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A Conditioning Program

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by F.W.K., Feb 16, 2018.

  1. F.W.K.

    F.W.K. Top Dog

    A Conditioning Program Using the Cycle & Step Ladder Technique Incorporating Amino Acids, Complex Carbohydrates and Vitamin/ Mineral/Trace Elements

    The Cycles:

    This program is by no means entirely my own idea, but is one that I have used in the past with outstanding results. It consists of 5 separate cycles;

    1. The Transition Cycle 1 Week
    2. The Load Cycle 3 Weeks
    3. The Recovery Cycle 1 Week
    4. The Peak Cycle 3 Weeks
    5. The Taper Cycle 1 Week
    The Step Ladder
    The Step Ladder allows us to work our dogs longer and harder, without rest days and without overworking them. This is achieved by allowing your dog what is termed "active rest". By this, we mean that the dog is resting but is still doing a light workout. Steadiness is the key here, if your dog shows any sign of trouble then stop immediately, let your dog recover and start again. Step Ladder Example:

    DAY Mon Tues Weds Thur Fri Sat Sun
    EFFORT 100% 70% 60% 100% 70% 60% 60%
    Gradually your dog's 100% effort will increase with fitness.
    Amino Acids, Complex Carbohydrates, Vitamin/Mineral/Trace Element Supplements. (Nutrient Mix)
    The use of this nutrient mix plays a major part in this program. Complex carbohydrates give the dog the energy he requires whilst under stress and helps to prevent soreness in the muscles. Amino acids help in muscle development by aiding protein digestion and conversion. The quality of the food you use is vitally important. It needs to be fully balanced and not just high in proteins. There are many commercial brands available and some people still prefer to use their own ideas. I personally use a dried food called "Eukanuba Premium", which can seem to be an expensive food, but less is used simply because of its high digestibility, so in the long run it balances out. It is a chicken based food with some of the best vitamin and mineral content available. This in itself removes the need to add supplements of this kind to the nutrient mix.


    During this program you will be working and feeding your dog twice a day. In between this, we will be introducing the nutrient mix which consists of complex carbohydrates, amino acids and vitamin/mineral/trace element supplements.( n.b. Too much vitamins, etc can be just as bad as not enough - Take Care). For complex carbohydrates I use "Maxim" powder and for the amino acids "Aminobol" tablets, which I grind to a powder for mixing. All of these products should be available in your local Health Store, Chemist, etc. If you are having trouble obtaining supplies you local Gym/Health Club should be able to help. These products are gauged on body weight, so with a bit of basic mathematics you should be able to calculate how much to use for your dog.

    The nutrient mix should be given to your dog about an hour before each workout and preferably on an empty stomach. So when your dog gets up in the morning to empty out, feed him the mix. Then an hour later work your dog. After the workout, cool him down with a gentle walk and give him a good rub down. After this, feed him half of his normal daily food and put him in his kennel or somewhere quiet where he won't be disturbed. For the afternoon workout, allow your dog to empty out and feed them the nutrient mix one hour before the start of exercise. Once again, after the workout cool him down with a gentle walk and give him a rub down. You can then feed him the second half of his daily food and allow him to settle him down for the night. Try not to disturb the dog during these rest periods, as he needs to recover and build up his strength. Although this may seem a bit long-winded it becomes clearer as you get used to the routine. Routine and timing are very important and your dog will soon let you know when it is time to play.

    The Transition Cycle ( 1 Week )
    This part of the program is aimed at getting your dog used to working every day. The mileage you put in will depend on how much time you have and how capable you are. As long as the Step Ladder approach is used then the process should work. Easy walking is the only type of work done here, along with the nutrient mix and the feeding regime as described earlier.

    The Load Cycle ( 3 Weeks )
    This cycle will be the foundation for the hard building work that will come later. The type of work undertaken should be slow, long distance walking and trotting. There is no sprint work involved at this stage, as we are aiming to develop deep wind. If you don't have access to an easy running slat mill (n.b. carpet mills are too hard to pull for this stage of work, but will be ideal for the Peak Cycle later on), then long easy bike rides or jogging will do just as well. The distances you cover are entirely up to you and your dog, though I suspect that you will tire before your dog does.

    Step Ladder and Feeding stages are to be followed as discussed. A gradual increase in carbohydrates should be used in-line with an increase in the dogs workload. Care should be taken not to let your dog run too light, which ultimately comes down to knowing your dog. The actual time and effort you choose to put in at this stage will pay dividends later on in the tough Peak Cycle.

    Recovery Cycle ( 1 Week )
    For three full days completely rest your dog and stop feeding the carbohydrates. Allow your dog out, only to empty out and to feed. For the rest of the week, walk your dog a little more each time and reintroduce the carbs again.

    Peak Cycle ( 3 Weeks )
    In this cycle we use only high impact sprint and walk workouts. No long distance is needed, as by now your dog should have good deep wind ( from Load Cycle). What you are trying to do now is work on the dogs heart and lungs and their ability to recover after intense work. So on your bike or mill, have your dog run as fast as they can. As soon as they start to ease off, slow them down to a walking pace until they recover and are breathing easily again. Once they are, then off you go again, flat out then walking, flat out then walking. Step Ladder and Feeding regimes as usual during this period.

    During this cycle, dogs can become very bored, as can their owners. Various forms of work can be undertaken, as long as the basic principles of what you're trying to achieve are adhered to. The 'A' Frame can be used for a type of flat out and sprint then walk work. Having the dog chasing a ball up and down hills is another variation. Flirt work is a great fun for both you and your dog and the spring pole can be a great strength builder.

    Taper Cycle ( 1 Week )
    Now rest your dog for three full days, do no work and feed no carbohydrates. Then for the remaining four days, still no work, but reintroduce the carbs into your dog. If you have been doing this right, then your dog will be in the best condition that he could be. In finishing, I would just like to say that this program is offered merely as a guide. The amount of time you have available will dictate just how much work you can do with your dog. I do believe however, that greater results can be achieved by using this method.

    One point I would like to stress, that was raised by Phil Craven-Lancaster, is to be careful when putting two or more dogs through this program on the same yard. Dogs that have been extremely tolerant with one another for years, can become extremely intolerant whilst undergoing conditioning.

    The above article was penned by Barry from Kaos Kennels for the Bull Terrier Times magazine. KK dogs have proved themselves extremely successful in all UK athletic competitions during the 1990's, specifically in the 'A' Frame and Weightpull events with KK's "Blue" and KK's "Sky"
    Davefre, david63, SMD760 and 2 others like this.
  2. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    It is a good principle. I like something really similar using the mills and chains. Recovering under load.

    I'm not a carbs guy with the dogs. Just enough to keep the gut going. I load up on the fats.

    great article.

    SMD760, bks, Allah Born and 1 other person like this.
  3. Allah Born

    Allah Born Knowledge Is King

    Slim... I was gonna add the same thing... Recent scientific studies have proven that canines require the exact opposites of their human counterparts when it comes to working out. We require carbohydrates to keep us going and less fat... They require more fat and less carbs. This will prove to be a major difference in the keeps we put our athletes through, I'm positive. But you know what they say though... Put the info out there to be read and no one will pay it any attention because they already have all the answers. By no means is this a slight at you F.W.K. In fact, thanks for the great read.
  4. pitbulld0gs

    pitbulld0gs Top Dog Staff Member

    What about a few complex carbs just for some extra energy?
  5. SMD760

    SMD760 Big Dog

    With people the best thing to do is to cut carbs increase fats in order to enter a ketogenic state and the body has access to 40,000 kcal as supposed to 2,000 kcal on a glucose based diet. Anyone see similar results with dogs?
  6. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    The dogs will use whatever they are fed for energy. For a number of years they were fed based on human principles.

    Mushing.com has a some great articles on the way sled dogs were fed for hundreds of years. Then we invented kibble with carbs and made things easier for us. Then studies were done with fats as primary the primary energy source and the dogs not only performed better, they ran cooler and recovered faster. So the eskimos from hundreds of years ago were ahead of their time, or either man drug the dogs back a hundred years. LOL

    Feeding fats will provide the dog with a solid energy source. They will work off of the fat and the proteins will be then used moreso for recovery.

    Sprotsvet.com is another place with some great articles on feeding fats.

  7. Allah Born

    Allah Born Knowledge Is King

  8. Allah Born

    Allah Born Knowledge Is King

  9. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    ost-exercise bars, said Zanghi, are formulated with rapidly digestible carbohydrates that don’t trigger a sugar spike. They work best when given to the dog during the window of opportunity for recovery and replenishment, 60 minutes following significant exercise

    I add some simple sugars to trigger the sugar spike in the recovery meal. I'm looking to help the insulin spike.

    It is a great article. The only issue with articles is no one is doing a double blind case study on the performance of the pit bull. As bull dog owners we must take information from sled dog racers, greyhound racers, weight pullers, agility dogs and hunting dogs then pick/choose what can be applied to the bull dog.

    Bits of pieces from all of those are applicable as the bull dog will employ one of his counterparts' best traits at differing times when competing. Where as the greyhound will sprint for X amount of seconds the bulldog will have to use those sprint type efforts followed by the strength and power of a weight puller but at the same time have the muscular endurance of a sled dog. He must think while he works like a hunting dog yet change directions a million times like an agility dog.

    A jack of all trades would be a huge understatement.

    bamaman and Allah Born like this.
  10. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    The raw-food diets available at pet stores are fine, if expensive. I do not recommend that people create their own raw-food diets at home. It’s difficult to include all of the necessary nutrients, and there can be food-borne illnesses.

    Another good post. I do disagree with this part I pasted above. I thought he was leading into balancing the raw food diet which can be difficult for a lot of people. When he went "food-born illness" I still differently.

    A dog can eat the ass out of a dead skunk and have no food-borne issues.

    I have fed any and everything over the years and have never had, seen nor heard of dogs having a food borne illness.

    I do have an English Bulldog that ate about half of a plastic flower pot, potting soil and all. That is a different story.

    Allah Born likes this.
  11. pitbulld0gs

    pitbulld0gs Top Dog Staff Member

    Would RAW honey be a good sugar source? I like to add it to my feed.
  12. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    pitbulld0gs likes this.
  13. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    When working a dog really hard and supplements are being used for recovery the honey will work.

    It has already been digested one time so the dog will assimilate it rather quickly.

    Quick blood sugar spike will help the supplements work after the work out.

    I have used it afterwards but I have never tried it prior to working or in a regular meal.

    pitbulld0gs likes this.
  14. pitbulld0gs

    pitbulld0gs Top Dog Staff Member

    Yeah, i use it in my keep feed after the rub down.
  15. Allah Born

    Allah Born Knowledge Is King

    I too like the raw diet, sometimes... I collect the deer stomachs (tripe) from the hunters during the winter months and feed to them to the hounds... The puppies do really well with it.
    I too take bits and pieces from every article and an always looking for more positive input.
    The post-exercise bars, I've used after the workout and before... But I particularly like to use them before the race... Or a teaspoon of honey, as it adds to the initial energy boost at the beginning, but sometimes makes them blow hot too early, if they aren't conditioned as well as they should be.
    pitbulld0gs likes this.
  16. Allah Born

    Allah Born Knowledge Is King

    @slim12..... Most of the time I'm in this board I'm reading your comments, along with AGK and a few others who I've come to respect as "teachers" of a lot that i have questions about.
    Thank you for your input...
    I hope someday, here in NC, we have the opportunity to meet, talk bulldogs and the science of the game so I'll have the opportunity to pick your brain... Lol
  17. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    There was a guy near here some years back who swore buy a tablespoon of raw honey 45 minutes out and then again t 15 minutes.

    it was like the gospel.

    david63, Allah Born and pitbulld0gs like this.
  18. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Much appreciated. Let's say I keep tabs on the AGK posts as well, border line stalking, but 'tabs' is a better way to put it.

    Also, plan something else for the day as picking my brain should be a short trip.

    bks, Allah Born and pitbulld0gs like this.
  19. Allah Born

    Allah Born Knowledge Is King

    Lol... ;)yeeeeeessss man... Who knows? My theory may have derived from the same gentleman.
  20. mccoypitbulls

    mccoypitbulls Underdog

    Any of you folks plan to attend the first ever world nationals ADBA in NC this year?

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