Athletes at the highest levels have access to the latest technology as they strive for peak performance. They and their coaches are monitoring multiple stimuli, both external and internal, to determine what training loads achieve the perfect balance between improvement and recovery. As we all know without adequate recovery you’re not going to be able to train effectively and your chances of injury increase. Recent innovations and products have opened the door so that even recreational athletes can utilize products that just a few years ago were cost prohibitive to all but well-funded athletic programs.
Heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring can be used to quantify your baseline level of fitness, track you daily recovery, develop a personal strategy for peaking, and identify trends from changes in your training regimen. HRV based program have been developed for professional athletes of all sports, including the UFC, and may represent the next step in individualized training programs.
When I first started playing organized sports about thirty years ago we were all told that water was all you needed after and during practice (it wasn’t called training in those dark ages). Next came Gatorade. Gatorade has been around since the late 1960’s and really took off in the 80s when the formula was purchased from the University of Florida. Everyone was drinking Gatorade to “Be Like Mike” or whatever spokesman was popular at the time. Fast forward another decade and someone figured out that adding amino acids (protein) to these drinks may be an even better option after training. As you can see, this is not a new topic by any stretch of the imagination but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to give you a basic and practical guideline on what you need after training, why you need it and how to use it in your training.
The Prowler is one of those tools that my athletes hate to see me bringing over, but love the results that come from training with it. Here are my top 3 exercises that I use with all my BJJ athletes with the Prowler:
1. Prowler Push I have my BJJ athletes do a Prowler Push in order to develop their work capacity and to help build muscle with very little stress on the body. During BJJ training or matches, we are forced to be explosive in very short periods of time…If we do not train like that, how do we expect to perform like that when it counts.
Try starting off with 2-3 sets with each set consisting of 6-8 reps. Remember that here the reps should be kept low because we are working on being powerful and explosive every time we push the sled.
2. Prowler Pull The Prowler Pull offers the same types of benefits as the push: work capacity and help build muscle with very little stress on the body. To perform this exercise you are going to have to strap either a TRX Suspension Trainer or a set of ropes to hold on to. The key to this exercise is to remember that we do not want to use our legs. Just focus on keep your arms straight and pulling in an explosive manner towards you.
Number of sets and rep ranges are the same as the Prowler Push.
3. Prowler Sprints This is definitely an all time favorite with all my athletes. This exercise is not only great for building up work capacity, but also increasing speed, power, and recovery.
I normally set up two cones 20 yards apart and the distance that they athlete covers will depend on where the athlete is in their training program. Remember to always keep the time that your athletes complete the sprint in…this will allow them to compete against their own time.
Now turn off your computer…Head to the gym...And take the necessary steps with the Prowler to win your next tournament.