Intensity and Reset

Hip Mobility improvement - the Spiderman Lunge
Every sessions posted on this site should include a Base (think of this as the warm-up) portion of the workout. While I used to post what I thought was appropriate for warming up, the fact is as long as you get the body warm before jumping into the Heavy and the Intensity sections, you will be fine.

We generally won't post a specific warm-up routine for you, but it is generally accepted you will do some warm-up work prior to beginning the Heavy or Intensity portion of the programming. If you have any questions about what we recommend for a warm-up, check out Catalyst Athletics Warm-Up series.

Always warm up properly before starting your workout, making sure you include the three main components of warm up :aerobic activity, mobilization of the joints, and warm-up sets with light weights and high repetitions. 

Never train cold!

During the workout , select a suitable weight that will allow you to complete the specified reps safely. DO NOT lift heavier weights before you have developed sufficient strength to do the repetitions correctly and with the proper form. Ignoring this can cause severe and lasting damage to ligaments, tendons, and joints.

During lifting, breathe out on the loaded part of the movement (lifting the weight) and breathe in on the negative portion of the movement (lowering the weight).

Never hold your breath.

This is known as the Valsalva Maneuver and is very dangerous with a heavy load. It causes a significant spike in blood pressure which is then released when the load is released. That significant drop in blood pressure can cause heart palpatations and black outs (that effect when you see stars after a heavy lift is the precursor to this).

Instead, take a breath prior to the lift, hold it while you initiate then forcefully exhale as you move through the rep. 

Full Range of Motion

Perform each rep going through the complete range of movement, extending the muscles to the fully contracted / extended position. Producing partial reps both limits strength gains and reduces flexibility. Flexibility itself is probably the most critical component of staying fit as you age.

Maintain full control of the weight throughout the movement. Swinging a weight too fast means momentum takes over to bear the load rather than the target muscles, putting your joints at risk of injury.

Focus on both the load and negative phases of each movement. When possible, and especially during the Heavy portion of the WOD, resist the weight as you return to the starting position.

During the Heavy lifts, mentally do a two-count as you lift; hold the weight in the contracted position for a one-count; and count to three as you lower the weight. 

Visualize the lift before, during, and after. Consider what you felt during the lift and consider any possible corrections. As much as I hate mirrors in a gym (vanity much?) they can be useful when working to perfect technique. Additionally, taking a video of yourself performing lifts (especially things like snatch, clean, and jerk) to work on improvement.

Ideally, stretch the target muscles between sets, holding each stretch for a minimum of 8 seconds.


During the Reset portion of the workout, you should be performing longer (developmental) joint and mobility work immediately after the workout. Each stretch needs to be held for 30-60 seconds.


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