Beginnings of a New Cycle –

What we were doing?

Re-building phase. Our primary goal was to slow down movements and focus on the positions of fundamental movements to lay our foundation for future cycles. This is not to say there’s no more focus on technique in class, but we will not be doing as many tempos or holds at this time. Our other primary goal was to get more comfortable on one leg – hence all the single leg work. Why? We’re bi-pedal creatures and operate on one leg every day (hopefully you don’t walk two feet at a time 😉 and during many, many summer activities. Becoming more comfortable absorbing and re-direction force on one leg can boost your summer activities. If you thought of running or hiking as small step ups or lunges, you get the picture!

What is starting now?

Hypertrophy phase. Hyper meaning “over” or “excess”. In other words, we our adding volume to our compound (multi-joint) movements that we usually use in part A of our workouts. The idea of hypertrophy is muscle growth. We are overloading our muscles to stimulate growth in the fibers of the muscles (keep in mind, though, that muscle growth happens in all rep ranges. The degree of growth may vary). When overloading occurs, physiological events take place within the muscle cells (sarcomeres) leading to an increase in size and amount of contractile elements within the muscle fibers. Using movements that involve multiple muscle groups (i.e. squat, strict press) allow for many areas to be affected, which is why these movements are being used in our program.

The program design for this year is to utilize “drop sets” of 10 to produce such a hypertrophy stimulus. Note, OUR MAIN GOAL IS TO DO MORE REPS AT HEAVIER LOADS. This is why we will be doing 5s AND 10s. Because sets of 10 require such light loads, it does not provide the same stimulus as heavy sets of 1s, 2s, or 3s. You don’t need the same muscle recruitment for a set of 3 as you do a set of 10. Progressively heavier sets of 5s can help with this while still getting in enough total volume to produce our hypertrophy response.

What about conditioning? Workouts will get longer. During the majority of the week, you can expect conditioning pieces to take 14+ minutes. Because we’re doing many squats and presses within our strength cycle, you won’t see many of these movements in the sweaty portions of the workout because its be too much to handle. A couple parts to pay attention to for our conditioning workouts are pacing and intensity. You must PERSONALIZE your intensity. This means that you seriously ask yourself what effort you can bring to each week’s workouts taking into account other stresses that fill your life bucket. We may ask you to go 100%. Your perceived 100% on Monday may be different from what it is on Thursday. Give what you think is your 100% for the day. Conversely, if 65% effort is highly recommended within the workout, its HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you go 65% effort. This is not because we don’t think you can do it faster, this is because we want you to be comfortable operating at different paces or intensities throughout the week. Taxing yourself to the maximum day in and day out is counter-productive. To help you with this, we may program some slower movements or large rep. ranges to ensure that you slow it down (wall walk ups anybody?).

Here is the template for the week – conditioning pieces may change days. Strength portions are more set in stone.


Squat – hypertrophy

Interval or threshold training (pacing)


Gymnastics – press/pull

Tempo work


Long Aerobic work; hinging


Vertical Press – hypertrophy

Interval work or threshold training (pacing)


Oly. strength + skill




How big will I get?

It’s unlikely that we will all look like Arnold Schwarznegger or Ronnie Coleman after this phase. However, you may notice a change in weight and/or body composition. This is possible and normal.   

Does my nutrition need to change?

Depends on your goal. If you’re unsure the answer to this questions, ask a coach!! Muscles are fed in the kitchen and repaired during sleep. Make sure you’re getting at least 1.6-2.0g of protein per kg body weight each day. Spread it out over how many meals and snacks you have. In addition, because we’re increasing volume in our strength and conditioning portions, you’ll need glycogen to help your muscles recover. Glycogen are big chains of glucose, which are stored in your muscles and liver ready to be released upon the need for energy. These come from carbohydrates. Ensure you’re getting carbohydrates after your workout and within your meals throughout the day.

What if I feel really tired during the week?

Take a REST DAY! If you really need to move, then tone down the intensity of the workout. It’s YOUR WORKOUT. We’re putting some volume on the body – listen to it.