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Programming Analysis: Time

Our second programming variable that is meticulously recorded and tracked is “time”–specifically, the time it takes to complete the workout.

As an example, if you have ever raced in a track meet, you know that your body feels different after running three different events: the 100-meters, 1-mile, and the 5k. The first is going to take you 12-seconds, the second somewhere around 5:00, and the latter lasting around 19:00.

These track races are an example of how your body recruits different muscle fibers in order to complete a task. When you line up to run as far as you can in 12-seconds, you’re going to give it all you have. When you line up to run the mile as fast as you can, you’re going to start a little slower. And when you line up to race in the 5k, you’re going to start even slower.

Pacing is important in sport–and therefore is important to fitness. How long a task takes to complete is going to change everything about that workout.

In fact, if you looked at professional athletes from afar who only train a certain time domain (i.e. Olympians), you will quickly identify who does which event. Their entire body composition begins to change!

See the image below of three olympic athletes who train in these three different time domains.

Shawn Crawford is an explosive athletes who relies heavily on fast-twitch muscle fibers. Galen Rupp is an endurance athlete who relies heavily on slow-twitch muscle fibers. Matt Centrowitz is somewhere in-between.

At RxFIT, we’re in search of a broad, general, and exclusive fitness: one that makes you good at everything, bad at nothing. This pursuit has led us to the conclusion of programming workouts using five different time domains:

  1. Heavy

  2. <5 minutes

  3. 5-10 minutes

  4. 10-20 minutes

  5. >20 minutes

Gaining capacity in all of these domains is essential to forging a fitness that enables you to do anything, at anytime, with everyone (definition of health). In other words, your fitness will begin to support the lifestyle you want.


(Extra Credit: Read more on the need for “Heavy Days” here.

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