For the last 6-8 weeks, we’ve been focused on two major things:
1.) Building muscular endurance. Prior to this mesocycle, we spent a lot of time developing absolute strength. This past cycle, we’ve been trying to build upon this foundation by trying to work at a high percentage of these weights for a longer period of time.
2.) Proficiency with complex lifts. Prior to this cycle, we spent a lot of time trying to improve form with the Olympic lifts, before testing for absolute maxes in July. This cycle, we’ve tried to translate this form and strength to successive reps by training at lighter loads, with reduced recovery times. On occasion, we’d also do this work under duress (3 clean and and jerks, preceded by a prowler push, or burpees).
This next cycle will see us combining the work that we’ve done in each of the previous cycles. In Strength sets, we’ll both work up to a heavy single or double, before doing sets of higher volume reps at a percentage of that weight. On Olympic lifting days (Tu, Fr), we’ll forego some of the skill work done before the main set in order to save ourselves for tougher main sets that will gradually introduce higher working weights, shorter recovery periods, and additional stress elements in that order.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU: Much like last cycle, a lot of the fatigue you’ll feel during the workouts won’t come from an intense aerobic effort. Rather, it’ll come from doing a good amount of work with resistance training at rest intervals that’ll gradually decrease over the duration of the meso-cycle (Runners: don’t fret. We will maintain the aerobic work we’ve done with Wednesday interval sessions). This work is deceptively fatiguing. Workouts that look innocuous on paper because they lack a ‘met-con’ element will still kick your behind aerobically; so much so, in fact, that you may find yourself exhausted by Thursday. We’ve programmed Thursdays to be slightly less taxing accordingly and will be dedicating more of this time to important skill and flush-out work. If you’re an Open Gym regular, we’d encourage you to use this time to work on SKILL work with the Olympic lifts rather than working towards heavy singles and doubles – you’ll be getting plenty of this work in during our daily WODs.