FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast

Fitness Racing Revolution: The Ultimate Test of Fitness with Jason Curtis

May 30, 2024 Turo Virta
Fitness Racing Revolution: The Ultimate Test of Fitness with Jason Curtis
FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast
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FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast
Fitness Racing Revolution: The Ultimate Test of Fitness with Jason Curtis
May 30, 2024
Turo Virta

In this FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast I was diving into the thrilling world of fitness racing with Jason Curtis, the mastermind behind the Deadly Dozen challenge. In this episode, we explore how the Deadly Dozen represents the ultimate test of fitness, combining strength, endurance, and functional fitness to push participants to their limits. Discover the science-backed strategies and innovative training methodologies that have made the Deadly Dozen one of the most exhilarating fitness events worldwide.

From enhancing endurance to building strength and improving overall fitness, the Deadly Dozen offers countless benefits for participants of all levels. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a fitness enthusiast looking to take your training to the next level, this podcast provides invaluable insights and inspiration to help you compete in a smart and strategic manner. Learn how to harness the power of functional fitness and hybrid training to achieve your fitness goals while enjoying the thrill of competition.

Tune in to uncover the secrets behind the Deadly Dozen challenge and gain the ultimate motivation to revolutionize your fitness routine. Don't miss out on this opportunity to join the fitness racing revolution and embark on a journey towards peak athletic performance with Jason Curtis and me, Turo Virta.

Connect with Coach Jason Curtis in Instagram HERE

Connect with Turo Instagram HERE & Website HERE

Check out Deadly Dozen Fitness Race HERE

I really hope you enjoyed this episode and if you did, please feel free to leave a 5 star rating and review as they help so much! 

-Turo

Registration for 8-Week Summer Challenge is open and my Podcast listeners are getting 20% OFF when you use code HOT30 at checkout.

Learn more and join HERE OR https://www.personaltrainerturo.com/8WeekChallengeJune2024

Show Notes Transcript

In this FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast I was diving into the thrilling world of fitness racing with Jason Curtis, the mastermind behind the Deadly Dozen challenge. In this episode, we explore how the Deadly Dozen represents the ultimate test of fitness, combining strength, endurance, and functional fitness to push participants to their limits. Discover the science-backed strategies and innovative training methodologies that have made the Deadly Dozen one of the most exhilarating fitness events worldwide.

From enhancing endurance to building strength and improving overall fitness, the Deadly Dozen offers countless benefits for participants of all levels. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a fitness enthusiast looking to take your training to the next level, this podcast provides invaluable insights and inspiration to help you compete in a smart and strategic manner. Learn how to harness the power of functional fitness and hybrid training to achieve your fitness goals while enjoying the thrill of competition.

Tune in to uncover the secrets behind the Deadly Dozen challenge and gain the ultimate motivation to revolutionize your fitness routine. Don't miss out on this opportunity to join the fitness racing revolution and embark on a journey towards peak athletic performance with Jason Curtis and me, Turo Virta.

Connect with Coach Jason Curtis in Instagram HERE

Connect with Turo Instagram HERE & Website HERE

Check out Deadly Dozen Fitness Race HERE

I really hope you enjoyed this episode and if you did, please feel free to leave a 5 star rating and review as they help so much! 

-Turo

Registration for 8-Week Summer Challenge is open and my Podcast listeners are getting 20% OFF when you use code HOT30 at checkout.

Learn more and join HERE OR https://www.personaltrainerturo.com/8WeekChallengeJune2024

So welcome to fit me through a fitness podcast in today's episode, I have amazing guests. And Jason Curtis, I hope I pronounced your name right. So, Jason, first of all, thank you so much for your time coming to my soul. And if you mind a little bit telling about yourself, what you're doing where you're living, some normal stuff first and then let's talk a little bit about fitness. Oh, yeah, spot on Jason case. And yeah, I am. I'm a strength and conditioning coach and gym owner. Going back a little bit. I was a British Army physical training instructor. So I'm from the UK small town called Macclesfield, which is near Manchester. So I spent six years in the infantry as an Army physical training instructor, left the military. I eventually started a gym. So I've got my own strength conditioning gym in Macclesfield. A couple 100 members work with the general public as well as athletes of you know, from all different sports. From there, I also have a PT Academy and strength conditioning Academy. So we qualify fitness professionals worldwide and also upskill enthusiasts as well. So we've got over 30,000 students within the academy that are working through anatomy courses, or strength, strength training courses, or weightlifting or warming up. And obviously also work with coaches in the UK, and worldwide to become personal trainers. From there, what I've also done is off the back of that is published over 20 manuals on strength and conditioning, so Olympic weightlifting, warming up sort of similar to the courses that we provide. And to qualify someone as a personal trainer, also books that I've published on Amazon. And And most recently, I've started a fitness race called the deadly dozen. So initially, this started quite small sort of in that I was thinking I want it to grow into something bigger, but a follow up have sort of 5050 people signed up at this point. But we've had over 1000 people signed up, it's sort of the sort of UK by storm. And, you know, I think with the buzz of High Rocks, which is another fitness race, the deadly dozen has blown up a little bit. And that's right now that's my main aim, because I'm wanting to go UK wide next year international within 24 months, realistically, 18 to 24 months. Take the race worldwide, it takes place on athletic strikes, so it's somewhat new and it's, it's still fresh in there. It'll definitely get people working. But in a nutshell, that's everything I've done so far. Wow, that's pretty impressive. In any meter like an especially in a fitness barometer. I want to talk a little bit about like, matters. Or I could talk so many things, but about this, your brand new challenge. So first of all, like, if you don't mind, tell a little bit about this challenge, like what it is all about, and how it's working. So it's it's what I've coined as conventional fitness racing. So when it comes to fitness, race and ID and things like CrossFit or OCR obstacle course racing, there's specialist fitness racing. So CrossFit has quite a high technical barrier. So it's handstand walk in muscle ups, Olympic weightlifting with a barbell. Now what I coined as conventional fitness is races that have a low technical barrier to entry. So pretty much anyone could sign up you know, there's there's maybe goblet squats, a sled push row in ski and running, but nothing that requires any real expertise or mastery. Obviously, the better you are at these activities, the better you'll do, but it fundamentally comes down to your fitness. Now, what a little lot of fitness racers do is they have like, right, if you were to think as a coach, I want to test people to see who's the fittest man or woman in the world that go right, we need a strength lift, we need an endurance event, we need a Metcon event which is sort of anaerobic in nature and works hard. But I think what really sells what higher Ops is shown, which is the biggest fitness race in the world at the moment with the eight times one ks and a different functional fitness exercises in between, as the call is that people want to race from A to B, almost like a 10k or a 5k. And ideally, it's a race that doesn't change. So you can sort of develop your, your ability at that specific race. It's almost like a specific sport. So I wanted to create a race that as an SSC coach looks like the ultimate test of fitness. So it's not got high strength by 20. Because the problem with with having heavy lifts. If something's too light for someone, they just go faster. If something's too heavy, you can't do it. Right. So it's a barrier to entry. So people will say, Oh, well, it's not testing strength, but it is because if we've got say 60 reps of a kettlebell deadlift, we've got dumbbell snatch, we've got kettlebell goblet squats. Yes, there. moderately light loads like a 60 kilo kettlebell for the goblet squat. But the stronger you are, the better you'll be at these activities. So that the foundation of muscular endurance is muscular strength, the foundation of aerobic power and anaerobic fitness is in aerobic capacity and aerobic base. So this rate is in short, was something I wanted to create that is like the ultimate test of fitness. Now, in my mind, someone that's strong, but also has a very good 5k Time is an absolute base. They're a powerhouse, you know, like, you know, people that have like, you know, you get these guys that, you know, they're over 200 pounds. So they're like 1415 Stone guys, that deadlifting over 200 kilos comfortably. They're also running five case of 20. Some of them are doing as low as like 1516 minutes, right? That to me, they're the most impressive athletes in the world. Now, one of the best ways to develop your 5k time is 12 times 400. So that was the basis of my idea. And it just happened opposite my gym was a park with a hole for engineer lupine. So initially, I was like, oh can run a little event in my park. However, it transpired that that's obviously perfect for athletics tracks. So what I did is designed a race that was 12 times 400. And you did functional fitness exercises and when we say functional, any exercise is functional if it you know if it makes you stronger or improves you physically then it's functional, but what we mean is, you know, exercises that freeway in nature, stuff like that, so loaded carries and stuff. So I wanted movements that trade all the key fundamental movement patterns, like heavy squat, lunge, push, stuff like that. I wanted them to be free weights of bodyweight kettlebell dumbbell and weight exercises, because that means it's the most accessible fitness rated training system in the world. Because every gym, garage gym, home gym, has these pieces of equipment. And they're all very simple to use. So you've got 12 laborers, I call them laborers because I wanted them to be labor. Some I wanted them to be sort of like tiring in between the rooms. So you've got Calabar farmers carry kettlebell deadlift, dumbbell lunge dumbbell snatch, burpee, broad jump, and cowbell goblet squat, plate front carry, dumbbell Push Press, back roll plate cleaner press, so just a groundswell bed plate overhead carry and dumbbell double press. And you do these because it's deadly doesn't everything's based off a judo decimal system or doesn't or system. So it's like 60 reps or 240 meters. So the way that laborers work these exercises, the first one is moving from A to B, like a farmer's carry. The next one is what we call a rep labor. So it's 60 reps at the deadlift, you're on the spot. The next one's a dumbbell lunch for 16 years. The next one is dumbbell snatch on the spot, right. So they're all sort of very simple exercises to do. But doing 60 goblet squats or 60 meters or walking lunges before doing another 400 meter run around the track is going to be horrendous. And also what we have is we have like time, so every 400 you do your all chips, you cross the mat, it gets your time for your 400 you then do your station, for example, a kettlebell deadlift, you cross over the mat again, it gets your time for the deadlift, you then go, you run it. So you're gonna get all your metrics for all your 400 meter runs, and all your labors. And then you cross the finish line, you get a medal. And basically, where I want to go with the races is over 600 athletics tracks in the UK alone, worldwide, there's 10s of 1000s in America that we estimate, there's over 20,000 tracks in the USA alone. So I'm looking to go UK wide next year, I published a manual on this race. So it's a 255 page training manual. And we're wanting to go worldwide within 18 months, and which will most likely be franchising the brand and getting people ruining the event on athletic trucks. Yeah, no, that is it's good. I was looking at the idea and I absolutely loved it. Because, you know, back here, I'm living in Italy. And we have here in Europe, there's a lot of like, like a Spartan Race and that kind of, or kind of things where you are blinding or something but it's obviously bits have those things have also something to do with the strength, but it's not really like how you put it kind of together with with CrossFit or or actually using weights and those basic exercises in combination with the endurance part. So basically, it's, I gotta say, I'm a big fan of reading it what is this all about? Now I really appreciate that Yeah, it seems to you know, like I said, I launched a race in my local town, which luckily has an athletics track. And I honestly expected by this point around 50 people to sign up we did no paid promotion or, or real advertising, we set up an Instagram For a fault, right, it's a cool brand. First year don't expect much, probably going to cost me money to run the race. And then the race is just sold out within hours, launched another race sold out within hours. And so there's definitely the proof of concept is there. And the challenge now is to just expand faster really, because what hyperox has identified is a massive gap in the market, which is more and more people are trained in the gym. And more and more people like the young folk are all sort of starting to train in the gym. And what this does is it turns general gym training into a sport into a competition into something where every exercise in the gym normal exercise becomes specific to improve in your deadly does inability, or higher profitability and other fitness races. Right. So frost it is a $4 billion brand. Yet it's got which it's great, but it's got like high technicality to it, which is one of its big selling points. That's what people want to do. They want to do complex movements. But that's a huge barrier. Imagine what can be achieved with fitness races that give people the same feeling it gives people that same buy in and but it's literally simple stuff like pushing sled skills, you know, that's where HighRock hit the nail on the head there. They're selling 5000 tickets in a matter of minutes. Like in the UK, you can't get on a high rocks race pretty much unless you're part of a gym and affiliate because they give early access to gym affiliates. And obviously you can but the tickets sell out in minutes, 1000s of them. Because I think the way it's going is Spartans great, they've actually got a fitness race like this called DECA fit. But the OCR is seen its peak in my in my mind, I think it's brilliant. And it will always be there just like CrossFit. CrossFit seen its peak. But OCR is going and getting wet and muddy and stuff like this. And I think there's a much, much bigger market. I personally think it will be the biggest participation sport for adults in the world. It won't be the biggest sport for watching, like you'll never be a footballer, it'll never be a tennis it'll never be a cricket. But in terms of adults partaking in sport, because most adults actually stop playing sport, don't they as they get older. I think this is the true lifelong sport because the injury rates are really low in it, you're not getting tackled, you're not getting, you know, your injury rates are low, because you're doing a variety of exercises. So I think more and more people start getting into this style of competition, where it's not just elite people like CrossFit was very much even though it is for everybody and you, you do get novices, but it's very much geared towards like the high level. And I think what a lot of big conventional fitness races will do is they'll nurture an elite sort of side to it. But actually, it's more about the mass market. Yeah. And and it's more about people coming down having a good day enjoying themselves working hard work. And as part of the team. And I the way I perceive it as you're going to get millions of people every year during these these types of races, because it was it will be the goal that people set for themselves. I don't think where I think the industry has gone from is 10 years ago, and even in recent years, I saw that everyone in the fitness industry sort of leaned into a nice, whether it would be like that you just do strength, or you just do cardio or you're an old triathlete, or you're a powerlifter you are Olympic weightlifter or you're a swimmer, right? And people actually use the term hybrid fitness. Right to me, I do both cardio and resistance. Now the definition of fitness is everything. So really, if I was to say I'm fit, that should mean I'm strong. I'm also cardiovascular my cardiovascular system is good. I'm also agile, I've also got good flexibility, but the fitness industry became this thing that was either you are one component of fitness, and that's what you do. And now I think it's gravitating back towards, like people wanting to be a mix of everything. And they're actually coining it as like hybrid. And really, it's just, you're just, well, you're what fitness should be. So I think there will be a massive shift in the industry where rather than people just leaning into one component, they'll want to be strong and fit and fitness racing is just the best goal to set for them. I couldn't agree more because it's like you said that it's it's what I what I see also in fitness like it's it's, it's so much like it are you are like your powerlifter strongest man then this is basically just the strength without cardio or either you are doing running, you are only runner or doing some kind of endurance you are cycling or whatever endurance sport but ultimately what is important for most of the people, all of the people is a combination of both and And if you can combine that kind of element with both of them with the traditional strength exercises like you have done, I found it a brilliant idea. No, I really appreciate that. And this is something like, obviously, you know, we are all different, we have different kinds of motivations, like everybody don't need some kind of challenge or race to motivate to workout. But I find still so many people are that type of people that who needs some kind of challenge. We're like goal, what they are working towards, on and I think this type of training like that you do it in a kind of in a right way that you have both you have that string part, you have that cardio part, if it's running or whatever, whatever sport, cardio parties, but you have you have both of these elements in your training regime. Yeah, absolutely. And I found that, you know, I was one of the people that always had because I competed in combat sports a lot as a kid. And it was never going anywhere big, but I was, I did a lot of it. So as an adult, I never really felt the need to compete. And I was very self driven. You know, I've done part Fitness from a young age as an Army physical training instructor, so never felt I needed a competition. But then when I signed up for, say, a hireal, I was like, Ah, I do get it now, actually, as an adult in my 30s, I was like, it does change the way you see your training, you know, it becomes, even if you're the most dedicated person in the world, what a competition does is make it non negotiable. But even if you're really like, I am not, you know, I'm not doing it tonight, sometimes, like just having that competition is is key. And it is it's not needed for everyone, but I guarantee it will improve everyone's sort of mindset towards training. And it's also we have what our tagline is called, beat the race. So the idea is you beat in the race, you're not competing against other groups, because I also understand that I remember when I was competing in combat sports, there's so much pressure on you. Actually, sometimes it would be there was a stat released years ago, that said, a lot of children's stop in join sport 12. And essentially, it just correlated to when it became more serious, and where the parents started to go. And the coaches were like, right, you're not a kid anymore, we're starting to really focus your training. And actually, a lot of the fun was taken out of it. So one thing that is absolutely key for me with my races to make sure that it, it feels fun. And it feels like you know, for those that want the pressure on want the competition, great. But for the vast majority, that had sort of wanting to just participate and push themselves and challenge themselves and be there for themselves, that they're my number one target. They're the ones that really count people often say the biggest misconception is people say if you want to draw people into your race, you need like big prize money or something. It's that it's completely wrong. Because that prize money only attracts the naught point naught naught naught 1% of people that actually think they're in within chance of winning it, the majority of people know they're not winning prize money. So the key to sign out a race is having a race that people really want to do, and then facilitating the best possible race experience that they then sell the race for you. You can do all the advertising in the world really unit. Once you've got that sort of base of people, it's all about their experience to then go, I'm going to tell my friends, and that's what's going to sell the race. And but yeah, that's what I see is key. So what is what is the goal? Like how up to arrays? In this case? Like what is the what is the goal for like normal? Like, if you are you want to participate for that race? And what is the goal how you better is, the goal is basically to for most people, is literally finish it. Because although we set there's a low technical barrier, there's low strength by so the majority of people with a bit of trading, they're not going to find so for a man a 32 kilo deadlift workout as well. So some of the ones where people will question it will say like a 15 kilo dumbbell snap. Sure, man. Most men are absolutely fine. Some men, they haven't got the upper body strength, they will struggle. So there's like, dumbbell Push Press, for example, is 12.5 kilo dumbbells for 60 reps, but you get as long as you're like, right, but doing 12 times 400. And these stations in between the most people is a huge, huge challenge. You know, so I can run it in under 40 minutes. Most people run it around the hour. And then some people are up at around two hours. So it shows the sort of range of people. So the best people are around 40 minutes. Average is in around an hour for fit people. And then it starts going back from there and you'll be amazed how much slower fit people can be, you know, further age, especially as you start getting into 60s and 70s. So for most people, it's finishing the race. And then the next stage is is all data driven. So you get Your race certificate with all your data. And beating the race is basically getting your time every time because it's your time at the end of the day that you're trying to beat. So you're trying to beat the time on each Bollinger meter, you're trying to beat your labor times to get a better overall time. And the idea is what I want to push is, be the best you can be. And then as you get through the age categories, when you're 30, when you're 40, when you're 50, we want to make sure that our app collects all the normative data for all the age groups. And we can basically say you're like the top percentile, you're the top 1%, you're in the top 10% of your age group, worldwide, you know, if you're at the top, if you're in, even in the deadly dozen, you're probably in the top sort of 1% Anyway, and then it's like, right, so let you know, once we can gather that stat and do some research, we can sort of say if you're able to complete a deadly dozen ratio at this sort of percent in the world. And then out of all that 1000s of people that are in that top 1%. You are it as you know, because we've got 70 year olds that have entered the race. So we want them to be able to say, right, I'm improving my time, I'm getting stronger, I'm getting fair. So it's beating the race is basically beating your time on each of the stations. This is it's a fantastic idea. And let's talk about like, in in those exercises, obviously, there is a lot of elements in that race, like strength, like it's mostly like endurance strength, like it's not like you're not lifting maximum weight. So there is a risk of injuries is relatively low. Like obviously, if you don't have any experience, like probably you should know how to do those exercises, but even without almost any training experience, you will be able to perform them relatively safely. Oh, yeah, absolutely. So if someone like that want to train for this kind of element, like it's not only for this race, but like, I wanted to talk a little bit with you about the periodization. And how to actually train, for example, if the goal is for example, to prepare for this type of race, or or simply just improving your endurance and your strength endurance, for example. So how periodization, like, what is like, it's kind of like, you know, I see so many people, they are kind of trying to do everything, you know, they hear that they need to do cardio, they go for cycling, then they go for sprinting, then they do strength training, like it feels like you've got to do everything. But is there some better way how you could actually use periodization? Yeah, so Well, basically, there's, there's multiple ways. So and it's ultimately down to find what works for you. And there's research that back both sides, right. So ultimately, we compared eyes on a micro level on a macro level to the macro levels, looking at the bigger plan, and how we're going to create training phases where they don't have to be dogmatic any given phase, but they might have a primary aim. So in this, the primary aim within this phase, is to develop an aerobic base, that doesn't mean you're not strength training, it doesn't mean that you're not doing any high intensity exercise, it just means that the primary focus is let's develop an aerobic base, or let's develop muscular strength, before we start progressing towards more sports specific activities, maybe more high intensity training, maybe more sort of power training, you know, so, so sort of going from lifting more volume in our strength shaping and to develop more of a base of like muscular endurance and prepare the muscles ramping up to heavier weights. And then obviously, you might go towards work with lighter weights, do more plyometrics do more ballistic training, right. So that's the sort of macro level where we're looking at phases. Now on a micro level is a training week. So a micro cycle is a is a week of training. Now, we'll start there, and then we'll talk about the big picture is on a micro level, what makes this style of trading more interesting going away from like to sports like football and tennis or cricket. What makes this interesting from even from my standing as a coach, I've done a lot of strength programs, people people buy a lot programs, I don't have the time to do it as much anymore. But I used to do a lot of it when I was writing strength programs for power lifters for general gym goers, people that just wanted to build muscle. And it was very one dimensional. And actually nowadays, I find that style of programming almost too easy and sometimes a little bit boring. And then as soon as you started getting these hybrid fitness races, you've got to think about aerobic work, you've got to think about anaerobic work, you've got to think about different you know, they're not just running, they're also using rowers, they're using skiers that they've got to develop strength, they've got to develop muscles and joints right so adds all these different dimensions to the week. Now this is the same when it comes to a lot of athletes. Now as an s&c Coach work with tennis players cricket players, Robbie that is often you do end up falling into that strength coach dimension, because they're getting a lot of like fitness training doing their sport. So often the two or three hours that you've got with that athlete you are working on maybe a little bit of plyometrics, during the, you know, the performance based warmup is a heavy focus on barbell training and stuff like that, because that's almost becomes your role. But yeah, let's go and away from that. In any given training week, we actually do want to see sort of a mix of all the different components that we want to have generally, in my training week, I will have like one to two sessions. And First things first, you need to understand what frequency someone has, like how many training sessions can they do, because that dictates I can do a lot of sessions, someone else might not, if someone says, I can train three times a week, that's going to be the limiting factor to what you do. And if someone says I can train six times a week, then you've got a lot more freedom, generally, for a fitness race. So you're always going to have like one long run a week, you're always going to have that aerobic base, just getting the miles on the legs zone to very low intensity, developing the mitochondria builds that aerobic base, you're going to have like one to two strength focus sessions, where you're trying to build muscular strength to lay that foundation. So that long run, and that heavier strength training sessions are laying the foundation of muscular strength and aerobic capacity, then what you're trying to do is layer on top of that, for example, circuit training sessions where they do some web runs. And with or without runs, where you're you're building that muscular endurance, you're doing sort of race specific training, because essentially, fitness races are like circuit training. And then you'd have potentially like a tempo session, which could be on a run. So hold in a faster pace, that usually around half an hour or lower, like 20 minutes, or it could be an interval session. And that could be on a rower, it could be on a skier, it could be on a bike or it could be a run. And that's where we're trying to push that sort of threshold training, potentially, you're pushing, you're getting used to work in at threshold, almost like the race pace. And this also can be interval training. So that could be sure high intensity intervals on the track, where we're doing sort of 60 or 100 meter sprints or 400 meter efforts. We've also got what's called like vo two Max builders, like on a rower where we do three minutes of hard work, three minutes of just steady state three minutes of hard work, and we work for around 20 minutes. So now you sort of have cardio sessions, as you imagine, it all depends on how much you can fit in, in your training week. But generally, that would be quite a concurrent training program. Now, you can take the concurrent approach to your entire periodization, where you go right this, I'm going to work concurrently I'm going to continually build these qualities, what's a more traditional method of periodization, what would often be it might be a linear or classical periodization, you'll heard these terms is where earlier on, you would layer up that volume, you do a lot more cardiovascular work, you build an aerobic base. So for most fitness races, they need very, very good aerobic capacity, because that will that's the backbone of your fitness in terms of your energy systems, essentially, the aerobic system, the bigger that base is, the better everything else will come. And there's more adaptation that can happen with that system. And that system is fueling all the other systems when your other systems are working hard. The aerobic systems working in the background to recover that. So you'll spend, if, for example, you're competing in the summer, through the winter, you would spend a lot of time building an aerobic base. So you'd have more focus on longer duration cardio sessions, and you'd still you'd be building up a base of strength as well. So you'd have more long duration sessions, more strength training, then as the season progresses, you'd start to add in more specific changes. So that would be more of the circuit training more of the doing more of the exercises that are involved in the race. Most fitness races have exercises with runs in between. And therefore, you do what's called compromise running. It's like a type of circuitry and where you might do sort of sled pushes into runs or lunges into runs, and you're running fatigued. Essentially, it's getting used to racing essentially, you'd start adding in more track sessions, for example, like 400 meter, and intervals, you'd start adding in more hard training. Now it's key to understand that this hard training has a higher recovery class, whereas the lower intensity training generally has a lower recovery cost so we can do a lot more of it. So in the offseason, you're building that aerobic base, you're building a base of strength. As the season progresses, you can reduce that volume and you can add in more high intensity exercises, adding more specificity. And but there's absolutely nothing wrong with keeping it a little bit more concurrent with a slight bias towards an aerobic base further away, and then more of a bias towards race specificity, because you don't just want to run race simulations all the time. Because you'll just burn yourself out too much high intensity training will burn you out. And where people have to be aware with the long duration running is overuse injuries, shin splints, Achilles tendinopathy, stuff like that. But as an overview, that's that's how I approach to periodization. I think that was that was a very good answer. And I have just a question like, about, like, you mentioned that building that base, like little bit further, like if if the training season or that competition season is during the summertime, and they say that it's focusing on basic. So you mentioned a little bit about kind of easier cardio, John to like, for some people, like, for me, it's at the moment, if I'm walking fast, I'm in zone two, that is more than enough for me, if I was, I, personally, I hate running, I don't go to run if I don't have to. And, and but if I, I I'm hiking, I'm walking a lot. And basically, I do a lot of that is my turn to training, but I'm not physically running. So for that part, like you mentioned, like, what I see a lot of people when they they decided, now I'm going to work on my cardio take off or run. And it's at least here I see often people take both kind of too fast for what they are able to do. Or then they move kind of Fortune three to four. And we they are kind of chasing that feeling that be becoming tired, instead of kind of taking a little bit easier approach and being able to do it a lot longer, where you like I mentioned, recovery time and everything, like it feels kind of almost too easy. Yeah, so you they say with Zone Two, it should almost make you feel guilty. And if you feel guilty, and you feel like you're running too slow, you're probably running the right pace. And it can be boring, especially if you're not into it. But you know, a lot of the studies show that, you know, countless studies show, and also, anecdotally, with the athletes that utilize the methods like the 8020, where you can get a lot of adaptation in Zone Two. With low recovery cost. As soon as you start hitting that zone three, the recovery cost is high, and the adaptation is not always as high. Now, that's why a lot of athletes will will do a lot of zone two. And then the other side of the spectrum, they'll do the really high intensity stuff to develop them systems and get used to being uncomfortable. Now I'm actually a big believer in you know, I think there's both sides of the coin. So I think that the research absolutely backs doing zone to incorporate a lot of people that think they don't do it actually do a lot of it. So a lot of athletes that you will say oh, they never go jogging. But actually they're playing their sport at low intensities. For example, during practice where their practice sessions of 60 to 90 minutes might be when they're just working on drills. They're just constantly zoned to bear. So they are actually getting lots of zone to work as well while they're practicing their sport. So they don't necessarily need to go on and runs. Now the reason why runs are so important for fitness races is because a lot of the runs like mine, High Rocks, Decker, the backbone of these races is running the although you can develop like an aerobic base on rowers and skiers and bikes, you need to get the miles in the legs, it's it's the said principle specific adaptation to impose demands, you can be very, very fit and still not be the best runner because you just on a mechanical level, you haven't got their miles on the legs. And anyone will tell you that it's experiences, you can run slow to get fast, you do a lot of miles on the legs not actually working that hard. And then times because you stay in zone you get fit and fit. And that zone to pace. It's faster and faster and faster. And before you know it, you're doing PRs without trade. And that's, you know, anyone that sort of feels with running most people that sort of a lot of people that can't get into running, they're running too fast, so they don't enjoy it. And then they get injuries. They're doing too much like pull it all but run slower to get faster. And trust me with consistency. It will all fall into place. Now don't get me wrong. A lot of people just don't like right now. I know people aren't and you can say oh, well run slower. Try and get into it. Do this do that. A lot of people just don't find running. They just don't like it. So like you say you can go on a bike, but I actually use a bike a lot. And I actually do you know I'm that guy that I'll do loads of emails of work while on the bike. And I'll do that 90 minutes on it and just be, you know, just be working away on the phone, doing all the social media doing all the stuff. And then obviously, during the sessions where I can't do like, like the circuit sessions and stuff or like me into those sessions, that's where I'm training hard that you can use any mode of cardio, the only benefit of running is that it's specific to a lot of sports. And it's also specific to fitness racing. Now, what I would say, is on the other side of the coin, there is evidence completely I know plenty of athletes, plenty of coaches that do what is some coaches have coined is like anaerobic stacking, where some guys do, they never work for any more than like 15 seconds, but they just do lots of it. And when you test these guys on like aerobic capacity tests, obviously, a lot of these guys might be genetic freaks, you know, world class athletes, but a lot of the time that they're excelling. So although there's evidence to show that we can develop, develop a very well rounded program with a base of easy work, you can work easiest, actually, and improve a rock a lot. Some athletes prefer working hard. And as long as you can recover from high intensity stuff, and you might just prefer stacking hit training, you will get very fit as well, you can get to where you want to be doing high intensity training as well. It's just another approach. It's just that if I was from my experience, if I were to layer on too much hit training, and for most people, they can't accommodate the stress, some people can't. And some people are absolutely fine. So it's very much about individuality. Yeah, no, and it makes so much sense. Like, if you like, like you mentioned, like for most people is that when they started training taiko especially in the beginning way too hard. Like I my example, I, I would say that if I were to be Oh, to this, I have a pretty good vo two max values. But if I would go to run, like, suggest not doing it, everything would hurt. But if I know that if I would start doing it, my joints, my muscles, everything I would get used to it, I would get relatively past pretty good at it. But it says that just that principle that understanding that improving your endurance, it's not always that you don't need to chase that kind of feeling that you know, you had a good workout. It's it's more or less often, especially the beginning is I would say better is that you kind of feel almost guilty, like you said, that's I think that's a very, very well set the feeling guilty or the die die. Do you actually enough? Yeah, yeah, that's exactly it, most people say you're comfortable, you could have a conversation without trying, you're you sort of feel guilty that you're going a little bit too slow. And that that's the way to do zone two. And if you have the time and the patience to fit it in, you'll reap loads of rewards. And it's just one and fingers that for a lot of people that and our you know, gold standard getting up towards 90 minutes. But you know, in and around the hours, you know, fine, but an hour can be a long time when it's you know, you see it as boring cardio, but it does work. And it reaps the adaptation with low recovery cost. As long as if you are running. As long as you even cycling. You know, if you go from not cycling to doing loads of cycling, you'll feel the niggles or whatnot, potentially. So anything, it's all about load management, nine amps, then at the time, what I see is if people started getting injuries, they're just doing too much. And you just if you were to pull back the volume, the intensity, injuries wouldn't occur. People have just gotta remember the tissues, all they need is adequate recovery and progressive overload. So you stress the tissues, you give them either a quick recovery, you stress them again to the right point, then adequate recovery stress and again, and you slowly layer up. And if at some point during that, that process, your tissue start to feel injured, not like a sort of, you know, snap of a muscle like an acute injury, they start to feel overworked and stressed, then they can't accommodate the stress, give it more recovery. Now, sometimes people think, oh, there's too much I need all these rehab. Most of the time, it's just you need to manage your training loads better. And one of the things I'll say that I keep saying it's low recovery costs, but running inherently is very hard on the body on the lower legs. So and a lot of people up to 80% of runners are injured as a result already, because they're just running too much. And they need to pull it back and allow for adequate recovery and also incorporate strength training and plyometric training so that the tissues are strong enough to accommodate the load and strength training is going to have the biggest impact on that because we can apply heavier external loads to the body which will be more that a far faster rate will invoke adaptation in the muscles so the tissues will become stronger, much faster, which will allow you to run for longer and keep running. That's why for all runners and endurance athletes, you want to be doing some resistance training, because we're doing fundamental movements, you know, bending and straightening the knee, the ankle, the hips, and all you're doing is applying external load, allowing you to place overload on to these tissues, and they adapt faster, and it allows you to perform better. And that's why strength training is another sort of Cornerstone alongside the aerobic training. Yeah, no, and this is, that's a good place to go over strength training, because what I hear and like, I in social media nowadays, like, you know, if people don't have the dedication, like push, you know, then they are as naked. Could you be doing like, let's say, your goal is no, it could be this race. But let's take some other sets that if your goal is to become more stronger, and but you know, that you need to be doing cardio, also, and how, how you what is your approach of like, kind of getting stronger, improving your, for example, maximum strength that becoming stronger, not necessarily building muscle, but just the or even, it's a kind of same thing, as you know, but becoming stronger and while doing some cardio, so what are the key principles of kind of periodization or are with the strength training. So, in terms of like adding cardio, as well, as it's just a case of not worrying about the cardio negatively impacting, you know, the strength is likely that you're not going to be doing excessive amounts, that would you sort of have a recovery cost that just has an ill effect on hypertrophy. And if so, I'd imagine if you are looking for hypertrophy and strength, you have inadequate protein intake and calorie intake. So when it comes to strength training, people always sort of want to look for a Goldilocks zone of reps. And that's not the case. Now, we know that lifting heavy weights is the said principle specific adaptation to impose demands, if you lift heavy weights, you're going to get stronger. So the closer you are to your one rep max will make you stronger. Now, that's going to come at higher recovery cost potentially, not necessarily compared to high rep ranges, we'll talk about that. But it's potentially going to have high risk of injury, high risk of burnout, if you're just lifting maximally all the time, you're gonna start getting niggles and, you know, if you're if you're hitting heavy bench all the time, I guarantee you that you're going to start thin and your shoulder your rotator cuff, you're probably going to start to spin and your elbows, it's just the way it goes. Now the key is, is to use all rep ranges to focus on developing now, the key is to understand that like a lot of people will say these days, we've gone away from that sort of endurance, hypertrophy strength, strength, being one to five shows up in six to 12 endurance being 12 points. And we know that we can build muscle at any rep range. And you know, whether someone does five by five, or five sets of three or 10, sets of 10, they can all build muscle, as long as there's sufficient overload, there's sufficient stress on the tissues, you know, some bodybuilders will preach four sets of 30, while the other guys doing three sets of one. And you know, but fundamentally, it still wants to ask me, How do I want how do you want to program it period as your strength training, you want to work progressively through different rep ranges. And there's two major ways to do that, you either take more of a linear approach, where you'd go, for example, from higher rep ranges, this is the intuitive way that most people build strength. So week one, it might be four sets of 12, then it's four sets of 10, four sets of eight, by sets of five, four sets of three, you know three sets of two, and then working up to a one rep max. And that's an intuitive way to sort of build a base of muscular endurance getting used to the exercise building in the volume, it's what's called linear periodization. Similar to what we talked about earlier with periodization. As an overview, you've got more volume towards the start, and your progress towards lifting heavier work and up towards a one rep max. Now, one of the problems with changing rep ranges every week is that it's, you gather less data on how well you're doing. So it's often good to rather than having a lot of variety, I like variety of strength movements, because I think it makes it more enjoyable, especially for my general crowd. So athletes will actually stick to more, right? You might have back squat, RDL bench press, and like a dumbbell movement, and they do that week in week out on session one, and their rep ranges don't vary as much because we want to track where they are their rating of perceived exertion want to see that data? We don't want too much variety. What I found with my general gym numbers is one week they want to do an RDL next week, it's a stiff leg deadlift. It's a single leg, you know, and it's the same movement done in a different way with a different piece of equipment. One One They it's a barbell Bent Over Row, next week, it's appended a row, then it's a kick, it just adds variety. And that's fine, you know, different ways of doing the same thing. But essentially, it can work well to spend a few weeks at the same rep range, just so you can see, you know, you can often track adaptation a little bit better and see your performance. But also, I'm actually a big believer in like, weekly undulation. I like where, you know, for example, you'd have a week that had a higher volume of reps. And then the following week, you're doing a low, low rep. So obviously, volume and intensity have an inverse relationship, the higher the volume, the lower intensity, the higher the intensity, the lower the volume. So I like to undulate weekly, on a lot of my programs, where they'll do high reps, or high ish reps, you know, when we're saying, like, mid to high reps, you know, so around the 10 mark, and then the following week, it's basically one week, it's above five, the next week, it's below five reps. And then you've got that contrast. And I found for a lot of people, it keeps them interested, they know, if they've had a heavy week in the gym, that then going into like a volume week. Now, that's a different way of doing what's called Daily undulating periodization, where some people would do like volume day, and then they'd do heavy day, you know, it's like the conjugate method where they'd have the max strength day, then they'd have the dynamic day. So they'd have max strength lower, you know, and then it's like, you know, and then that strength footprint, then it would be, then it'd be dynamic, lower dynamic, opposite of speed lifting. And that's a similar version of like, daily undulated, where you'd have a high volume day, low volume day, high volume day, low volume day, but I prefer the weekly model, or the bi weekly model, where you you work, you know, you change it weekly, I just think it works really well. And feedback from a lot of athletes and, and general population is that it keeps training programs quite interesting. But still, even within a weekly undulation, I'll often work with quite a linear format, whether there's there's news. swore. I love volume, but yeah, of training loads, because you weeks where you're doing sets of 10 weeks, where you're doing five singles, you know, and also, don't just do a one rep max do where you are doing six singles at 90%, or even 85%, where you work at doing hard, fast, single reps. That's how you will become a better lifter, you know, doing three sets of 290 5%, which are true, max effort lifted, but also do you know, eight sets or 280 5%, for example, where you're, you're not maximal on any given set, but you're just getting like hard, fast reps. And then, you know, I think people are sometimes not creative enough with their rep ranges. And sometimes they're either going hard or they're going high volume. And sometimes that can be a little bit more nuanced. Yeah. No, I love I love to hear all these ideas as it as it's like I'm big, big time. Like I love to do like let's say three to four weeks with kind of heavier week heavier programs, then we get that going for a little bit. Tennis around 10 repetitions and big after that I will go higher rep ranges like a 50. But it's it's like that variety, like you said, it's you can do it so many different ways. But it could be be weekly, it could be doing within one workout doing like, some exercises with heavy weights, lower reps or and some other opposites. So basically, like you said, I think science and literature is pretty clear. Like it doesn't matter that much what you enjoy most doing unto you include also heavier, heavier, rapid rates and lower like all kind of references. Yeah, and one thing I would say is that in terms of general s&c for athletes, is that generally working towards a competition, you've got to think about sports that are sports where you've got a long peak, so you've got a long time to train before you've got a competition, then you've got other sports where they're competing every weekend like football. So during a long peak, where you've got a long time before a competition, potentially bonds like your a fight or something like that, then you've got a lot more time to play with things in the early stages. You can you can build a big bass and then you can work towards, you know, it might take a more traditional model of periodization where you can spend a long time working on specific qualities. Whereas when it's a football player, you having to sort of periodized on a micro level and you're sort of having your early in the week is where you might have more volume. And you might have more sort of, like we're going to focus on, you know, people might still call them hypertrophy sessions, you know, where they're, you know, they're in the gym, they're trying to build muscle, they're doing that sort of eight to 12 rep range. And if you're sort of playing a game on a Saturday, that's where you would, you would do the stuff early in the week, because although heavy strength training can come at a cost in terms of injuries, and, and you know, niggles in the shoulders, actually doing, you know, free singles heavy as less recovery costs and doing four sets of 10. Because there's a lot of eccentric loading. So where a lot of the muscle trauma comes from is the east centric phase as the muscles are lengthening. So if a footballer were to do five sets of 10, rather than three sets of three, that's going to come at a much higher recovery costs a higher volume. So often, a footballer will do, if there are wanting to do more sort of higher rep ranges in the gym, that do the earlier in the week. And as you get closer to the competition, you would do more, sort of, you know, either heavier lifts, you know, concentric only plyometrics loaded throws, you could even potentially just do the speed lifted the dynamic effort stuff, where, for example, you're working at 60% have a one rep max, but you're performing six sets of two, but you're lifting the weight as fast as possible. So you're leaning into sort of what would be higher volumes earlier, and then going into lower volumes, high intensities, but often not necessarily high intensities, as heavily lows, it might be high intensities, because you're moving that barbell as fast as possible, we're starting to lean into the power zones. So the speed strength, even just you know, power and strength speed. So it's not necessarily maximal lifting. It's lifting submaximal loads, but as fast as we can. So that's something to consider with more traditional periodization, which is, you know, building the higher rep ranges early on. So if you've not been in the gym, or while you come back to the gym, do four sets of 10 You're going to have some major Dom's, like delayed onset muscle soreness. So it's a good idea when you're not having competitions, of almost breaking that sort of out. So it's sort of going right let's get in the gym, let's build all this volume. And let's get you used to do back squats, deadlifts, bench presses, let's, let's do all that traditional, you know, hypertrophy work, as you'd say, you know, the sort of that mid rep ranges that, you know, we know any rep range can build muscle, but that's the sort of traditional model. And it conditions the body just like running would conditioned your body you conditioned yourself to then as you get closer to the competition, you start refining the rep ranges, you start changing in which the way in which you're using the exercises, making sure that there's not too much eccentric loading, so you're not doing advanced training techniques like slowly Centrix, where you're, you're slow for the incentive phase, or you're overloading the eccentric phase. So you're not incurring too much muscle trauma, too much recovery cost as you go into the competition or the peaking phase, essentially. This is I think we could keep going for another hours. But this was such a helpful episode. Thank you so much, Jason. I think we got to stop it for here. Do you mind sharing people a little bit about your race, how to reach out where to find you? Yeah, so the best thing to do is just go to my personal Instagram, which is Coach Jason Curtis. And, and you can find me there and all links to everything else that I do. It's a good sort of page to follow because I I give away free books twice a week. All you have to do is comment on any post and it will send you the ebook and some of the books are as much as 300 pages and you get them absolutely free. And there's over 300 ebooks available and that cover all things from sort of general health nutrition, and stem shading ballistic training, plyometrics combat sports, every sport you can think of there's there's probably content that relates to it. And it's all absolutely free. Awesome. I absolutely love what you're doing and I can't wait that you are coming to Italy. I hope we can or maybe i i This I'm so excited about this race maybe at some point I hope I find the time to join one of those races doing it by myself or host one race here in Italy with you when you are hopefully everything goes well with your race. Oh, absolutely. Well, we'll be over in Italy I'm sure Awesome. So yeah, we'll get over to Italy. I'm sure that there's plenty of good shots there. Oh, yeah, that we have more than enough. And I can't wait to do race with you and see how everything goes. Awesome. Thank you so much and talk to you soon. Brilliant