What is concurrent training? What is EO3 Training? What is the idea? The approach?
We get a lot of questions about our programming and the ideas behind it. If we had to put a name to our style of training that matched up with textbooks, it would be called “concurrent” training.
This chart sums up a lot of what we do:
We don’t specialize, but we also don’t do random mixed-modal metcons performed at high-intensity every day. If you dive into the definition, concurrent training is soooooo far from CrossFit it’s not even funny.
As you can see, if you ONLY want to get stronger, training ONLY strength wins. However, you won’t drop as much body fat and one of the greatest predictors of mortality and longevity (VO2MAX) decreases. It’s also pretty obvious to see that training only endurance doesn’t have a lot of results beyond its own specific domain.
Will that mean you get stronger at a slightly slower rate than say pure powerlifting?? Yep. But you still will get A LOT stronger and your overall health markers, mental (and life) performance will be better and you will recover more quickly from almost anything.
Our style of training gives you the biggest bang for your buck in health and performance.
It’s never sat well with me that other training styles will pursue incremental gains at the expense of health and overall wellbeing. We won’t do that.
Like I said if we HAD to define our training it would be called “concurrent” training. However, we do approach concurrent training a little bit differently by training every energy system and method of strength. This article is meant to uncover how we do this and build what we call Dangersouly-Effective Athletes.
To become a dangerously-effective athlete, you need to be strong.
You also need to combine that strength with conditioning that will not negate your strength training.
So to put it simply, becoming “dangerously-effective” is how we get you REALLY strong AND REALLY fit.
Let’s dive in…
Strength is the base for ALL FITNESS – no exceptions – yet most programs run into 1 of 2 problems…
- They mimic elite protocols
- They don’t follow simple strength science
So what’s wrong with an elite protocol??
One of the most studied textbooks ever written on strength training states:
“Innumerable attempts to mimic the training routines of famous athletes have proven unsuccessful” ~Zatsiorsk (Strength Legend)
Are you starting to realize why the social media guru’s “do what I do” program never works…? DON’T mimic the elite, but that’s only half the problem. The REAL issue…
There are three scientifically-proven methods to gain real, usable, strength and most programs are missing one (or more) of them.
We use all three in our entire system. We also combine these three methods while properly training the three energy systems (oxidative, phosphate, glycolytic) to gain a high level of conditioning.
- To gain mastery is to be able to move a load with great speed and little risk. Adding speed to programming is often missed.
- Moving through a range of motion at the maximum reps a given intensity will allow provides unparalleled stimulus. But doing it safely (not just a 1RM) is paramount.
Controlled (Sub-max) Strength
- Controlled Strength is simply moving sub-maximal weight in a manner that elicits neural adaptation and muscle growth.
A lot of programs will make you stronger. Some will improve your conditioning. A handful will build your strength & engine properly.
But what we’ve learned from working with tens of thousands of people around the world is that, if you lack in any one of the three strength elements, eventually you WILL get stuck – no matter what program you follow. And if your conditioning is not programmed properly, you could easily be stunting the strength gains you are after.
Combining effective energy-system training with proven strength methods is what we call out “H2K” training framework.
Before we get into any of the cool stuff you have to realize there is a stair-step approach to getting into this type of fitness programming.
Step 0: Habits.
If you are not consistent, you don’t have a training habit, and you don’t have nutrition habits then the programming in this article is not the starting point for you.
You must start with your behavior, habits, and consistency.
If you don’t have some sort of consistency in your life when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and training in general, you won’t see results anywhere.
The best place for you to start would be to dial in what we call the “EO3 Elements” that will ensure you see results when following any programming.
Developing habits is going to take discipline and willpower but you have to get it done.
So what happens after that you’ve got that dialed in…?
Step 1: Assess & Build
Our general recommendation (after EO3 Elements and your habits are dialed in) is to go through a 4-week “Assess & Build” phase.
If you only want to be healthy; i.e. live longer, you want to be a little bit stronger, you want to be able to move better, etc. You could operate in this phase in perpetuity. Our goal is to take you far beyond this phase, but pay attention to what YOU want.
If you’re only paying attention to Instagram or social media fitness gurus, you are going to think that you should be doing, max effort lifting and all this really hard glycolytic conditioning (where you want to puke) every single day…
And to be honest, that’s not true, that’s not fitness. Where the majority of human beings are gonna live is this healthy category, and that’s OK.
During this phase, you’ll test your current level of fitness and build a strong foundation through controlled strength work and aerobic conditioning. Nothing fancy. Controlled strength and aerobic (oxidative) conditioning. That’s it.
Our proposed method(s) of controlled strength: Sub-Max Effort Lifting
Sub-Max Effort Lifting: What is it…?
Submax effort is anything that is below your maximal load. You could be doing bicep curls, you could be doing bodyweight training, you could be doing lighter barbell squats. It doesn’t matter, it’s sub-max. You’re not putting 1 rep max, 10 rep max or anything of that nature.
BONUS: Add “tempo lifting” to sub-max effort method for BEST results.
Our proposed method(s) of aerobic conditioning:
Oxidative Conditioning: What is it…?
Pretty simple… It’s longer duration aerobic work. It could be mixed modal training (cross-training) done in the aerobic zone. It also, more traditionally, looks like a 20-minute run, 20-minute walk, interval training that are aerobic-based, things of that nature.
After 4+ weeks spent in combining the sub-max effort strength method with oxidative conditioning, you’ll be ready for Step 2.
*Please note, that 4 weeks is the absolute minimum we recommend. If you have been training for any length of time, you have most likely (not guaranteed) built up these two areas.
You do not have to train both of these methods on the same day, but you can. We have found it best to alternate days with methods in step 1.
Step 2: Test & Scale
To keep with our 4-week training cycles, during weeks 5 – 8, controlled strength work and aerobic conditioning continue then we add safe and effective max-strength work, an introduction to dynamic strength, and we add phosphagen conditioning (energy system training).
After step 1, you will be going from “healthy” to “fit”.
You’re, beyond the basic healthy training recommendations and you’re now taking it to the next level, you want to be able to do cooler things than just being healthy; you want to up your potential here, go beyond average, and optimize performance.
So what’s in this phase?
Let me be clear, you will still be doing the sub-maximal effort method, we already discussed and you’re gonna be doing oxidative conditioning that we already discussed… but now we add to it.
Now, we start adding maximal effort bouts in your strength training. This could look like one-rep maxes, three-rep maxes, five-rep maxes, etc.
Max Effort Lifting: What is it…?
You’re gonna start taxing your central nervous system and getting all of the benefits that come from activation of the central nervous system from hormones to strength gains, to neuromuscular coordination, and everything that comes with lifting heavyweight.
After the inclusion of max-effort training, you will start to train the creatine phosphate energy system.
Phosphagen Conditioning: What is it…?
This energy pathway can be developed in strength training alone but can also be improved by short bouts in monostructural conditioning. We typically like a combination of the two.
I’m using the energy pathway terms here but let’s not overcomplicate it. This energy system is trained through short bouts of training, 0 to 10, 0 to 12 seconds and can be performed with a barbell, rower, or air bike.
This energy system is very important in being explosive and being able to sustain and repeat these efforts over a long timeline is how you truly gauge your progress.
Remember these methods should NOT BE USED ALL IN A SINGLE DAY, but throughout your programming.
Could there possibly be more…?
Yes and no. If all you ever did was the training we have from this sentence ABOVE, you would far exceed most any other human on the planet.
However, there is more and it’s what truly makes you “dangerously effective”.
Step 3: Become Dangerously Effective
To keep with our 4-week training cycles, during weeks 8 – 12, we hit every area of training. We operate in all three areas of strength; control, max, and dynamic methods while also training all three energy systems; oxidative, phosphagen, and glycolytic.
At this point, you have your habits and consistency, you’ve trained through both the “healthy” and “fit” continuum but now you want to take things to the next level.
Maybe you want to compete in a competition…? Maybe you want to dominate a spartan race…? Maybe you want to see what your human body is capable before you die…?
You have to answer that question, not me.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not some elite athlete protocol that should only be reserved for .0001% of the population. However, it takes more planning and preparation than most (lazy) humans are willing to put in.
This last stage is where we want to take all of our athletes at some point… IF that’s where they want to go.
In this last phase, you’ll be training all strength methods AND all conditions methods. NOT IN A SINGLE DAY, but throughout your programming.
To start, we add dynamic training to your strength training:
Dynamic efforts in strength training just have to do with lifting the weight explosively. So you could be doing anywhere between 40% to 60% just for a few repetitions.
And it’s not the weight on the bar that matters, it’s the speed of the bar. So that rate of force development, moving that weight fast.
If you think moving weight fast is scary and you are worried about injury… you need to back up.
You’ve practiced your muscle contractions in “step 1”, you’ve perfected them in “step 2”, so now moving the load for speed is OK, so long as you aren’t skipping steps.
Once you start moving the weight quickly, it’s time for the last form of conditioning. Glycolytic conditioning!!
So when people think about CrossFit… that’s kind of what glycolytic conditioning is (NOT THE ONLY WAY and this is NOT a CROSSFIT ARTICLE – Just giving an example). Glycolytic can be a two-minute bout of training that makes you want to puke.
High-levels of intensity for a slightly longer duration than you prefer but also not too long.
Example: So you go on the air dyne and you’re hitting 80-90% effort for a full, 90 seconds to 2 minutes. You’re in that glycolytic zone, it’s really painful stuff. It’s pretty much the conditioning that sucks, makes you hate your life, and want to puke.
And to be honest, almost no one trains glycolytic and they also don’t train dynamic effort lifting.
You can go from birth to the grave without really having to train this energy system and still be fit. So rest assured, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. However, the benefits of high-intensity training are proven.
However, it’s not something that needs to be done weekly. Monthly is good enough (1-2x). If you do this type of training too often, you are taxing your body unnecessarily and accelerating the biological aging process. So yes, that is me saying you don’t have to go hard every day. That’s the best way. More easy than hard and more consistent than not is the way you win this battle.
But once you add these things to your training, you are a completely different breed of athlete.
You are a harder to kill a human being and on your way to tackling any physical objective that can be thrown your way.
Build the Strength & Fitness You Need for Your Life
If you’ve been following a traditional strength program but haven’t seen much carry-over into the activities you care about, it’s probably time for a different approach.
The old method of combining some random strength program and a random condition workout is a great recipe for disaster over a long enough timeline.
As we’ve shown, most strength programs are missing some element needed for noticeable progress and conditioning is normally an afterthought – rarely something meaningful and effective.
One athlete of ours, Eden from Arizona, shared that “In 3 months I have noticed major – I mean like mind-blowing improvements – especially in the area of strength. My confidence has improved dramatically. It challenges me with exactly what is needed to ensure continual growth and improvement.”
Use our Simple, Proven, and Effective training to build your body, engine, and strength.
The Trifecta is a blend of coaching support, learning, and highly-effective programming that will carry over into your beloved daily activities from playing with your kids to running an obstacle course race.
Already familiar with End of Three Fitness and our style of training?
Then you are most likely ready for Garage Gym Athlete!!
Garage Gym Athlete is the “tip of the spear” for our training. We identify training weaknesses, solve them through our program design, and validate it with science.
For ongoing daily training that exploits everything we have discusses here and more, check out Garage Gym Athlete.