Answers To Your Questions

Thanks for reading this week’s blog/newsletter. I wanted to write this blog to all who read but specifically to our Breakaway Family Members. Recently, you were given the opportunity to take a survey that asked a few questions including “What could we be doing better at Breakaway” and “What should we be doing more of?”. You see, one of our core values here at Breakaway is “Constant Progress”. Whether as a staff member or client member, we base our business on being able to help people constantly progress towards their goals. We don’t strive for perfection but we do strive for progress. Because of this, we send these surveys out 2-3 times per year to gain the most valuable feedback we can get. Anonymous feedback!

We got some really great feedback from this round of surveys. When I say great feedback, I mean info that we needed to get. Not just people telling us how much they love us. Well, maybe there was a little of that (my wife did fill out a survey after all, at least she told me she did haha). So, without anymore delay, I’d like to begin letting you know some things that are on the way and ways that we can address the feedback and continue to make Breakaway the greatest place it can be for the families of Hampstead/Holly Ridge/Surf City/Scotts Hill/Ogden Area.

I’d like start with a little bit of the “Why” behind what we do with training. Our weekly schedule includes “Strength For The Everyday Athlete” on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday we offer “Metabolic Conditioning”. To put it simply, we focus on building strength and/or toning on MWF and improving cardiovascular fitness on TTH and SAT. We make sure FUN is a part of every day! Our schedule is in place for logistical reasons but also because this is an ideal arrangement to maximize the results most of our Breakaway Family members are looking for which are “ Lose weight or lose fat and gain muscle.

The strength training, true strength training which requires us to lift something 6-12 reps at a difficulty where the last 2 to 3 reps are very challenging, is what is required to build muscle. Well, that and eating well which can be another blog. Building muscle has MASSIVE implications on fat loss and overall quality of life. The more muscle mass we have, the more calories we burn at rest. This means that if your goal is to lose fat, look good, and feel good, YOU NEED TO LIFT WEIGHTS. If you want to lose fat and keep it off, YOU NEED TO LIFT WEIGHTS.

Now, will lifting weights in this manner make you “bulky”? As a woman, most times no. It’s quite dependent on your genetics and dialing in your nutrition. For most women, strength training is what will help you get that “toned” look that you are looking for. Again, proper nutrition is a must here. Gentlemen, it’s pretty much the same story to you however you will tend to bulk up a bit more due to higher levels of testosterone.

We also need a minimum of 30 mins of cardio daily just to hold off disease. Not to lose weight, but to hold off disease, because of this, we offer high intensity finishers that are cardio intensive with each strength training workout that are intense enough to work but short enough to not interrupt the process of building that lean muscle or tone that everyone is looking for. Research has shown that in order to effectively lose weight and maintain that weight loss, a minimum of 60 mins daily is needed.

We also offer the Metabolic Conditioning on TTH and Sat. With these intense “cardio with weights” type of sessions, not only does your heart benefit but you burn a ton of calories while doing this. Now, I know this sounds awesome and it is but, this type of training won’t contribute to overall muscle building like the MWF sessions will.

Our goal with this schedule is to make Breakaway a regular part of your daily routine. Since research has shown us that it takes daily efforts to be the best version of yourself, we wanted to offer a schedule which accommodates that. With this type of schedule you can gain lean muscle, lose fat, and feel at the top of your game.

Our approach is performance based. What the heck does that mean?? We create programming to help you reach your goals and then maintain that progress and refine your skills as you progress. Many folks reach their goals and then have a “now what?” type of feeling. To maintain the results most want, as mentioned, it takes a daily effort of about an hour or so each day. There is another piece to this puzzle that most don’t realize. Many are under the impression that showing and doing the work is enough to reach your goals and/or maintain that progress. Often times, at least for a 4 to 6 week period it is. Once we move beyond this 4 to 6 week period, the body tends to adapt to the stimulus that is placed upon it and it no longer changes. Traditionally, most focus their efforts and attention on what muscle is working in a given movement and/or has it gotten bigger (toned) or stronger. With our now more advanced understanding of the muscular system and the neurological system or neuromuscular system, we know that improvements in strength, being more toned, or improving performance can ONLY take place when there are neurological improvements. What does this mean?? Look at it this way, the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is the gatekeeper to results. It is there to hold us back when we need to be held back for safety reasons and it is there to help us perform our best when needed. In order for us to maximize a given workout, whether for fat loss or strength/muscle tone gains we have some consistency to our program so that our central nervous system can have time to learn the movements.

For example, when performing certain core exercises, the brain will activate muscles based on previous experience. The same goes for squats, deadlifts, and more complex movements like cleans as well. If we don’t give our CNS enough time to practice these movements, it’s possible that the pattern or habit formed when performing that movement could be incorrect or even unsafe. When this happens, we can’t maximize the effectiveness of a movement and the likelihood of injury from constant reinforcement of a poor movement pattern is much higher. The CNS continues to learn and refine most movements and exercises for a 4 to 6 week period and then hits a plateau if the exact same movements are continued beyond that without any changes.

What does all this mean?? It means that we need consistency to become better at movements. About 4 to 6 weeks of consistency. Why do we want to become better at movements? To develop safe patterns that are effective. Define “effective”. Effective means that it helps you reach your personal goals which for most at Breakaway are to lose fat and gain lean muscle. If we gave you a different workout every single day, or a different strength program every single week without some consistency, you constantly have to focus your efforts on learning new stuff. If you spend all of your time doing new stuff you can’t “go hard” or work as hard as you need to achieve results, at least not safely.

Because of this, we program our strength training in 4 week blocks. Our Breakaway Family members recently let us know that they’d like more variety on MWF sessions. Based on the information I have presented above, I hope you can now see the importance in maintaining some resemblance of consistency in your training from week to week. At least in 4 week blocks. If we change it up every single time, the effectiveness and the likelihood of you reaching your goals goes down substantially.

So moving forward, we will begin using an 8 week training phase method. Don’t worry, we won’t be doing the same thing for 8 weeks straight. The opposite in fact. We will do something different each week. We will actually have 2 4 week phases taking place on a bi-weekly basis. So, Weeks 1,3,5, and 7 will have the same movements, but will be progressing through reps and weights lifted as well as other aspects like drop sets and other “plateau busters” such as that. Weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8 will be different from the other 4 weeks but will make sure not to interrupt the process that we need to maximize your results through movement.

One thing that differentiates us from your standard boot camp, group exercise class, or some Crossfit facilities is that we have structured and planned programming in place. We attempt to personalize each individual’s experience as much as we can from a training perspective. Meaning that you are actually able to track progress so that we can continue to improve over time. We change it up at the right time to make sure you do not plateau.

I think in the past, as one of your coaches, I’ve not done the best job of offering an outlet to track your progress and to communicate what you should be doing in a session to continue improving. With our new app/software program “Train Heroic” we can do this! We can track how many reps you do or how much weight you lift in any given session for any given exercise! If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, please do so.

So, just to recap, you asked for more variety in the Monday, Wednesday, Friday sessions and we heard you loud and clear. We will be adding more variety on a week to week basis but maintain enough consistency to allow you to become better at the prescribed exercises so that we can maximize the results you gain from those exercises.

Please let us know if you have any questions at all!