Okay, you’re working hard on your New Year’s resolution. I’m proud of ya. And you’re at the point where you might be a bit sore from the new daily routine. You still want to workout, but you’re reluctant because of the new soreness. You’re seeing results, so you definitely want to go in.

Changing the way you approach your workouts can be great for several reasons. By incorporating a Speed day and a Maximum effort, you’ll increase functional movements and potentially increase athleticism.

Meat and Potatoes

Speed days

There are 2 reasons to incorporate a “speed” day :

  • help develop force
  • the ability to lift more volume without feeling like death the next day.

These typically supplement one another.

Force development is a simple theoretical equation –

Force = Mass x acceleration

With a lighter mass (~30-60% of your 1-3 rep max, respectively), you’re able to move the weight faster. You typically structure these moves with several sets of 2-3 reps with :30-:45 rest in between.

Because of the lighter weight, higher set count, and lower rep count, you’re able to perform more volume at a higher intensity with less fatigue.

Example : Say squats for a 12 x 2 with 185. Do the math and you’ve moved 4,440 pounds in roughly 5-10 minutes. Add in bands or chains for accommodating resistance and you get even more. More on that later.

Maximum Effort Days

Unilateral Max Effort from Kendall G.

DISCLAIMER : This is not to be confused with 1RM. While that could be it, maximum effort means more than just 1RM. Heavy triples, slower tempo, modified grips / stances, single arm / leg, etc.

Modify movements based on your needs, working around injuries, and even veering toward sport specific can have great benefits.

General Physical Preparedness

The key word here is “general.” This is the product of increasing one’s general level of preparedness in an array of situations. Moving more efficiently with mobility work, increasing force production, developing the strength in compound movements, and getting your heart rate up all have their place in GPP work.

If you’re an athlete or coach athletes, this can be done during the off season, when the training volume can be higher.

One thing to note, constant running IS NOT conditioning. Especially when it’s the sole event for getting your heart rate up, and it’s done on the same surface every “workout.”

Even while in the off season, applying endurance efforts to your workout can still be similar to your sport. For example, if you’re a technical skills position in football, use this time to focus on drills for your specific position. Since football is typically a 10 second fight and a 40 second rest, perform your workouts accordingly.

The Bennett boys getting high volume work in

Final Thought

First off, I’m proud of you for making it this far into 2021 with your fitness and new lifestyle. I hope you are as well. Change the way you approach your workouts. And if the moment arises where you need a day off, that’s fine. Active recovery is a great thing.

Get creative, have fun with it, try new things.