THE WORKOUTS

(You may need to refresh this page if you don’t see this week’s workouts by Sunday morning 9 am.)

Rib Cage Position with Overhead Movements

We’ve all seen it bad overhead movement, and every one of us as functional fitness coach has been guilty of allowing varying degrees of it at times. You know the sight. The athlete jerking the weight overhead, elbows flaring outward, low back arched to the gills, just an absolute horror show of movement pattern.

The reason that this occurs is most typically a result of taking a thoracic spine that has absolutely no interest or ability in accommodating something being lifted overhead. If the thoracic spine cannot properly extend, then a series of chain reactions in the body will take place.

  1. The low back is the great compensator. If the upper back cannot get into proper position, the low back will hyperextend to allow the path of the barbell to continue moving upward.
  2. When this occurs, the rib cage will then have an upward flare to it. When the ribs flare up, the abs cease to be involved in the movement providing no trunk stability whatsoever 
  3. A flaring rib cage then creates a pattern fault for the regular gliding nature of the scapulae.
  4. The fault line in the scapulae then creates poor position for the humerus (upper arm bone).
  5. Alas, there is great stress on the ball and socket joint of the shoulder, and we develop repetitive movement pattern that sets yourself up to one day reveal an injury that’s probably two years in the making.

This is how injuries happen. It’s not just a children’s song. “The arm bone’s connected to the, neck bone.” If your lower back or shoulders are routinely sore from overhead pressing, it could very well mean that the first check point on this is taking place, as well as everything on the list that follows.

Overhead pressing has no business creating chronic lumbar soreness, so if you feel this is you then please, PLEASE proactively switch to dumbbells or ask a coach to watch you specifically for this reason.

Barbells are wonderful but up overhead, they don’t make sense for everyone, especially those who are limited in their mobility. It’s not a regression for you to use an alternate device or movement pattern, it’s called self preservation.

-Dave

Friday, 9.25.20

PSC

25 Minutes:
6 Push Press
10 Goblet Rev. Lunge to Step Up
12 Quadruped Renegade Row
200m Run EOR

Finish:
20 SA Tricep Kickbacks
10 Plate Curls
(x3)

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Bodyweight Training Isn’t Program Filler

I know that it’s super easy to let relativity persuade you into thinking that a bodyweight movement is inferior when it’s paired with weighted movements in a workout. After all, I know you aren’t going to get stoked for ballistic RDLs when they are trained along with cleans. We don’t get to hear the sweet, succulent clanging of the barbell or even a nice, pleasant smack of a handsome med ball striking the floor.

None of it.

Just silence, and the sound of your own heavy breathing.

A lot of us think that body weight work is a regression meant for beginners to establish proper pattern or worse yet, filler in a workout to get more movements in a day. That’s a common approach but not one we take and while true that a body weight movement is likely not going to be as effective as a weighted one is a mistake.

Here are some benefits:

  1. Strength – Ballistic/plyometric movements train the fast recruitment of type-II muscle fibers in a way that heavy, slow barbell work can’t.
  2. Patterning – It creates proper movement patterns and habits. This is critical in order to be successful with load. You cannot get strong at back squatting until you learn how to repeat a deep body weight squat a thousand times. Watch the most fit people in the gym. They move exceptionally in bodyweight movements.
  3. Re-Patterning – Most people are far too fast to abandon quality body weight work. It’s critical to keep the pattern that’s been established otherwise you’ll only learn how to move with a barbell on your spine. That isn’t functional. Or productive.
  4. Volume Endurance – It builds volume.  You can’t exactly perform 100 push press in a day without feeling like death the next day. You can, however perform 100 pushups and experience productive soreness.
  5. Kinesthetic Awareness – It improves your balance and body awareness in ways barbells cannot.  Simply put, you learn to feel and react to your body’s movement which helps you from an athletic perspective.
  6. Injury Prevention – Stripping load and focusing on full range pattern will access muscles that might typically be overridden in barbell movements. For example, if you have weak adductors then they will probably be bullied by quads and hams at near max load.
  7. Structure – It helps build the strength and integrity of our muscle, joints, and connective tissue.

There is nothing in fitness that is more functional than you and your body moving together. Most of life is performed unloaded with one foot in front of the other, so the ability to do that in any training condition; long, short, fast, or slow, for time or not, high rep or low volume, is going to have carryover.

I’d never sell you a bill of goods that argued bodyweight training is more productive that resistance training, but there’s absolutely a place for it in our fitness.

-Dave

Thursday, 9.23.20

PSC

First:
8 OH Grip Sumo Deadlift
Max Decline Push-Ups
12 Bird Dog Rows
(x18 Min)

Then:
10 Half Rack Side Lunges
5 Bench Jump Overs
(x8 Rounds)

Scalpel or Shotgun?

I make more money by taking the brand position of encouraging you to come to the gym everyday, and that your results depend on your ability to be consistent every single day with working on your fitness. They don’t. You don’t need us everyday of your life, and I’d never sell that. Instead, I’d like to offer some perspective on what fitness is: a stimulus. A very, very productive and effective stimulus, but one where the dose matters.

At the risk of oversimplifying, I find that many people use one of two approaches when it comes to the gym (assuming that you attend with regularity in the first place): a scalpel or a shotgun.

Those who use a scalpel are much more thoughtful in their attendance, making deliberate choices and focusing on productivity instead of activity. Those who use a shotgun just point and spray without much consideration for any targets. A volume approach.

Everyday you come to the gym, you are wielding a coin with two sides. On one side of the coin is development, the adaptations our bodies make when exposed to progressively increasing levels of stimulus. We get leaner, stronger, bigger, faster, better. We burn fat, improve our athletic ability, and strengthen muscle. On the other side of the coin, we have an opposing blade that will yield destruction. The chronic tax on on the body, the overdose of stress on our systems, the degradation of our connective tissue and joints through chronic overuse.

The reason you may be able to attend other programs daily is simple: they aren’t taxing, thus, they aren’t effective. Sure, they maybe wind you in the moment and keep you reaching for your knees, but they aren’t taxing on the physiological components on the body to enough of a degree to create change. This is why weight training is a lot different than treadmills, folks. It taxes soft tissue in a way that cardio doesn’t. The only possible way that we can have any long term success with an S&C program is to understand the duality of those opposing sides, and how to access the correct side of the coin.

I can tell you that in my personal opinion, the towing of the line begins as soon as your frequency increases beyond four days per week. It doesn’t matter where you are in your progress. While our program is designed with the ability to follow it daily, that doesn’t mean it’s designed with the intent that you should, or need to follow it daily. Results are most effectively manipulated by intensity, not frequency, and four days will serve any fitness purpose assuming that your diet, the real driving force in health change, is where it needs to be.

There is never enough stimulus to feed any addiction, even the ones that we perceive as healthy. For some, if there were nine days in a week they would be in the gym for all of them and no doubt constantly reloading their shotgun. The difficulty is in getting hard chargers to exchange their shotgun for a scalpel, to be a bit more deliberate with frequency.

Which do you find yourself using more?

-Dave

Wednesday, 9.22.20

PSC

First, 14′ EMOM
A: 5 Chin-Ups + 5/s Goblet BSS
B: 10 BB Row + 5 Front Squats

Then:
6 DB Front Squats
8 SA Hang Snatch
10 LP Reaches
100m Run E.O.R
(x16 Min)

The Flat Pyramid Approach

There are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to strength training sets and I would never declare one approach superior given the amount of subjectivity involved. Training a high level powerlifting competitor is not the same as a training a ball sport athlete, and not the same as training the general population. At Performance360, we’ve always leaned heavily on what’s called the Flat Pyramid Approach on days when we have our dedicated strength work because of its overall efficacy in getting results in a concentrated amount of time.

The Flat Pyramid Approach is when you build up to a working weight, and then you perform that working weight for all of your sets at a fixed amount of reps for each set. For example, a few warm up sets and then you settle into 225 x 5 for the entire tier (or three reps, four reps, whatever is on the board). The amount of set reps remaining fixed is the key component to the flat pyramid and the reason that it’s so beneficial is the amount of work you perform at high percentages.  You can certainly increase your weight in the workout a little, but the key is the fixed volume and staying at a relatively similar percentage, and not reducing the amount of reps you perform in order to accommodate more weight.

To understand why we prefer the Flat Pyramid approach, it’s helpful to understand that ultimately, there are three major load classifications for our strength training tiers: medium, heavy, and maximum.

– Medium would be our higher rep approaches around eight reps, targeting more muscle growth. 

– Heavy would be our middle rep approaches around five reps, targeting a combination of strength and muscle growth. 

– Maximum would be our lower rep approaches around one to three reps, targeting more pure strength.

The reason the Flat Pyramid is so effective is because the overall amount of work you perform in a single load classification. You aren’t bouncing all over the place with our program design options as we’ll explain below, so you’re able to achieve a singular output very well within 16-20 minutes. As Dr. Tudor Bompa of the famed Periodization Straining for Sports offers, “The physiological advantage of the flat pyramid is that by using a load of one intensity level, the best neuromuscular adaptation for maximum strength is achieved without confusing the body with several intensities.”

This would be in contrast to wave loading, double pyramids, and other forms of strength training that actively increase load and varying percentages each set, thus bouncing back and forth between medium, heavy, and maximum intensities and ultimately never really targeting any one to a significant degree. An example of this would be five reps at 225, three reps at 250, and one rep at 275. We use wave loading on a macro level, meaning we alternate between rep counts over a period of weeks, but I am not a major fan of it for daily training due to the limited volume in one particular load classification.

We like all approaches, and as yesterday was a great example of more of a wave loading approach (ten reps moving down into six progressively), today is a prime example of a Flat Pyramid approach where you’ll be consistently working at either eight reps (more of a medium intensity focused on developing muscle) or four reps (more of a heavy intensity focused on building strength).

In a format where we go for the maximum benefit as efficiently as possible, the Flat Pyramid has proven to work quite well.

-Dave

Tuesday, 9.22.20

PSC

First:
8 Bench Press
Max Copenhagen Plank
16 Rotational Row
(x16 Min)

Then:
“Mr. Purple”
10:1 Hang Power Cleans
1:10 OTB Burpees
For Time

What’s In a 100m Run?

If you are among the type with a high level of perception and curiosity around the programming, you may have often wondered why certain conditioning tiers contain a run and others don’t? Why some days the run is only every other round? Why the runs outnumber the rows and bikes? Ultimately, the answer to all of those questions boil down to recovery.

Specifically, our ability and training goal to either clear or keep a hydrogen surplus in our bloodstream.

Conditioning ultimately skews either aerobic or anaerobic, rarely one or the other. It’s not like monostructural work such as running or rowing, where our effort is steady and singular against a specific time domain or distance. For example, a 500m row is nearly purely anaerobic in nature. It’s around 90 seconds of max effort work, whereas a 10 mile run is nearly purely aerobic, a longer sustained effort. In the gym and in functional fitness, we bounce around between periods of high intensity and intensity and low intensity because we’re working, switching to another movement, resting, etc.

Simply put, longer days will skew more aerobic while the shorter conditioning days will skew more anaerobic. The shorter, more anaerobic days will push that burn. Specifically, a build up of lactate and hydrogen in the blood stream that causes our failure point where we can’t go any further. Those who absolutely crush shorter workouts are very efficient and clearing lactate and extending their threshold. On days where we have a bookend run as part of a circuit, we are intentionally providing active recovery so that we can clear lactate and clear hydrogen. If not, we wouldn’t be able to keep going and if we did, we’d be so sore the next day we wouldn’t be productive. The run is a buffer.

Conversely, on days where we may have a ten minute conditioning component it likely wouldn’t contain a run because we are trying to remove recovery and force you to endure. We’re trying to create a very, very high amount of volume without the recovery so that we can overload it.

Right now, we are a bit limited in what we can do because of COVID-19, space, and equipment, so the runs are outnumbering the bikes and the rows from a purely logistical reason. It’s why we manipulate every round, every other round, fluctuate the distance and all in all, ensure we create a different stimulus with each approach.

Each day has a little different person and a little different type of fatigue and subsequent adaptation we are trying to create. A “fun” exercise is to pay attention to your level of soreness on some days versus the other, and start to notice how different workouts make you feel, and how intra-workout recovery plays a part in that.

-Dave

Monday, 9.21.20

PSC

10-10-10-8-8-8-6-6
Back Racked Barbell Lunges
DB Push Press
SP DB Reach Through
100m Farmer Walk E.O.R
(30 min cap)

Finish:
10 Half Kneeling Strict Press
Max SL Glute Bridges
(x3)

NEWS

SAFETY REMINDER

I want to thank everyone for continuing to keep the safety measures top of mind, and overall we are doing an outstanding job. That said, I know it feels easy right now to get a little bit more careless with them and I am going to ask that we all still focus on prioritizing them. The directional pathways, masks outside zones, gym entry and exit points, and other precautions that we have that aren’t for show. The coach cannot watch and babysit everyone, so it’s up to all of us to play our part to keeping our environment safe. Even if you find them silly, they make others feel comfortable and that is what keeps us in business right now.

SIGNING UP FOR MULTIPLE CLASSES

Please try not to take up class spots in multiple active rosters. It’s perfectly okay to be on a few waitlists as that is 100% understandable, but to sit in two class times as part of the active roster is not something we wish to happen. We do check the classes regularly and see when this happens, and since the software does not allow us to do anything about it, we’re asking that you be courteous to your fellow members and avoid doing this. I know it can be hard knowing the exact time you will be able to work out, but what this does is create the perception of a fictitious log jam in evening class when in reality we have only had a handful of classes actually at full capacity when push comes to shove.

The waitlist is often a product of this behavior, and we can fix that as a community rather easily. If you get into a class, please do your best be as decisive as early as you can and attend that class.

GRASSROOTS

If you’re a member and don’t yet have free access to our home-based workout programming: Grassroots, request it here.

-Dave

MONDAY

Pacific Beach Gym 92109

PSC

10-10-10-8-8-8-6-6
Barbell Lunges
DB Push Press
SP DB Reach Through
100m Farmer Walk E.O.R
30 min cap

Finish:
10 Half Kneeling Strict Press
Max SL Glute Bridges
(x3)

TUESDAY

PSC

First:
8 Bench Press
Max Copenhagen Plank
16 Rotational Row
(x16 Min)

Then:
“Mr. Purple”
10:1 Hang Power Cleans
1:10 OTB Burpees
For Time

WEDNESDAY

PSC

First, 14′ EMOM
A: 5 Chin-Ups + 5/s Goblet Bulgarian Split Squats
B: 10 BB Row + 5 Front Squats

Then:
6 DB Front Squats
8 SA Hang Snatch
10 Low Plank Reaches
100m Run E.O.R
(x16 Min)

THURSDAY

PSC

First:
8 OH Grip Sumo Deadlift
Max Decline Push-Ups
12 Bird Dog Rows
(x18 Min)

Then:
10 Half Rack Side Lunges
5 Jump Overs
x8 Rounds

FRIDAY

PSC

25 Minutes:
6 Push Press
10 Goblet Rev. Lunge to Step Up
12 Quadruped Renegade Row
200m Run EOR

Finish:
20 SA Tricep Kickbacks
10 Plate Curls
(x3)

SATURDAY

PSC

10 Rounds:
10 RKB Swings
10 DB Pull Through
10 Elevated SA Bridge Press
10 Cal Row / 15″ Bike

SUNDAY

Closed.