This week, we test.
What testing week is:
1) A time to see your fitness.
You will see all these tests again in four weeks, so test and then figure out what you want to shoot for when we retest.
Note that we are testing things that we are training. Don’t come into Open Gym and Test your 1RM Back Squat “just to see where it’s at”. Could you PR? Sure. But you also haven’t had a bar on your back above 65% in the last 10 weeks.
So it probably won’t go well.
2) A deload in total training volume to facilitate an increase of intensity. We decrease the training volume to allow your fitness to express itself – there shouldn’t be any “My legs are so sore from yesterday that it hurt my 1 mile time trial”. We want the best opportunities possible to get the best tests possible.
3) An opportunity for me to establish what work and what doesn’t. If we go another four weeks of training, retest, and I don’t see 80% or more people improve in a test, I know I need to look at how to prescribe work for that test better. This 80% number is just an estimated number I use based on attendance rates, adherence rates, etc.
What testing week is not:
1) An evaluation of you as a person. If you don’t get results you want, don’t be sad. Don’t pout. Don’t mope. Go home, love your friends, love your family, live a vibrant life. Then come to the gym and work hard, and then go home, love your friends, love your family. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
2) A time to complain about “wanting to do more”. Because of how we train, chances are you will get done with a test, and after about 10-20 minutes of recovery, you will feel great and want to do something else hard.
But don’t. You feeling like doing more work is a great thing. This means that you are fit.
Now put that “I feel like I could do more” into the recovery bank for next week when things get markedly more difficult than this first phase of Cycle 1. If you need something to occupy your time, mobility, foam rolling, zone 1 aerobic recovery, drinking water, getting more sleep are all things that need more of your time, energy and attention than they are getting now.
3) A final evaluation of programming. If/when people don’t improve in an area, that makes me sad. But that is just one clue in the process of creating programming that is simple, elegant, logical, fun, and that encourages hard work.
Make up the tests you miss/know you can’t get to during Open Gym. Nothing ends a cycle on a bad note like not knowing whether or not you improved.