Time Under Tension

We are well underway in our NC Fit Experiment, and we have come upon our first round of Level Method Re-tests since fully implementing the NCFit program.  So far, the results are speaking volumes.

As a gym we seem to be moving better, we are stronger, and we are fitter.  We have improved across broad time and modal domains, which is what CrossFit is.  We went from a strength centric focused gym, to a coaching centric gym. Our program has much more structure to it, creativity, and inclusiveness of all movements, with proper progressions used in CrossFit.  

How can it be we are getting stronger across the board, if we are not strength centric?  There are a couple of reasons why I believe this is true.

  1. If you haven’t noticed you may actually getting MORE work in each class.  The warm up is an actual full fledged warm up. It is making you move (and with coaches cues, move correctly) and use your muscles, your core, and truly increases heart rate.  The warm up is putting our muscles under tension. The longer time we have a muscle under tension, the stronger that muscle becomes. While the degree of tension may overall be less, the total time under tension has increased, and we are expanding our training longevity, helping to reap the strength benefits while sparing our joints and helping to prevent injury.
  2. More Core Work.  The core is the center of every lift.  The stronger our core, the stronger our lifts.  Whether it be in the warm up, or in the finishers, we have more ab and core work.
  3. More Accessory work.  Buns and Guns and Rump work is being done.  All of this accessory work built into the program helps put muscle groups under tension and stronger, as well as gets muscle groups working in general.  The glutes are one of the most untapped regions of our body when we lift. With all the glute activation, we are getting the maximus bang for the buck!
  4. Movement patterns are better.  The more reps we do correctly with light weight translate into more efficient and optimal movement patterns under heavier weight.

So what can you do if you are not progressing like you feel you should?

First off, you can self evaluate.  How is your sleep? How is your nutrition and protein intake?   What is your recovery strategy? What is your approach when you come to class?

If you want to make strength gains, you must sleep 7-8 hours.  Sleep is the biggest ergogenic aid. Want to get stronger, you need to sleep.  Hormones are released at night that make muscles grow. Have some excuse why you can’t sleep that long, that is fine, however, do not be upset with any perceived lack of progress.  Until this is in check, gains will be not as great and you can stop reading here, as the rest doesn’t matter. If you do get this much sleep and still not progressing, read on!

Nutrition besides sleep is the second biggest factor is you are not progressing and training regularly. Are you eating at least  1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. If you are not doing this, start doing it daily, give it a month, and see where you are at.  Can’t eat that much protein? That is where supplementation comes in. Drink it! Nutrition plays a key part to recovery and progress in any training regimen.  You cannot build a house without the building blocks, and you can’t build or repair muscle without the building blocks. Give your body the blocks it needs. Need help with nutrition, see Courtney!

Recovery.  Are you taking days off when you are feeling beat up?  Are you modifying workouts and going easier when you don’t feel 100% or are you insistent at being the RX athlete day in and day out.  Going balls to the wall every day is not the best strategy for sustainable progress. It may work in short periods of time but it is short sighted.  Take a day off, take some weight off, do more mobility or stretching/foam rolling.

Mindset and approach.  Do you come to class, half heartedly do the warm up and the teaching section and just want to get to the nitty gritty of the day?  This is the wrong mindset and approach. Listen to the coach at the board and the points of performance of a movement and workout intent.  Go through the warm up movements with intent and purpose, even if you are doing a lift for the upteenth time, listen and work through the teaching and movement section.  There is always something to be tweaked and fixed. More repitition with light weight builds and solidifies solid movement patterns which helps at heavier weight. You will progress faster when you do!  


If you feel you do all these things and are still stuck, then set up a Goal Setting session.  First thing is maybe your goals are not SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Oriented), and a session with Tyler or James, to go over your goals may help you figure out a plan to meet them.  From here, maybe you may need some one on one work with a coach, or some individualized accessory programming to do on the side of the regular class program, or maybe you’ll realize you need to do one of the above better.

We are dedicated to each of you and your progress and want to see you become the best you can be, and attain any individual goals.  We are all here to help you on your journey, and know we have the best program for you to attain the goals you want to attain, and do it in a safe and effective manner, so that you can have lifelong fitness!

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