Congratulations to every single one of you for achieving new personal bests in the gym this past week! Let’s continue to workout hard, push each other and celebrate along the way.
Below we have provided the data and results that we have gathered from testing this week. We will show you the results and what they mean, along with how the training programme will be designed for the run up to Christmas.
If you find that you fall below any of the averages that we have given from the group, we shall also be providing some steps you can take to improve areas that need more attention.
We have found that the group on average has an almost perfect balance between their back squat to deadlift 1RM. In a perfect world, we would see everyone’s deadlift be 125% of the back squat. One of the reasons in the past we have promoted variations of squatting patterns within the gym far more frequently than pulling exercises such as the deadlift is that many beginners to weight training already have a tendency to have better pulling strength. Research has also proven the more these ratios grow apart, the greater the risk of injury. The results from this test do show us that we can now concentrate on improving both pulling and squatting strength rather than putting an emphasis on one or the other.
Similarly to the deadlift and back squat, we have observed that the 1RM ratio between the power clean and close grip bench press are quite indicative of balanced fitness. In this case, scores should be identical if not be extremely close together. So unlike our ratio of the deadlift and back squat, as a group the males have a slight weakness in hip speed/ strength compared to upper body pressing strength and the females have a considerable weakness in pressing strength.
When the time comes around to re-test Tuesday’s Aerobic work we shall obviously have the numbers to tell us if we have improved or not, however at this time we have very little data to tell you what is considered a good score. This area of training is hugely important to health and fitness, giving us a good insight as to how strong our heart is and it’s ability to transfer blood around our body.
More recently within the gym, we have began to prioritise more aerobic work using a number of different methods to help increase work capacity and build more of a base of “fitness”. The design and planning of sessions have encouraged you all to calm it down, and work at 70-80% effort. These of longer bouts of cardiovascular work essentially trains the heart to allow more blood to be pumped around the body with less work.
From the data we have gathered and the results we have analysed we still believe our focus should be to improve and develop our aerobic base and cardiovascular function. Moderate to easier aerobic sessions may not be the most fancy but they do serve a very important purpose in training. The “easy work” on the assault bike, and/ or rower helps increase blood flow and recovery from the more intense sessions.
Pressing strength is a glaring weakness for the majority of the group, especially the females so this will continue to be a priority. A variety of pressing exercises shall help to increase strength, break plateaus and develop our gymnastic skills such as handstands, press-ups, and dips. Upper body pulling exercises shall also remain a focus for the group as we feel strongly that this is also an area a lot of could still improve in.
Re-tests to look forward to before Christmas:
– BACK SQUAT + DEADLIFT
– CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS + POWER CLEAN
– WEIGHTED PULL UP/ MAX REP STRICT PULL UP
– AEROBIC CAPACITY
We shall be sticking to Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday split. Where structured work aimed to improve the above shall be programmemed in to group classes on these days. On Wednesday’s, we shall provide an additional workout for those of us who have identified areas of weakness that need more attention.