Hi there team,
Over the last week we have had a number of people join the program and I wanted to write a quick piece on some of the more detailed aspects of the program including; how to select your Bias Training, how to taper for a competition, how to break up the days training, what level to choose, how to integrate HRV and a few other things.
The first thing I want to say is that there is no need to stress over training. Stress will make you go backwards. The people that succeed the best on this program are the ones that follow the guidelines and the program accurately.
The second thing I want to say is that if you struggle to achieve intensity when you train then you need to re-think your training. Having a training partner is a great way to add intensity so that would be my first suggestion. Secondly if you still don’t get intensity then it is more than likely down to the fact that you are doing to much volume. Quality over quantity ALWAYS!! This is where HRV can DEFINITELY help!
WHAT LEVEL SHOULD I CHOOSE?
The Athlete Program is built for a fit Regional level athlete that is training almost full time. Full time meaning they are sleeping well, eating well, recovering well, have spare time AND the main goal of their life is training for the Open and Regionals/Games. If that is you then I would expect you to be able to handle Level 3 training everyday.
Level 2 training is for the next tier down. People that want to compete at a high level and are focused on training as a daily priority. This level should be the home to most people. It is also suitable for Masters and Teen athletes. When it comes to choosing which Part to do (Level 2 you get an option most days) then pick the one you know will serve you best. If you are unsure then ask in the URX Club private FB page.
Level 1 is for a couple of people. It is for people that would normally follow Level 2 but are showing AMBER on their HRV so they drop down a level. It is also for people that might be nursing a niggle or an injury, and it also serves people when they are de-loading for a competition (more on this soon).
Doing the highest level will NOT make you a better athlete. Listening to these guidelines and doing the correct level will make you a better athlete. Accumulative fatigue will bring you down over time, play the long game and build up slowly. The last thing I will say is that if you are ever feeling like shit, regardless of HRV then don’t be scared to drop a level.
You will thank me the next day when you feel amazing and smash training rather than ‘try’ and train one day, then feel like crap again the next day.
The other thing I will add here i that I recommend breaking training up into an AM and a PM session depending on your personal schedule. The more you can recover between the training parts the more intensity you will be able to hit it with. It is by no means crucial but it is probably optimal.
WHAT BIAS TRAINING SHOULD I CHOOSE?
This is where you need to use your intuition. Bias training is not necessarily structured or periodised. On any given day you are allowed to do a piece from here and a piece from there. This is where you begin moulding yourself into a balance athlete. The normal program (Level 3, 2 and 1) is balanced. If YOU are not balanced then bias training is where you start to work on your weakest part/s.
DON’T BE SCARED TO MIX AND MATCH FROM DIFFERENT AREAS.
The strength bias stuff is relatively structured and periodised but ultimately it is just additional strength work to supplement the normal program. If you want to get strong and better at open chain movements (moving weight) the this is the spot for you. Strongman, Oly Lifting, Power Lifting…
Gymnastics bias is based around skill development and muscle endurance with closed chain movements (your body is the weight). It is not periodised at all. It is literally extra work to supplement the normal program.
Cardio bias is straight cardio. Heart, lungs and oxygen transportation. With that said, rowing and running are two totally different aerobic activities. One is open chain (rowing) and one is closed chain (running). It is not periodised, it is different volumes and intensities on different days but it is still a balance of intervals and long slow efforts so that we are working the heart volume and heart muscle power (and hypertrophy).
With the bias training you are encouraged to slot it into the normal training where it would best fit. Potentially strength and skill stuff early on in the day. You choose what works best for you. I just don’t want you thinking you have to do it in order or after the normal training. Put the day together in a way that best fits you.
If you have any doubt on what you should be doing then ask in the URX Club!
IS HRV THAT IMPORTANT?
Yes… I mean no…. It depends….
Some people listen to their intuition very well and can tell when they need to ease up and when they need to push hard. On the other hand some (most) people can’t. I highly recommend HRV because it doesn’t matter if you do or don’t listen to your intuition, HRV will always guide you and keep you safe!! Staying fresh and injury free is by far the absolute most important part of going far in CF!
If you register RED then you should definitely take a rest day, no questions asked. If you are green on the scheduled rest day then you are welcome to catch up on the training you missed BUT bare in mind it might fuck you for the following day. So… what I would recommend is to see how you are on the scheduled rest day and then carefully select the most important parts of the training the day that you missed (because you were RED). That way you are getting the important stuff done and staying relatively fresh for the following day.
I know it can be expensive for some people to buy an HRV monitor but the guidelines are there on the program and you are missing out on some really crucial guidance by ignoring or not having the capacity to follow the guidelines. Also do not opt for a cheap HRV unit, I have seen a few apps in action and honestly they can not be trusted!! Bioforce HRV is the only one I know to be accurate so if you want quality then please go with that brand.
Here is a link to the monitor I recommend: HRV Monitor
TAPERING FOR A COMPETITION
Now this topic is a pretty important one because I know a lot of people compete year round so here it goes…
If you have a competition coming up and you want to perform well you need to be fresh. I’m going to assume that it is a weekend comp, Saturday and Sunday (if it’s not you will still get the gist). The week leading up to the comp you will need to deload from the high volumes of training you have been doing.
If you normally follow Level 3 then drop down to Level 2 or even Level 1. If you follow Level 2 then drop down to Level 1. If you follow Level 1 then you probably shouldn’t be competing OR you might be a super new beginner and I would suggest you just take it easy for that week.
Just dropping down a level will let your body begin to recover which is the most important part. If you then want to practice and workouts then substitute them for parts of the program that look the most similar. If you want to practice skill work (synchro HSPU for pairs or HS walking etc) then practice that as much as you want or even on Tuesday and Friday when ‘extra skill work’ is programmed usually as ‘Part E’.
Now on the Friday before the event I would recommend you only do one part of the program, preferably the most aerobic part. Aerobic system is the least invasive on the body and also the fastest to be lost. You want your cardio primed for battle over the weekend of competing.
Again, if you have any questions just ask in the URX Club forum!!!
If you are taking parts from this program and parts from another program or really not following it with full hart then that’s completely your call. As long as you are happy and you keep paying for the information then I’m okay with it too.
What I will say though is that I take no responsibility for you as an athlete. You are either in or your out, sitting on the fence to me is the same as being out. Don’t get me wrong, if the program is helping you in some way, shape or form then IT IS A GOOD THING!! Just don’t expect the full support that the 100% in athletes receive.
And by the way, if you need help then please ask, you are part of the family! The URX Club is our home!!