Dan Raabe Performance - Train For A Reason - Gymnastics, Conditioning, Mental Strength, Tactics, Skilled Movement, Training

“Interval training is a program which utilizes bioenergetic adaptations for efficient energy transfer using predetermined work-to-rest ratios.” That’s right out of my Essentials of Strength and Conditioning book that weighs ten pounds/600 pages and is always on my desk.
What does it mean to us, what problem does it solve and who cares?

Looking at the whole person, what are we capable of producing in a given amount of time? How much attention can we devote to any given task? Are we working with an efficacy that we feel is our best?

Interval training parallels our day’s activities. We prioritize work. The day has a finite number of hours to accomplish all life’s demands. And there is a need to rest and recharge our brains between tasks depending on the energy we’ve invested. We’re human, and we each have our capacity for endurance.

A win in training might look a bit like running around the buffet table and taking a bite of your favorite foods with a rest between laps. But, we aren’t four years old, and we have to master our output. Let’s go scientific and keep the illustration focused on productivity.

You take action on the first task. You’ve warmed up, and you are ready. You focus. Skill is involved. There is an endpoint. It may not imply the work is complete. It’s perfect to a point. And you are the delivery specialist. Only you know when you are ready for a finished product. You have a deadline. In the gym, we use a stopwatch.

We don’t have endless energy. Doing well or winning the game means we have to respect our physical and mental capabilities. We can recharge our minds and bodies, but we cannot create energy from a depleted system. Here is where the “interval” becomes essential.

In your body energy is recharged through the energy molecule ATP. Our biological systems kick into high gear on demand. They require intervals of work and rest to dial up the response to our needs. But we are not scientists generally, and we determine how we are doing by how we feel. We need rest. It’s a necessary variable in our daily “energy conservation program.” We manage our output. The danger of not respecting your energy limitations, lacking an “interval training” focus, and working past your depletion point is a reduction in efficacy.

Here’s how you apply this information. The first step is to set up your plan for the day. In the gym, it’s the “work.” There is a volume of work that must get accomplished. The intervals come from experience. Work/rest ratios have a measurable result. The second step sequences our work, using shorter work intervals, and maintaining our energy. We must complete our plan. The benefit lies not only in the contentment at the finish but the skills we gain. The third step is to repeat the process. Develop a work habit with the knowledge of procedural skills and respect for your resources. Skills, consistency, intensity is your triple threat. I learned it from another coach, and it’s yours to use as well.

The win is the growth that comes from using a simple process to produce a good result.

If you like this article and want more information, please contact me at coach@danraabetraininig.com or call/text to (303) 880-4641. We focus on the 40’s + professional because it’s important to stay in motion, build a solid foundation for health, and hone the skills of self-control. Don’t look for a reason to train, Train for a Reason.

You are always moving, aren’t you? Yes, you are. And if the quality of your movement is contingent on strength and flexibility it will become more dynamic with training. You must understand you cannot move well unless you are strong, and until you get strong, you cannot move well.

Put movement in the spotlight. It projects who you are and how you feel about yourself. It’s the outward physical expression of a body, and mind, well developed.

When you watch ballet, track and field athletes, or gymnastics what do you see? Is it evident that there is incredible strength powering the movement? You would have to be blind not to notice. You were born with the neurology to assure graceful motion. The ability to move well requires training.

In the vernacular of today’ modern training, we are striving to build strength over a range of motion. Do you feel you have strength during every degree of extension and flexion of the muscles of your arms, chest, back, hips, legs? If you feel the deficit, it’s time to consider how this situation may affect your life. Are you over 40? Do you have a sense that you are leading a sedentary existence? Lifestyle and neglect of your physical health will preclude the ability to move.

You may not be a ballerina or a gymnast. You are a person who can learn to move better. You can train athletically and not be an athlete. You can learn the physiology of movement, even if you are relatively sedentary. If you are the kind of person, who goes to the gym multiple times during the week, learning to move correctly will propel your progress forward exponentially.

If you train well, build strength and learn to move well, you will undoubtedly become aware of your limitations. An invaluable benefit of proper training is the awareness of a “weakness” and solutions to mitigate through focused training modalities.

An example might be the pull-up. Few of us can do one full pull-up. It might take a right amount of time to do three, or ten in a row. If you cannot accomplish your first full pull-up, there are a few ways to build up the supporting muscles – negatives, pushups with variations, bar work, and stretching. Think of this as a cocktail of upper body work focused on arms, chest, back and core muscles. Once you enlarge the picture of the training moment, the benefits become evident. You are training, and you are now moving better.

What’s in it for you? Why would you do all this work for a pull-up? The physical goal of your training investment should be to strengthen the mid-line, so you are graceful and powerful about all three planes of movement. But there is a second benefit. Your brain loves action. It flourishes in a high-energy situation. Activity is your best shot at higher brain function.

In all conversations about fitness or conditioning, if a quality athletic movement is missing, pick up your gym bag and run. You will be wasting your time. Learn how to move first. How you look and feel will take care of themselves.

We must learn to move better. There cannot be any higher purpose to training than excellent human movement.



Are you competitive in business and life, and understand that exercise is supposed to support your health now and in the future?

Are you thrilled with your current gym?

Or are you bored to death or feeling totally left out because the clientele is too young and the workout looks daunting?

Let’s take a good look at the most simple aspect of exercise. Motion! If you aren’t moving now at your current age, thinking about the quality of the movement, what kind of activity that is and how often you can or are willing to participate then you are cheating yourself out of a healthy future. 

Humans were designed to move and move well like any other animal in the jungle. We were either chasing dinner or being chased by something that thought we were dinner. Humans climb, jump, run, crawl, hit the ground, fall, roll… You get the picture.

Exercise by its very nature can and should solve one key problem. That is to return us to normal movement.

What is normal? We’ll discuss that in further posts.

Coach Dan