Updated: Sep 1, 2021
Here we sit at the brink of an all-consuming crossroads…Two paths diverge into an unknowable future. Which one will you choose? Which one will you look back on and be proud of? The problem is that these crossroads are rarely ever marked as such, in fact, many go by every day without much distinction whatsoever, no signs giving away the significance, no one saying that whatever you choose to do here will affect the rest of your life, this way or that. Nope. We go blind, picking our paths through the day to make the traversing as easy and painless as possible. Not knowing that those easy paths slope ever so slightly down, they funnel the unknowing into believing they have earned their comfort. Comfort is a lie. Comfort is a slow death, brought willingly to those who are unwilling to search and destroy hard things.
This sounds all so dramatic, and it is. But it is also true. You are what you repeatably do, not what you repeatably say. You say you don't want to not lose your temper? Then don’t. You say you want to lose ten or twenty pounds of fat? Then make your actions align with the words that come out of your mouth. Do you want to get healthier so if you get sick you are in a better position to fight off infection? Then put your money where your mouth is and take that first hard step in the right direction. Put your words into action. Doing hard things comes at a price. But so does strolling down easy street. One or the other is going to happen regardless, but by taking responsibility, courting discomfort, and choosing the hard path… A worthwhile calling is taking root, worth the stories that are told, and being a beacon for others to aspire to. That is a virtue worth fighting for, being known for actions, not words. There is a piece in all of us that wants and needs adversity and it looks different for everyone. It is a crossroads that we all face, but are not always aware that we are facing. Be on guard, prepare daily for hardship by embracing the things that are hard.
WOW, another soapbox post.
Build - Giant sets! A Giant set consists of multiple exercises done one right after the other, which in our case consists of similar muscles groups throughout each total set. We are performing one main lift, then two accessory lifts using basically the same muscles in similar movement planes. One of our workout days consists solely of this format…Weight selection should error on the lighter side, not because we don’t want it to be hard, but because of the multiple sets and larger rep scheme, it will naturally lead to lower weights being used. Our other Build day is also a “new to us” format, “Strength AMRAP.” Even though it says AMRAP, it is really a quality AMRAP. The focus on this day is to emphasize one of the strength movements while getting quality work done on the accessory lifts as we progress through. This is not a conditioning circuit. You should be able to move through at a decent pace, while still being able to put some serious effort into the focus lift.
Charge - Don’t think about tomorrow, don’t think about the future, all that matters when that clock starts to countdown is the task at hand. Maybe you are a little tired, maybe a little sore or your tummy hurts from all of last night's bad choices. So. What. It’s time to throw down, don’t stop until the work is done, check the box, and move on with your day. Overdramatic? Yes. But, we do want to go hard on Charge style workouts, we want to push into that high heart rate, borderline panic breathing zone otherwise known as redline…Ideally, we are just below redline, within arms reach, but still under control…barely.
Grind - Aerobic Threshold. One big Grind day this cycle. Grind is a hard but very sustainable goal effort. With this structure, we want each mini AMRAP to be repeatable across all rounds. A very common misconception of this training is usually one of two things. One, that it should be easy in nature to be sustainable. False. Two is an overestimation of one’s current fitness level that leads to a noticeable drop-off in pace as the conditioning progresses through the session. It is always better to start a little conservative and be able to adjust than to start too hot and end at a snail's pace. In a perfect world, one would be able to pace in such a manner, and they know themselves so well, they are able to make adjustments for each activity, make it aerobic in nature, and move continuously through the workout. All while showing minimal to no facial theatrics and grinding down the opposition in the room by pure mechanical efficiency.
Sustain - Two Sustain days. One of the Sustain days consists of two longer efforts in the same training hour. Both of these are cyclical efforts broken up with some core in-between type exercises. The other day we are doing some breathing things. Sustain sessions are only lower in intensity than Grind by the fact that they are longer in duration. Not easy, just a little different. How much oxygen we can get in and process, transport throughout our bodies, all while removing waste products, is a massive contributor to how intense and sustainable we can do work. With this design of conditioning, we want our breath to be our guide. So when you are only nasal breathing, you want to be working at an intensity for that capacity. When we shift to the next “gear”, nasal in, mouth out, you should be able to work a little faster, higher capacity. And finally, when we move to full mouth in and out, you should be able to work even faster. The goal here is to practice different paces and intensities based on how much oxygen you have available.
Cool Downs - Arms, core, and mobility.