Top Tips to Attack Strength Training

 In Blog, Dublin

I decided to write this blog about the importance of the ‘strength’ portion of our classes here at Perpetua. It’s very easy to get caught up in the ‘WOD’ and maybe cruise through the strength section of our classes in an effort to ‘save yourself’ for the oncoming endorphin rush. Don’t get me wrong, the conditioning/workouts are of high importance too and are key to improving your fitness, but its equally important to give the strength work your full attention.

At Perpetua we have a great strength programme, one that explores many facets of Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics and everything in between. We use Barbells, Dumbbells, Bodyweight and anything else we can get our hands on. We have a unique Base and Peak programme to cater for all athlete levels, training needs and a comprehensive progression ladder to help you achieve your performance goals.

There is a myriad of benefits to strength training. It can improve your health, body composition, athletic performance, decrease risk of injury and even allow you to eat more food (what more could you ask for?).

So how can you make the most of the programme here at Perpetua?

1) Chat to your coach – This should be the starting point. They will be able to advise you on whether the Base or Peak programme would be more beneficial to you, based on your training experience, goals and priorities at this point in time.

2) Listening at the Whiteboard – This is where the coach will explain the set, rep, tempo scheme for the day and give you the thought behind it. More on this below.

3) Tracking your progress daily – Coach Conor is going to write a blog on how to do this effectively next week. But simple things like tracking weight which you lifted each week, sets, tempo, rest etc is key and using the Train Heroic App.

4) Putting in the effort – Strength training when done correctly is hard, but as we mentioned above is extremely rewarding – give it the attention it deserves every session and you won’t go wrong.

5) Monitoring the data – Checking your numbers and asking yourself, ‘am I getting stronger week to week, month to month?’. If so great, if not maybe a good time to check in with your coach and see how outside factors maybe playing a role – nutrition, sleep, recovery etc.

A question that pops up a lot seems to be “What weight should I use”? Unfortunately coaches can’t always give you exact figures as obviously there are lots of variables however we can give you the roadmap.

Lets take an example from a typical strength day at Perpetua.

Base:
a) Back Squat *8-10reps @31X1 rest 2 min *4sets

Peak:
a) Back Squat – Build to a 10rm

If we are working off the Base Programme we are working some relatively high volume Back Squats with a tempo of 3 seconds in the descent of the squat (3 down), a 1 second pause in the bottom position of the squat, stand up, and pause 1 second at the top each rep.

When choosing weight here we would keep building until we reach the weight that ten reps becomes difficult (i.e. we probably couldn’t hit many more than ten reps while maintaining form and tempo at this weight). Now we have found our starting point and this becomes set 1, take your two minutes of rest and continue on to the next set. The goal is to hit between 8-10 reps for the remaining sets at this weight. This will ensure we get 4 good working sets.

If we are working off the Peak programme, things are a a little different. There is no prescribed tempo, sets or rest. It is a test day, were we are looking to build to a max weight for 10 reps (while maintaining form off course). Here, unlike the Base programme (where we had 4 working sets at ten reps) we may only have 1-2 working sets and the rest will be used as warm up sets as you build to your max weight.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or need some help with your strength training make sure to send me an email greg@crossfitperpetua.com.

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