The Daily Challenge Changes

The Daily Challenge work is shifting focus’.
For the last 6 months, quarter 2 and 3 of the year, we’ve been through 2 “phases”.
Here’s what we’ve been focusing on in each area.

Quarter 2 Focus

  • Olympic lifting - Developing form and technique by segmenting lifts into hang variations, pausing variations and hammering home correct positions.
  • Base Strength – The main focus during this period was to correcting imbalances and develop strength through single leg and single arm work (lunges and using dumbbells for accessory lifts) while also building basic but essential base strength in the traditional lifts.

Quarter 3 Focus

  • Olympic Lifting – We continued with building the technique for movement by using segmented movements and partial range of motion lifts. Olympic lifting is a skill that demands practice, patience and positions. Engraining the movement patterns while also going heavier was the focus in Q3.
  • Base Strength – during quarter 2 we built form and basic abilities for single leg exercises and in quarter 3 we continued to use those same exercises but heavier weights as you built more comfort.  We added more base strength lifts like bench press and push press and continued to build strength that would translate in to Olympic lifts, heavy metcons and even strength for gymnastics. 

Quarter 2 Focus

Our main focus during this time was to develop control and mobility in foundational gymnastics positions like the hallow and superman positions, dip and push up positions.

We also focused on building strength in the strict variations of movements and in the most basic movements that would assist in more complex movements and in kipping variations.

Quarter 3 Focus
We continued to build basics and foundational strength but added kipping practice and some more kipping movements. After building base strength during quarter 2, translating that into kipping variations has allowed bigger sets and new skills to develop.

Cardio and Endurance
Quarter 2 Focus

Class metcons provide a sufficient amount of mixed modal high intensity interval training. A typical workout will have multiple movements (“mixed modal”) and during the transitions from movement to movement there’s a brief rest period. This work rest relationship is what interval training is based on. Different movements will make your cardio and endurance systems work differently, think doing 30 burpees vs 30 abmat sit ups, which one makes you more winded?

Knowing that class workouts have the mixed modal approach, the cardio and endurance focus goal was to improve the single modality (single movement)  by doing rowing, running or biking for a slightly longer duration but still high intensity and interval style, and also more steady state longer duration sessions.

Quarter 3 Focus
Longer duration, steady state, single movement cardio was the majority of what was programmed during this time. Out of 8 sessions a week, 5-6 were sessions of longer distance or time. Having not just a powerful engine, but a big one that can run at a cruising pace for a long time aids in our high intensity shorter duration workouts. Both shorter duration intervals like bike and row sprints and longer duration efforts build mental strength and physical abilities so doing both was a must.


So now what?

We’ll now be using the next few months to accomplish a few more goals:

We will continue to have strength lifts in classes and they will follow some of the same lifts. When able, do the lifts with class.
We will now be building strength through speed.
In the last quarters we weren’t too concerned or focused on the speed of the effort.
2 days a week we will be putting focus onto moving lighter than max effort weights, with max effort speed.
2 other days will be max effort days. The exercises will rotate each week and the idea is not to need to max on the same thing, but to produce a maximum effort on as many variations to build all abilities.
Olympic lifting work will move to more full versions of the lifts a will be done 2 days/week.
There will be an additional 1-2 accessory lifts each day to target the main lifts of the day.
The entire lifting session should take no longer than 35 minute but if you’re short on time, do the main lift (pressing variation, squatting variation, deadlift variation, oly lift variation) and do the class workout. Do the lift with class if able, even if it’s a slightly different version.

We’ll continue to maintain base strict strength and practice positions but shift the main focus to full movements and building volume. We’ll accomplish this through warm ups that involve skills and then EMOTM’s, AMRAPs, and large set accumulations. We’ll also begin to kip more variations.

Now is when we start to prepare for those larger volume (single large sets like 55 handstand push ups, and also lower rep count but higher rounds) workouts that are typical in The Opens.

Cardio and Endurance
We’ll continue to keep longer steady state efforts to bring balance from the typical high intensity shorter duration efforts that class metcons offer.
In the world of cardio and endurance for becoming a better athlete, a blend of high intensity shorter duration, high-ish intensity longer duration and lower intensity longer duration efforts produces ability in all realms.
The way to get the most out of doing this additional training is to pick a focus path and do it for the next 2-3 months. If you miss a day, make it up but don’t do 2 days in a row if you missed something last week and are just trying to make it up for making it up’s sake.
If you’re just starting to do any of this extra work, you can jump right in and pic a focus area that you want to get more work on. If you’re not sure where to start or what to do, talk to us here!