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With the end of the Open upon us, once again we’ll shift back to a base-building phase to focus on the fundamentals. Over the next few months, our cycles will work on accumulating lots of solid reps with the basic barbell movements at lighter percentages. The lighter weight allows for the chance to really dial in form and recruit the appropriate muscle groups, while the higher volume will help build muscle and improve strength in the ligaments and tendons. When we attempt heavier weights, the technique practice and additional muscle built in this phase of training will help keep us safe and improve the odds of hitting a new PR!
Of course, we’re also going to work on our gymnastics skills! Over the next few months, we’ll be working on basic isometric holds important to just about any body weight movement: handstand, arch, hollow, L-sit, and ring holds. These will improve core strength, flexibility, and stability, and allow us to hit better positions in both strict and kipping gymnastics movements. We’re also focusing on basic pulling and pushing, but with a variety of different surfaces. Building strength on various platforms, such as rope, rings, parallettes, and bars, adds an extra layer of challenge and stability.
While we focus on the basics as part of our strength work, we will of course be incorporating all of the more advanced skills you’ve spent so much time working on over the past year in our conditioning work. If you just got your first chest to bar pull-up, handstand push-up, or bar muscle-up in the Open, use the metcons as a chance to practice the motor patterns for these movements. Don’t be afraid to scale the movement (reduce the reps or use assistance when necessary) or decrease weight for difficult barbell exercises so that you can do the movement as perfectly as possible during conditioning. When we focus on these skills later down the line, the base we built during this cycle will lead to greater success.
For those of you looking to get more practice, don’t forget that we have the Barbell WOD every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30am and 6:30pm. The Barbell WOD will give you more work on cleans, snatches, and jerks as well as more overall volume of squatting, pressing, and pulling than we can fit into a regular class. We’ll also be introducing our Gymnastics Class on Saturdays at 11am, starting April 29th. If you’d like to get additional practice in both basic gymnastics and more advanced movements, come give the class a try!