When Cut Seven first launched, the goal of each class was simple: Never allow an athlete to plateau.
Nearly five years later, we’ve done everything in our power to accomplish that. By alternating muscle groups, inventing new exercises, and continuously tweaking the programming, we build a workout your body can never predict. And when it can’t predict, it also can’t adapt — thereby preventing the dreaded halt in your progress.
But there was one missing element to our plan: tracking. The Strength Series was the first time we ever set a baseline, and measured athletes’ progress against that baseline week after week. As a result, even Cut veterans saw unexpected jumps in strength gains, all because they tracked their progress.
Which is why we’re bringing the Cut Combine to each of you.
The Cut Combine is meant to provide a baseline to which all Cut Seven classes are measured. By testing what your body is capable of, you create a barometer by which you can gauge every movement. In that way, you have the tools and tracking you need to put intention behind every.single.class.
Purpose: The Combine is Your Baseline to Measure Progress
The Cut Combine is a one-day event designed to test your strength, speed, agility, and power (i.e. all components of the Cut Seven programming). You will be tested across seven different movements, then utilize your own results within a regular Cut class. The Cut Combine will occur several times per year, thereby tracking your progress over time.
Will the Cut Combine test every single move used at Cut? Of course not. But using seven moves as a baseline makes it easier to provide instruction in class. For example, if you perform a chest fly (a move we won’t be testing) in class, your coach can say, “Grab a set of dumbbells 10 lbs lighter than what you chest press,” (a move we will be testing).
The Cut Combine tests 14 people per timeslot, with all results shared with the Cut coaches. Here’s why: It’s our job to push you. If we witness you chest-pressing 40 lb dumbbells at the Combine, only to watch you grab a pair of 25s in class, we know you aren’t pushing yourself as an athlete. And this could be due to a multitude of reasons — overtraining, a bad day at work, or an injury you just can’t shake. Whatever the issue, the Cut Combine gives us the information we need to pinpoint the problem, so we can continue to progress you as an athlete.
Because that’s what the Cut Combine provides: information. It gives you information on which weights to grab in class, information on what your body is truly capable of, and information on how you achieve results over time — results that, to us, are far more important than pounds lost or calories burned.
Components: Test Your Strength, Power, Speed, and Agility — All Components Used in Class
The Cut Combine tests you across seven different exercises, including:
- Chest press
- Pull-up (yes, bands are allowed)
- Hamstring curls
- Bike max wattage
- 3-cone agility drill
- 300 yard shuttle
- Sled push
For each exercise, you’ll conduct a warm-up followed by two sets. As in, you get precisely two shots to prove exactly what you can do within each exercise. So, our advice is to aim high and surprise yourself. Don’t choose a lighter pair of weights or pace yourself in the shuttle, only to leave knowing you had more left to give.
With that being said, we need to make one disclaimer perfectly clear: We have zero interest in what you can do with shitty form. We’re following Olympic Committee rules: In order for the rep to count, you must do the rep correctly. Captains, coaches, and other Cut staff will be onsite to count reps, and they’re instructed to call a scratch for anything outside a full rep.
Here’s why: Yes, it’s important to get strong, but it’s far more important to get strong the right way. Picking up the right weights and performing exercises correctly at the Combine gets you in the mindset to perform exercises correctly in class.
With that being said, when you truly give 100%, your last rep might not be pretty. That’s ok. Muscle failure is not failing — it just means you found your limit. This is the limit we hope to push a bit further way over the course of your training.
Preparation: Going in Fatigued Doesn’t Offer Usable Data — Rest Up Before the Event
If you remember nothing else from this blog post, remember this: Approach the Cut Combine like a competition. This event is meant to be the “control group” in the ultimate experiment against yourself — just how far can you push your body when you’re rested, ready, and focused?
Would any professional athlete go on a run, hit the weight room, or take a fitness class before a competition? No! They would do everything in their power to ensure they are mentally and physically prepared come game day.
Here’s what that means for you: Hydrate. Go to bed early. Don’t get wrecked the night before. Don’t eat foods that upset your stomach 12 hours before your scheduled time slot. And for the love of everything that is good, do not do any other workouts prior to the Combine.
If you can’t find it in yourself to forgo additional workouts for one day, this probably isn’t for you. And that’s fine. But since space is limited, we are asking our community to leave spaces available to those who truly want to measure their progress. Going into the Cut Combine while fatigued does not give you usable data in which you can track future progress — that’s what regular classes are for.
Participation: Cheer on Your Teammates and Support Your Community
Can you come to the combine even if you’re not participating? By all means, yes.
Even if you have zero desire to participate, we invite each of you to come, hang out, and cheer on your teammates (after all, each of us knows we work harder with our teammates screaming next to us).
We’ll have cornhole set up at 1101 Rhode Island, food provided by Vegetable + Butcher, and swag bags and beverages handed out. Plus, we invite each of you to donate to support the younger generation in DC by bringing your old laptops or offer a cash donation at the links below:
Hope to see you there!
- What: Cut Combine (Book here)
- When: Sunday, June 27th. Time slots start at 9:30 a.m.
- Where: 1101 Rhode Island and Garrison Soccer Field
- Who: Cut Athletes, tested in 14-person groups
- Why: To provide a baseline to track your progress
- How: Testing 7 exercises across strength, speed, power, and agility