Training can get boring. We have posted a number of blogs about keeping things varied and mixing up you’re training. Whilst I believe variance is vitally important to training and is a key method of preventing boredom, you still need a focus. Training sessions shouldn’t just happen for the sake of it. To me, each and every session should have at least a general goal or purpose. Whether you’re training to just stay healthy or become the next big thing, you should have purpose. In the following post, I am going to outline one of my favourite methods of keeping things varied, whilst improving both skills and endurance.


Skill Work

“We are a product of what we repeatedly do”

Skills are crucial to getting the most out of ourselves. There is a certain level of skill to every movement performed in the gym. As a general rule, the higher the skill level, the lower intensity you should perform it at (at least to begin with).

Prioritising and making time to practice skills can lead to future sessions running efficiently. In addition, performing movement correctly will ensure you provide the correct stimulus. Repeatedly performing something badly, will only transfer into bad performance come game day!


Endurance Work

It’s not glamorous and it’s not exciting and it is easily avoidable. Working at a low intensity for a sustained period of time may not be top on your list of things to do. However, it can have a huge effect on both performance and health, don’t miss out on the potential gains of endurance training.


My Favourite Method To Mix the Two

I am going to lay out the basic structure for one of the best ways to keep training interesting whilst improving two key components. The exercises are interchangeable and can be modified to suit your focus and sport. The session looks a little like this.

EMOM (Every minute on the minute) x 12

1: 40secs or 8-10 reps of a complex skill
2: 40secs or 8-10 reps of a moderate skill
3: 40secs or 8-10 reps of a simple skill

After you have completed the 12 minutes, move straight onto;

10 Minutes Steady State

Bike, Row or Run
Conversational pace or aprox <140bpm

After you have completed the 10 minutes, move straight onto;

EMOM (Every minute on the minute) x 12

1: 40secs or 8-10 reps of a second complex skill
2: 40secs or 8-10 reps of a second moderate skill
3: 40secs or 8-10 reps of a second simple skill

As before, when you have completed the 12 minutes, move straight onto;

10 Minutes Steady State

Bike, Row or Run
Conversational pace or aprox <140bpm

The time domains and reps can all be altered to your level of ability. For example, if you are a beginner, you may want to limit your EMOM to 2 exercises and only do 10 minutes. If you complete in much longer events, you may wish to increase your steady state periods as you see fit.


Give Yourself Purpose and Progression

The session itself can be changed a lot. However, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, it’s important to have a goal or purpose. Select exercises that match your goal and give you a real focus for the session.

Once you know where you want to focus your attention you can then create progressions week to week. If you start out with skipping as a complex skill, start at 20 seconds of perfect practice. As the weeks progress you may want to increase this to 30, 35 or 40 seconds. You may even want to challenge yourself further by trying double under or backwards skipping.

Final Thoughts

The great thing about this style of session is that you get specific time to work on skills under lower levels of fatigue, as well as moving for 40+ minutes. Your endurance training no longer has to be plain and boring, spice it up with challenging skills whilst keeping the body moving.

As a leading personal trainer in Twickenham and West London, I have found these sessions can be a great way of keeping clients moving whilst keeping them engaged. Why not have a play around with it and see if you can improve your skill whilst getting fitter at the same time!