Programming update –
Testing week is over and you should be proud! Congratulations on all of your victories whether it’s a PR, a faster time, the light bulb that went off in your head, or linking reps together, you should be proud. All of the above are such important victories and they keep us hungry for more. Speaking of hungry…we’re transitioning to a new cycle! This means new goals and new approaches!
Over the next 8 weeks or so, we will be combining the absolute strength we gained from the previous cycle with speed to create power. For you physicists out there (DC?) you already know power = force x velocity. However, you’ll notice that in the beginning, we will be under lighter loads with more volume in our traditional strength lifts (i.e. squats, press, deadlift at a moderately heavy load) compared to the last cycle. We will also be working at lighter loads with our Olympic lifts in some areas. This is to gradually expose you to these lifts for multiple reps to ingrain good technique and skill before the loads become heavier. Don’t be afraid to form check yourself – i.e. are you below parallel in your front squats? Did you bend your elbows early in your snatch or clean? Is your foot completely on the floor when you squat? If you know do these things, does this make you a “bad” athlete? ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact, it will make you a better athlete because it shows us that you’re learning and are becoming more aware of how you’re moving. This is part of mastery.
From a conditioning perspective, we’re preparing ourselves to understand how to efficiently cycle repetitions. Intervals on the bike, rower, or pavement (run) can help with this, which is why you’ll see these sprinkled in. However, cycling involves muscular endurance as well as, believe it or not, skill. Yes, you read that: SKILL. It’s a skill to know how to cycle repetitions of a movement under control, especially with an increased heart rate and breathing rate. This is another reason we start with lighter loads; to practice this skill and spend time practicing quality movement. Because we’re transitioning into this, this is all the more reason to form check yourself now as opposed to later since it can be tough to break habits. But, do not fear…your coach is near!
Where does gymnastics fit in? Great question. We will be using gymnastics as an adjunct to building our muscular endurance in our upper body. If you feel wary of doing big sets of chest to bar pull-ups or handstand push-ups (HSPU), that’s okay. Instead, find an appropriate variant of that gymnastics movement that keeps you moving. When doing them properly and in volume, no variant, scale, or modification of a gymnastics movement is “easy”. The trick is, are you willing to step down in the progression to build your endurance before doing the “standard movement”? Put another way, if a workout involves 70 total HSPU repetitions, would you be able to allow yourself go to a box before or during the workout even though you know you can do 3 sets of 6 good HSPU before you start doing sets of 1s every 20 seconds? Whether its refining a movement skill or building your resiliency to breaking form, sometimes it’s good to regress in order to gain progress. We’re excited about this new cycle and we have no doubt that you’ll do great! Happy wodding!