Starting this past Monday
you might have noticed some changes in our programming. If you have, congrats, you are paying
attention. If you haven’t, no big deal,
we are going to tell you about it, show you what we are doing and lead you
through it. These changes make up an
eight week cycle intented to target specific strengths/weaknesses, skills and movements while
still pursuing general fitness as our overarching goal. Once we complete this cycle we will reexamine it and decide
if we want to continue or modify it or change our approach altogether.
While individual elements
of the cycle come from various sources the general structure and majority of the
content are borrowed from Ben Bergeron, owner and head coach of CrossFit New England. Following are some of the basic themes that
drive the programming for this cycle.
Conditioning – CrossFit’s broad definition of fitness is work
capacity. Do you have the conditioning and stamina to move quickly
regardless how light or heavy the task is, and regardless of how long the effort
may take? You can do 10-20 Front Squats
at 225#? Great, but what about when you need
to do the same 225# for multiple reps. with your heart rate at 190? We will live the majority of our CrossFit life in couplets and triplets. Throw
in an occasional chipper and single modality (run, row, swim(?)) and you are
fitter than 90% of comrades.
Strength – CrossFit and
life rewards strong people. Assuming you
have the necessary conditioning and skills the stronger you are the better you
off you will be.
Olympic Lifts - We will be hitting variations of the Snatch and Clean
and Jerk 2x/week - one heavier session and a lighter, technique
Squat – NEWS FLASH!!! You NEED to
be squatting. Everyone benefits from getting stronger and there is
no movement with greater bang for the buck than the barbell
squat. We will be doing a squat variation, from heavy to moderate
Skills - Work
capacity and strength are certainly vital pieces to success, but it doesn’t
matter how strong you are, how well conditioned you are, or how many
burpees and kettlebell swings you can do, if you can’t do the higher skill
stuff you are eventually going to stall in your progress and fitness.
Gymnastics – We plan two gymnastics
sessions every week. One to benchmark, test and train our bodyweight
movements and a second session to develop skills, balance and strength.
Mobility & Stability - Will help you
move efficiently and train with greater volume but is probably the most overlooked
of the 10 components of fitness. Mobility (think lacrosse balls, foam
rollers, etc.) is great, but we also don’t want to overlook the benefits of
increasing range of motion from traditional stretching.
Training vs. Practice
It is important to understand what your limiting factors (i.e. weaknesses) are
and how best to improve them. The regimen used to improve highly
neurological movements like double unders, muscle ups and butterfly pull ups
are very different from the highly organic movements like dead lifts, thrusters
and strict pull ups.
The most efficient
way to train for neurological adaptations (agility, balance, coordination and
accuracy) is through “practice”. Practice implies working skills, timing,
and movement patterns. Practice shouldn’t be done at max muscular or cardiovascular
efforts. Practice is best performed with lower hear rates, lower weights,
and controlled environments.
The most effective
way to train for organic adaptations (cardio vascular endurance, strength,
stamina and flexibility) is through “training.” Training implies working hard
with high heart rates, heavier loads and maximizing intensity.
It is important to
distinguish the limiting factor of a given movement and use the limiting factor
to determine the best training approach.
We have three major objectives during this cycle: 1) Increase overhead strength. Specifically,
we are going to develop as many people as possible to be able to do unassisted
pull-ups by the end of the cycle. The strength
and skill required for this movement is valuable by itself and absolutely necessary
for more sophisticated movements. Plus
it will give you a great looking back and shoulder (let’s be honest, the real
reason you Crossfit); 2) Develop double
unders. We have done a lot of jump
rope, especially this past winter, and you know how it benefits your cardiovascular
conditioning. Double unders do the same
thing in ¼ the time. They also help your
speed, coordination, accuracy and agility i.e. four of the ten general physical
skills defining fitness). The ability to
do double unders dramatically changes the nature of most WODs; 3) Improve Olympic lifting technique. Why Olympic lifting? Because…“The missing link in so much
mainstream fitness programming, from bodybuilding to monostructural endeavors,
is the neuromuscular piece—in particular, the development of coordination,
accuracy, agility, and balance. We can sum these elements up as “technique.”
Omitting them from one’s training necessarily results in only partial fitness,
partial expression of one’s genetic potential, and a decreased threshold of
maximal capacity. To increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains
(the goal of CrossFit), technique is the crucial connection—whether your goal
is to win the game, protect your life, complete the mission, or just be fit for
the demands of everyday life at any age.”—Greg Glassman (CrossFit founder)
Schedule – Our
general schedule over the next eight weeks will look similar week to week to
reflect our general priorities and specific focus. However, daily workouts will still be varied
and unknown until the day before (you thought I was going to ruin all the fun
and give you the workouts ahead of time).
Strength &/or Heavy Oly
Wednesday - “Weightlifting Wednesdays”
Mobility & Stability
We will do our part
to give you our best efforts at programming and coaching, please do your part
by committing to at least three days per week, recording your
efforts and results and an open mind to new challenges.
Ready to get after
it? Let’s make it a great summer!
Posted on Wed, June 11, 2014
by Mark Putnam