How To Integrate Cognitive Training.

In order to keep athletes consistent on a cognitive training plan, they need to be able to easily integrate cognitive training into their current training regime.

How To Integrate Cognitive Training.

The objective of any training integration is to create enough cognitive load to create adaptions in the brain. Select the best training integration depending on the sport, training schedule, time commitments and current season.

Cognitive Integration can happen in 4 ways:

1. Pre-Training Integration

Performing cognitive training prior to physical training.

This fatigues the brain and increases the athlete's perception of effort. The increased perception of effort over the athlete's physical training increases their tolerance to a higher perception of effort.


2. Concurrent Integration

Combining cognitive training while engaging in cardiovascular training.

This is an extremely engaging integration that pushes an athlete to make fast, accurate decisions while maintaining a certain physical workload.

3. Intermixed Integration

Performing cognitive tasks during rest periods of physical training sessions.

This seamless integration increases the overall training load and requires the athlete to switch between physical and cognitive training.

4. Post-Training Integration

Performing cognitive training directly after physical training.

This integration is very effective at mentally stretching athletes when they are already fatigued and replicates the demands of intense competition when athletes need to push their physical and mental limits.


Cognitive Training Integration Examples


Pre Physical Training

  • 20 minutes x1 set prior to your main physical training session.
  • 1 Cognitive Task.

- or -

  • 10 minutes x2 sets prior to your main physical training session.
  • 2 Cognitive Tasks.

Combined with Physical Training

Intermittent or Concurrent

Intermittent

Perform cognitive training between sets as active rest.

  • 3m x8 sets as active rest.
  • 1-4 Cognitive Tasks.

- or -

  • 5m x5 sets as active rest.
  • 1-5 Cognitive Tasks.

Concurrent

Perform cognitive training while maintaining a fixed heart rate zone. This can be performed as a warm-up, cool-down, or cardiovascular session.

Warm Up

  • 20m x1 set performing the cognitive training while maintaining a fixed heart rate zone.
  • 1 Cognitive Task.

- or -

Cool Down

  • 20m x1 set performing the cognitive training while maintaining a fixed heart rate zone.
  • 1 Cognitive Task.

- or -

Warm Up and Cool Down

  • 10 minutes prior (Warm Up) and 10 minutes after (Cool Down) your main physical training session while maintaining a fixed heart rate zone.
  • 2 Cognitive Tasks (1 Pre, 1 Post).

- or -

Cardiovascular Session

  • 30m x1 set performing the cognitive training while maintaining a fixed heart rate zone.
  • 1 Cognitive Task.

- or -

  • 10m x3 sets performing the cognitive training while maintaining a fixed heart rate zone.
  • 1-3 Cognitive Tasks.

Post Physical Training

  • 20 minutes x1 set after your main physical training session.
  • 1 Cognitive Task.

- or -

  • 10 minutes x2 after your main physical training session.
  • 2 Cognitive Tasks.

Pre and Post Physical Training

  • 10 minutes prior and 10 minutes after your main physical training session.
  • 2 Cognitive Tasks (1 Pre, 1 Post).

Pre, Intermixed, Post Physical Training

  • 10 minutes prior and 10 minutes after your main physical training session.
  • 2 Cognitive Tasks (1 Pre, 1 Post).

- and -

  • 3m x8 between sets as active rest.
  • 1-4 Cognitive Tasks.

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