**Programming News**

**Programming News**

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 session.  

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 loading 3x/week.  

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.  

Specific Goals

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).

Monday

Metcon

Strength &/or Heavy Oly

Tuesday

Metcon

Skills

Wednesday - “Weightlifting Wednesdays”

Mobility & Stability

Strength

Pull-up progression

Thursday

Metcon

Oly Techniqe

Friday

Metcon

Skills

Saturday

Metcon

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!

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