drills you find on the Momentum floor are there for a reason…and that’s to make YOU a better athlete.
Next up, we program Momentum intervals into our training protocol to capitalize on dynamic energy control (aka pace management). While it might take a few sessions to really grasp that pace build, executing the discipline to do so will ultimately allow you to manage your energy expenditure so that when it’s time to explode, you can tap into your reserved resources as needed.
Whether you have an elite-caliber athletic background, or are fresh to the strength and conditioning scene, make no mistake, our Momentum focus will help you either improve upon or acquire your athletic skillset.