Beginning this month we will be starting some Targhee Athletics Benchmark testing. These tests will be repeated roughly two times per year. The tests are supposed to give those that would like to track and see improvement, a better marker to do so. That is not to say that if you wish not to track, you have to. You don’t. When you show up to a benchmark workout, just treat it like any other day, and it will seem like just another workout. But for those wishing for mile markers, we are now going to be giving you some to look forward to. We will be testing in all the same categories that we have built out for our programming. Build/Ignite = Rep Maxes, the most amount of weight you can lift. Charge = Anaerobic, the really painful, pretty short workouts. Grind = Aerobic Power, the pretty painful kinda long workouts. And last but not least, Sustain = Aerobic Stamina, the really long and pretty painful kinda workouts. Yes, painful, all tests are painful. Not true pain, but definitely the very uncomfortable, wish I was done kinda pain. Tests are not training. Tests are made to help identify progress, training is designed to actually HELP you progress. That is why we are only doing these once every six months, to set ourselves up to have the time and consistency necessary to make and keep purposeful adaptations.
We will not be doing a test and retest within a single cycle, but instead biassing our program slightly ahead of the upcoming tests, to give everyone the best opportunity to go out and give a good showing. We have not done this in the past for many reasons, but have decided to put it into play and see how it shakes out. For those that are interested in collecting data on your performances, make sure to record your lifts/workout times in either SugarWOD or a workout journal that you can reference from time to time.
Build: This cycle we will be doing some of our first rounds of testing. At the end of the month we will be doing some 3RM (3 Rep Max), and 5RM on Back Squat, Deadlift, Strict Press, and finding a single max set of Strict Pull-ups. In building up to these lifts over the course of the next four weeks, we will be doing more reps in the beginning and slowly decreasing reps as working toward our test week. If you are someone who is looking to see how much you can lift, make sure to track your weights every week and try to increase your load as the reps decrease from week to week. If you do not want to track anything, that is all good, just show up, lift what you can for the day and call it good.
Charge: We have one Charge style session. It is a little on the long side, but really what we want to emphasize is the way in which we approach this workout. We want to go and get some. No holding back, push it until you are finished or time capped, don't try and game it to be timed out, the clock is not your friend, it is your enemy.
Grind: No strength-specific work on this day, just two separate little sessions. We really want to work on being consistent with our efforts here, each round should be done at the same pace, with the same score. Recover during the rests and intermission, then set a new pace that is repeatable for the following ones.
Sustain: Two aerobic days. No pain face on days like this, we want to be able to cruise through these sessions. Not saying some of the movements are not challenging, just that the face is a window into the soul, and the soul should not be screaming on efforts like this…save the weeping for another day.
Cool Downs: Shoulders, wrists, and meat sticks.