If you participated in the open, Fitness is a sporting event for you, and more than just a fitness program. Now that the open is over, what is your next step? With any sport after your season is done there should be a transition period, “...Often inappropriately called the off -season, links two annual training plans.” (Periodization, Bompa, Haff) With the sport of fitness the way it is this is difficult, because the sport is similar to what we practice in classes, or on a traditional training blog. For those not taking a transition period you are missing out on the mental break from the gym and every day grind, recovery of tissues, and hormonal re-balancing. This 2-4 week period should allow for the body to recover before building your base for the next season.
Two of the most underutilized tools right now in the sport of fitness are a transition period and a preparation phase. At the top of the sport we see athletes taking them but, for your average or bubble athlete, they roll from training the sport, to training the sport right after the open without taking the adequate time to rest and recuperate for the upcoming preparation phase. Athletes need to grasp and understand that a shorter, easier training period isn’t going to translate into losing all the “gains” they have made. In a transition period we are still maintaining adequate levels of fitness in order to roll into our preparation phase, better known as our base building phase
After our brief transition phase we roll into our preparation phase where we can build or work on building adequate aerobic capacity, base level of volume for density that is going to come later in the year, a base level of strength if needed in an athlete, and improved ranges of motion to continue to meet the demands of the sport. During this period of time we will see a gradual increase in volume, leading into our first qualifier of the year where we will begin to build a higher density of sports specific work, and specific training measure needed to improve our capabilities of the sport.
Building an aerobic base serves to give us the required aerobic system to support the higher intensity work that the sport demands. If we are rolling from sport training to sport training and never taking the time to develop our physiology, we are going to hit a point where we plateau. Without taking the time to step away from the sport and build our physiology we will continue to be limited by the same thing over and over again in workouts. “My heart rate was too high”, “ “I couldn’t breathe,” “My Muscles burned too much to keep moving.” We have all either heard or felt this in workouts before. Taking the time to address the underlying cause of delivery, respiration, or mitochondrial density in a controlled training environment will allow you to create a new limitation but express more of your genetic potential.
If we only train at the volume the sport demands of us (roughly 7-20 minutes) we will never build the underlying foundation that supports that work. Subsequently we can use this time to develop a higher capacity in movements and create better tissue tolerance. For movements we primarily see, 19.5 will be a perfect example of this. Most individuals have never seen a volume of 100 thrusters in a workout combined with a volume of 100 chest to bars. So how do we build to this level of volume as this is now a requirement of the sport? In the off season we can start with something that follows below… (assuming you finished near the time cap, or finished 80-90% of the workout) this is where we would start you.
Add paragraph text here.
Accumulate 100 thrusters in UB sets of 10 not for time
Accumulate 110 thrusters in UB sets of 10 not for time
Accumulate 120 thrusters in UB sets of 10 not for time
Week 4 (deload
3x20 UB thrusters
Every 90 seconds for 120 reps
10 UB thrusters
Every 75 Seconds for 120 Reps
10 UB thrsters
EMOM 10 Min
Week 8 Deload
Every 2:30 for 7 Sets
15 UB Thrusters 95lbs
5 Min AMRAP
Rest 2 min
25% of total Thrusters of last weeks combined AMRAPS for time rest 2 minutes x6
25% of total Thrusters of last weeks combined AMRAPS for time rest 90 seconds x6
100 Thrusters for time
We have now safely built you up to handle the requisite volume in the sport, and we can run the same progression, on an opposite day of the week with chest to bars. In 3 months you will go from dying on 100 thrusters and chest to bars to adequately being able to handle the volume that the sport will throw at you.
Finally, we can create changes in tissues in the body to support the ranges of motion that we see in the sport. This may look like going and getting body work done, using, CAR’s, or other loaded end range of motion movements. Lengthening or creating change in the tissues while continuing to create strength in your new end ranges of motion. For almost everyone this is going to look different just as everyone's program will look different, but we can safely assume that we will need to work on Shoulder flexion due to the excessive demand of the lats in the sport, Hip extension due to the excessive demand of pulling in the sport, Thoracic rotation and extension due to the lack or rotation, and anteriorly dominate positions of the sport. There becomes other nuances that you will start to find as assessed individuals, but for most athletes continuing to express Range of motion in these areas, allows them to stay healthy throughout the year.
So instead of jumping right back into the sport, if you are serious about the sport, take the time to assess where you need to build your base, and begin building that base. Are you strong but you lack endurance, are you enduring or lack strength? Are you immobile or can’t handle the volume of a given test or the density of a given test? All of these are things that can be addressed in the off season. As a coach we can help to address the nuances of training in a specific individual. Powerful vs enduring athletes need different strength protocols and different physiology development protocols. Tight vs supple athletes will be able to tolerate volume differently, thus will demand specified either movement work or directed training to ensure they are getting the touches on the things they need to keep progressing the sport if they are volume intolerant. Take time to build your foundation and seek help if you need it!