Intermediate: Cognitive Programme Design.

If you have a background in cognitive training and are looking for more detail, this article will add another step and show you the easiest way to get started with our three-step process for cognitive training.

Intermediate: Cognitive Programme Design.

If you have a background in cognitive training and are looking for more detail, this article will add another step and show you the easiest way to get started with our three-step process for cognitive training.

The 3 step process is as follows:

  • Identify the Cognitive Demands and Tasks.
  • Cognitive Training Placement.
  • Create the Cognitive Training Plan.

Step One

Decide what is the goal for the training programme and which cognitive demands you want to target.

Attention involves focusing mental awareness on relevant environmental cues and maintaining that concentration.

Decision-Making is the cognitive process resulting in the selection of an option or a course of action among several possible alternative options.

Response Inhibition refers to the ability to suppress inappropriate, irrelevant, or suboptimal actions.

Memory is the ability to consciously hold and use information.

Once you have decided which cognitive demands you want to target, we suggest selecting a maximum of 9 tasks from those cognitive demands categories and selecting 3 cognitive tasks per session and completing 3 sessions per week.

For Example,

Session 1

  • Incongruent Flanker
  • Numerical Inhibition
  • Sustained Attention

Session 2

  • Task Switching
  • Flanker Compatibility
  • Switched Attention

Session 3

  • Audio Go No Go Test
  • Simon Task
  • Dots Task

Step Two

Decide on the placement of the cognitive training integration, this can happen in 3 ways:

  1. Pre Physical Training
  2. Combined with Physical Training
  3. Post Physical Training

Pre Physical Training

Performing the entire cognitive training session prior to physical training. This fatigues the brain and increases the athlete's perception of effort. This is not a bad thing, the increased perception of effort over the athlete's physical training increases their tolerance to a higher perception of effort. Something that is very useful for a competitive athlete when competition time comes.

Combined with Physical Training

Performing cognitive training between sets (Intermittent) or combined with cardiovascular training (Concurrent).

Intermittent

Performing cognitive tasks during rest periods during a physical training session. This is an easy integration as they are not doing anything in these rest periods anyway. Many time-poor athletes appreciate this option. Plus the additional workload can keep athletes more focused on the entire session.

Intermittent integration can be performed by

  • Performing cognitive tasks for 3 minutes between strength sets as active rest.
  • Performing cognitive tasks for 3 minutes between skill training as active rest.
  • Performing cognitive tasks for 3 minutes between high-intensity cardio sprints.

Concurrent

Performing cognitive training while engaging in cardiovascular training while maintaining a fixed heart rate zone. This is an extremely effective integration in terms of extending an athlete's mental capacity for mental and physical fatigue, as well as a time-saving option for busy athletes or teams who perform cardio sessions together.

Concurrent integration can be performed by

  • Combining Cognitive Training with cardiovascular training as a warm-up on the bike before starting your main training session.
  • Combining Cognitive Training with cardiovascular training as a cool down after finishing your main training session.
  • Combining Cognitive Training with HIT Training. You will need to perform your high-intensity sprint while performing the cognitive task.
  • Combining Cognitive Training with long-duration cardiovascular training as a stand-alone session.

Post Physical Training

Performing cognitive training directly after physical training when already fatigued from an intense physical training session. This is very effective at mentally stretching athletes when they have already physically worked very hard. Athletes have to perform cognitively in competition no matter how physically fatigued they have become. This method requires an athlete to be highly committed to getting cognitive results, as the temptation to skip a session at the end of training is high.


Step Three

Increase or decrease the intensity of each task each week to ensure you are creating more or less cognitive load on the brain.

For Example,

  • Week 1 ย 70%
  • Week 2 90%
  • Week 3 60%
  • Week 4 80%

๐Ÿ”— The Principles of Undulating Periodization and Cognitive Training.


Training Plan Example

  • Session Duration 30m
  • Frequency 3x/weekly


Session 1

Incongruent Flanker

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 70%

Numerical Inhibition

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 70%

Sustained Attention

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Session 2

Task Switching

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 70%

Flanker Compatibility

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 70%

Switched Attention

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Session 3

Audio Go No Go Test

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Simon Task

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 70%

Dots Task

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 70%

Session 4

Incongruent Flanker

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 90%

Numerical Inhibition

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 90%

Sustained Attention

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Session 5

Task Switching

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 90%

Flanker Compatibility

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 90%

Switched Attention

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Session 6

Audio Go No Go Test

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Simon Task

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 90%

Dots Task

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 90%

Session 7

Incongruent Flanker

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 60%

Numerical Inhibition

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 60%

Sustained Attention

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Session 8

Task Switching

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 60%

Flanker Compatibility

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 60%

Switched Attention

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Session 9

Audio Go No Go Test

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Simon Task

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 60%

Dots Task

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 60%

Session 10

Incongruent Flanker

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 80%

Numerical Inhibition

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 80%

Sustained Attention

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Session 11

Task Switching

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 80%

Flanker Compatibility

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 80%

Switched Attention

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Session 12

Audio Go No Go Test

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: -

Simon Task

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 80%

Dots Task

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Intensity: 80%

Soma Technologies

The cognitive performance training platform utilised by professional athletes, military, and universities around the world.

๐Ÿ”— Soma Technologies


Soma NPT

The Cognitive Training Tool.

Soma NPT is the mobile cognitive performance tool designed to increase an athlete's physical and mental capacity.

Soma NPTโ€™s diverse portfolio of over 80 validated cognitive tasks can be interacted with touch, voice, or heart rate. This provides athleteโ€™s with dynamic, highly engaging cognitive training sessions.

๐Ÿ”— Learn More

Soma Analytics

The Neural Link.

Soma Analytics is the neural link to Soma NPT providing 14 real-time detailed cognitive and physiological measures as well as Minute on Minute (MoM) insights.

Soma Analytics creates a seamless cognitive training experience with Soma NPT with the ability to manipulate task placement, duration, intensity, and cognitive load with specialised training modes.

๐Ÿ”— Learn More


Educational Videos ๐Ÿ“น

Soma Technologies Educational Videos

๐Ÿ”— Interactive Demo

๐Ÿ”— Soma Analytics Walkthrough

๐Ÿ”— How To Create A Cognitive Training Plan

๐Ÿ”— Cognitive Task Selection & Modes

๐Ÿ”— Progressive Overload

๐Ÿ”— Undulating Periodization