Well, if you do anything that gets your heart rate up, try this.
My friend Scott Sonnon is so creative it can be a little intimidating for some people. Every time I talk with him he has come up with some wildly new and innovative idea that is years ahead of anyone else.
The other thing about Scott is that for me, he is the person I trust most when it comes to fitness safety. I am always checking out the latest ideas from people in the Biz to see what might be useful. Much of what I see seems dubious to me when it comes to long term sustainability. The last thing I need at my age is to be laid up for six months recovering from the latest "great idea" in fitness.
So when Scott comes up with something wildly new, I have no compunction about trying it out because he has proved to me many times over that his "health first" philosophy is action, not just pretty words.
Some of Scott's work has become known world wide, like his Clubbell and Intu-Flow programs, other of his most interesting material has not gotten the the coverage it deserves.
Let me tell you about one of my favorites of Scott's lesser known programs.
It's called RESET (Rapid Energy Sports Enhancement Technique)
In brief, it is a method of recovering from exertion very (VERY) quickly.
I was initially drawn to this program as a method of pranayama, but it quickly became clear to me that I needed to add this to my students training.
One thing that I have noticed over the years is that with amateur fighters, it is fairly common for their conditioning to be their weakest attribute. It makes some sense, being that conditioning is something of a full time job for professional fighters. People who are not getting paid to work out several hours a day often have to make due with what they can work in with the spare time they have.
So the ability to recover from exertion very quickly is of course quite appealing, especially if you don't have to work long hours to develop it.
After spending several weeks getting the hang of the program I introduced it to my students as something we were going to be using each class for conditioning and recovery.
The technique is fairly easy to learn, though it does take a bit of work to get fluent with it. It is basically a "vibration drill".
Here is a basic video on vibration drills (though it is not the RESET drill per se) shown by John Sifferman, a student of Scott's.
This will give you at least a hint of what I am talking about though.
After getting the class used to doing the the RESET exercise itself, I implemented a two part protocol. During the conditioning part of class we would alternate 2 minute rounds of high speed rope jumping (based on Buddy Lee's methods) and kettle bell swings interspersed with 1 minute rest periods when we would do RESET.
We would also do RESET during the rest periods in the sparring phase of class, which also used 2 minute rounds and 1 minute rest periods.
The results were rapid and impressive. Everyone was recovering from exertion much more quickly than they ever had before within just a couple of weeks. After the initial jump, the class progressed at a steady pace that was still quite impressive. After two months we would go through 10 rounds of rope jumping and kettle bell swinging and the class would be looking at me like "is that all?" while before it would have put them on the floor.
I was able to get an objective look at what was going on by using a heart rate monitor on myself.
Within about three weeks my heart rate was recovering from heart rate max at a speed an Olympic athlete would be envious of (literally).
I got a chance to test out my group's progress last summer, after their using the technique for about 4 months.
We went to a full contact stick and knife tournament over in Chicago to see how everyone would fair in a more stressful situation.
After a day of hard fighting my guys were still feeling strong. They had no problem going from round to round and were recovered and ready to go while other people were still blowing hard.
We did pretty well too. we came home with;
Heavy weight: First place stick (one match by KO), First place knife.
Middle Weight: First place Stick, First place knife
Under 18: First place stick, First place knife
Forms: First place.
Not bad considering how good the competition was. (There are no slouches at this tournament, you tend to get the best of the Mid-West showing up) No one from my school tanked all day, even though the matches were quite vigorous.
This was a pretty graphic demonstration of just how effective the RESET program is.
There is one other other interesting effect from long term use of the RESET program that bears mentioning. Once you have adapted to it, your body seems to become conditioned to rapid recovery even when you aren't actively using it.
I use a heart monitor when I run and bike as it helps me stay in my "zone". Right now, even when I am not using the RESET protocol, I will drop from 140 bpm to 90 bpm in 60 seconds or less, which for someone my age, ain't bad. The only reason I can come up with for this (because my recovery was not anywhere this good before I started using RESET) is because of becoming conditioned to recover quickly.
So there you have it, one of my little training secrets. If you would like to recover from exertion at a rate that will make you seem like a world class athlete then get a copy of RESET and practice it diligently for three months. You will be quite surprised (and happy) with the results.