New programming template – Sun 6.05.15
“If you think lifting weights is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.”
– Bret Contreras
We have followed a well rounded training template for a while now, and we are going to change it up a bit. We last discussed the Compound’s Program HERE. Go back and read that, because the basic principles are not going to change.
Our new program will still be a well-rounded, multi-directional, CrossFit based training program that focuses on real, long-term gains. Unfortunately to some, those gains are too slow. Especially in the strength realm. And for most people to increase their ability to perform skills (muscle ups, box jumps, pistols, pull ups, etc), the fact of the matter is they need to be stronger!
I’m not saying everyone needs to be a powerlifter or a competitive athlete. I’m saying there’s far more to exercise than aesthetics. Looking and feeling good is great, but strength really does make everything better. Take Friday’s workout for instance:
– Shoulder Press 1-1-1-1-1
– Push Press 3-3-3-3-3
– Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5
If this didn’t feel like a cardio workout, then I would suggest you weren’t strong enough to truly push your limits. If it felt like a cardio workout, but you weren’t able to increase the weight on each set, then I would suggest you need to work on strength. If you didn’t hit numbers that you think/ or wanted to hit, then again, strength is the issue. See how that works?
Our new program is going to help us focus a bit more on strength, while maintaining the CrossFit Conditioning we all enjoy! But, nothing happens over night, and it is only through consistency and focus that true improvements occur.
But, here are two simple things you can try to be stronger everyday:
1) Posture and Breathing
Proper posture and good breathing patterns won’t immediately make you stronger, but they will give you access to more of your existing strength. Fully expressing the strength you possess relies on joint positions, alignment, and neurological control. Posture and breathing will improve all three. Posture and breathing happens to be the first thing we go over in our Private Training sessions. But it is easy to forget, and hard to master.
If you take a second to examine your breathing, you may notice that you are “chest breathing” – or using different muscles that are better suited to assist in breathing, as opposed to the actual muscles, such as the diaphragm and surrounding muscles of the abdomen.
You can do quick test of this by laying down and placing one hand on your chest and one on your stomach respectively. Next, take a deep breath – which rises first? If it is the chest, you may be breathing inefficiently!
By learning to breathe through your stomach you can improve you efficiency and safety during a lift and will feel more stable!
2) Write it down!
This is huge! The workout log can reveal patterns of strength development, weight change, mental attitude, over training, and plateaus clearer than the most committed training partner.
It helps to know what weights you’ve previously done. If you guess every week in a confused state, you’ll probably guess wrong from time to time and proceed in a haphazard way. Getting stronger requires consistent and gradual increases. A journal is a great way to fool-proof your progress.
It’s an easy way to beat yourself on a week to week basis. If you Squat 5 reps at 225 lbs one week, there are two ways to be stronger. The next time you squat if you lift 5 reps at 230 lbs, you are gaining strength. But if you lift 6 reps at 225 lbs, guess what, still gaining strength!
Writing all that down in a journal is a great way to show yourself consistent improvement and minimize injuries!
The start of this new program template at The Compound will be a great time to readdress issues and start a training journal. You can start with one lift, the Back Squat, and add more as you get better at it!
Let’s have some fun and make some great improvements!