Intro to Strength Cycle



Raise your hand if you are excited to get back to a normal training regimen now that the Open is over! As I have been planning and thinking about what our training will look like, I have spent some time looking over the "Goal Board" in the gym. I see a lot of goals related to increasing strength and improving gymnastics movements. I am excited to help you meet your goals, so I have planned out a strength cycle for the next 9 weeks that will focus on the raw strength lifts (Back Squat, Bench Press, Dead-Lift, and Shoulder Press) and strict gymnastics movements.

Throughout this cycle, we will use Monday and Thursday as our primary lifting days. Don't worry! With the exception of week 1 and week 9, this does not mean that these days will be "lifting only" days. But you can expect to see the Strength /Skill and WOD built around the focus lifts. We chose Monday and Thursday for two reasons: 1) These are the days with the most classes being taught, 2) 72 hours is a good amount of rest time between these heavy lifting sessions.

The strict gymnastics work will typically be occurring on Tuesday or Friday. For this 9 weeks, I have chosen pull-ups and dips to be our main area of focus. I chose pull-ups and dips because these are the most common movements I see on the goal board, and because I feel that these movements are absolutely attainable and improvable for every athlete at Moontown. This area is less cut-and-dry than the lifts because we have such a wide range of ability on these movements at Moontown. So while we won't have dedicated test days, go ahead and take stock in where you are with pull-ups and dips so that you can monitor any improvements in your performance. For example, I personally would like to see my unbroken strict pull-ups increase by about 5-10 reps.

For this next week, you can expect to see 2 dedicated days of testing. We will test our 1 rep max (1RM) shoulder press and back squat on Monday, and we will test our 1RM bench press and dead-lift on Thursday. Knowing your 1RM will be critical in this process because we will regularly use percentages of your 1RM for sets/reps during the cycle. It is also impossible to track progress without knowing your starting point! If you cannot make it to one of these two testing days, I recommend coming to one of the Friday Open Gym times (10am & 4pm) to make up the test. I am also willing to meet up with anyone on Saturday or Sunday if need be.

I know Amy is always quick to tell all of you about how much I geek out on this stuff, and she is right (for the record, this is the only time she has ever been right, and I would appreciate you all not telling her I said so, thanks)! So if any of you have any questions or concerns about any of our plans going forward, please feel free to email me at or pull me aside when you see me at the gym. I would love to discuss my plans with you any time. I am very excited to get this programming kicked off and see all of the improvements you all will make. Now let's go do some work!

Coach Brad