In support of last weeks testing, we thought we would do a little write up about the tests we've done in case any athlete wants to dive a little deeper!
Front Squat - a staple movement of any program. The front squat challenges the anterior muscles of the core significantly more than the back squat (which is also an awesome movement). We'll do a lot of goblet squat work to strengthen this part of our body and then transition to more front squats at higher reps to improve the position of the rack. Fun fact - for a balanced athlete, your front squat should be about 85% of your 1RM back squat.
10 min bike test - as you may know, this is a part of our initial assessment that all new athletes perform. We think it's a great test because it's simple, it's concentric (that means you push with your legs and arms but there is no eccentric part -which can make you really sore and is often times not appropriate for beginners). We'll be practicing some shorter intervals where we try to maintain our target pace for 3 mins, go easy for 2 and increase the volume over time in an effort to get better at 10 mins!
Romanian Deadlift - movements fall into an continuum from simple to more complex. You want to get good at the simple so you can 'express yourself' with the more challenging. Romanian deadlift is at the start of the list (well maybe good morning first) and then onto deadlift and then onto other variations. Fun fact - for a balanced athlete, we've found that a 3RM RDL should be pretty close to a heavy 1-2 reps in the back squat!
30/30 Row - this test gives you an idea of your balance between anaerobic (how powerful you are in one interval) and aerobic systems (how close your 4 scores are to each other). There are some limitations (i.e. if you don't have good form on the rower or are missing some basic levels of strength). When you are looking at the results, use the first score as 100%. A perfect score would be along the line of 100%-95%-92%-90%. If the score you got stays the same for all for intervals, you can (and should) work on being more powerful. If the score drops off dramatically after the first score, then focusing on aerobic capacity would make a lot of sense!
150 wall ball shots - this test is all about a concept called "aerobic muscle endurance". Muscle endurance means building upon and challenging the basic positions (a squat and a press in the case of a wall ball shot) with light weight (a cute little medicine ball) and high, high reps! Typically why you break up 150 reps is not because you are completely out of breath (i.e. anaerobic) or because the ball is too heavy, but because the muscles you are using have 'run out of endurance'. We'll have some training sessions were we break wall balls down into smaller, more manageable sets in order to improve the endurance of the muscles!
Row/Burpee over Erg - this test looks at aerobic power on the rower (or other machine) coupled with push muscle endurance on the burpee over the erg. Different than the 30/30 test, this is about coming out at a moderate pace and 'sustaining' that pace through a high volume. Pay attention to how your pace changed or stayed the same and that gives you an indication if you 1) had the right pace & 2) if and when you 'poop' out of longer workouts!
21-15-9 Cleans + Ring dips - this 'couplet' (meaning there are two movements you go back and forth with) pairs two movements that are 'complimentary' (that means the 'in theory' no amount of dipping will interfere with the movement pattern of pulling into a clean). Because of that, you have a painful workout that challenges muscular endurance and anaerobic threshold (because of how short it ideally is). Whatever version you performed (squat cleans or power cleans, dips or pushups, lower reps, etc), the training for the next few months will look to improve this threshold in general and improve the pressing endurance in the dips!