As 2021 draws to a close, we thought to give you a preview of what is coming up in the new year. We have some exciting new classes and a new schedule, and the Winter quarter will focus on the Open as our community-building event.
We will also be bringing in new features to the app that will offer you more functionality, nutrition and mobility programming, and ways to track your PRs and WODS.
We are honored and privileged to travel with you and be your guide on your fitness journey. As a coach, there is nothing more rewarding than watching athletes under your care develop in strength and confidence, overcome obstacles, and find their resilience both in and outside the gym.
HAPPY NEW YEAR from all at Vashon Strong.
VSX is our version of daily strength & conditioning. Each day, we will tackle a foundational strength piece followed by a metcon workout that complements and builds off the strength.
1. FEWER TRIPLE RE-TESTS & MORE NEW“ ONE-AND-DONES”
In 2022 we will be lowering the number of benchmark re-tests per phase down to two. This will create more hype around these workouts and allow you to have some more specific preparation focuses instead of spreading yourself too thin. This will also ensure there are no heavy retest weeks that lead to “benchmark fatigue” and cause these workouts to lose their excitement! We will still keep our foot on the gas by introducing at least one new named workout per week but these will be one-offs that you likely won’t see again...at least this year.
2. STRENGTH + CONDITIONING 99% OF THE TIME
Keeping in line with the VSX ethos, we are going to do an even better job of sticking to the format of Strength + Conditioning in our day-to-day classes. There will be days where exceptions are made but for the majority of the year, we will always deliver these two portions of the class. Remember, strength can come in many forms and it might not always entail the barbell. Sometimes building gymnastics strength will take the front seat and be the focus and that’s ok; you'll still see some serious improvement to making you a well-rounded athlete!
3. TWO “ON” / ONE “OFF” STRENGTH CYCLES
Another trend we will be moving to in 2022 is a two-on/one-off strength cycle format. Essentially there will be a dedicated strength cycle for the first two months of a phase that will start with a test and end with a retest. The final month of the phase will be dedicated to preparing you for the strength movements you will see in the next phase, reinforcing principles you practiced in the cycle you just finished, and spending some more dedicated time towards building gymnastics strength. This will help us hold to a more consistent strength cycle timeline of 8-9 weeks and allow for a smoother transition from one phase to the next.
4. STRENGTH + CONDITIONING FOCUS
This is one of the new additions to 2022 that we are most excited about! We are going to implement conditioning focuses in each of the phases this year. That means that while there will be a specific strength emphasis, the months will also look at the types of conditioning you will see week to week. For instance, in Phase 2 the conditioning focus will be pacing, so we will see more workouts with SETS trying to get you to work on your consistency instead of going out hot and burning up. The intent is to continue to develop your strength while also teaching you how to better focus your efforts into the conditioning pieces; the other half of the fitness puzzle.
5. “THROWBACK” BENCHMARK WEEK
Our final exciting addition to the 2022 lineup will be the “Throwback” benchmark week. Imagine this like when a film studio remakes your favorite movie and it’s better than you ever remember it being. Better camera quality, updated graphics, and CGI, and possibly even better actors... that’s essentially what this week will be all about! We are going to give 5-6 old VSX benchmark workouts a serious revamp in the middle of the year, and let you get after these updated variations! This will be a fun week to look forward to and will come at the perfect time to revitalize everyone for the second half of the year’s training!
Now for 2022! We are going to stick to the same three-month phase format this year. It's an effective way to split up the year and allows for both big picture and tight-in focuses. Below we have outlined everything you would need to know for each phase from the strength cycle movements to benchmark tests! We are pumped for 2022 – so let’s put our nose to the grindstone and GET AFTER IT.
We will work on developing strength/competence with our main lifts through a wave loading format. This will help drive a better understanding on how to build weight and let more experienced athletes load back into a strength cycle that will quickly build them up to a new 5-rep Heavy. Conditioning will revolve around general capacity building for new athletes and allow experienced athletes to rebuild/continue to build their motors. This will set a fantastic foundation for the rest of the year as the conditioning focuses shift into more specific areas as the year continues.
STRENGTH FOCUS: WAVE LOADING
CONDITIONING FOCUS: OVERALL CONDITIONING
BENCHMARK RETESTS: QUANTUM LEAP & THIGNEL RICHIE
We will focus on tempo work to build strength in different positions of our Deadlift/Bench Press/Front Squat and we will use the Push Jerk to continually build overhead strength although there won’t be any tempo associated with it. The conditioning will center around you better understanding your 80% or how to pace yourself during interval-style workouts. A more effective adaptation will happen during these types of workouts when a consistent pace is held instead of flying and dying...it might be a good workout in the short term but our bodies are being taught to always start hot and go until they burn up - not great for long term adaptation. The hope is that with multiple touches on this style of workout per week you will gain a better understanding of just how close to the sun you can fly.
STRENGTH FOCUS: TEMPO WORK + GYMNASTICS
CONDITIONING FOCUS: CONSISTENCY + PACING
BENCHMARK RETESTS: THE MAGNIFICENT 7 & COWABUNGA
Summer brings us hypertrophic training. This means we will see some higher volume work and more variation week to week as opposed to more linear strength cycles - but fear not, it will lead you to the gains promised land. We will also spend more specific time on our two Olympic lifts (snatch, clean and jerk)... even though we have seen them throughout the year we will now allow them to take more of a center stage with more complexes and practice work. Our conditioning focus will be all about INTENSITY and going fast! You will see 2-3 workouts built around pushing the pace in a shorter time domain. The last phase worked on getting a better understanding of pacing, so as you transition into this phase you can take that knowledge and start to ramp up your intensity since you won’t be working with repeating sets. This phase will be all about burning it to the ground!
STRENGTH FOCUS: HYPERTROPHY + OLYMPIC LIFTING
CONDITIONING FOCUS: INTENSITY
BENCHMARK RETESTS: REDLINE & LIGHTER FLUID
The final phase of the year might be our favorite...2-Rep heavies across our strength lifts, and taking all we have developed conditioning-wise and learning how to better distribute our energy across moderate and longer workouts. This is going to be a leg-heavy phase and you are going to finish the year with thighs as strong as tree trunks LOL. The idea behind the conditioning is very exciting too... You first developed basic capacity in P1. Then in P2, you worked on consistency to learn just how fast you could go without the wheels falling off. P3 taught you how to PUSH when appropriate and hopefully showed you were capable of more. This final phase takes all that experience and teaches you how to push/sustain/stay conservative/get faster as you go with moderate and longer workout lengths. This phase puts a nice bow on the entire year, and we cannot wait to see the progress you make!
STRENGTH FOCUS: GOING HEAVY + GYMNASTICS
CONDITIONING FOCUS: EFFORT VS. GRIND POWER OUTPUT
BENCHMARK RETESTS: PROTOTYPE & TENET