New 'POWER' Phase - Gym Programming Update August 2020

Caleb
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 19:38
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blas squat

 

As we wrap up our current training cycle this week, we wanted to take a look ahead at what is coming up next. Directors of Programming, Coach Mike and Coach Caleb, have put together an overview of what to expect in the coming 6 weeks. 

In the following paragraphs Coach Mike has elegantly laid out the basic foundation of our Power Phase. It may be a bit nerdy for some of you but it is extremely detailed and enlightening. For those that are serious about their fitness, or just like this stuff, you're going to love it. 

If you'd rather skip the science-y coach speak, then scroll to the bottom for our weekly training template. (Then go back and read the science-y coach speak because it's awesome

POWER PHASE

Within physics power can be found by dividing work done with time elapsed, the more work done in a given time period the higher the power output. This upcoming phase will have a primary focus of increasing our rate of force development and short duration power output. This means that we will see percentages from 65%-85% on our main barbell lifts and more emphasis put into shorter (2-4 min work periods) duration conditioning work. This phase will last 6 weeks in total, by the end you should expect to see an increase in performance in Olympic lifts and sprint style conditioning workouts (400m run, grace, Fran etc…). 

CAT - What is it and why is it so important to this phase?

Compensatory acceleration training (CAT) refers to the action of applying increasingly greater force as mechanical advantage improves. CAT training is most effectively done with weights that range from 65%-85% of an athletes 1rm. Simply put the goal of this style of training is to maximally accelerate the weight the entirety of the movement. Let's use the squat as an example, for most people their sticking point (weakest portion of the movement) is going to be right above parallel, once they get past that point the lift becomes easier as they stand and their leverages improve. As the lift becomes easier the natural response is to back off and put in less effort in order to conserve energy, however doing this drastically reduces the amount of force you are creating. By consciously putting maximal effort into the entirety of the movement you are giving yourself a much more potent training stimulus.

 There are three main advantages to doing CAT training. The first being that it is one of the most effective ways to build explosiveness, this will have great carryover to Olympic lifts and high speed gymnastic movements. Secondly it allows us to get a stronger training stimulus with comparatively less weight, this is a positive because it does not require as much recovery time between workouts. Lastly doing CAT training has massive benefits when preparing for a strength cycle in the power lifts (squat, bench, deadlift, press), this is because we are constantly thinking about putting maximal effort into the weight. (Hint hint - guess what our next phase will be focused on)

Glycolytic Conditioning - The forgotten energy system

It is common within the world of exercise to hear people talk about doing conditioning work. For the most part people associate this with long distance running or lower intensity circuits that last anywhere from 20-30 minutes. While this is most definitely conditioning, it is specifically aerobic conditioning which focuses on strengthening the cardiorespiratory system. Another type of conditioning that is commonly overlooked is anaerobic conditioning, which works the body's ability to work at much higher intensities. In science terms the difference between the two is that one (anaerobic) is processing stored glycogen without the aid of oxygen, the other (aerobic) is processing stored glycogen and fat with the aid of oxygen. Anaerobic exercise is categorized within the glycolytic energy system and is seen in high intensity activities that last 3-4 minutes or less. This means there will be a lot of time spent working on short duration all out efforts. These types of workouts can be very physically and mentally demanding because they generally put people deep in the pain cave. That being said, that discomfort will most definitely be rewarded by huge performance gains in shorter CrossFit style workouts like Grace, Fran, Dianne etc… 

Why now and what’s next?

Our previous two cycles had primary focuses of GPP (General Physical Preparedness) and hypertrophy (muscle growth). This is important because everything we do is designed to build and expand upon what has been done in the past. In the GPP phase our goals were unilateral strength endurance and aerobic fitness. With that general fitness base laid down we went into the hypertrophy phase which focused on increasing our lean body mass. The purpose of this power phase is to take the newly built aerobic capacity and muscle mass and fine tune it at much higher intensities. This will lead into the final phase of our training cycle which will be focused on maximal strength on the power lifts; the strength phase will see even higher intensities then the current power phase. In total this training cycle will be 22 weeks in duration with each phase building upon the previous one to help prepare the athlete to work at higher intensities. 

OUR NEW TRAINING FORMAT

Monday - Strength-Push Press, Classic CrossFit-Med/Long Duration
Tuesday - Olympic Lifts-Clean/Jerk/Etc, Anaerobic Intervals
Wednesday - Strength-Squat, Lifting Focused Conditioning
Thursday - Core/Abs, Endure-Aerobic Workouts
Friday - Level Method, Classic CrossFit-Short/Med Duration
Saturday - Hero & Named CF Variations

LEVEL METHOD

With the launch of our new training cycle, we will be reintroducing Level Considerations to each daily workout. This is something that in the aftermath of COVID, unfortunately fell to the wayside. For several reasons we held off on reintroducing it, but primarily the fact that many people didn't workout very much and were overly stressed for several months, we felt it safest and best to not add any pressure to perform at old levels or to 'test' your fitness in any way. 

Now that we have been open and you've had an opportunity to build up what was lost during quarantine, it's a great chance for us to implement one of our greatest tools! Level Method helps us provide personalized workout recommendations based on your current fitness level. It makes it possible for any level of client, from beginner to veteran, to experience the same type of workout, regardless of ability. 

We will not be doing a full on Level Method assessment period any time soon where we go through all the categories in a short amount of time (typically 2-3 weeks). Instead, we'll begin using different level categories throughout the weeks so people can check them off as we go. It will take longer to establish a level this way, but that is okay.

The Level Method tool was never meant to be the training goal in and of itself. We're not trying to be the best at the LM chart. The way we use LM to benefit us is as an ever changing, fluid measurement of where our fitness sits in that current moment. And for most people (especially post-covid) that means it goes up and down. Being at your lifetime best physical condition all the time is unrealistic. 

IN CONCLUSION

We are pumped to start the Power Cycle with you. It's going to yield some awesome PRs and great performances for our members. Getting you results is what we strive to do on a daily basis. And as you can see, a great deal of thought and care is going into the workouts we're providing. 

If you feel stuck, please reach out to us and schedule a goals meeting. You can do that at the link here: https://leadfitness.appointlet.com/s/lead-client-goal-setting-session

Coach Caleb

P.S. If you have any feedback, questions, comments, or concerns, then please reach out to me at caleb@leadfitness.com. We're always trying to improve!