If you want to improve your fitness, you should do conditioning tests.
Not only is cardiovascular fitness one of the most coveted aspects of health, but it’s also one of the easiest qualities to train. Conditioning tests are one of the ways we measure your cardiovascular fitness.
I just saw a comment on one of my daily YouTube videos that shook me.
It’s not that it was particularly scary or outrageous… it just reminded me so much of me.
How do you get huge while nursing your body? Is it even possible?
How do you treat that nagging shoulder/elbow/hip/back/etc but still have fun in the gym?
How do you sweat and make your muscles burn when you feel indefinitely injured?
This post is probably the most existential topic I’ve ever covered. It addresses the questions I’ve been pondering the most for the last decade.
Types of Strength
Absolute strength is how much you can do. Period.
Relative strength is how much you can do… relative to your body weight. This type of strength is the most “functional” because it doesn’t come with the high cost of heavy bodyweight. This is what most normal people are looking for.
Barbell strength is generally measured by how much weight you can lift with a barbell. This is what most powerlifters are after: big squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.
Bodyweight strength is taxed by decreasing your joint leverage. If I want to move the most weight on a barbell, I want my joints to be in optimal alignment. If I want to do crazy bodyweight stuff, “optimal alignment” means something totally different. There is usually a strong mobility / flexibility component to this as well. High bodyweight strength is highly impressive.
I recently had a distance client of mine ask me:
What is the goal with the regenerate section?
For those who don’t know, this is in reference to my programs, which I break into seven sections based on what we are trying to accomplish. For example, any foam rolling work you do is always first (though I won’t prescribe it for everyone). After that, we do exercises to “reset” your nervous system. After that, you do a more dynamic warm up to prepare your body for training… you get the idea.
This post is not meant to be thorough and exhaustive, but instead to give you some ideas to help spark your own thinking.
Last updated: Oct 8, 2021
Use a Polar H10 sensor for most accurate heart rate tracking. It works with your phone. Consider using it with the EliteHRV app to get recovery insights. To upgrade, splurge on adding a smart watch (cheap or expensive) to get more recovery insghts.
Exercise gets more useful (not to mention more interesting) when you turn it into a science experiment.
The easiest way to do that is to get a heart rate monitor.
But there are a ton of heart rate monitors out there. And even if you have one… what are you supposed to do with it?
The process of finding and using a heart rate monitor can be complex, but it’s easier when you break it down step-by-step.
Today we’re going to talk about
- Why you would want to use a heart rate monitor
- Different types of heart rate monitors
- How to use it to measure your body and tweak your training