Workout of the Day

Habits = Data

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Continuing our thought process from yesterday, let’s talk about how examining our scaling habits can be a useful exercise in data collection. Our GPP (General Physical Preparedness) program is intended to train the most broad, general, and inclusive fitness, and to achieve this we utilize skills, exercises, and modalities of all kinds. Broken down most simply, these include a variety of externally loaded movements (moving barbells, kettlebells, odd objects, dumbbells, etc.), bodyweight-only movements (gymnastic movements performed from the floor, the bar, the rings, etc.), and monostructural movements (repetitive and/or locomotion-oriented movements such as running, swimming, biking, rowing, etc.). The idea is to train to be a performer in all aspects of fitness, not just one or two.

Back to examining scaling habits: a dash of pattern recognition can give us a pretty good lay of the land as far as how our development of broad, general, and inclusive fitness is going. Most people have their list of “go-to” scaled movements. When movement X is up on the board, it’s time to scale that movement, change the load, supplement another movement. For the new trainee, this is understandable. Coming from diverse backgrounds and physical conditions, it’s to be expected that everyone will have considerable strengths and weaknesses from the start. For the seasoned GPP athlete, however, it should be expected that the playing field will level itself out over time. With enough exposure to a broad range of skills, exercises, and modalities, weaknesses should develop to approach the levels of strengths. Previously impossible tasks should become possible. Our scaling habits provide us with the data to tell us if this is what’s actually happening.

If you find that you rarely have to scale back the weights used for barbell exercises in a workout, but almost always have to scale gymnastic movements, that should be a red flag. Is it a skill issue? Is it body composition? Range of motion? Have you done anything to try to resolve it?
In the same way, if gymnastic movements never require scaling, but weighted movements always demand a decrease in load or volume, you need to start asking questions. Is your strength lagging? Are you underweight? Poor movement patterns? Have you done anything to resolve it?
We can go deeper, too. When you put your scaling habits under scrutiny, you may notice that all movement requiring considerable overhead stability end up scaled. Or any movement that demands explosive hip drive. Or perhaps it’s unilateral movements, or movements that demand considerable lower back strength, or demand coordination or balance.

The point here is that your patterns tell a story, and that story tells you where you need to direct your energy. Listen up and tune in. If you can run an 18 minute 5k with ease, but fall apart with a 100lb barbell on your back, are you really developing broad, general, and inclusive fitness?

- Preston Sprimont


11/3/16

  • Take 10 minutes to establish a max keg clean & press

  • Then, go down 2 keg sizes and complete max reps keg clean & press in :60s

  • 10 minute AMRAP

    • Max front squats (225/155)

    • 150m row