Our “Code for Fitness” is: Functional Movements, Accessory work to develop Stability/Mobility, Skill Development, Varied movements, intensity and energy pathways and to Gamify fitness.
Functional movements are generally core to extremity movements that mimic movement patterns you’d see in life. Getting off the toilet is just a squat. Picking up a suitcase is a deadlift. Putting a box onto the top shelf is a press. The stronger and more efficient you become at doing functional movements in the gym means the stronger and more efficient you’ll become at getting through your day. From grocery shopping to walking up stairs, our goal is to help make your life easier.
Much of what is required to master functional movements often involves learning proper movement patterns. This brings me to our second key to our code for fitness: Mobility and stability. Some people are limited by their flexibility or mobility, meaning the range of motion around a particular joint, while others are hyper-mobile and lack stability. To help you with your mobility and stability deficiencies, you’ll spend time each day doing accessory work—usually pre-workout activation, and post-workout recovery drills aimed to iron out your strength and mobility imbalances to get you moving more effectively.
Improving your 10 general physical skills—strength, speed, power, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, stamina coordination, accuracy, agility and balance—often means you’re require you learn technical skills. From gymnastics movements, like pull-ups, push-ups, handstand push-ups and muscle-ups, to power lifting and Olympic weightlifting movements like the clean and the snatch, skill development is the third key to our code for fitness. The more skills you’re able to master—or even reach an intermediate level—the more skills you’ll have to transfer to your day-to-day life.
The fourth key to our code is variability: Variable movements, which we already talked about, as well as varying intensity and energy pathways.
Intensity is basically the same thing as power. Power is defined as force multiplied by distance, divided by time. The faster and stronger you become, the more powerful you become, meaning the more intensity you’re able to put forth. The more intensity you’re able to apply, the more fit you are.
That being said, there are some other things to note about intensity. For one, it’s important to develop good mechanics—skill development first. Then, once you’ve learned a new skill, you need to develop consistency with that skill before you can add intensity.
And even when you have mastered mechanics and consistency, this doesn’t meant everyday has to be the hardest workout of your life. In fact, if you’re finishing every workout in a steaming pile of vomit and sweat you’re probably doing something wrong. As we like to say around here that everyday isn’t a test day.
Pick your battles with intensity. Some days we want you to focus on skill and accessory work. Other days are about strength. And some days—maybe once a week—we want you to test yourself in order to measure your fitness progress.
We will measure your progress in workouts that test all sorts of time domains. In other words, all three different energy pathways. The first pathway is the phosphagen system. This system uses creatine phosphate to generate energy. Your body can’t stay in this system very long. It usually lasts about 1 to 30 seconds. Workouts that fall into this system would be things like a one rep max clean and jerk or a 100-meter sprint.
The second pathway is the anaerobic glycolysis. Like the phosphagen pathway, it doesn’t require oxygen. It uses the energy contained in glucose and lasts between about 30 seconds and three minutes. A workout that would test this system might be a 500-meter row or a workout like Fran—21, 15, 9 thrusters and pull-ups—if you’re fit enough to get it done under three minutes.
The final energy pathway is your aerobic system. This pathway requires oxygen and is the system your body goes into during any workout that lasts longer than a couple minutes.
Measuring your progress is one of the most important aspects of what we do. Watching yourself improve is what’s going to keep you coming back for more. This brings me to the final key to the code for fitness: Gamify fitness. Make a game out of it!
Whether you’re competing in an in-house competition with three teammates, or you’re competing against your best Fran time, we want you to know your numbers. There’s nothing more personally rewarding than knowing you can lift more weight or run faster than you could a year ago. Watching a 50-year-old woman get her first pull-up is any coach’s dream.