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Gav
-10th September 2010, 14:46
Here's a couple of conditioning articles from Fnet.

Weight Training for the Competitive Fencer (http://www.fencing.net/3230/weight-training-for-the-competitive-fencer/)

and

Periodization of your conditioning plan (http://www.fencing.net/3355/periodization-of-your-conditioning-plan/)

I'd be quite interested in what people have to say about them.

Rudd
-10th September 2010, 15:47
I like the periodization article. It emphasizes that different approaches should be followed in season and out of season which is important. I also like that it emphasizes different aspects of fitness. My issue is with the actual suggested approach

The periodization model that is presented is a traditional linear model. This model which moves from general fitness to strengthand hypertrophy to power and from high reps to low reps was primarily designed for Olympic weightlifting.. The idea was to be hitting max weights for a competition. I feel it doesn't work as well for fencers for a few reason.

The fencing season is often compressed with a number of important competition back to back. This makes it difficult to fit training into neat 12 week cycles
By focusing on one aspect of fitness another aspect may detrain. Weightlifter and powerlifters aside no athlete really need to be working towards max effort weights.

For most athletes a conjugate model (working on more that one facet of fitness at the same time) with a much more flexible schedule would be more appropriate.

If your bored you can read lots more about periodization here (http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:GyZ13Y-xFRUJ:www.strengthandconditioning.org/dimages/The%2520Application%2520of%2520Periodisation%2520M odels%2520for%2520Athletes%2520of%2520Different%25 20Standards%2520-%2520A%2520Practrical%2520Approach.pdf+conjugate+p eriodisation&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiBWEU99NpztKNcuECm5xZpzsdBO0dbEWmez6A-xxz-oNEtLu-OdqJC8U9FbjsrpT7hGQLRfejXegux5_jlxTS3TKF3NwJchObsh p6POwP7lLrXeTPv2qftsBgDuTp9VwqCmNTQ&sig=AHIEtbQWflpPgboBjwyceVPRGAKrodLHMw).

Spider5
-10th September 2010, 20:29
Here's a couple of conditioning articles from Fnet.

Weight Training for the Competitive Fencer (http://www.fencing.net/3230/weight-training-for-the-competitive-fencer/)

and

Periodization of your conditioning plan (http://www.fencing.net/3355/periodization-of-your-conditioning-plan/)

I'd be quite interested in what people have to say about them.


For what its worth I think the weight training article is generally sensible and draws together stuff that has been out there for a while. Dips are a good alternative to bench presses which need a good degree of technique and stabilising muscle control to do properly. Most gyms have machines that take some of the body weight when doing dips, pull-ups and chin-ups to allow stength to be built up gradually.

Another group of exercises that can be useful to aid functional fitness and strength are routines with kettle bells. These involve exercises that activate most of the major muscle groups. Google is your friend if you want specifics.

From what I've read, many people are wary of plyometrics unless there is very good base strength in all major muscle groups (core, quads, hamstrings, pecs, lats) and technique is absolutely spot on. Typical numbers seem to be that if you can't at least deadlift 2 x body weight, bench press 1 x body weight and back squat 1.5 x body weight then you shouldn't try them. Does anyone think or know otherwise?

Cyrano5
-11th September 2010, 09:23
I think the multipliers are about double what they should be.. I certainly can't deadlift twice my own body weight, yet do use them as a key part of my work out. Basically I would say you need to be experienced at strength training before attemping plyometrics but not to the level suggested by the multipliers, they are pretty extreme.
A mix of kettlebells, more traditional weight training and body weight exercises are certainly helpful.

Mellish
-18th September 2010, 17:04
Good articles, and I agree you need to periodise your training. However, it is probably more relevant for those who train hard. Me - I probably would not want ever to do less, but just more before comps - I don't train intensively enough to need any significant rest.

Also, you can use the gym machines safely - free weights do give you more power because the muscles also have to stabilise the movement - but machines are excellent for starting and you don't need a spot (i.e. someone who helps you make that last 2 inches, or saves you if you can't get the weight off your chest...).

Dips I find are fairly intensive on the shoulder joint, and the muscle worked is lower chest, triceps and lats. Bench, however, will do a wider middle band of the pecs. (People in weight rooms can waffle on like this for hours...)

I had a Chinese Olympic-level coach in the early 90s who fenced sabre at national levels. He swore by weights and said he couldn't fence well unless he could weight train leading up to comps. I know when I did a lot of weights a runner chum of mine used to laugh at this and challenged me to a 10k race. Without any running training in many years I thrashed him - lots of variables in there, true - but I would swear by weight training for peak performance.

LifeBeginsAt58
-18th September 2010, 17:33
Mellish, last 10k I thrashed went Brown, Black and Orange! Had to throw away the Breadboard:)

Spider5
-18th September 2010, 20:30
In fact this one (http://www.brianmac.co.uk/plymo.htm) suggests being able to squat twice bodyweight before depth jumps :eek:

No doubt what base conditioning level is suitable will depend on exactly what plyometrics are attempted and how often.

I'm not a huge fan of machines as there can be a tendency to think you're stronger than you are and your technique does not develop very well. Far better to start off with the 20kg olympic bar and slowly work your way up from that. If you have to use machines then drop the weight by 30-50% when going to free weights as it will feel a whole lot harder when you switch.

I would suggest (in a non-medically qualified way :)) that squats are done deep with thigh parallel to the ground and with good technique so that the back and core is correctly set and the knees don't drift in during the push phase. Partial range of motion (90į or sissy) squats may allow you to lift a lot more weight but don't actually do much for you.

I'm no expert though so am happy to be corrected by someone with more knowledge.

Mellish
-21st September 2010, 13:30
I would suggest (in a non-medically qualified way :)) that squats are done deep with thigh parallel to the ground and with good technique so that the back and core is correctly set and the knees don't drift in during the push phase. Partial range of motion (90į or sissy) squats may allow you to lift a lot more weight but don't actually do much for you.

Head needs to be kept up too: I completely agree the need for technical perfection using free weights. It's far more effective to use a lower weight with better technique than the reverse for lots of reasons. Many weight rooms have guides up on the wall that show you the technique and the muscles worked, and of course it's important to start with light weights and ease into it. Choose a weight room with a big mirror so you can monitor your technique...

Squatting twice your weight? 170 kilos? Maybe on a machine - otherwise it's surely a typo...must be your own weight.

Mellish
-21st September 2010, 13:39
I took a look at the drop jumps:

"The loading in this exercise is governed by the height of the drop that should be in the region of 70 to 110 cm (Bompa et.al, Periodisation Training for Sports, p203)."

I would a categorise this exercise as very high risk for joint, back and tendon problems developing over a period of time. Surely working hard on a trampoline would do the same without the joint stress? No way would I do it!

benjt
-21st September 2010, 14:48
While I would always advocate deep squatting using full range of motion describing a squat going from only 90 degrees as not doing much for you isnít really true, particularly in fencing where acceleration of the legs is done from an angle much larger than 90 degrees. When it comes to the weight multipliers to body weight back squatting twice your body weight is not ridiculous and I am not far off that at the moment for 1RM (I weight 85 kilos) as i can lift 160kg. If you want to train for pure strength this is achievable over time, as long as this strength is turned to power effectively for fencing.

A personal favorite of mine at the moment for speed work is a jumping back squat at around half of 1RM with good range of motion, however I am only doing this from a point of, I hope, good technique.

Ben

Jon Willis
-21st September 2010, 16:50
S&C - Good

Protein - Good

Beach - Good

:)

Spider5
-22nd September 2010, 01:09
I'm pretty certain it means what it says - twice body weight. Whether that is a current recommendation I wouldn't know.

I think weight training can also be regarded as a process to help minimise injury to joints and the muscles when things don't go quite right (over lunging or whatever). I would have thought that a lot of restricted motion exercises would make you a bit more susceptible to injury as the strength is there but not the flexibility. However, as part of a balanced program, I can see they will probably help get the power optimised where it counts.

Jon Willis
-22nd September 2010, 08:53
I think weight training can also be regarded as a process to help minimise injury to joints and the muscles

and it helps with the ladies ;)

Mellish
-22nd September 2010, 09:52
When it comes to the weight multipliers to body weight back squatting twice your body weight is not ridiculous and I am not far off that at the moment for 1RM (I weight 85 kilos) as i can lift 160kg.

Olympic bar, with thighs parallel to the floor or just below - and no bouncing on the knees? Good man! I don't think everyone could get there though. And even if you trained hard to get there over several years, a lot of the heavy weightlifters carry injuries: unless you're built like a tank, the joints aren't designed for it over a long period of time. I'm still carrying neck and shoulder tweaks after 15 years, and my brother's back has never been the same, and he was 90+k when in shape. These days I go for minimum 8 reps and the first sniff of injury I walk out.

I was thinking of the drop jumps - Marek once lined up about twenty plastic chairs separated by maybe 2 metres, and announced to us that we had to jump over each one - more or less like a drop jump. We all stared at each other in disbelief. Then he did it. He's basically got gazelle muscle under the human skin. We all looked at each other in even more horror, imagining the pile ups. Then he said 'Just joking, you guys just run around them'. We hit the floor laughing.

I guess the point is, you can do this, but is it good for you over the longer term? One injury and you're out for maybe a month...

benjt
-22nd September 2010, 11:05
Your must of course train to your own personal limits and most importantly in a safe way, there is no point pushing yourself so hard you put yourself out of effective training for an extended period of time. Though I can lift weight x to 1RM I don't train at that level very often only in a strength phase of my training for a short time in competition off periods. Most of the time I am training at much lower weights to build speed and power, at present Iím training at around 1/2 of 1RM at 8-12 reps at very fast speeds with good rests in between.

Over the summer I have picked up a few small injuries, more body imbalances really, through an increased training regime. Tight quads and a rotator cuff/tight pectoral muscle pulling on my shoulder (this is being looked at soon), as soon I have noticed problems in these areas I have sought professional help in how to avoid serious injury and adapted my training appropriately
Over time injuries are always going to occur through training at an intense level but how you deal with them is very important. As you train more you get to know your limits and what is good and bad pain. Over training can be more harmful than under training to your competition career though I doubt most of us are train too much :P me certainly included. Saying the GYM TIME.

Ben

Jon Willis
-22nd September 2010, 11:17
at present Iím training at around 1/2 of 1RM at 8-12 reps at very fast speeds with good rests in between.

hypertrophy training - Boom! I'm off to eat some egg whites and raw stake!

The Driver
-22nd September 2010, 11:31
raw stake!

Wood you credit it?

Mellish
-22nd September 2010, 11:33
hypertrophy training In your case, that's hyper Trophy training, I'm guessing ;-)

pinkelephant
-22nd September 2010, 17:02
hypertrophy training - Boom! I'm off to eat some egg whites and raw stake!

Meringue kebab?

benjt
-22nd September 2010, 18:15
In your case, that's hyper Trophy training, I'm guessing ;-)

:) :)

Spider5
-22nd September 2010, 22:00
and it helps with the ladies ;)


Pop those lats out! :)

AELLA
-8th October 2010, 18:13
The 'high' multiples of body weight as the recommended start for plyometrics are due to the high loads that plyometric exercises place on the body, you don't have to do a depth drop from a massive height to multiply your body MASS in to a MASSIVE force.

As with all things you can start by doing simple (short contact) exercises that are plyometric, for example - Skipping.

You can do small hurdle hops (with those little (usually) yellow hurdles) and work up from there. Once you get to hopping over full size hurdles, start at the lowest level, and work up.

Depth Drops, well yes, you need to have good strength and core for these, and the idea of dropping onto a trampoline - INTERESTING!

For all of the people on the National Academy Programme, you will learn how to train properly and hopefully without all the 'rubbish' that is spouted on fora like this, otherwise seek out S&C coaches - there will be many in your local area, as the Universities have been churning out many for years.

BUT in general for fencing this is the preferred pathway.

Get Fit (Cardiovascularlly)
Get Strong (Physically Fit)
Get Quick (Use the strength and turn it in to power)
Get Good (This is you fencing specific stuff)
Get Medals (This is what happens when you do all the above)
Stay Modest (As nobody likes someone who isn't)
Keep you mouth shut (when on the piste... I saw a number of absolutely disgraceful displays at the Junior & Cadet Nationals - Lucky to still be allowed to fence in my ever so humble and ill informed opinion*)


* Do people (referees) not like to black card people once they have made the L8? - I know that it's harsh to loose all those well earned points, but if they don't learn, then need to be carded until they learn to control themselves - Surely it's better to card them now, when they are cadets and juniors when they are still capable of learning right from wrong, than to let them to progress thinking that it's OK to shout and ball and roll on the piste...
If this sounds familiar - am I right to think this...
If this sounds like you - PLEASE stop it!

Andy
-8th October 2010, 18:33
As with all things you can start by doing simple (short contact) exercises that are plyometric, for example - Skipping.

Yes indeed like in Boxing, I feel that Skipping is FUNdamental.



BUT in general for fencing this is the preferred pathway.

Get Fit (Cardiovascularlly)
Get Strong (Physically Fit)
Get Quick (Use the strength and turn it in to power)
Get Good (This is you fencing specific stuff)
Get Medals (This is what happens when you do all the above)
Stay Modest (As nobody likes someone who isn't)
Keep you mouth shut (when on the piste... I saw a number of absolutely disgraceful displays at the Junior & Cadet Nationals - Lucky to still be allowed to fence in my ever so humble and ill informed opinion*)

For some useful Google searches for the above I like:
Cardiovascular training - fartlek (this principal can be also applied to bike and rower)
Fencing is mainly in the CP (Creatine Phosphate) energy system, so once a good cardiovasculr base has been built (which helps with other aspects of training) work with very short bursts of activity, followed by longer periods of recover (or active recovery) are useful, like skipping.

Neutrition is a very importnt part of training, and getting all the vits & minerals you need to keep you going, along with good hydration is a must for effective training.

There are loads of basic fitness programmes out there, I like the military ones, as they are generally ballanced, and work towards a good base level of fitness, and with the modern military, are capable of turning 'less than fit individuals' into what they requre for basic training. I'm currently liking the Navy one
[http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/operations-and-support/establishments/training-establishments/hms-raleigh/rn-recruit-school/before-you-join/fitness/fitness-programme]
But they also have a slightly different one in a booklet, which doesn't have swimming, but has a greater circuit training element.

Fitness is for life, not just for fencing.

Andy
-8th October 2010, 18:36
The link is broken as it's taken the last ] to be a part of the URL

Working link
[http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/operations-and-support/establishments/training-establishments/hms-raleigh/rn-recruit-school/before-you-join/fitness/fitness-programme]