What I mean by the title is that after reading allot of stuff from the likes of Stephen Seiler I came to the conclusion a while ago that it wasn’t just endurance athletes that could benefit from the 80 20 polarized model of training, all mixed endurance sports athletes could, so rugby MMA, grappling etc. From what I have seen and experienced most combat athletes make the same mistakes Seiler talks about when referring to endurance athletes: most spend too much time in the middle ground of training, where its too hard to actually help them recovery, but not hard enough (because they aren’t fully recovered) to actually have the benefits they want. They don’t have intensity discipline and would rather be working hard all the time, trouble is without the discipline needed to make certain training days very easy, they aren’t fully recovered enough to actually go hard enough in the tough sessions to make the adaptions they are looking for. What I didn’t expect was that a very clever coach working with the most anaerobic and explosive athletes on earth (sprinters) had already figured out the same thing about 40 years ago. I give you Charlie Francis and his high low approach to training. He was adamant he wanted to keep his students out of the the training black hole. The training black hole is when you’re not performing at a high enough intensity to produce optimal power, speed and strength gains. Yet, not a low enough intensity to increase aerobic fitness and aid recovery. You’re stuck in fatigue, mediocre training, and mediocre results. Francis was adamant on excluding moderate intensity training activities out of his training. The problem with these activities is that they aren’t intense enough to stimulate the CNS, but are too intense to recover from within 24 hours, so we essentially get all of the fatigue with none of the benefit. This is exactly what Seiler discovered when talking to, and reading the training logs of the best endurance athletes on the planet, they followed exactly the same ideas as francis. One of the issues I encounter when mentioning the 80/20 polarized system Seiler talks about is people always point out its endurance athlete specific so doesn’t work for other sports, so finding a man who trained the most explosive athletes on the planet used a similar system is interesting, indeed during a clinic when asked how much time his athletes spent in the high cns taxing zone Francis replied about 25%, which is eerily similar to what sailor found with the top endurance athletes. Its also interesting that some of the top mixed energy system coaches are starting to use the hi low approach to training, one is notaciably having great results with it with MMA fighters. So next time you are planning your weekly training schedule, have a think are you planning in enough easy less CNS taxing sessions in order for you to be fully recovered to go as hard as you want?