The Breakdown Interview, transcribed by Kay Rivera.

It is coming.

The first annual Tone House Lift Off is taking place December 10th, providing our athletes an opportunity to test their strength during two events per lift: the one rep max and the endurance rep test.

The Lift Off is the perfect environment for athletes to cheer on their teammates and to test their own lifts, in a fun, encouraging setting. The excitement and team spirit in the room will pump up your adrenaline, allowing you to hit those max lifts and push through that endurance wall, and hopefully hit a few PRs!

On this month’s IG Live of The Breakdown, Coach Natalia speaks with Coach Alonzo and Coach James about all things Lift Off, and what athletes can expect in their training and during the competition.

Inquiring minds want to know – why did we decide to create this separate Strength competition?  How does it differ specifically from our infamous Spring/Summer competition, Turf Wars?  

Alonzo – “The lifting concept is something that we planned to do for years at the House. We’ve been lifting in this space for over a year so we decided to go ahead and give them a competition similar to Turf Wars, which gives our lifters an opportunity to showcase their talents.

Just like Turf Wars, which brings an essence of collegiate and professional sports competition, the Lift Off brings [the lifting] component that people don’t get a chance to see unless you played on a team. It also gives our community an opportunity to see what it’s like to compete in different types of lifting tournaments.

You are also cheering on your teammates. Trust me, whatever your max is in your normal gym or at home, when you go to the Lift Off, it will be a lot more because of the energy and the uniqueness of how we transform space. It is going to be a lot of fun.”

How does Lift Off differ slightly from traditional weight lifting comps – what sort of Tone House spin did we put on it?

Alonzo – “One type of [strength] test is the combine. When you go to a combine you have different types of drills, shuttle runs, etc. One thing that’s very exciting at the combine is the bench press test. That’s something that at powerlifting meets they don’t usually do. Usually at a powerlifting meet you have three opportunities to lift your heaviest weight, or your one rep max. And we will do that at the Lift Off. But what we will also do is test muscle endurance, which is how many reps can you do at a set weight in a specific amount of time.”

Who can participate in the Lift Off? Is it only for Tone House athletes, is it open to anyone, or do you have to have been strength training for a certain period of time?   

James – “So the great thing about this competition is everybody can join in. Like we said, we’re combining the Powerlifting World with the one rep max for each lift, and then we will test your endurance. That’s a lighter weight, more reps. So if you have muscle endurance, but you’re not as strong, you still have a chance to win that event.

This is also an opportunity to test yourself. If I’m doing a marathon, I’m not planning to win the marathon. Am I going to work hard at the marathon? Do I want to know my pace for that full marathon? Yes. So with the Lift Off, you go in to test what your one rep max is. I can test how many reps can I do with 225 lb. And that’s the great thing about the competition; not only are you competing with your teammates, but you’re competing with yourself to see all the hard work that you put in.”

For those athletes who are a bit hesitant, intimidated, or uninformed, this competition really isn’t about ‘winning,’ correct?  How are we encouraging athletes / competitors to approach the Lift Off from a psychological or emotional perspective?   

James – “I can only speak from my experience in terms of joining in competitions, and I truly get psyched to do something that everybody is not doing every day. Being able to go into a competition, it is a lot of fun. You get nervous, you get the butterflies. But once you pick up that weight, it goes away.

You get excited, you have fun and you enjoy the team and the camaraderie. Just like Turf Wars, we have fun. It’s all about having fun, challenging yourself, and see where you’re at in your training.”

Speaking of the max versus endurance, can you elaborate a little bit on that in terms of the performance analysis and the time lapse between those two tests?

Alonzo – “It’s going to be similar to the way you would do in in your class format. We will all go to complete the one rep, then the next person, then the next. Once everyone completes their three tries for a one rep max, then we will go into the endurance rep test. You will be fully recovered between the two tests, don’t worry.”

What are the general training program recommendations to prepare for the Lift Off?

James – “You have already been prepping, you’ve been taking class. You have been doing the pulse reps, pause reps, endurance reps. This is why we start the month with 20 reps. It is all in preparation for this competition. You are already there and we want clients to know that you can do the competition tomorrow because you’ve been training like this all along.”

Alonzo – “Even if you haven’t been coming in for class, you have the next couple months to prepare. For me personally I would focus on the lifts that I need some help in right now. For example, I am coming off a shoulder injury, so I would go in on Tuesdays to get my bench press back up.

There is no wondering what the main lift will be which day; Monday will be back squats, Tuesday will be bench press, and Thursday will be deadlifts. This will be the weekly format of our Strength classes over the next 3 months, so athletes can mentally and physically prepare for the Lift Off in December.”

Interested in competing in the Lift Off? You still have time to register and to learn more of the events and weight classes.

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