By Dave Thomas & Bryan Pritz

You just signed up, selected a membership, talked to your coach and are excited to hit the ground running at P360.  However, with so many movements and so many things to work on and improve, where do you start?  How often do you come?  How do you meet people? What’s the best weight to start on?  What if I have questions?  What should I eat? How do I learn the movements? Where do I even start in general?

There are dozens of questions one could come up with when starting their P360 training, and while the best advice will always be, “keep it simple, challenge yourself slowly”, here is our handy list of things to consider while you get started on your new P360 program.

How often should I train? While there is no perfect answer for this, the best generic response is three times per week as you start.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Or, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Either schedule works great.  While some who are more proficient may be able to handle more, it’s best to let your body recover between workouts if you are a beginner or novice.

What if I get sore? Not, “what if”.  “When you get sore”.  You will likely use many muscles that have laid dormant for quite some time so soreness will be a reality of self improvement.  Taking a day or two off is certainly okay.  Taking a week off is highly inadvisable.  Let your body adapt to the new stimulus through repetition.

What weight should I start on?  While it would be great if there was a canned answer for this question, it will always depend on starting strength levels, mobility and conditioning.  The answer that is appropriately canned is to start at a weight that allows you to learn the movement as near perfect as possible.  Allow yourself a learning curve and do not dive into heavy weight too quickly.   Doing so jumps the process of muscle memory and building up your smaller, stabilizing muscles that are essential for injury prevention.  Focus on the “Rule of 5” wherein you increase a movement by 5 pounds every other time you perform it.  This is a surefire way to progress while remaining healthy.

Challenge yourself!  After your first three months, it’s a very good idea to really begin to challenge yourself on the movements.  Remember, if it does not challenge you it likely does not change you!

Keep in mind P360 Rule #1:

Crawl -> Walk -> Run -> Sprint -> Conquer

What’s the best way to learn Olympic lifts? Learning Olympic weightlifting is a goal for a lot of new folks.  The best way to learn the coordination, mobility and strength required to perform them properly is in our Daily Challenge classes.  You will have the opportunity to work one on one with your coach to learn the basics and to progress all the way to PRs.  Our Olympic Power Hour class is intended for those with proficiency.

Always, always track your weight.  Tracking your weight is one of the most important aspects of seeing results, regardless whether or not strength is a main goal.  It’s critical that once you learn the movements, you challenge yourself on the weight and always focus on progression.  Without it, you are attempting to navigate a journey without a map!  Our online whiteboard app is a great free tool to track, log and archive your progress across all movements.  It is listed where we post the workouts every day.  Speaking of…

We post the workouts every day on the P360 website.  Simply go to Perform-360.com. Scroll down, click “Today’s Workouts”.  They are listed in complete detail and include tips and cues on how to perform them most efficiently.

We love questions!  Do not ever be afraid to ask questions.  Whether it be during the walkthrough, in private to your coach or an email to an owner.  Any format is fair game so long as you get the information that you need.

I’m a girl. Will weights make me bulky?We will save the philosophical stuff on how it’s okay to look as a woman, and focus on the science of the factors at play.  Development of muscle fiber and intake of nutrition.  No, lifting weights alone on any program, any amount at any weight will not inherently make anyone bulky save for those with the highest amount of genetic potential and athletic make up.  First, muscle fibers.  Heavy lifting does not target our Type-I muscle fibers.  It is too low rep to do so.  Type-I fibers are the bodybuilding fibers that grow.  Heavy lifting targets Type II muscle fibers, the kind responsible for athletic performance.  Which is why you may see some REALLY strong people at P360 who are not big or bulky at all, but are highly lean and defined instead.  Second, adding muscle requires a very conscious decision to eat more than you are used to.  If you are not doing that, you will not gain muscle.  Period. 

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P360 member of two years, Tiffany Joey, during a fashion show. Tiffany is also a member of Level 1 Barbell Club and routinely incorporates heavy lifting into her training at P360. (c) Stingaree/The 4th Estate Photo

Be friendly.  Introduce yourself. Your fellow P360 members are all in the same boat as you.  Just trying to get better at things that are important to them.  Introduce yourself to your station partner, smile and enjoy the camaraderie of each class with your classmates! We take enormous pride in being a tight knit community, so if interaction with others is not something you enjoy, you may be in the wrong place.

Where do I perform the movements if I have never done them?  Once the clock beeps, we are all equals at P360.  Hop in at a station where other folks are just starting out or performing light weight and do so with confidence!  Every last one of us began with just a light barbell, and if you need to take weight off of the bar, then great!

Listen to Your CoachesOur team knows what we are doing and what we are talking about.  When we give you advice or a suggestion during the workout, it is recommended that you take it.

All of that said, if muscle growth is a goal we certainly have that available to you as many men (and women) come to P360 to get bigger and stronger.  Most of our workouts will tweak the reps and the weight to ensure you are hitting a goal of either fat loss and conditioning, strength, muscle growth or all around fitness.  It’s called our “Reps for Goal” format and it is unique to P360’s style of programming.

Why Should I Care About Performance?  Again, we will save the philosophical mantra, but as far as results go, pushing yourself in your physical abilities is paramount to success.  By challenging yourself to jump higher, lift heavier and run faster, you are constantly applying more challenging stimulus to your body.  Without doing so, your body has no incentive to change.  Learn the movements at a comfortable pace for 2 – 3 months, and once mastered, make a conscious effort to challenge yourself and get better.

Maximize Your Nutrition.  We have many resources to help you in the kitchen, starting with your free copy of 360Nutrition, our 69 page guide that covers everything food and training that was sent to you via the resources email.  Additionally, we offer paid 30 Day Plans that focus on fat loss, performance or muscle growth, just reply to this email for details.  P360 has a certified nutrition coach on staff (Dave Thomas) who is here for any and all of your performance or body composition questions.  Here are some results from a quick 30 day fat loss plan.

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Check out ‘P360 Members PlayAs the first gym in the San Diego area to create our own dedicated, private Facebook group just for P360 members, it’s safe to say fun outside the gym is a part of what we do (Hell, our slogan is “Train. Eat. Play” for a reason).  Because social interaction and fun together is such a big part of what we do, there are no shortage of events and opportunities to hang out with and meet great people.  Check it out and join here.

Make sure you are aware of the schedule.  A lot of people are surprised to learn that we have two locations and specialty classes like Olympic Power Hour, P360 Kettlebells, P360 Endurance, Outdoor Boot Camp and free yoga offered twice per week!  Here is a handy link to the complete schedule.

Download our iPhone or Android Class Registration App!  Simply go to your phone’s app store and download “MindBody Connect”.  From there, configure it to search Performance360 and class registration is as easy as a few touches.

Pay attention to gym etiquette.  We don’t have many rules at P360.  Sign up for class, be on time, clean up after yourself, respect the equipment and be nice to others.

Where should I be over the course of a few months?  Again, results may vary but this is a decent idea of where you can expect to be over the course of a few months to a few years if you are pushing yourself on the performance side of things.

MEN

MOVEMENT

PROFICIENT

6 – 12 Months

HIGHLY PROFICIENT

12 – 18 Months

ELITE

Deadlift

275# – 315#

375# – 425#

500#

Squats

185# – 225#

275# – 300#

400#

Jerk

155# – 185#

185# – 225#

275#

Hang Clean

155# – 185#

185# – 225#

250#

10 Rep Kettlebell Swing

72# (yellow)

88# (white)

106# (purple)

Box Jump

36″ – 47”

43″ – 51”

57”

Strict Pull-Ups

10 – 15

15 – 25

30

WOMEN

MOVEMENT

PROFICIENT

6 – 12 Months

HIGHLY PROFICIENT

12 – 18 Months

ELITE

Deadlift

150# – 205#

225# – 255#

300#

Squats

100# – 135#

145# – 185#

200#

Jerk

85# – 105#

125# – 155#

150#

Hang Clean

85# – 105#

125# – 155#

150#

10 Rep Kettlebell Swing

53# (blue)

72# (yellow)

88# (white)

Box Jump

30” – 36″

36” – 43″

43”

Strict Pull-Ups

0 – 5

3 – 8

10+

What’s the deal with all of the clubs on the wall?  The clubs are there to recognize achievement, plain and simple.  They include fat loss, mile time, barbell total, box jump and pull-ups.  A collection across many modalities and something in which everyone can excel.  We believe no goal is superior to the one next to it, and as such have tried to create an environment that nurtures a diverse range of fitness goals.

How is P360 different than CrossFit?  Movements may be quite similar while philosophy to individual progress may differ depending on one’s own personal experience.  While CrossFit may focus a bit more on daily workout competition, P360 focuses a bit more on individual goals within the workout.  Two sides of the same coin.  While we have nothing but respect for our CrossFit friends, we are very proudly and consciously not an affiliate.

Didn’t cover something you were wondering?  Don’t hesitate to email us, post it on Facebook or ask us in person.

Remember, keep it simple.  Challenge yourself, track your weight, allow yourself to succumb to the process and the journey, and remember.

…Always better than you were yesterday!

Performance360 is based in San Diego and has two convenient locations in Mission Beach and Crown Point.  Established in 2011, P360 has built itself on coaching and community.

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