Training Notes - New Cycle

Beginning next week, we are starting a new 8 week cycle!

Last time, we focused on back squats, pressing, and snatches.  This cycle is going to be focused on pulling strength.

Among other functions, developing pulling muscles - including lats, traps, rhomboids, and deltoids – are crucial in maintaining good posture.

For those of us who spend most of the day sitting - especially those who are sitting and leaning over a computer keyboard – bad posture is slowly straining our muscles, killing our mobility, and limiting our functionality.  Pulling muscles are the ones that will counter our hunched positions. The stronger these muscles are, the better posture you will have.  And given that sitting occurs for probably 75% of your waking hours, it seems like a worthy thing to invest time and energy into.

This cycle we’ll be working on lots of pull-ups (and all relevant variations); we’ll also work on more deadlifts and front squats (and the clean, which is largely made up of the first two) in addition to rowing.

Activating the lats on deadlifts is a crucial part of performing them safely; development of pull-ups should also transfer to more effective deadlifts.

We’re switching a focus to front squats rather than back squats to work the legs while giving the lats a break and putting them in a lengthening position.  Back squats are lat intensive; front squats are not.  You’ll want to make sure you keep up foam rolling and mobility for the lats - if you let them get too tight, you’ll have more trouble getting into your front rack position.

If you have trouble with mobility getting into a good front squat position, this is a good time to concentrate on that and work on your weaknesses.  Your goal for the end of this cycle, outside of strength, should be to achieve a better front squat position (both standing rack position and bottom depth).  If you’re someone who dreads front squats because you find them insanely uncomfortable, we’ll have progressions for you that won’t be as much of a hassle but will help you improve strength and mobility.

If you have elbow or shoulder issues, be cautious. Always ask for substitutions if you need them.  If you have any questions on your particular injury, you can always email Ashley, our Coach-Physical Therapist extraordinaire for substitutions or exercises to build up your weakness.

Don’t worry – we won’t be neglecting all the other movements, there are almost always Part B’s (in case you don’t think front squats are as fun as we do), and we’re still focusing on functionality and working functional movements for reps. We’ll just have more of a focus on developing pulling mechanics for the next 8 weeks - to make all of your “functionality” deeper (and more awesome).

We’ll test some more baselines this week and get rolling the week after.

All of your coaches are excited to be working with you!