Knee Trouble and Elite Endurance Training

In the last post I mentioned that my knee was causing me severe pain, actually it more like the entire lower leg was on fire.

Well I cancelled all my Tuesday morning appointments got myself down to the doctor.

The guy I go to (extremely rarely) is an eccentric lad in his mid – late 50’s, he also seems to know his stuff. The last time I was with him I was in for a tetanus booster after being bitten on the hand while working security.

This time I go to him with one leg twice the size of the other, discoloured and pumping out heat. His reaction was priceless. He went on at length about the “nasty, nasty little bugger” that I had, and “well done, David, well done for coming to see me, my that’s nasty”

If you’re in Dublin 2, go see Doctor Fergus Brady, he’s class.

The upshot was this. I have a cellulitis infection, which fortunately we caught in time. I have a tiny scrape just below the knee which seemed to have picked up an infection which quickly spread through the entire low leg. If I’d left it much longer I would have been sent to hospital, and it had only been 2 days!

So my training is out the window for the next week or two, I have to rest and finish this course of antibiotics (which are turning my stomach even as I write this).

This doesn’t change my availability, I’m still taking clients. The boot camp is now half way through week 2 and the guys are going strong. There are spaces available to come in and take part in the lunchtime fitness sessions, and of course my evening classes. The personal training guys and girls, I’ve already contacted and moved them around somewhat.

Lets rewind there and go back to the Boot Camp.
Today is Wednesday, this is the day that everyone hates, Cardio day.

And it’s because we do it differently.

Most Boot Camps you see spend most of their time running around like a herd of sheep, with a few crunches and push ups thrown in at random. This is bullshit and should be thrown in dustbin alongside all aerobics classes, regardless of whether they have sexy TV ads and call them selves Zumba or not.

We do run on Cardio day, but it’s a short route, the fastest guys do it in 90seconds, the slowest around 2 mins. When they get back from the run it’s straight into a conditioning drill.

Today looked like this:

Hindu Push Ups
Bodyweight Squats
Bodyweight Row
Plank with limb excursions

The group gets split into two, one group hits a conditioning drill and knocks it out until the runners return, they then swap.
It’s brutal but it works.

We are not looking to create better runners, we are looking to create better general conditioning for whatever may come at them. In the case of many of my clients, that’s going to be a roundhouse kick or a right cross.

I’m not sure where I first came up with this idea, I’m sure it’s not mine by origin. Several years ago I used to run in the mountains of the lake district in north west England, as the terrain changed so did my movement, often I’d be on all fours climbing a steep/loose incline, or jumping and springing over rocks. Sometimes you’d have to crawl under fallen trees. My cardio back then was probably at it’s peak, I was a machine. It’s the fitness that is gained from Parkour.
Adjusting this to a gym setting we have to mix in drills with various running lengths. For us the run we picked is a quick lap of the block, but it can be longer or shorter. Hell, even change it every go.
Why not? It is after all general physical preparation we are doing here, not sports specific.

Since then I’ve seen similar methods used for training pro MMA fighters on the blogs of Martin Rooney ( and, and these guys are heavyweights of the fitness world.

So I have a question to all you cardio bunnies out there:

“If the best in the world are doing workouts similar to the one above, why are you still doing 20 minuts on the elliptical, 20 on treadmill and 20 on the bike?”

Answers on a postcard…..


Dave Hedges


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s