Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day weekend. I know I've certainly been enjoying this awesome weather and allowing myself to get outside a little more than usual, and I hope everyone else is doing the same.

At the same time, please don't forget the purpose of this weekend. Remember our heroes that have fallen for our country in years past, and also take a moment to spare a thought to the countless troops that are still fighting for us today. Thank you to our soldiers!

Going along with the theme of Memorial Day weekend (and along with the fact that I promised myself I wouldn't spend more than 10 minutes at my computer today), I'm going to spare you all from a long blog post and show a quick clip of one of the Army Rangers running through a workout. This blew my mind when I found out this is just the WARM-UP for these guys. This is quite impressive for many reasons, and I chuckled a bit when I saw the guy was barely breaking a sweat at the end. It's always awesome to know those defending our country lead from the front.

Now, get off your computers and spend some time outside today!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

3 Training Myths Exposed

Contrary to popular belief these three training techniques are doing absolutely nothing for your strength, size, or athletic performance.

I can’t tell you how many times I’m in the middle of coaching and think to myself:

“Man! If only I knew in high school what these kids know right now, who knows how my athletic career would’ve ended up…"

You see, most of the athletes I work with are 14-18 year-olds, which is the very age range in which I made almost every conceivable training mistake. Because the resources available to me were muscle magazines and “bodybuilders” at my local gym, I wasted a lot of my physiological potential on erroneous training methods that did nothing to improve my athletic performance.

You can continue reading HERE

(the article is published over at OneResult, a pretty cool company that sells only NCAA-approved supplements)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tabatas Everywhere

If there was one study that has influenced the training industry more than any other, it's gotta be the Tabata Study. Unfortunately, this study is also one of the most misunderstood (and blown out of proportion) studies that I am aware of.

It seems that almost everyone caught up in the "high intensity rage" touts that all you need to do to improve both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity is tabata work. These same people probably didn't actually read the study, which I'll explain in a bit.

For those of you who don't know, "Tabata" intervals are where you perform 20 seconds of work (ex. sprinting, cycling, burpees, squats, etc.) followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is done for 8 total rounds, (for a 4-minute routine).

Now, for the record, I think this work:rest protocol can be a great tool for fitness clients, or for people just looking to try something different in their daily workouts. Nick Tumminello, for example, has given some great ideas on how to properly progress someone with this protocol and also gave some cool ideas for how to use it. The point of this post isn't to tell you that you should never use a 20:10 work-to-rest ratio, but to clarify some very important points for trainers or strength coaches that read this site. Got it? Cool. Here we go...

Key Points to Understand About the Tabata Study

1)  Less than 1% of those who claim to use tabatas are not actually doing tabatas. You may be using a 20:10 work-to-rest protocol, yes....but you're not anywhere close to doing an actual tabata. The test subjects in the study were working at 170% VO2max for each work interval. That's almost impossible to sustain. Unless you've performed a VO2 max test yourself, you can't come anywhere close to actually understanding how difficult it is to work this hard. Let me put it this way: you'd have to be chased by a Saber-Toothed Tiger to sustain this type of intensity, and even then you'd probably fall prey to natural selection due to your inability to hold out for even four minutes. 

2) The protocol calls for eight rounds, but the test subjects didn't even always complete all eight. Some had to stop at seven rounds because they couldn't sustain the 170% VO2max output. Again: you're not working as hard as you think you are. 

3) Some fitness gurus proclaim that all they need to do is perform tabata intervals to improve both their anaerobic and aerobic capacity. Again, they couldn't have read the original study. The high-intensity group also performed a session of steady-state work each week. Does this not now befog the entire study by adding in a session of pure aerobic work each week to the high-intensity group?! You can't say that (based off the study) tabata intervals are superior at improving both anaerobic and aerobic qualities when the "tabata group" also performed aerobic work as part of their protocol. 

4) The high-intensity group never even achieved the level of aerobic development that the endurance training group did! (See the graph below, which is taken from the original 1996 study). So, does this mean that all you need to do is a bunch of tabatas to improve your aerobic capacity?? Clearly - at least based on this particular study - this isn't optimal. 
5) Most of the improvements in the high intensity group flat plateaued at the 3-week mark (specifically, the gains dropped from a 20% improvement to only 5%, and it didn't get any better). The anaerobic energy system actually "taps out" very quickly (I say this not based on the Tabata Study alone, but on other research and personal experience), and you don't need to spend all year developing it. If you (or your athletes) are performing tabatas year round then you are wasting valuable time that could be spent improving the energy systems for your given sport.

6) The workload used (on the stationary bike) was supra-maximal. The bike is one of the only pieces of equipment you can use for this magnitude of intensity because of safety concerns (if you fatigue, you won't get hurt due to the fact that you can just stop pedaling). Just understand that if you're using front squats or thrusters or whatever (and using somewhere around 50-115lbs) you may be replicating the work:rest duration of tabata intervals but you're nowhere close to replicating the actual workload. 

7) The interval training group didn't perform anything else throughout the course of this study. They weren't doing maximal strength training, power training, attending sports practice, etc. Imagine adding the true tabata protocol to a full schedule of strength and conditioning? Chances are (if you don't pass out from fatigue) you won't improve much at anything else. 

Again, my main point is not to say that no one should perform the 20:10 interval ratio. You can certainly use it from time to time, just understand that you're not actually performing a tabata (honestly, as a strength coach, I think I think I just become a bit miffed when the semantics of it all is abused). 

And I'm certainly not anti-high intensity training. It DEFINITELY has its uses, it's just very important to understand how to wield it appropriately.

If you're a strength coach, or train athletes in any way, you'd be unwise to regularly utilize the tabata protocol to prepare your athletes for competition. Could it be a tool to use for a friendly competition every now and then? Certainly. But not as a tool to optimally prepare your athletes for their respective sport. 

I'd also like to clarify that I'm not trying to be the pot calling the kettle black on this one. When I first started searching the internet for training methods I quickly came across the tabata protocol and handed it out like water to everyone I knew. I'm just glad that I eventually investigated the matter a bit further, and wanted to spread the word.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Ron Reed Project

One of our clients, Ron, recently went through an incredible body transformation that I wanted to share with you. Ron had been training with us for a little while already, but he told us that he wanted to enter a focused fat-loss plan as his health was beginning to suffer due to some weight he had put on.

We gave him an individualized nutrition plan, and tweaked his workouts so they would be a bit more "fat loss" oriented in nature. His results were nothing short of fantastic! See the video below.

I'd like to point out a few things that may be helpful to those of you reading:
  1. Ron works full-time, both in the business world and at home as a dedicated father and husband. So, a transformation like this is certainly possible if you consider yourself a busy person (and I don't know anyone that doesn't). 
  2. Ron FREQUENTLY has to travel for work - often for 5-7 days at a time. So, even for those you that travel, you can definitely make worlds of progress with a schedule that demands regular travel. Ron would tell me what equipment he had available at the hotel (sometimes the hotels didn't even have a gym), so I would give him some "hotel room workouts" in which he could still get in some training with just his bodyweight, a chair, and a bed as his gym equipment. Your improvements in the physique realm will never depend on what fancy gym equipment you do or do not have available. It's the mindset that is going to be the difference maker. 
  3. Honestly, most of Ron's success was due to his consistency in the kitchen. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You can't out train a bad diet. Ron was constantly emailing me to make sure something was "approved" before he picked it up at the grocery store or added it to his meal. When he was on the road, he was sure to pick items on the restaurant menus that were going to help his progress, not hinder it. 
  4. He did not count calories, eliminate carbs from his diet, or partake in anything extremely complicated. It's important to note that nutrition plans really don't have to be as complicated or tedious as many may make it seem. 
  5. We did not do any carb cycling or sodium depletion leading up to his "After" picture (or at any point in his program). 
  6. Ron did not do a single crunch or sit-up throughout his program.  Proof that you don't need to (in fact, you can't) sit-up your way to a lean midsection. It won't happen. 
  7. He performed zero steady state running throughout his program. Again, it is unwise (and unnecessary) to prescribe long distance running for someone in need of weight loss. Considering that all of Ron's blood levels returned to healthy levels during his program, this also goes to show you don't need long distance running to improve the health of your heart. Can it help? Absolutely. But I wouldn't recommend it as a modality of choice for a weight loss client. 
  8. He not only maintained, but increased his strength during this phase. I can't tell you how many times I talk to people (primarily males) that are frightened they're going to "lose all their muscle" if they enter a fat loss program. It's not going to happen if you design the program appropriately. As shown in the video, Ron hit a 40lb PR on his weighted chinup, a 30lb PR on his front squat, a 15lb PR on his close-grip bench press, and a 20lb PR on his trap bar deadlift. Note that these personal records occurred during this particular 16-week program (not throughout the few years he's been training with us). 
  9. Ron just turned 51 years old. 'Nuff said. 
Here are his Before and After pictures (the before picture was taken while he was on vacation shortly before the start of the program):
After (front)
After (side)
After (back)
Congratulations, Ron!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dynamic Effort Training to Fuel Huge Strength Gains (guest post by Sarah Walls)

I'm quite fortunate to work with some very, very good coaches. Sarah is one of them. See the guest post below to read a bit about the efficacy of dynamic effort training. If you're a coach seeking to help your athletes become stronger, or a weekend warrior seeking to bust through some plateaus, then keep reading. Sarah doesn't give away a laid-out-for-you example of one of her programs very often (aka never) so take advantage of it while you can. (Note: dynamic effort lifts will NOT be an appropriate movement to include in your program unless you already possess fairly sound mechanics in the basic lifts).  

I had something wonderful happen last week: the George Mason Throwers – who just came off the season – retested in the squat and everyone PR’d. I’m not talking 5lb PR’s, we had HUGE PR’s of 55lb and even 60lb (that’s a 365lb squat moving up to 425lb and a 455lb squat moving up to 510lb)! The lowest PR was 20lb. This progress occurred over about 16-weeks. By the way, I called the depth on each attempt myself, anyone who knows me personally knows I’m a stickler for proper squat depth.

I will be (and that day I was) the first to admit how shocked I was at our new numbers. You see, we were retesting so everyone could be sure they are working off the correct percentages for their summer training program. Coming off the season, I figured everyone would be down around their old max (if we’re lucky) or even below… that’s how it works, right? Maybe not…In hindsight, my approach to this team (much like the sprinters and jumpers I wrote about last week) has been extremely conservative. So what was the catalyst for all these great PR’s? Dynamic Effort Squats (or Speed Squats as they’re sometimes called) are the key to their success.

What are they? Dynamic Effort squatting is a squat that is performed using relatively low percentages and performed as fast as possible through the concentric portion.
Why did we use them?
The Throws’ coach communicated to me at some point in December or January that the group, generally speaking, needed to learn to accelerate through to the “block” portion of the throw. I suggested Speed Squats.

How do you use them? Don’t mess with success: There is a pretty tried and true method to speed squat success and you can work off of these parameters for YEARS. If you are new to speed squatting try this wave over a three-week period: Week 1 10x2@50% - Week 2 10x2@55% - Week 3 8x2@60% - stay strict with a maximum of 60 seconds rest between sets.

Can Olympic lifts take the place of Dynamic Effort Squats? Theoretically, yes. In practice, absolutely not! The problem with the Olympic lifts and their variations is the complexity of the movement – it is, after all, its own sport. You are better off taking a simple movement that an athlete is familiar with and squeezing out every drop of progress (which will last through 4-5 years of a college career, I promise).

It blows my mind how relatively unknown Dynamic Effort lifting remains to many coaches. But, then again, the only reason I know the ins and outs of the method is via my colleagues over the years.Okay, I NEVER do this, so since you’re probably already sitting down – stay there! I don’t want anyone injured… Below are a full 4 waves of lower body lifting I wrote for the throwers this past semester. You’ll see that we did a lot of speed squatting and very little heavy accessory work. Really take a close look at the last few weeks. Oh, and a note about Wave 3, the team’s CNS was trashed so I took the DE squats out to let the team recoup. Finally, in addition to this mandatory team session lower body training day, we had an additional Saturday lift that was to be completed on their own. It consisted of very basic movements to “clean up” what we couldn’t get to during the two days they see me.
Wave 1: Weeks 1-3
A1 High Pull6x3@65%5x2@75%4x1@85%+
A2 Rocking Ankle Mob2x102x102x10
Banded DE Box Squat10x2@40-50%9x2@45-55%8x2@50-60%
B1 Band Pistol Sq2x53x53x6
B2 Pallof Press2x62x72x8
C1 DB Swing2x123x103x12
C2 Plate Pinch2x:152x:203x:15

 Wave 2: Weeks 4-6
DE Box Squat10x2@50%9x2@55%8x2@60%
A1 Oblique Deadlift6x36x24x1
A2 Body Saw3x103x103x10
B1 Bulgarian Split Sq2x53x53x6
B2 St. Arm Walkout2x62x72x8
C1 OH Plate Squat3x63x84x6
C2 Plate Pinch Driver2x103x83x10
Week 7: Deload Week – light DB and bodyweight work… step away from the barbell! 
Wave 3: Weeks 8-10 – Taper Begins
“Low” Bar Squat (1/4 Squat depth)4x3@75%3x2@80%3x1@85%+
A1 Oblique Deadlift4x33x2skip
A2 Partner Plank4x:153x:202x:10
B1 SL DB RDL3x62x82x5
B2 MB Side Throw3x63x72x5
C1 OH Plate Squat2x103x83x6
C2 Hex Hold2xFAIL!2xFAIL!2xFAIL!

 Wave 4: Weeks 11-13 – Taper Continues to Conference
DE Box Squat5x2@50%4x2@55%n/a
 “Low” Bar Squat3x13x1n/a
A1 SL ¼ Squat2x52x52x5
A2 MB OH Throw2x52x52x5
DB OH Squat2x62x53x6

Here are my final thoughts: if you're an athlete, parent of an athlete, or just an average lifter looking to get these same kind of gains, then contact us here! We've been offering exceptional programs privately for 4 years and now we're also offering our same crucial coaching and programming for distance clients! It doesn't get any better than SAPT.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fuel Your Body (and Spare Your Waistline) with this Smoothie

First, I apologize for the lack of content last week. Long story short, I came down with a pretty severe infection (I think most of you would prefer I spared you the gruesome details), which rendered me barely able to walk, sit, or sleep for the duration of the week. A fever came along with it, so needless to say I was unable to coach for the week (or do anything else, for that matter). I'm finally back at nearly 100% again, so I'm excited to resume my own training (it was a good mental challenge for me to have a wrench thrown right into my training schedule), coaching, and writing to all you out there in cyberspace.

Ok, with that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff!

I love smoothies. Easy peezy to make, and you can shove countless vital nutrients into the blender to knock out multiple birds with one stone. It also gives me something to take with me to work, so I can ensure - once the hunger cravings strike - that I fuel my body with QUALITY foods as opposed to reaching for snacks that will only leave me feeling more lethargic and depleted (read: processed snacks, muffins, etc.).

I'm the first to admit I don't have very much self-control; so if I have my trusty smoothie alongside, then I can be sure that I can reach for a nutrient-rich shake as opposed to a belly-enlarging sugary snack.  Thus: I feel better, recover from training better, and can enjoy something sweet without the "guilt" typically associated with shoving sweet treats down one's pie-hole.

See the video on the below for a quick tutorial on how to make it! It tastes great and is super easy to pack for the road/workday. You won't be disappointed.

Yeah, my cat decided to make noise for a good portion of the instruction. But don't worry, I rewarded you with a glimpse of her at the end if you can make it through the video.

Picture of the ingredients used in the video.
 You can do all you want in the gym, but unless you're also holding up your end of the bargain in the kitchen, you can only expect sub-par results, at best. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Your Meathead Training Tip of the Day: Slow Tempo Strength Training

Slow tempo strength training involves performing a compound lift (squat, pushup, row, etc.) at a 202 tempo.  This means you'll take two seconds to execute the eccentric portion of the movement, and then two seconds on the concentric portion of the lift, too.  There will also be no pause at the top or bottom. 

So, for a pushup, you'd take two seconds to go down, and then immediately transition into the concentric and take two seconds to go back up.  See the video below to see what I mean:

What does it do
  • Increases the cross-sectional area (hypertrophy) of the slow twitch fibers. 
  • Improves oxygen utilization of the working muscles (both fast twitch and slow twitch). 
  • Improves static strength (think grappling, wrestling, etc.). 
How to do it
  • Each rep should be roughly 4 seconds in duration, with no pause at the top or bottom of the movement. Teaching someone to go up slowly can be very difficult (especially as they begin to fatigue), so be mindful of this. 
  • Perform for 40-60 seconds (so about 10-15 repetitions) and your rest period should match the duration of the working set.
  • Perform for 3-5 sets, which constitutes a series.  Perform 1-3 series per workout, with 5-8 minutes of active rest between series.
  • Constant breathing throughout.
When to do it
  • At the beginning of a training plan (or at the start of the off-season after you've recovered appropriately). 
  • During a "mini block" in a training plan in order to maintain the qualities you worked so hard to achieve during the first (larger) block of training.  
Slow twitch fiber hypertrophy can be a very controversial topic among strength coaches.  After all, why would you want to hypertrophy the slow twitch fibers?!

Well, you can utilize oxygen better for one thing, as the slow twitch fibers have the highest capacity for aerobic energy production.  When we oxidize lactate - a byproduct of our glycolytic energy metabolism - roughly 80% of that lactate is metabolized in the slow twitch fibers.  The larger our slow twitch fibers are, the more lactate we can oxidize (thus allowing us to generate more ATP to improve aerobic/anaerobic endurance).

And, no, your athletes won't lose explosive power and strength if you include slow tempo strength training. As long as you adjust the volume/intensity appropriately, and continue to include the bread and butter strength/power lifts, you have no need to fear them losing power and speed.

Note: For the average fitness enthusiast, these could certainly be a method to try to spice up your own training plan. Just be warned, they're not easy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Q & A: Sugar and Recovery

Q.  Okay steve got a good one for you here. Im watching sunday night baseball and they are talking about how Ryan Howard dropped weight and is watching his sugar intake claiming it helps him recover from games faster. Is there any truth to this or is announcer bubkis?

A.  The CliffsNotes answer to this question is "Yes, it should help him recover faster."  However, the extent to which it will help him depends on many factors. 

What does the REST of his recovery protocol look like???  Is he sleeping enough, training properly, keeping other (negative) stress factors at bay, and his sympathetic nervous system in check?  (You'll see sympathetic overtraining in athletes who perform excessive amounts of strength training and compete in explosive power/anerobic dominant exercises - such as playing baseball - without giving their bodies a chance to recover).

What type of sugar did Howard cut out (ex. processed sugars, or sugars found in whole foods ex. fruits)?

What was his body composition before he began cutting out sugar from his diet?  Ex. did he have a significant amount of fat mass on him, or was he already relatively lean? 

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that (hopefully) Ryan Howard cut out processed sugar from his diet.  This alone will help anyone feel and perform better.  Also, if he cut out processed sugar, I'm going to guess that he is now replacing that refined sugar with real, whole foods.  So - instead of his daily sugar intake coming from cookies, bagels, and muffins - most of the sugar/starches/carbohydrates he intakes is now (hopefully) coming from whole foods like vegetables, berries, oats, legumes, potatoes, etc.

This shift in nutritional intake alone will help him recover by sending high-quality nutrients into his bloodstream to help repair damaged muscle tissue, restore cellular enzymes and substrates (essential to his performance as an athlete), rejuvenate the nervous system, and assist in a HOST of other favorable changes conducive to recovery.

If Howard did need to lose some weight, then this will undoubtedly improve his insulin sensitivity.  Basically this means that his body will be able to shuttle glucose from the bloodstream into cells (primarily muscle and liver) more efficiently and effectively.  This will be stored as glycogen, which a critical energy source for anerobic activities (ex. baseball). 

The bottom line is ANYONE will benefit from replacing intake of refined/processed sugars (read: garbage) with foods of higher nutrient density.  Regardless of if you're an athlete, this will help you feel better, think more clearly, and perform better - whether you're a professional baseball player or a corporate CEO.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tap into the Animal Kingdom with Crawl Variations

Below is a video I recently put together in which I demo various crawl variations we use at SAPT.  We originally began using them with the MMA fighters and wrestlers we train, but we quickly realized that quite a few of the variations are useful for other sports/populations, as well.  See below, and then I'll explain a few things.

Why I like Crawls
  • You can do them almost ANYWHERE.  This alone makes them an extremely versatile training tool.  No gym membership or fancy equipment required.
  • They increase strength, endurance, core control, and overall body awareness (qualities that seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate among people).   
  • Crawls are a fantastic way to get in some GPP (general physical preparedness), either on your off days or at the end of a training session.  They are low impact and relatively easy to recover from.  
  • For MMA fighters and wrestlers, crawls are awesome for learning a few of the ground movements in sport.  
  • For overhead athletes, the crawls (particularly the side crawl, bear, and tiger) create a fantastic way to train their upper body musculature and promote shoulder health, even in-season.
  • They're fun.  'Nuff said.  I mean, how cool is it that you have an excuse to pretend you're a monkey??
How to Do Them
  • Perform each variation for 20-40 yards.  You can pick just a couple crawls, and perform multiple sets with 2-4 variations.  Or, you can perform 1-2 sets of all of the different types of crawls.  
  • One of the beauties of these is they're so versatile in terms of when you perform them.  You can do them at the end of a training session, on off days, as part of a circuit, or (if you're in pretty good shape) include them in your warm-up.  
  • As for the technical components, if you follow the instructions in the video you'll be good for the most part. 
For me personally, I've recently loved them for getting in some low-intensity aerobic training on off days.  I'll throw them as part of a circuit (again, low-intensity) with some other exercises that are around 30% and below my 1-rep max.  The crawls - along with a few other drills - help me work in the 130-150bpm heart rate range.  I'll discuss this in further detail in a future post, but this helps to stimulate what we strength coach geeks call "eccentric cardiac hypertrophy," which is basically increasing the size of the left ventricle of the heart.  For now, just trust this is a good thing.

Now go get your animal crawl on...

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Quick Conditioning Clarification

Conditioning, conditioning, conditioning.....

It's the buzzword amongst many fitness enthusiasts, as well as within the circle of coaches and parents alike.  Everyone wants good conditioning.  I can't tell you how many times a parent has walked into SAPT and told me to make sure their child receives "plenty of conditioning."  Or a wrestler or MMA fighter reiterates over and over that he/she needs to make sure I include plenty of "conditioning" in his/her program.

Marathon runners may often scoff at football players or bodybuilders for their "lack of conditioning."  Crossfitters may laugh at powerlifters because they don't possess any conditioning.  Baseball coaches may force their players to run for hours on end at the beginning of the season because they need to be a better conditioned team. 

I often hear people say that Iron Man triathletes are some of the best conditioned people in the world.  Or MMA fighters.  Is this actually true though?
I write this because I think it's very important to understand what we really mean when we discuss conditioning.  Is it the ability to run a fast 5k?  Or is it the capability for a running back to be able to quickly decelerate, change direction, and quickly accelerate in a different direction to avoid a tackle?  Is it just "cardio?" 

What is conditioning, really???

I think Joel Jamieson (S & C coach of many well known MMA fighters) gave a fantastic definition of conditioning:

"Conditioning is a measure of how well an athlete is able to meet the energy production demands of their [specific] sport such that they are able to use their skills effectively throughout the competition."

Conditioning is much more than just "cardio."  This means that a football player who can produce incredible bouts of power for 6-8 seconds, and repeat this throughout the entirety of a football game, has fantastic conditioning.  A baseball pitcher who is able to maintain the quality of his pitches for 6 innings in a row is well conditioned.  A MMA fighter in the fifth round of a fight, capable of generating punches rendering his opponent unable to remember the knock-out, is well conditioned.  And a world-class marathon is also extremely well conditioned.

When it comes to training athletes, the conditioning side of the spectrum is MUCH more complicated than people give it credit for.  The three energy systems (aerobic, anaerobic lactic, and anaerobic alactic), create an extremely complex web - the parts of which are both interconnected and independent - and it's far from a "one size fits all" approach to prepare an athlete to use his or her skills effectively throughout the duration of a competition. 

Yes, completing a "hell session" or "death circuit" can definitely be a good gut check from time to time, but it by no means is the proper way to condition the majority of athletes, especially on a day-to-day basis.  For example, one day during a lower body training session I was feeling rather lethargic and was just going through the motions.  After I finished the resistance training portion of my session, I decided I needed a wake up call and gave myself a swift kick in the pants to wake me up:

HOWEVER, would it be wise to train like this day in and day out?  Absolutely not.  Even for a MMA fighter or wrestler; would it be smart to train them like this on a regular basis?  Nope.

It's imperative to possess a sound understanding of the body's energy systems in order to make sure you possess the work capacity required for your sport, but at the same time don't burn yourself out.

On the other end of the spectrum, is it intelligent to just through in copious amounts of long distance running for a baseball player or soccer player (or even a marathon runner for that matter!) in order to improve their conditioning?  No way.

It's beyond the scope of this post to provide the exact training methodology behind appropriately balancing the development of the three energy systems on a sport-by-sport basis, but I hope this will at least get you thinking that conditioning (and strength training, too), is far from a one-size-fits-all approach.