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A-Side.. Our 60 Minute Group Fitness Class

February continued our Bi-Monthly focus of Skill Work as we head into the Open. We dedicated Skill sessions twice a week through the month to hone in on some of the often seen movements in the Open to build confidence in their abilities here. If there is one thing the Open teaches us each year, it’s that the AMRAP format is an opportunity to dig deep in ourselves and find the grit to keep moving. We programmed out AMRAPs this month along those same lines, short rep schemes with the only limiting factor being what’s happening between the ears! Among our Open prep were some of our favorites like “Cali-bear” along with some new NCFIT Benchmarks like “Cupid Shuffle” and the classic Hero Workout “Randy”!

Going into March, we move into a new Bi-Monthly focus on Strength! In February we tested some Heavy 1-Reps in both the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch that helped set the stage for the next 8 weeks. Our focus this month will be position work to dial in weightlifting technique in all 3 lifts; Snatch, Clean, Jerk. By the end of April we will be gearing up to re-test these Heavy 1-Reps. Starting in early March we will see this technique work stay in the more Light-Moderate range and increase in loading as the weeks pass. We will be including percentages for your more experienced athletes to have a range to work in based off of those previous 1-Rep tests. We will also include a “feel” to base the lifting off of for your more inexperienced athletes. This Oly focus is a great opportunity to reintroduce a Squat bias in our week to week strength training incorporating the Back, Front, and Overhead variations. Through the following two months, expect to see these appearing 1-2x a week with additional accessory and complimentary work.

And don’t forget…the Open is here! The online comp kicks off the second week of March and whether you’re participating in the Open or not, we’ve got you covered! The first Workout will be announced on March 11th and continuing for the following two weeks, breaking the mold of the traditional 5 week Open. We will be incorporating the Open workouts into the week and doing our best to work around the unknown and unknowable that is the programming in the Open. We are looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work pay off and having a heck of a good time! The week following the final Open workouts features our “Leading Ladies”; Fran, Grace, and a Cindy/Mary option as well as a final mystery lady. These workouts balance well and following the Open, will carry the momentum and excitement of competition.

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Competitive Fitness Programming

February began our taper into our peak because as we all know…the Open kicks off the week of March 8th, people!! In Feb, we started to see a little more rest, focused on mixing moderate-paced conditioning and skill work, and bumped up our sub-max lifting to build confidence. We added in one or two surprises in there for you all — one Open workout to keep you on your toes as well as building-up your key lifts on a short clock…we all know this is a skill we need (go in with a plan!). Throughout the year, we have been layering in the skills, movements, loading ranges, and patterns we feel you will need to be successful. If you put in the work, you should feel ready for the Open even as your training begins to subtly taper. We aren’t looking to “lose” any fitness in the taper, we just want you to feel 100% primed, rested, and ready for what comes next. We definitely still got after in February with some tough tests as well but into the final weeks of the month, the volume of your training should have felt a little different…in a good way!

As we mentioned in the Feb Focus, the week prior to the Open will wrap up our taper. Your first workout will be announced on March 11th. Each week during the Open, you will have an optional active recovery day on Thursday and the Open assigned on Friday. We will also be assigning the Open for a second attempt each Monday. Here’s the deal…there’s a lot of different ways to approach this year’s Open. All we want for our athletes is to give their best effort and have a heck of a good time. If you are vying to place higher in your age group, awesome. If you want to do well just for your own recognition, awesome. If you’re feeling like you want to do the ‘just for fun’ route, awesome. As long as you are happy and healthy — that’s all we care about. We will offer you two opportunities to hit the workout each week. This is completely optional; however if you are someone who wants to see your stock rise on the leaderboard, this is a great way to improve your score. You almost ALWAYS learn something from the first go-round. If you’ve never redone an Open workout in the past, I would recommend trying it out one time. Even as an experiment in your own discomfort…this is a feeling that is helpful for competitors to know and understand. But whatever you choose…give it your all!

As a reminder…in the week prior to the first workout, we will move and lift exclusively to feel good. We will not be testing max strength, volume, or intensity. We will layer in some short pieces that will help you get a feel for different pacing strategies; however in the week leading up to the Open, we want you to feel DIALED. This is important mentally, physically, and emotionally. Do not overdo it that week. Let’s have some fun in March, folks.

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