Let’s look at today’s metcon. What stands out?
Likely it’s the HSPU, as the volume today is pretty high. We’ve got 40 reps people! As the notes below say, we should be choosing variations that are challenging for us. For some, that means adding a deficit or performing them without a kip (strict). For others, that may mean removing an ab mat pad or piking on the box on your feet instead of your knees. For others still, it might mean reducing the volume or focusing on a solid HS hold on the wall, maintaining a strong position while upside down.
Let’s take a peak behind the curtain at the though process that may happen here during the conversation had between you and your coach about these handstand push-ups. First, we’ll ask yea or nay? Can we do them or not? If it’s a definitive yes or no, we have direction for our conversation without too many more questions.
From here, if it’s a yes, we’re now talking difficulty level: how do you usually do them? How do you feel about the number 8? Are you more proficient at kipping or strict? Are you feeling like tackling a weakness today or do you just need to move? All of these factors play a role in guiding our recommendation for you. Usually do kipping with a deficit? Go strict today - two sets of 4 reps is just fine for today. Usually go strict? Add a challenging deficit. See what your control can be to the floor for multiple reps and then expand your understanding of just how explosive that hip opening needs to be to get the momentum you need to complete the rep. Do you usually use two abmat pads? You want to move to one but you’re worried about 8 reps for 5 rounds - we may do a declining rep scheme by starting with 8, 7, 6, 5, 4. Or maybe we shoot for a range or plan to break up the sets from the beginning - 3.3.2 is a great approach to sets of 8.
If we don’t have HSPUs yet, we’ll ask what are you comfortable with. Is it HS holds? Do you struggle with the descent? Do you feel you lack the strength required? There are scaling options for all of these: We’ll hold a HS for 20 seconds each round, focusing on solid position and just getting comfortable being upside down in a workout; or we can do negatives, where all we do is practice lowering our head to the pad (or pads) under control; or we pike on a box and figure out the proper positioning for the press while not having to support our entire body weight.
Believe it or not, these are all of the things that your coaches’ minds are cycling through as they help you find the right variation for you. If you see something here that sounds appealing that you haven’t tried yet, ask your coach tomorrow about it and if they think it’s a good option for you.
Finally, understand that with skills like this there are components that make them possible: strength, coordination, mobility. Your coach may recommend a variation that best addresses your limitation OR they might give you a variation that plays to your strengths. That choice depends on what you want from the workout. Remember that skills must be practiced and practice cannot occur under conditions of intensity. Metcons in class inherently bring intensity. It is possible to limit or refocus the intensity but it’s hard to do. If you want to focus on HSPUs as a skill, it requires time working on a various components without a clock on.
Metcon - Every 4 minutes for 20 minutes (5 total rounds):
8 HSPU @ RPE 8**
4 Sandbag cleans @ moderate
100 ft. Sandbag carry @ moderate
**HSPU should be challenging for athletes, however they should be completed in NO MORE THAN 3 SETS. Athletes should chat with their coach if they need help determining the best possible set up for their skill level.