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 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 or 10 minutes x2 prior to your main physical training session.
Combined with Physical Training
Intermittent or Concurrent
Perform cognitive training between sets as active rest.
3m x8 sets
5m x5 sets
Perform cognitive training while maintaining a fixed heart rate zone. This can be performed as a warm-up, cool-down, or cardiovascular session.
Post Physical Training
20 minutes x1 or 10 minutes x2 after your main physical training session.
Pre and Post Physical Training
10 minutes before and 10 minutes after your main physical training session.
Pre, Combined, Post Physical Training
10 minutes of stand-alone cognitive training before and after your main physical training session.
3 minutes of cognitive training between physical training sets.