I’d like to talk for a moment about the Forge Fitness WOD Programming. Calm down, I won’t get too nerdy on you and start talking about flushing lactate and aerobic capacity benefits for high intensity bursts. I’d like to explain that, we program our WODs (6 WODs a week) for the members that come in for all six days of that week. There are only a handful of folks who do; or have done this, and they can tell you that it’s rough but doable. Sure, life outside the walls at Forge Fitness will typically prevent someone from doing 6 days a week; and that’s to be expected for most of us. However, if you want to come in for the whole week; take solace in the fact that we program for these instances. Let me give you a pretty common example:
Bob only comes in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s. Bob did 150 wall balls on Monday and his legs are on fire Monday & Tuesday. Bob comes into the gym on Wednesday to see that there are some heavy squats involved. Bob’s thoughts are along the lines of “Well I can’t squat that much because of Monday’s WOD” so I’ll just cut the weight back a bit.
This happens on a weekly basis from my conversations with folks, and it’s to expected for folks who don’t come to the gym on that in-between day. By skipping Tuesday in the example above, Bob has missed a chance to do two big things that would have aided in the recovery of his legs. First, if we have a high volume day like 150 wall balls; we’re going to program in some low volume movement in that area to flush out that lactic acid (sore/burning feeling when we walk down stairs or try to sit). Second, he’s going to miss additional time to stretch out and talk to coaches about how to help those sore wheels of his out.
Another common thing I get asked or hear folks talking about it the idea of “Taking a Rest Day”. While I wholeheartedly understand the thought process here and some folks DO need this to happen mid-week; it’s not always the best bet. If you have a stressful job (mentally and/or physically) and are going “so hard” at the gym for a few days in a row – you might need to chill for a day later in the week. This means that you will go home, stretch out and get more/better quality sleep – not just skip the gym in order to watch a few more episodes of “Mindy”. We do not have classes on Sunday and we program for folks to go to the gym for multiple days in a row; we’ve got your back. The way we change the intensity, volume and modalities of the WODs allows us to keep your Central Nervous System activated but not burned out as well as keep popular movement planes (pull ups, pulls from the floor etc..) from burning out as well.
So, do you really need a rest day?
Another thing to take into account is, what are you trying to accomplish at the gym? This isn’t going to be rant #99 about goal setting, trust me. One thing that us as coaches have noticed with our Foundations classes and our New You Challenge group is this – newer folks don’t know what it feels like to push themselves to their physical threshold. Some new folks sense a bead of sweat on their brow and slow down. Others feel that their breathing capacity is labored; and panic. That’s ok, at this stage; they are just feeling it out. However, if these sort of reactions remain – no progress will be made or it will be significantly blunted. As a coach, we learn who needs to be pushed and how they need to be pushed. Day #1 isn’t the day to do this, it sometimes days a few weeks. On the flip side; there are a handful of veterans that need to know this. It’s easy to become complacent after years of fitness. Our plateaus are higher than the newbs, which means it takes MUCH more effort to find “our edge” during a WOD. Just like the new person, if we do not continually dance around that ‘edge’ we will find that our progress is stunted.
How; as an experienced member, can you determine if you are truly digging deep enough:
- When was the last time you hit a Personal Record? With the plethora of movements and WODs, you should have something on the PR board every month.
- When was the last time you did a WOD and felt you couldn’t calm your breathing down after? This is your anaerobic threshold you’re bumping against.
So, are you really digging deep enough?