[/caption] We’re deep into 60 Days of Might, and the PRs are rolling in. It’s unbelievable to watch someone squat a previous 1RM for 5, or blow a record out of the water by 20 or 30 lb. That’s the whole purpose of this increased focus on lifting and accessory work. Because we’re lifting so often, have we abandoned Functional Fitness programming with its constant variation? No. We’re just working on a weakness and remedying an overall lack of strength. To be clear, we are not following “a strength bias,” as has been debated in Functional Fitness circles for years. What we’re doing is targeting a weakness and getting rid of it. In the last six months before 60 Days of Might, we evaluated the results on the whiteboard—they’re not just for bragging rights—and figured out what our athletes were lacking in general. As a group, our conditioning was pretty good, and we have some very strong runners and rowers. Met-con times were usually solid, but often not at the RX’d weight. Many of the times on the board were either logged with reduced weight or they were too long when logged with the RX’d load. An example would be a male athlete doing a 9-minute Elizabeth with 75 lb. and bar dips but a 24-minute Elizabeth with 135 lb. and ring dips. Conditioning is not the problem in this scenario. Overall, we were lacking in strength. We also suspected many of you just hadn’t had the chance to push yourself and really get to know your true strength levels. Sometimes when you don’t see a back squat for a while, you underestimate yourself and go too light in a 5 x 5 squat workout. So we wanted to offer you all a chance to push yourself and really find out how much strength you have. What’s actually heavy for you? Can you squat 225 for 2 sets of 8 with only 60 seconds of rest? How much weight can you move for 20 reps when you’re tired (Double Rainbow All the Way!)? All those questions, and more, needed answering. Hence 60 Days of Might, a period of programming strength work more regularly to bring levels up quickly. And it’s working. So have we abandoned conditioning? No. But we have de-emphasized it slightly. And there is a price to be paid for that: conditioning workouts will seem slightly harder right now, and your first Fran after 60 Days of Might will hurt more than usual. This is to be expected. It’s part of the deal. We’d expect a deadlift PR but not a Cindy PR right now. Make no mistake: a 1RM deadlift of 400 lb. says little about how fast you can pull 225 for 45 reps. That time will ultimately be determined by your conditioning. But if you have surplus strength, you can combine that with conditioning to create an amazing Diane time. If you lack strength and can only deadlift 215 for a single, there’s no way to condition yourself to a good RX’d Diane time. So what comes when 60 Days of Might Ends? [caption id="attachment_2756" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Finish the pull!"][/caption] That would be Power to the People. Another weakness we’ve noticed in general is a lack of speed and power and skill with snatches, cleans and jerks, so we’re going to fix that too. Get ready to become more explosive. You will open your hips with speed and power if we have to use a Taser to make you do it. Power to the People will definitely emphasize the quick lifts, but if you know anything about weightlifting, you know that we’ll still be working on strength. It will just feel different. When you pull a clean or a snatch, you land in a squat from which you need to stand up. Now you have the strength to do so. If you are frustrated by the Olympic lifts, or if you downright hate them, we ask you to embrace Power to the People and give it a chance. Ask Josh, who hated the Olympic lifts as much as he hates birds (a great deal indeed), how he feels about them now. The reason most people hate them is because they’re challenging—but we will teach you how to move, and you’ll be driving your car with a hook grip in short order. As for conditioning and high intensity, you’d better believe it’s still coming on a regular basis. See you under the barbell!
How are we using the gym to prepare for the sport of biathlon? Check out two different training programs used by two novice biathletes.