Dangers of Training Segmentation

One of the ways our training differs from the historical tradition of strength and conditioning is that we don’t segment our training modalities. This means we don’t view our strength work and our conditioning work as separate efforts.

While we do segmented work this is not our main workout nor is the segmented work most beneficial for increased fitness. An example of segmented work would be our lifting before the main workout every day. We perform one movement in isolation from any other stimulus. Lift. Rest. Repeat. Another example would be the times we spend working on a single gymnastic skill.

We do this segmented work to improve our technique and movement quality. Without a focused effort or practice we won’t develop the skill level to perform when our body is under additional stress. These are the building blocks of being able to train with integration and intensity.

Take this mornings workout for example.
10-8-6-4-2
Deadlifts (increasing weight each round)
Toes-to-bar

Then immediately ride 2 minutes on the AirDyne for maximum calories.

The workout started ok with the deadlifts and no one really struggled with performing 10 unbroken reps. As the workout progressed and your heart rate increased, you started breathing hard, and your midline (core) became a little fatigued the heavier sets of 6, 4, and 2 felt much heavier and harder to perform than if you were lifting that weight in a lifting only workout.

Segmenting training efforts delivers a segmented capacity.
— Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder

This integration of movements and stimuli challenges the body in new and “special” ways. If you performed the same movements, reps and weight by performing all the deadlifts first with a short rest between sets, and then performing all the toes-to-bar with a short rest between it would be much easier. The training effect would be diminished.

Imagine how different and difficult it might have been if the 2 minutes of AirDyne was at the beginning of the workout instead of the end. What if we put 30 seconds of AirDyne in each round? When we don’t segment our training we are able to mix and match our workouts with endless variations, and stimuli.

By segmenting your training modalities you’ll only succeed in segmenting your ability to do work. Life doesn’t give us those easy cut and dry separations. If you’re running for your life chances are you’re having to carry a backpack or another person. Train for the unknown and the unknowable and increase your work capacity.

Now go live better.