T Nation

What Is Performance Really?

I’ve spent a lot of time pondering this question for a while now, but I think someone on here could give me a little help.

What would you define as “performance” training? You know, training for a sport or for military “soldier” type of fitness. What in particular do you think one would do differently if this was their goal (strength, endurance, anything you would need in the heat of battle)

The reason I ask this is because it seems to me people are split into various crowds when it comes to fitness. You have you’re power lifters with the one rep maxing, the bodybuilders who care more about appearance then performance, and then you have people who think they know what to do for “performance” and do hundreds of push-ups, crunches, mile runs, and call it “functional.”

The problem I have with this is that even though the army uses the latter form of training for battle fitness, I just can’t see why doing hundreds of reps for an exercise is really going to be realistic to what they will face.

Would the 8-12/15 reps system with short rest periods (as little as thirty seconds) be enough for real combat performance or should I stick with what the military thinks is best?

lol there are people in the military who powerlift and bodybuild depending on their desire. The military’s basically wants to arm you with the basic conditioning for battle.

Unless you choose something like a navy seal thats what your going to get from them. They are not going to develop your 1 rep max only for you to go out in the field and get tired. They will provide you the conditioning you can up your 1 rep max on your own.

Alot of times their goal is just to try and break you mentally and get you used to hard work. Doing several hundred pushups and pullups followed by a 3 mile run followed by more pushups and pullups is alot tougher than a few heavy singles.

The average soldier doesn’t have to be in ridiculously good shape, he just has to have above average endurance. If you want to know how to really train for combat, look at what special forces do.

Yeah I’ve been studying the SERE training a lot lately and I think part of why they train at such high reps is for a mental factor to come into it as well.

I guess anything would do well, perhaps training for a particular MOS would be a better way to go.

I don’t think they have the be all and end all answer to “performance” but through trial and error, they have probably come to filter down what works for them and what doesn’t.

To me, performance is defined by being able to do balance maximum work with maximal strength, speed and endurance whilst utilizing as little fuel.

Contrary to popular believe it isn’t only achieved through training. Diet, nutrition and spiritual-emotional-mental well being needs to be trained too.

What use is all your performance gains if you buckle under pressure or are afraid of something?

You can be an absolutely athletic person, conditioned in every aspect but completely void of any spiritual-emotional training and come the situation you are overcome by anxiety etc. Likewise, you could have a mind and spirit of steel and it would mean nothing if your body just wont put out.

[quote]humble wrote:
I don’t think they have the be all and end all answer to “performance” but through trial and error, they have probably come to filter down what works for them and what doesn’t.

To me, performance is defined by being able to do balance maximum work with maximal strength, speed and endurance whilst utilizing as little fuel.

Contrary to popular believe it isn’t only achieved through training. Diet, nutrition and spiritual-emotional-mental well being needs to be trained too.

What use is all your performance gains if you buckle under pressure or are afraid of something?

You can be an absolutely athletic person, conditioned in every aspect but completely void of any spiritual-emotional training and come the situation you are overcome by anxiety etc. Likewise, you could have a mind and spirit of steel and it would mean nothing if your body just wont put out.

[/quote]

Good point. I guess this is what SF units mean when they say that your mind is your most powerful weapon.

It seems that a mix of willpower and physical potential are what matters most when in the heat of battle.

I’ll take this into consideration from now on.