Month: September 2014

Your position might not look like this - but it could with practice! Thanks to Vanessa for the gymnastics lessons.
If you’re hitting skills tonight, strive to achieve this position for the L-pull-ups on the rings.





Two rounds of Gymnasty+ Day 2

Rest as needed, but don’t dawdle. Move through a max set for each movement, attempt 3 handstand walks, then repeat the pattern.

Row 500 m at 24-26 strokes per minute – medium-low intensity

Rest 2 minutes

Row 500 m at 24-26 strokes per minute – medium-high intensity

Rest 2 minutes

Row 500 m at 24-26 strokes per minute – high intensity

Borrowed from Concept2, this workout is designed to help you learn to vary intensity without varying stroke rate. You only have 24-26 strokes per minute. Learn how to generate power in each stroke to cover the distance.

Do not use the “yank-really-hard-and-sit-still-for-a-second technique.” Row smoothly and powerfully, thinking about proper stroke mechanics.

Yoga: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. $10.
Yoga: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. $10.

As the weather turns and more people remain in the city on weekends, we’re going to move our yoga sessions to Saturdays at noon in hopes of accommodating more people.

Nothing changes but the time. The drop-in remains $10, or you can add four classes per month to your membership for $30 plus GST.

It’s worth reiterating that we’ve brought yoga to the gym to help you improve your mobility and performance. If tight hips or shoulders are slowing you down in the gym, or if you know you need to loosen up, this program is ideal. Don’t make the mistake of saying, “I’ll stretch at home.” Come for the 11 a.m. class ans stay to stretch afterward with some yoga!



Elbows up! Yes!
Many reps at lighter loads …

The workouts set for Sept. 1-15 come courtesy of Tyson and build on what we’ve done in the last month or so.

Here’s the key line from his instructions to the coaches regarding this block of programming: “The scheme of lifting is moved more from targeted volume to more intensity.” This is one of the main principles of many strength/power programs: You use volume to develop a base of strength and power, then you reduce the volume and focus on the application of that strength and power. It’s like making a bunch of large bricks, then using them to build a pyramid.

In previous weeks, we’ve used increasing numbers of sets to drive up the volume. For instance, we did 3 sets of 5 front squats, then 4, then 5. What this adds up to is more work, which should make the muscles adapt and get stronger.

However, many of you might have noticed it was difficult to add much weight to the sets as the volume went up. For me, my loads stayed almost exactly the same for all three weeks, though I lifted about the same weight for more reps in Week 3. I know I couldn’t have squatted 5 sets of 5 with that load in Week 1.

Now we’re building on that base by reducing some of the volume and allowing you to work up to some very heavy loads with minimal sets, with volume work to follow afterward, often via “accessory movements” designed to complement the main lifts.

For example, on Sept. 2 you’ll see a workout involving 20 minutes to work up to a heavy front-squat triple, then a bunch of Romanian deadlifts. Your goal is to lift something very heavy—far heavier than you could use for 5 sets of 5—and then work other muscles hard with high volume in a different movement (RDLs in this case). Of note, the quads tend to get the most work in the front squat, and the hamstrings are targeted in the RDLs.

Triathlon training?
… and fewer reps at heavier loads.

You’ll also see a bit more single-leg work, as well as some Olympic-lifting drills. Single-leg work is a great way to prevent one leg from compensating for the other, and the Oly drills are designed to give you a bit more exposure to the more complicated lifts. For those of you who love the snatch and clean, you’ll get a chance to move some loads in some different formats. For those who are still learning the lifts, we’re going to drill you on technique from different angles to help you break down and understand the lifts. The overall goal is increased proficiency.

Finally, you’ll notice we’re doing a lot of lifting, but there’s more than enough conditioning in here to get your heart pumping and muscles burning. A lot of it involves gymnastics movements to complement the lifting done earlier in the class. Remember, too, that we’ve been doing a lot of running lately, and we’ll be ramping up the conditioning this winter, so this period of lifting is part of our plan to target all aspects of fitness.

And keep an eye out for the favourite benchmark Helen. She’s coming soon.

See you in the gym!