Thursday, February 2, 2017

Why have we been doing the same stuff lately?

You may feel a little like our programming lately has been repeating like in Groundhog Day. That's by design. There's been a cluster of pull-ups, deadlifts, and overhead squats lately - and people have been noticing and commenting. When I repeat the easier stuff, people don't complain!

Why do I have these mini clusters of exercises rather than evenly distributing all of them in a programming cycle? Non-linearity!

All biological systems (like yourself) are nonlinear. That means a change in inputs (your workouts) doesn't create a proportional change in results (you getting more fit).

What happens if you walk into a room with a strong smell? At first, you smell it but overtime your body adjusts to the background and you no longer recognize it. Or if your eyes are adjusted to the dark you're really sensitive to flashed of light - did you know that in a really dark room, your eye can sense single photons? Pretty cool.

When you have a low background, small punctuated changes are easily noticed. The same goes for hormonal responses in the body. If you eat all day long (grazing), then you're body always has a small background of insulin and you slowly become less insulin sensitive. It's better (for overall health) to eat one or two large meals a day rather than the same food spread out over more meals or even smaller snacks.

Dr Jason Fung from Intensive Dietary Management talks about this all the time.  Here's one good summary article from him. He's taken obese individuals and got them to lose weight by only changing their meal timing. That is, they eat the exact same food and the exact same amount of food in a day, they just cluster it into 1, 2, or 3 meals rather than constant eating. It all comes down to getting your body used to a lower background.

That's the same stuff I'm doing with our programming. We do have a small background of fundamental strength work (though even that's periodized on a monthly time scale), and then we cluster some more intense skill and strength work on a different cycle. That's why things like pull-ups, deadlifts, and even OHS have showed up more recently.  I've been doing that all along, but it wasn't until it was the more unpleasant movements showed up that anyone really noticed. It's all about managing nonlinear responses.


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


push press 5-3-2-3x2


5 Bulgarian split squats between strength sets

Group Workout

10 rounds with full recovery
as a complex
add weight each round
snatch lift off
snatch pull
hang power snatch

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