How to Implement Khaos Training in Your Program By: Gunnar Thompson, NASM-CPT, PES
By now you know that unpredictable training is the missing link in the majority of performance training programs, and you know some of the tools that can help you train using this potent method which will result in a greater transfer to on the field performance. If you have not read the first and second part in this series of blogs about “Khaos Training,” I recommend you start with those first ("Khaos" Training Old But Becoming New Again, and "Khaotic Equipment" - Unpredictable Training Equipment, Part Two). For those that have read these blogs, it has probably left a question in your mind: “How can I implement this into my programs?” These are the questions that I will answer in this post.
There are many ways to place chaotic training into a program. I have personally seen and met several coaches that I believe excel in this area. I would like to share with you how they have accomplished implementing it into their program, and I would like to point out how they have chosen their process. There are four main categories that all of these coaches seem to follow.
FIRST – All “Khaos Training” is to be done as a separate workout, or it is to be done first in the workout that day. The reason for this is that the athlete is forced to adjust very quickly and, in doing so, they are forced to recruit more stabilizing muscles to perform the task. This can be extremely taxing on the central nervous system. Also, the stabilizing muscles tend to fatigue very quickly. Therefore, they want to ensure that the athlete is fresh and ready to handle the workout in order to avoid placing too much stress on the athlete, which will cause more harm than good.
Second – There must be complete recovery between sets of an exercise. With all the craze about CrossFit and muscle confusion, it can be easy to misunderstand the difference between those and real chaos training. When training chaotically, the goal is to bring as much changing stimulus to force the athlete to adapt. This focuses on the neuromuscular system to enhance the signals to the muscles. The goal is not to confuse or shock the muscles to grow. By keeping the rest periods high, it allows for full recovery and the athlete can enhance neuromuscular pathways by being fully prepared for what is thrown their way.
Third - Utilize “Khaotic Equipment” to bring various reactions that force the athlete to adjust. In the last part of the “Khaos” series I introduced the equipment most commonly used to enhance a chaotic training program. Now, I would like to share some movement patterns that can be used with this equipment.
Khaos Water Ball
Strength and Stability Trainer
Fourth – Choose repeatable but chaotic exercises. This may not make sense to many of you reading this, so let me explain. If an athlete chooses to perform a different exercise every single day, this will not adhere to the strength and power principle of “progressive overload.” The definition of progressive overload according to Babylon dictionary is “gradually adding more resistance during strength training exercises as your strength increases. In fact, to increase any level of fitness, you must make your muscles work harder than they are accustomed to working.” In order to have progressive overload, exercises must be repeated. How do you make repeated exercises chaotic? This is again where the unpredictable training equipment comes in. With these tools, you use the same exercises to achieve progressive overload with implements that are ever changing to create adaptation. The final reason to have repeatable exercises is to make it simple. A simple plan is much easier to follow than a complex one. At the end of the day, if the athlete cannot follow a program, it will not matter how good the thought behind the plan is.
As you can see, this is not rocket science. New information and equipment makes it much easier to implement “Khaos Training” into any athlete’s training protocol. The goal of preparation is to prepare for the sport specific movements the athlete will be forced to make on the field. You must do your very best to make the most of your training efforts so that they will transfer onto the field/court. “Khaos Training” is how you do that. What are you waiting for?
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