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Rocky in Rocky IV: If I Can Change…

Two things, quick things:

1) One of the things we’ve been trying to think our way towards is how to get more aerobic and endurance work into class, especially in the winter months.  Under cover of darkness, we ran an n=1 experiment on some aerobic circuit work for a month’s duration–despite a marked decrease in food quality and sleep, resting heart rate and blood pressure both went down significantly enough at 3x/wk through these circuits to merit an official “you don’t say.”  We were initially looking for low-intensity, steady work that left us, er, I mean “n,” feeling better after the workout than before and assisted with recovery; the pulse & BP were pleasant surprises.  Nothing magical in the slightest; the science is of course there vis a vis aerobic work so…we are going to start posting 30 minute circuits on open gym days.  Several of you tried these out last week and really enjoyed them; I guess this is all to say that we want you to know you can come into the gym on Tues/Thurs/Sat/Sun confident that there will be something cool on the board for you even if you don’t need to make up a big workout.  We’ll start this Thursday.  (Borrowed this idea initially from Joel Jamieson’s Roadwork articles…)

2) Relatedly, one of the things we really hit hard in private and in classroom time during our Practical Strength seminar this weekend was the notion of many hands at one table.  I realize this is a room we’ve appointed well ourselves in that we stick to particular lifts and movements at particular times, but it is absolutely our intention that our classes be rather more fluid and inclusive of substitutions and alternate training goals.  We’ll unpack this more as time goes by but for now we will start by noting here that you never, ever need to feel as though you are lesser than because we’ve suggested that you not hit a particular movement in favor of a substitution.  While we would like for you all to squat, for instance: some may not be ready or able to back squat, some may be better served leg pressing, some may simply need some time on the bike while a knee or hip cools out.  For now we would ask that you work with us; where we’ve hesitated in the past to pull folks aside in service of logistics or group dynamics, we intend to move in the direction of “30 minutes: Squat” with a list of options underneath rather than “Work to 50% x 3 x 5” or some such.  I think this will benefit us all in the long run and certainly move us closer to optimizing individualized training within a group setting.  Thanks in advance for rolling with these changes!

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