What to Expect – A Typical Group Class

{This particular posting seems to read better on a tablet or computer – phone may be tough to read…}

Today I’d like to answer a question that we get asked often –

“What does a typical class look like?”

This can be a bit of a loaded question though as almost no 2 days look the same.

But what I will do today is to take an actual workout from the Penance Achieve Class – this is our main gym workouts – and break it down.

This is a screenshot from the app that we use to deliver workouts to our members and where members can log their results, allowing them to prepare for the workouts as well as track progress over time.

You’ll notice that we give a bit of a breakdown for the day’s work, and the intended purpose before members are even inside the gym.

It is not listed but classes always start with a warm up designed to not only meet the needs of the given day, but also to help with the recovery from days previous. Afterward the coach will gather everyone to go over the given day’s workload.

This particular day starts with a dedicated STRENGTH portion, which means the athletes will have plenty of time to rest between efforts in order to truly focus on building (or even testing) their strength. Roughly 70% of our training days are set up this way, working with 1 or 2 of the primary movement patterns or categories (Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge, or Core).

Today is Pull – and as it reads in the notes we are working on pulling from overhead. For some this will be Pull Ups – for most it will a progression toward pull ups where the feet remain on the floor or pulling a sled across the floor using a rope. For a small number of individuals – that have built the requisite strength – this could involve climbing Peg Boards (a classic gym class exercise that has been revitalized in recent years!).

After our strength portion is completed, we regather to discuss the workout (the faster paced portion of the class). We have 3 different categories for our workouts (each with their own intentions), today is POWER!

The intentions of power workouts are to move weight fast, and more specifically to move challenging or heavy weight fast.

I must point out that you do not see a “prescribed weight” for the workout and this is intentional as what is considered challenging or heavy for one individual in a group could be very different than their peers. This is a critical point to training at Penance Gym as our training is meant to be driven by intrinsic competition.

Always striving to be better than you were yesterday, NOT better than the person standing next to you in the class!

For today we are working with a single dumbbell for 2 exercises, Snatches and a Row while holding a plank position. Working for only 1 minute before resting the same amount of time. Keeping the work to rest times equal is extremely common for our POWER workouts as the rest time is needed if working with challenging weight.

A member with less-experience or a smaller strength base might be working with a 10 – 20 pound dumbbell and might elevate themselves on the Plank Row to make it a bit easier to hold a good plank position. Whereas a stronger member that is comfortable with both movements might use upwards of a 50 – 75 pound dumbbell.

Either way, the piece of utmost importance to us is that each member gets the workout that is appropriate to their goals and experience.

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