Often, we are asked ”Why can’t more classes look like Saturday’s workout (test)?”
If you’ve been around us for long, you know our philosophy is to train all week and test on Saturday.
Those Saturday workouts typically combine weights with cardio and you go against the clock. You know…the whole “3, 2, 1, go!”
There are many reasons why we don’t test more than once a week.
For one, testing takes a toll on your central nervous system (CNS). Test too often and you will see issues like overuse injuries, wear and tear on joints and ligaments, and hormonal issues. In any sport, game day doesn’t happen several times per week. That’s because your body is not designed to perform at its max every day.
Secondly, we prioritize strength and movement quality in our programming. In metcon tests, the higher repetitions under the stress of the clock lead to sloppiness, even with the most seasoned athletes. It just happens when you are in a competitive mode. Doing that too often will reinforce those sub-standard movement patterns. And, the light to moderate weights lifted at an extremely high heart rate doesn’t actually build strength.
Metcons sends a cardio signal to your body. Even with weights, it’s still a cardio signal. Too much of that signal and your body pares down muscle. The strongest signal always wins.
Our cardio days (Tuesday and Thursday) give you that intensity stimulus without beating you down. This is because we typically use machines and/or bodyweight movements. And our cardio workouts have a purpose, be it pacing, interval training, etc. The following day, you will have the ability to hit your strength workouts with full focus and intensity because your CNS and your body don’t feel taxed from the day before. If we programmed metcons on all of those days, it would take away from the quality work we’ve programmed on other days.
Lastly cardio (and that includes metcons) isn’t the best way to shed fat and develop your physique. It’s strength training for the win.
High-quality training demands that you separate strength and cardio sessions for maximum benefit and adaptation.
All that said, testing is fun! And we enjoy throwing down on occasion. But, it doesn’t lead to better movement and more strength if done too often. We have a duty to “do no harm” with our programming. We want to feel good about what we deliver to our clients and we want to reduce the chances of injury happening. That’s why we don’t program metcons/tests too often.