Breakthrough Programming is Coming!

The Open is Done – Now What? Breakthrough Results!

We (Coach Sarah and Coach Mike) met for about 3 hours last week and filled an entire whiteboard wall with plans.

This can only mean one of two things:

  1. Your fitness is about to fly through the roof.
  2. Some evil things are coming your way.

Ok, you caught us…it’s both!

As head Coaches, the open is an amazing time for us. The PRs, the community, and most importantly for us…the data.

The 7 Things the Data Tells Us

Believe it or not, we look at data all year long about everything. Retention, referrals, attendance, incoming members, strength numbers, injuries/pain issues, benchmarks, etc.  The list goes on.

Microscopically this data is interesting, but the larger trends on the macro level really give us what we need…especially when we combine it with the open data.

So what does the data tell us?

  1. Our retention rates compared to every other form of fitness is ridiculously high! We trend over 95% – industry average is about 50%.
  2. For 99% of you, the 1 hour you spend with us x times a week is realistically the only time you’ll focus on the physical. This includes mobility, flexibility, strength, and conditioning.
  3. 75%+ of people walking through the door have body movement issues caused by decades of bad habits. Namely, shoulders are forward and hips are tight. I.e. most of us sit and use screens all day.
  4. Related to number 3, the biggest issue across all of our athletes (including the most competitive ones) are improper/restricted mechanics.
  5. Minor injuries & pain are unacceptably common – in order of occurrence: shoulder, elbow, and knee. There are two important although not surprising correlations here. 1) The more competitive athletes tend to have more of the problems. 2) The athletes that have been doing this longer tend to have more of the problems.
  6. Our competitive athletes need much more skill work.
  7. The average athlete that walks through the door needs a ton more strength work to reinforce joints and do basic things humans should be able to do, like a strict pull up.

So What?

The data is interesting, but what does it all mean?

It means our programming is about to change and our classes are going to be jammed pack with well-rounded, prioritized, and scripted activity!

We will now approach the 1 hour as we should – we will advance your overall health as much as we can in that hour.  This is different than trying to make you that best athlete you can be in that hour.

The two are absolutely different.  Three years ago I (Mike), trained as hard as possible 5 days a week for a year. My Fran time was 2:20, Fight Gone Bad 397, every strength number through the roof, and my open finish in the top 3%.  By all metrics, I was the best athlete I had ever been in my life. BUT…

I couldn’t walk up stairs without knee pain.  I couldn’t swing a golf club without back pain.

Net, I was the best athlete I had been but not the healthiest person I had been!

Why did this happen? Simple – I spent the time on the volume and intensity but NOT the important stuff…correcting body mechanics.

The New Programming Approach

That leads us to our new, simple, triaged approach – fix your body, improve your heart health, and then make you a kick ass athlete.

Our 1 hour class will now be completely scripted via the following format:

  1. Warm Up and Body Mechanics – Of course we will get you sweaty and activated, but we will also rotate, stabilize, and fix those darned shoulders and hips!
  2. Strengthening – Yes we will do core lifts, but this section goes far beyond. This is where we strengthen and isolate the muscles needed to protect from injury and accomplish both basic (e.g. pull up) and advanced (e.g. muscle up) human movements.
  3. Cardiovascular Conditioning – 6 out of every 7 days this will be 9-12 minute met cons. This time frame allows for the perfect blend of intensity and volume. The 7th day will be volume with no strength to bias the aerobic pathway.
  4. Accessory (occasionally) – For days with extra time we won’t let it go to waste.

And of Course…We Measure

We will begin this new programming next week. It will of course start with benchmarks but it will also include an online self-assessment. We will post a link and have you assess yourself.  Several weeks from now we will do it again to make sure we are trending the right direction.

A Final Note for Our More Competitive Athletes

This may seem like it’s not enough work to get you where you want to go. Honestly, you are probably right.

Depending on how competitive of an athlete you want to be, you need more than an hour a day. Training is a full time job for the top tier athletes as they train 3 times a day.

That’s likely not your goal, but even if you want to succeed in your masters open group or local comps, you need to work on your individual gaps. You need accessory work and at least occasional private Coaching/accessory programming. Hiring Spencer Hendel as my Oly Coach was the best thing I did years ago…now I teach the stuff!

All that said, this will increase the two most important abilities for you more than ever before:

  1. AvailABILITY – As with any sport, if you are injured you can’t practice and you can’t compete. You need flawless body mechanics because you’ll be pushing harder and doing more than anyone. Your risk is higher and thus room for flaws is non-existent.
  2. Skills – We are going to ram down your throats the accessory work you need to get better at high skill movements – hspu, c2b, muscle ups, etc. Follow the program and enjoy the results!

We hope you are all as excited as we are about the next phase of our fitness journey together.  Even if you aren’t, just show up, work hard, and enjoy the results!

Mike and Sarah



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