Hey guys, hope you enjoyed testing week, and recorded your results. We'll be revisiting the exact same test week in about 9 weeks, so be ready to compare and smash Pr's.
Moving into the next cycle, the first four weeks is going to be a hypertrophy phase, meaning, lighter weights, higher reps, and lots of time under tension. Chase the pump, and get ready for beach season. The 11th domain of fitness (aesthetics), is not to be neglected. Just as this guy below...
Here are a couple notes relevant to the next 4 weeks.
What is, and why do we do, tempo training?
Tempo, or the slowing down of a movement, is broadly prescribed in strength training to: Develop motor control and proper movement mechanics
Recruit muscle fibers
Create efficiency in movements
Make a movement more metabolic
To increase force development
To increase muscle size, strength and markers of performance
To create adaptations and recruiting in higher threshold motor units
To create hypertrophy
(source: OpexFitness Blog)
The rep scheme throughout this cycle will be presented with a rep-range. Meaning instead of writing 4 sets of 6, you will see something like 4 sets of 6-8 reps. The “6-8” gives you a range in which to work. The body doesn’t know whether you did 6,7, or 8, only your mind does. So, don’t get too caught up in exact numbers when it comes to strength training. So, when presented with a rep-range, always aim for the higher number. If you get 8 reps at a given weight on the first set, that means you can add weight. Continue adding weight until you get stuck at 6 reps (by now it will likely be your last set anyway).
We are spending the first 4 weeks in a hypertrophy phase. Hypertrophy can be thought of as bodybuilding. High reps, lighter weight, and we are chasing “the pump”. Hypertrophy training is important for balancing the body, hormonal optimization, muscle endurance, and muscle size. Ladies, don’t worry, 4 weeks isn’t long enough, and you aren’t eating enough to get huge. So, during hypertrophy training, forget about the kg’s, and focus on burning out your muscles in a perfect range of motion. There is not benefit to going a bit heavier, and sacrificing movement quality.
How do we get stronger, bigger, faster? We need to gradually and consistently increase the stimulus we are providing our muscles. There are a couple straight forward ways to make sure you are increasing the stimulus. Load- by increasing load (more weight on the bar), we can perform the same about of reps/sets as long as we can continue adding a bit of weight each workout. This doesn’t have to be huge, a 1kg increase each week is significant, especially with higher rep-ranges. Volume- we can increase the stimulus by increasing the volume. This means we are doing more work at a given weight. For example if you do 5 sets of 3 @ 120kg, we can increase the volume next week by performing 6 sets of 3 @ 120kg. In strength training, and energy system training, in relation to the sport of fitness, increases in volume, not intensity), will generally lead to the best results. Intensity- This can be interpreted differently, so one could argue increasing load is increasing intensity, which works in some domains. However, a general rule here for simplicity’s sake is to think of intensity as in relation to your maximum ability. So, if we are working closer to our 1 rep maxes, we are working at a higher intensity, than if we are doing something that feels heavy, but is done for high reps, at a lower percentage of your 1 rep maxes. Rest- An often over-looked way to increase the stimulus of training is by limiting the rest period. So, if someone performed 5 sets of 3 @ 120kg, with 3:00 rest b/w each set in week 1, an increase stimulus could be 5 sets of 3 @ 120kg, but with 2:30 rest b/w each set. This is great way to increase the metabolic response.
These will be popping up once/week throughout this cycle. After The Open, our bodies can be a little banged up, and imbalanced, so these Emoms are designed to focus on some of the smaller muscles in the body. By giving these smaller muscles some attention, we can regain balance, and potentially unlock some strength that may be hiding underneath an imbalance. While performing these Emoms, focus on movement quality, balance, the mind-muscle connection (thinking about the muscle you are training).
RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion. This will be used on occasion throughout the programming as a method of communicating the desired stimulus of an exercise of piece of work. So, an RPE of 10, would be like back to back Fran with a weight vest in 40 degree weather. Or, whatever gross thing you can think of. 10 is as hard as it gets. 1 on the other hand would be something like tying your shoes, or walking to the car. Extremely easy. An RPE of 5, might be a 500m row @ an easy pace. An RPE of 7-8 might be a 500m row @ 90% output. The RPE of something is completely individual, so remember an RPE of 8 for you, might be a 5 for someone else, and vice versa.
Crossfit 46 Coaching Staff