Strength & Conditioning – the verdict one month on

It has been around a month since David Sutton (@PerformTrain) and I met for our initial strength and conditioning session. Read about the initial meeting here and read about David Sutton’s philosophy on Strength and Conditioning here (or here for mobile version excluding the powerpoint file). 

What have I been doing?

David assessed me during our initial visit, and said that my weaknesses lie in my unilateral balance (ham strings and hip flexors mainly). He gave me a new list of exercises to do, with the aim of strengthening these areas, first mastering the technique before adding more weight during the next visit. These simple sounding exercises started off feeling almost impossible to me! (3 X 6)

  • Split squat, without weight
  • Single leg bridge
  • Stand from seated (on 1 leg)
  • Leg side raise
  • Step / stick squat
  • Split squat, with weight (dumb bell held on chest)

Also added was some upper body exercises that I already did, with slight variation:

  • Clean and jerk
  • Front squat
  • Straight arm pull down
  • Chin ups (with as little assistance as possible!)

How is it going?

Well, I have found massive improvements in the execution of the exercises, so much so that I asked Steve Casson when I met him recently, to check my execution because it seemed to be getting to easy! I can now easily get up from seated using one leg, when before I was finding it almost impossible. I recently asked my husband to demonstrate how well he could do that exercise, because I felt so proud of myself. It was only when he did it with ease that I realised how unique my weaknesses were. I had assumed that because I found it difficult, that must be normal and everyone would find it difficult!

I have found that my weight has decreased by a further 4 pounds and my body fat percentage and BMI has decreased by 0.6% I have changed nothing else, and have continued to eat as per the 3-2-1 diet plan. I know that this change cannot be solely attributed to strength and conditioning as there are many more variables that could come into play, but I definitely feel there has been a more significant change in my body shape and composition since I switched from weight training to strength and conditioning training.

What does this mean to my performance?

It’s a bit too early to say, but I definitely have noticed that my ham strings and glutes are much more engaged when I am running, and running up hills seems to zap my energy much less than it seemed to before. When I concentrate, I have found that the load on my quads when both running and cycling feels less imbalanced.

I look forward to hooking back up with him, for the next instalment of instructions!

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