We believe the group training sessions we do here at 40RTY are great. They will push peoples all-round fitness up in a wide variety of ways but this type of training has a problem which it often gets unfairly criticised for. That problem is how do you actually ‘know’ you are making improvements?
Take training for a 5km run for example. You can easily monitor your speed / time etc and see the improvements over the weeks. Same with resistance training, you simply note down the reps, sets and weights used – then compare those to your earlier sessions. These training styles are very simple to show progression which (we believe) is such an important part of a persons training. It gives trackable feedback and is encouraging to the participant – but what about circuits, how do we show progression and results with that style of training?
Let’s start with the big 3 (there may be more) reasons why circuits / cross-training can be hard to track or show progression.
- The sessions vary in time exercise is performed for as well reps / sets and even weights used.
- They don’t repeat so it is very hard to compare to previous sessions.
- They always feel hard – you always seem to be flat out – they don’t ‘seem’ to get any easier.
Those above 3 things are what make circuits so appealing to so many people but they are also the reasons why they can be tough to show evidence of effectiveness for. The big issue is that it can be quite subjective rather than objective. You can ‘feel‘ fitter but you can’t say why or in what specific way. You may or may not have lost weight if that was your goal (but as I hope you are beginning to understand by now, body composition is far less about the training and what you do with your eating and sleeping) and you will have felt stronger – again though – in what way? These things we feel can now be addressed in something called Archon Combine – a free web based app that allows you to choose tests from a huge bank of different areas.
We have used this app and love the amount of personalised (that bit makes it pretty unique) information, feedback and details it gives you. We also really like the way it lets us design a specific set of assessments that are really useful for what we do here. We’ve set up our own combine assessment which we’d encourage all 40RTY participants to take a look at.
The Combine consists of 6 assessments:
- Agility – L Cone drill
- Aerobic – 2.4km Run
- Bodyweight – 3 mins maximum burpees
- Power – 100m Ski
- Anaerobic – 500m Row
- Strength – 10 x Push Press
For each of the above you can be awarded up to 100 points – that’s the elite / maximum you could ever achieve. You get the points based on your time / weights used BUT it’s on you as an individual rather than just as say a woman or man you should be able to do blah blah blah etc. We love this as it’s about how well you did based on metrics such as your age / sex / weight etc – the algorithms work out your score and show you where you sit and how much you need to improve in order to move to the next level.
The example above was for my best effort on the Skierg for 1000m rather than the combine as i wanted to see how i faired with Hyrox coming up. You can see it shows my best effort, my last attempt, my calculated score (based on age / weight / sex etc), what Tier it puts me in and finally (gulp) how much I need to improve to move up to the next level! This is the best time I’ve done to date and was stand alone – i.e. not part of the Resilience Circuits etc, I’d not get close to that as part of those circuits / actual Hyrox event. As much as i have very little chance of getting into the top tier – T1 (after all i’d need to be knocking virtually 1 min off my current best!!!) i will still see my points going up as i get quicker. If this was part of a combine (which it may be soon) that would also have the effect of improving the total points as a whole.
We at 40RTY think this is a great idea as it will show where your individual fitness is at this moment. Then, through continued effort with your training and retesting every 2 months you will ‘see’ evidence of how the sessions are improving your scores – both at individual stages and the combine as a whole. This then helps to solidify that what you are doing week in / week out is truly building your fitness, shuts up the critics 🙂 Even better is that if you see say the same 4 or 5 improving but each time 1 or 2 don’t go up / get worse , you can step in and make changes to help get things back on track. This really does help develop very well rounded fitness.
Hopefully all that makes sense and you are itching to take a look? Great – all you need to do is click the link below, set up a free account and then search for our combine via the pin number which is: #246507. Once that is doen you can start cracking on with the assessments – most are pretty straightforward as the app gives detailed details and a video but if you are in any way unsure please just ask – we are ready and raring to go to get you started with this. It truly will help – we promise!
Link to Archon – here
Link to our combine once registered – here