Why doesn’t CompTrain Gym use lifting percentages for your strength work?
The reason we don't do percentage work in our classes is simply because people don't show up enough to benefit from it.
If we were to do an 8 week squat progression based on percentages, there is a good chance that a lot of your athletes will miss weeks in between. So they are then being asked to make jumps that don't make sense and they aren't getting the most out of it.
Instead, we're using more of a conjugate methods approach where we are asking the athletes to build to a heavy weight in order to get consistent touches on heavy weights. This also allows athletes to meet themselves where they are at on that day and not reach for a percentage that might not make sense for them.
With life stresses and different recovery rates for our everyday athletes, asking them to hit 90% for a double just might not be responsible. So instead they are auto-regulating what they have to give each day for their lifts. This keeps our athletes strong, motivated, and healthy.
I see in the programming that there are different categories under each workout’s stimulus. What’s up with them?
The feel for our Sprint workouts is just that, all gas no breaks. We will typically see these workouts programmed as intervals with enough rest to allow athletes to fully recover for the next round. Also with these workouts, the loading, volume, and variation of the movements should be such that the athlete can cyclicaly move through at a high heart rate and fast pace.
This is where we spend the majority of our time. Threshold workouts ask us to sit at approximately 80-85% effort for the entire workout. Or an 8 out of 10 on the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. This is where the biggest opportunity for fitness adaptations live. The loading, volume, and variation of the movements should be such that the athlete can cyclicaly move through the workout while having as little time as possible taking rest breaks and letting the clock tick away.
These workouts tend to be on the heavier side and can tend to feel like you’re plodding along through the workout. These workouts ask us to move heavier loads under high levels of fatigue. The loading for these workouts should be challenging, but still allow the athletes to have a high quality of movement under fatigue. It’s OK to break these sets up and ask a little bit more of the athletes than usual when it comes to loading (responsibly).
These are the longer workouts. Typically 20 minutes and longer and will have loading and movements that can keep the athlete moving cyclically throughout the workout. The term pacer should tell the athletes that they need to be smart about how they approach the first 5 minutes of the workout so they can thrive in the final 5 minutes, not just survive the workout.