Team Sport Conditioning Question

I don’t kow if anyone here reads the Q and A over on Elite, but I am having trouble figuring out what Marck McCloughlin is talking about regarding conditioinig etc. I don’t know if it’s new type stuff or he is juust making something that I probably already know about and over complicating the hell out of it, but it’s clear he isn’t open to really explaining his ideas. So, I was wondering if anyone here could help explain some of the things like:
1)What does he mean when he talks about biological power?
2)What exactly is aerobic power? aerobic capacity? How are they different and how are they beneficial for an anaerobic athlete, like a football or basketball player?
3)He often advocates athletes taking part in developing the cardiac system as often as possible for periods of 20-30 minutes at a HR of 120-130? What are the benefits of these? Isn’t that just aerobic training?

Really appreciate any help. Thanks.

Mark has made major changes and seems to lose me at times:

The old Mark M:

I have used the westside template with a lot of success with my high school athletes. We used the performance block for lower body days, we squat using Prilipens chart(got that from Coach X) Week 1 4 x 6 @65%, week 2 4x5 @ 72%, week 3 3x8 @ 60%, week 4 5x3 @ 80%. Then for the next cycle add 5 % to the percents. For upper body we use a max effort(1/2/3 board press,floor press,incline/decline) working up to a 3-5 rep max. We rotate max effort upper body exercises every 2-3 weeks. For assistance exercises on lower body days alot of reverse hypers, band good mornings, band leg curls, band pull thrus, we also do the hyper complex(got that one from CF) and abs in the range of 200-500. On upper body it’s push ups, dips, pull ups, lat pull downs, chest supported rows. For dynamic days on squat we wave between 60-70% and we use the same assistance exercises. On upper dynamic it depends on the athlete some do a repitition day some do the dynamic bench at 60% and the same assistance. Using this system we have produced some very strong high school athletes. The biggest benefit over the last two years was our reduction in injuries. We had 0 last year.

Mark M

Here is something he said recently about tempo runs:
Also, why don’t you believe tempo runs of 50-100 yards would be beneficial for American Football players?

Mark M:…what purpose are the runs serving? What system are you developing when doing them? I think for developing the cardiac system they would be fine with HR 120-130. For the development of aerobic power or capacity they just don’t accomplish what you need them to and there are a number of reasons why.

Thoughts? Just trying to get some answers here.

I saw that post and was gonna respond, bc i remember mark using tempo runs with a football player he was training, the reason why the tempo runs didnt work bc the overall vol+intensity was low, if remember correctly one workout 5x100 at 19sec.

So what ways would you develop aerobic power or capacity and what role do they play in a power endurance sport like basketball or soccer? Ditto with cardiac work? Thanks.

to me cardiac work is your typical cardio type work - treadmill, tempo runs, med ball circuits etc. aerobic power would be 70-79% for example 2x6x100 with 30sec rest or 6x200 on a 2min cycle.

120-130 HR is not a developing training zone normally. It is a recovery zone; and by the way, you have players with 50 resting HR and others with 70+, so unless you prescribe something tailored to the very player, you have one working and the other recovering.

To work aerobic power HR between 85% and 95% of MaxHR and volumes up to 6.000m are used for fartlek sessions for soccer players.

The minimum volume I use with soccer players in a loading microcyle is 2000m.

As I understand Mark M, aerobic power/capacity have to be specific to the sport.

So you find time motion data on your sport, and simulate that in your workout. But it is important not to breach anaerobic threshold by more than 2-3 bpm. So you need to somehow find out your AT whether via Omegawave or in a sport lab, wear a heart rate monitor, and perform your session according to specific distances, speeds, and rest periods.

I myself found that tempo didn’t realistically prepare me for basketball games so then I just stuck to the fundamental of just playing the game. This was ok for conditioning but at the same time I definitely lost explosive strength, reactivity, etc. So I think what Mark proposes is quite sound.

Getting into a sport lab to find one’s AT and getting a HR monitor that WORKS is a little difficult though.

I also see that Mark McLaughlin’s soccer player does 20-30 mins of cardiac work before some alactic sessions instead of afterwards.

Maybe someone else can comment on this interpretation of Mark McLaughlin’s posts.

lol - its funny when some people talk about HR
ie, a friend of mine was saying Lance Armstrong did a session at 94% of max
so i asked, was that based on his Max or using his Heart rate reserve?
He didn’t know…
Half information on things like this, POINTLESS hey.
What is Lances lactic threshold?? again - he didn’t know…
Once i explained to him - as you say above - he realized he needed more info to get a clearer picture.

Coupled with his study of Val’s shared information Mark is able to construct the taxonomy of training days, week’s etc with the aid of the Omega Wave.

Mark and I are friends so I am confident in providing some thoughts here.

In lieu of possessing such a sophisticated piece of diagnostic equipment- a heart rate monitor and a calculator go a long way.

While the exact anaerobic threshold cannot be determined without more sophisticated equipment I am confident that it is just fine because I don’t believe in absolute lines distinguished by one beat per minute to the next. This is why adbrauner mentioned the 2-3bpm buffer.

A max heart rate test is fairly simply to administer (use your imagination and force the trainee into a state of glycolytic catastrophe and you’ll get the HR up there in a hurry) and the numbers attained are, for all intents and purposes, close enough to the maximum.

Of course you’ll want to be careful when and how you perform such a test especially on the higher qualified athlete as the after effects will be much more significant.

From there we may use accepted percentages to target the intended training effect.

Be slightly conservative in the instruction as to what the upper bpm limit is and your chances of being correct are improved.

Knowing each trainee’s max HR is just as useful as knowing a 1RM and, thereby, makes assigning percentages just as meaningful and individualized.

Only shortfall is not being able to as accurately determine readiness, with the precision of Omega Wave, on any given day.

Let’s not forget, however, the sport mastery that was attained without such sophisticated diagnostic equipment and will continue to be well into the future.

My polar Rs800 watch can tell me this - using R-R recording, doing a 2min lay down followed by 2min standing - the watch works out how you are feeling - re covered, normal, over-trained and other parameters. i have yet to have too much Time or experience dealing with it, but so far, it seems to be pretty spot on.

i have no idea on how to compare it to the omega wave though - so…

I understand, however, this test you mention (lying HR vs standing HR) gives only a fraction of the assessment that the Omega Wave does as the lying/standing test is an indicator of only one of the seven biological systems that are evaluated by the Omega Wave.

Furthermore, the Omega Wave actually provides recommendations as to what type of training the athlete is ready for and what to refrain from.

Good to know, however, that you feel this test has accurately assessed your readiness.

From a physiologist friend of mine:

"First of all, I will provide framework for my thoughts. The terms “aerobic power” and “aerobic capacity” can have different meanings to different people. I prefer to use them in the strictest sense; power is the peak ATP output per unit time of an energy system, while capacity is the total limit of ATP that can be supplied. By these definitions, the peak power of the aerobic system is represented by maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). In common usage, many (even physiologists) will refer to VO2max as a being representative of aerobic capacity, using capacity as “potential” instead of as “total quantity.” If you choose to define aerobic capacity strictly, it refers to the total ATP that can be produced aerobically and for all intents and purposes is limitless (our entire body is a reservoir of aerobic substrate).

Defining total capacity of any energy system is difficult because the output never drops to zero. Let’s use Anaerobic capacity as an example. It is defined as the total ATP that can be produced anaerobically and is often represented by measures such as MAOD or total work done during a Wingate. However, technically the subject continues to use anaerobic pathways, even after task discontinuation (energy systems never function in isolation). Therefore, capacity should probably be defined as the total amount of ATP that can be produced by an energy system prior to a pre-defined drop-off in power. Carrying this over to the aerobic systems, we could talk about aerobic capacity being the amount of ATP that can be produced at a WL equal to anaerobic threshold, and in this sense aerobic capacity will be determined largely by quantity of stored glycogen."

Most probably in order to restore equilibrium amidst parasympathetic and sympathetic tone