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Dedicated 6 Week Strength Training Classes Are Coming this Fall! First session starts Tuesday, September 12th, 6:30-8pm Tuesdays, Thursdays, 10am Saturdays

No prior lifting experience necessary!

Space is Limited so reserve your spot here and Just Get Strong!

 

The CrossFit Games have just finished … congratulations to the 2nd time Champ Matt Fraser and to 1st Time Champ Tia-Clair Toomey for their hard fought victories, and congratulations also to all of the Games athletes. The road leading up to this brutal multi-day culminating event started way back in February with the Open, in which many of you participated in for the first time along with the many thousands world wide.  I want you to think back on your performance … (or if you didn’t do the Open, to just this week’s workouts).  Imagine for me your performance, skill, ability and change just one thing – your strength level.  If everything stayed the same and the only thing that was different was that your were just stronger, what would your performance be? Would you have done better? Say,if you were stronger by 10%?  25% stronger? 50% or more  stronger? What would your performance look like?

Many if not most of those that made it through the Open, then through Regionals and finally to the Games – the top athletes in CrossFit – will take the next few weeks completely off to rest and recover.  To get away from CrossFit.  To get away from the gym. To do something different.  To take a break from competition.  Many athletes in different sports do the same, not just pro level athletes.  Think of high school sports when the season ends.  Even those who are three sports per year HS athletes get a break from the first sport because the 2nd sport is a different and uses the body differently – they get some kind of break..  So for CrossFit, the “season” is over … it’s now the “off-season” before next year’s Open, and after a much deserved break, those Games athletes will then get back to it  …  To reassess.  To plan.  To train.  To just get strong.  

Many athletes will use this “off-season” (or at least a good part of it) to train exclusively for strength. No metcons, no conditioning, no “wodding,” just plain ol’ hard strength training. That is because they know that strength is very hard adaptation to acquire and that they can get their conditioning back later, after the acquisition of their hard fought strength gain.  Strength adaptation must be pursued with purpose, focus, planning and hard training.  It is harder to acquire than conditioning – you literally have to build new musculature.  It is also slower to lose when one stops training for it. This is called “de-training” and it happens with conditioning too, the difference being that with conditioning, although it is quicker to lose, it is relatively quicker to re-acquire.

Strength is a much more persistent adaptation than endurance.  Strength declines much more slowly than VO₂max does, and the reasons for this are due to the differences in the nature of the two adaptations.  Strength as an adaptation includes changes in the architecture of the muscle mass, the neuromuscular system, and the skeletal architecture.  These changes take time to occur, and likewise they take time to reverse … In contrast, endurance adaptations are transient, in that they come on fairly quickly and go away quickly as well …This is due to the fact that adaptation to VO₂max-dependent activity takes place within the extant metabolic machinery of the cells – we don’t have to build new tissues to run faster and longer than we did last time, we just have to “tune up” the chemistry that’s already there.   

Mark Rippetoe, Practical Programming for Strength Training, p.59

Basic to any training regiment is the stress/recovery/adaptation phenomenon. When you train, you stress your body.  The body must recover from that stress with proper nutrition and sleep.  It then adapts to that stress so that it can better deal with it the next time it comes around.  You already know this, this concept is basic to all living organisms and their survival.  But to continue my example, let’s say you do a strength session of squats.  If properly done, your whole body is stressed and microscopic damage is done to the muscle tissue over the course of the workout.  You actually disrupt cellular homeostasis and equilibrium on a systemic level.  In other words, your body is out of whack!  You finish your workout and your body is already trying to repair itself and recover (hence the importance of that recovery shake!  Help your body people!).  You go home to eat quality protein carbs and fats, and sleep a good amount because you are doing things right. The body repairs itself from the stress and damage, and then does a little bit more, just in case it sees that stress again.  In the end, you have adapted to that stress by getting a little stronger than before.  

Part 2 coming on Monday!

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