When the gym reopens, I know many of you are going to be highly motivated to come back and pick up where you left off over two months ago. Many of you are going to want to immediately grab a barbell and “see where you’re at.” While we love that type of enthusiasm, you must realize that you haven’t been working out at home with the same intensity, volume and load that you were when the gym shut down. Therefore, we have to ramp everyone up intelligently in order to protect you from injury and over-training.
So, for several weeks, we will be implementing what we are calling a “Primer Phase.” Warm-ups will incorporate lots of mobility, barbell work will be done at technical loads only (there’s no shame in using an empty bar), movement will be fine-tuned with the use of accessory work and intensity will be achieved using cardio machines. It is imperative that you “shake the dust off” before jumping into big workouts or a heavy/intense training phase. Your brain may say that you’re ready, but after months of at-home workouts, your body is not.
Obviously, we won’t be participating in Murph this year. If you’ve been around us long enough, you know that we slowly built pulling, running and squatting volume to get you ready for that workout. Going from zero to 100 reps of pull-ups is a sure-fire way to guarantee that you won’t be able to train for days or weeks to come after that event.
In the training world, there are two “states” we try hard to avoid: over-reaching, over-training. Over-reaching is more common and simply means you did a little (or a lot) too much on any given workout. Usually it’s remedied with an extra rest day(s). Over-training happens when you over-reach too frequently. As a result of over-training, you may be frequently sore, you may have elevated cortisol, you may not sleep well, you may experience joint discomfort, etc. It’s something we should all, as recreational athletes, avoid. Being aware of doing too much too soon after quarantine is key here.
That doesn’t mean our Primer Phase won’t be enjoyable, quite the contrary. We are setting you up for success and proving that your well-being, health and progress is always important to us. We will all get back to pre-shutdown fitness levels, incrementally and safely!