WOD 190323



Athletes will work in teams of 2 to complete 2 full rounds of today’s workout.  Each athlete must do the same amount of workout, however they can split up the reps however they like.

2 Rounds For Time:

40 Toes to bar

50 Box jump overs @ 24/20”

70 Calories @ G3 **

20 minute time cap!!

**Athletes may choose a rower, assault bike, or ski erg for today’s metcon

WOD 190321


“Aerobic Efficiency: Know Your Shift 8.0”

"The Downshift"

Athletes should work to maintain a high intensity while operating in gear 4.  Once they shift to gear 3, they should focus on a sustained work rate, pushing the limits of their nasal capacity.  The focus today is movement connected with breath!!

3 Rounds For Quality:

:60 Assault bike calories @ G4

15 Russian KB swings @ RPE 5 + G4

10 Air squats @ G4

:60 Calories @ G3

15 Russian KB swings @ RPE 5 + G3

10 Air squats @ G3


Books are Rad - Episode 6: Where Men Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

Character in my opinion can be described simply as the code in which a person chooses to live by - a set of unspoken guidelines that dictate how you carry yourself on a regular basis.  A more official defines character as: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.  

In this episode of Books are Rad, I wanted to highlight Jon Krakaeur’s Where Men Win Glory: Th Odyssey of Pat Tillman.

To date this is my all time favorite book.  I will preface this blog by saying that I did highlight this book to stir up political conversations about past presidencies or wars.  I highlight this book because of the man Pat was and the life he lived.

Pat was a man would had what many young men and women strive for in our early years.  Professional success, financial stability and a confidence in himself that was unwavering, yet he put all of that on hold for something he believed in, service to our country.

To this day I find it rare that people put their life on hold to serve a cause greater than themself.  So if you find yourself reading this short blog, take 5 minutes to read about Pat.  but don’t just spend time on his service or his professional football career.  Take time to read the stories about who he was, told by those closest to him - before he played professional sports and served in the military.

I think you might find that the type of character Pat had was developed early on and stayed with him throughout his short life.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!



No matter what your training goals are, a couple common terms should be understood so you are aware of how your program will be designed!  Below I included some common terms or abbreviations that will be mainstays in your programming.  Please take a moment to review these.  I cannot overstate the importance of understanding how to implement the RPE scale and RIR into your training.  As time progresses we will gain a clear understanding of where your capacities lie and ultimately increase upon them!

For the strength and conditioning nerds, it is important to know that volume, frequency and intensity are foundational characteristics of program design.  In order to measure those, we will be implementing the RPE model and RIR to govern that.  Here are a few terms that you should familiarize yourself with:

VOLUME: refers to the total work performed. Total training volume is calculated by either reps accumulated over a session or a week, or by calculating tonnage accumulated over a session or week.  This is an important factor when programming responsible progressions for each muscle group or exercise over a given cycle.

  1. Reps accumulated: sets x reps (i.e. 5 sets x 10 reps = 50 reps accumulated)

  2. Tonnage accumulated: sets x reps x load(i.e. 5 sets x 10 reps x 100# = 5000# moved)

FREQUENCY: refers to how often each muscle group or exercise is trained over the course of a training week or cycle.

INTENSITY: refers to the load.  This can be expressed as the intensity of the load which can be refers to a percentage of a one-rep max (1RM), and the intensity of the effort of the set, which is expressed by RPE.

RPE: refers to rate of perceived exertion.  Using this scale a 10 RPE corresponds to 0 reps in reserve, a 9 RPE to 1 rep in reserve, and onward in that fashion.

RIR: refers to reps in reserve.  A program directive that says ~2 RIR would dictate that a set should be performed until a lifter believes they only have 2 reps left before hitting failure.  Like the RPE directive, this allows lifters to manage fatigue levels and not push past a point that would ultimately limit performance over a given training week or cycle.



Often times we see that athletes become attached to certain percentages or past training performances.  As a coach, I am constantly reminding athletes that there are certain times in the year (or training cycle) for certain efforts.  Also I must note that training experience is an important factor to be considered.  Novice or intermediate lifters will not require the same level of training intensity as advanced lifters.  For most, adaptation can be achieved with simple progressions that take into account volume, frequency, and intensity over a given week.

This begs the question, is there really a secret ingredient that all training programs share?  Sort of.  Relative intensity of a session is paramount.  In order to elicit adaptation, we must train in a manner that will promote that.

Below, Dr. Eric Helms provides a clear example of intensity and how it relates to the RPE scale:

When expressing intensity, the distinction between ‘intensity of load’ and ‘effort’ is important.

85% of your 1RM is a specific number, but it does not describe effort.

1 rep with 85% 1RM requires less effort than 5 reps with 85%, which is near your repetition maximum at that load. Meaning, 5 reps with 85% 1RM might be a 10 RPE, but 1 rep would likely be ~6 RPE.

Also, strength is dynamic. You hit the gym some days and they’re unusually kick-ass, or unusually poor, right? Sleep, nutrition, stress and prior training all impact your current strength. You can use RPE to ensure you are training at the appropriate intensity of effort when your strength is higher or lower than expected. This is important for managing fatigue, and better fatigue management is going to net you faster results.



We have all been in that place before when we get to the gym ready to train.  Everything leading up to your first set would indicate that you are about to have a great session - then reality hits.  60% of your 1RM feels like 100%.  So what do you do?  Push through or pack it up?  

I believe that the RPE model provides some great framework for continuing training even though we may be fatigued.  As I tell all my athletes, it's important that you are brutally honest with how you feel on a daily basis.  This will preserve movement quality as well are ensure that your progress remains steady. Remember, volume is a key component for hypertrophy training, but training to failure often is not!

Here is a quick example of how fatigue and training too heavy can limit overall performance:

  1. Back squat: 3 x 10 @ RPE 8 

Let’s say an athlete decides to use their 10RM to see if they have improved, and in fact they complete 10 reps in their first set at their 10RM weight.  But the following two sets only yield 7 and 6 reps.  

In terms of total volume accumulated that’s only 23 reps!

Now, if that same athlete performed their first set at a weight that was slightly less AND correlated to the RPE 8 AND they completed 10 reps over 3 sets, that would be 7 additional reps accumulated, thus increasing the intensity and effectiveness of that session.

Fatigue management is vital if you want to continue to make progress in a training.  The RPE scale allows athletes to train at moderate volumes with a higher frequency over a given week or cycle.   


In an upcoming blog I will touch on the specifics of RPE and how you can use that in a more focused manner during your training.

Happy Monday Everyone!