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The Art of Movement Edition 72: Filling All The Buckets For Well-Rounded Fitness Versatility

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Edition 72: Filling All The Buckets For Well-Rounded Fitness Versatility

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of newsletters which talked about Dr. Andy Galpin’s breakdown and summary of the 9 components of what we refer to as ‘fitness’. As everybody will have a different image in their head of what they perceive fitness to mean, Galpin emphasised the importance of being able to differentiate between these 9 components so that we can train with better specificity and purpose, rather than resorting to ‘round-about’ workouts that kind of target strength (but not properly), or kind of target hypertrophy or endurance (but not properly). For people who don’t understand the differences and nuances, sessions can end up being neither here nor there, and trust me - results will usually reflect that.

So first of all, a quick recap on the 9 fitness ‘buckets’ and what they look like:

  1. Skill Execution (Slow-mo reps)

  2. Speed (Throws / Sprints / Speed drills (5 x 1 rep)

  3. Power (Jumps (Horizontal / Vertical), Olympic lifts, Moderate loads - high velocities (5 x 3 reps))

  4. Strength (Heavy loads, low velocities (5 x 5 reps))

  5. Hypertrophy (Moderate loads, slow, eccentric focus (3 x 10-15 reps))

  6. Muscular Endurance (Light, easy loads, working to fatigue (3 x 15-30 reps))

  7. Anaerobic Endurance (Repeat sprint intervals)

  8. Aerobic Endurance / Vo2 Max (20 minutes at ~60% effort)

  9. Steady State (Extended period of work (30+ minutes)

So how do we utilise these types of training to achieve better results and avoid the common pitfall of engaging in ineffective, haphazard workouts? Well, first you might need to understand them a bit better and get an idea of where each component has a place in your workout.

  1. Skill Execution - Refers to our ability to perform movements with precision and efficiency. To train this component, you can start with slow-motion repetitions as a warm-up (I do this before every strength workout). By focusing on the technique and gradually increasing the speed, you can enhance skill execution and optimise your overall performance.

  2. Speed - All about moving yourself or an object quickly. To improve speed, you can incorporate exercises such as throws, sprints, and speed drills into your training. 5 sets of 1 maximum effort can help develop quickness and enhance your speed capabilities.

  3. Power - Combined maximal speed and force, meaning we must improve at generating force rapidly. Training power can involve exercises like jumps (both horizontal and vertical) and Olympic lifts. By working with moderate loads for 5 sets of 3 reps, you can progressively improve power output and enhance athletic performance as well as day to day activities.

  4. Strength - As we have covered many times in this newsletter, to train strength effectively, it is important to prioritise heavy loads which force us to work at low velocities. Performing 5 sets of 5 reps with challenging weights can stimulate muscular adaptations and enhance overall strength.

  5. Hypertrophy - Muscle growth/size. To target hypertrophy, we can focus on light to moderate loads and emphasise the eccentric phase of the movement. Performing three sets of 10-15 repetitions with a slow and controlled eccentric tempo can promote muscle hypertrophy and enhance overall muscle size.

  6. Muscular endurance - The ability of muscles to sustain contractions over an extended period. To improve muscular endurance, it is beneficial to work with lighter loads and strive for fatigue. Performing three sets of 15-30 reps with relatively easy weights can enhance muscular endurance and delay the onset of muscle fatigue during activities.

  7. Anaerobic endurance - Sustaining high-intensity efforts for a short duration. To train anaerobic endurance, repeat sprint intervals are an effective method, and often used as a measure of fitness capacity for professional footballers. By performing a series of short, intense sprints with brief recovery periods, individuals can enhance their anaerobic capacity and improve their ability to work at high intensity for longer durations.

  8. Aerobic endurance - AKA Vo2 max, which focuses on the body's ability to utilise oxygen during prolonged exercise. To improve aerobic endurance, individuals should engage in continuous exercise at around 60% effort for approximately 20 minutes. However, research has shown that as little as 2 fast, intense stair climbing efforts (ie. Run up the stairs, back down, then back up again) in a day, completed 3 times in a week, is enough to significantly increase Vo2 max over a 6 week period in sedentary workers (you’ll still be pretty unfit though if you do nothing else outside of that).

  9. Steady state - Involves an extended period of continuous work. To target steady-state endurance, simply run, cycle, swim, or do something else for 30 minutes or more. By maintaining a consistent intensity level throughout the duration of the workout, you will improve steady-state endurance and overall fitness levels.

Understanding and differentiating between these nine components of fitness is crucial for designing targeted and effective training programmes. By incorporating specific exercises and training methods that align with each component, individuals can optimise their fitness journey and achieve better results. You can see an example of this below:

It is important we also understand trade-offs and the impact that some training has on other adaptations. For example, we should *always* train speed and power at the start of a session, because if you train hypertrophy and endurance, then try to train speed or power, you are categorically fatigued and objectively incapable of exerting maximal forces and moving at maximal speeds with optimal execution. Avoiding the common mistake of engaging in unfocused workouts will lead to more substantial progress and tangible improvements in overall fitness and performance.

Get in touch with me to explore how you can get the most out of your training for the component you most need to focus on!

“Always make the main thing, the main thing”

That’s all for this week! Check out my Patreon channel for video episodes, on-demand workouts, training programmes, training guidance/advice and more!

Thank you, Gabriel

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