If you’ve been to Steelworks this week, you’ve probably noticed some differences in the programming.  We are starting a new programming block and in order to clear up any major questions about why we are doing what we are doing, I’m reaching out to you today to shed some insight on where we are going and why.

In both Fitness and Performance, we will start every class prior to the warmup with some breathing tempo work.  Our bodies are uniquely designed to respond to and recover from stress and challenges.  Our body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems help control these “fight or flight” or “rest and digest” responses, respectively.

One way to optimize both systems appropriately is controlling the tempo of our breathing.
Before we begin our training session and/or directly prior to a lift or effort, we need to heighten the response of our sympathetic nervous system.  You can achieve this by long 5-10 second inhales and quick 1-2 second exhales.  When we are recovering between sets or finishing a session, a series of long slow 5-10 second exhales and quick 1-2 sec inhales helps stimulate the rest/digest/recovery process of the parasympathetic nervous system. 5-8 breaths per set are recommended.

Almost everyday will have a total body power movement to start the session.  That can mean everything from weightlifting to medball work.  We are doing this to develop intermuscular coordination and power across the entire body.

You will notice that Tuesdays and Fridays have some kind of jump in them.  The major reason we jump is to develop athleticism along the “force-velocity curve”.  Please read THIS excellent article explaining why it is important to train with heavy weights, light weights, and bodyweight.

The other major reason we employ jumps is for traumatic injury prevention.  ACL, hamstring injuries can occur within 200 milliseconds.  When performing maximal strength lifts, muscles will achieve their maximum output closer to 300 milliseconds.  Clearly, we cannot generate enough force quickly enough through weight training to guard the body against those sudden forces that will cause serious injury (Think about slipping on ice or misjudging a step…).

Mondays and Thursdays will be more moderate duration and intensity days.

Tuesdays and Fridays will be our highest intensity days.  You’ll see that we have jumping and (sometimes) sprinting on those days.

Wednesdays and Saturdays will feature LONG conditioning sessions.  20-30 minutes in length.  These days are about “regeneration”.  Movements will try to be as low in eccentric load as possible, hopefully reducing the amount of muscle soreness later in the week.

Another theme hidden in some of the movements is rotation.  You will see movements like the Mcgill press which stabilize against rotation and movements like the half kneeling medball push which focus on propulsive rotational power in the programming.  This is just one more way of developing athleticism and improving overall health and stability.

Competitor program will continue to focus on improving weightlifting technique, improved muscular endurance, and modulating intensities in conditioning work.  Kipping has been introduced in non-fatigue settings to practice technique and maintain safety.

I understand that change can be a bit unnerving sometimes and some of the new movements and training ideas might seem strange, but know that everything we do has a purpose and has been given lots of thought before it is implemented into our training programs.  My coaches and I will be monitoring how things go this week and if we notice some things are not working as I had planned, I will make the necessary changes to ensure a higher quality training experience.

Should you have any questions regarding this block’s programming, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your patience and your support!

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