Programming is about sequencing exercises so they meet an objective, but also to manipulate fatigue and reduce the risk of injury. The following outlines some of our short term and medium goals and some of the programming structure we will use to deliver you the fitness you want. This is less about whats actually in a class, more as to how it arrives there.
Objectives for June
1)We want to put pacing runs on your agenda By the end of June, you need to know what your 400m pace and time is, and commit to run it consistently. A 400m in a WOD is no longer a staggered recovery run, it’s a paced piece of in-control work. As the months roll by we will be developing our pacing and aerobic capacity, so be prepared to record times, use heart rate monitors, and focus on those runs. Long term, we have decided that we would like most clients to run 1600 meters in 6 minutes (means 400m in 90 seconds, 800m in 180 seconds, 200m in 45 seconds, 100m in 23 seconds.)
2) Underpinning leg strength is crucial. In June your task will be to discover and consolidate a 5 rep deadlift, back and front squat. We don’t want people lifting emotionally and screaming reps up, as much fun as it is. For June we want calm, effective consistent work. Once you know and own this figure, we will be adding a lot of variance. June is consistent, solid, good quality work. Anthony is in the wings preparing to add fantastic variation to our strength work from the end of June. Don’t let him down. When our coaches try and tailor strength components for you, they will need to know how many times you can lift a bar effectively 5 times. For some, this will be the same as a 5 rep max, for others as the time allowed may only be 10 or 15 minutes, its the best 5 you can do in the time allocated
We will ask you to do work on your pistol (1-legged squat) and you’ll be learning the balance and technique of the Bulgarian squat.
3) Underpinning arm strength in Crossfit training is crucial. Once you have your pull up and dips, weighted versions, combined with shooting for max unweighted reps, will prepare you for most WODs and most moves. They are foundational for handstand push-ups and the muscle up. We have tricks, and controlled negatives for those still developing arm strength.
4) Skills. Like it or not, CrossFit demands you learn certain skills. You must know how to kip (both pull ups and T2B), you must double-under and pistol. Our experience (as the first ever CrossFit affiliate in the UK) shows us that short, regular, quick practice is the key to achieving these skills. Obviously we have our skill classes to consolidate practice and mastery. I think we are about to develop a 1.9/1.10 as part of our beginner process to deal with kipping, double-under, pistol and muscle up progressions. This is under discussion
6) The programme for the next few months is structured around achieving good performances in 4 benchmark workouts. Spaced, about 3 to 4 weeks apart. The 4 are:
Fran, Elizabeth, 30 muscle ups for time, Fight Gone Bad.
In the weeks running up to these workouts we will experiment and develop the specific components. As an overview, if you take a move, say thrusters you need to do them a) lighter for volume b) your Fran weight, for volume, c) Dumbell versions, d) a Tabata test, e) heavier thrusters.
Crucially you need a strategy. Are you using one now e.g. do you break thrusters (whatever) into sets of 7, 5 and 3 with rest. Tim tells me one of the fire breathers can do 36 in a row!
After much consultation, with more to follow, we hear that those who want to follow a structured programme want 1 clear day’s rest between working shoulders, and no more than 2 consecutive days in a row working squats. Indeed, those with poor shoulder have begged for a no shoulder day!
We will produced a matrix that consists of 4 rotating days
All elements (blue)
No shoulder (pink)
No squats (green)
Off programme (yellow)
For those wanting a “programme” The 3 day on / 1 day off the programme mirrors the original, and still current, CrossFit prescription.
Using this as a structure you find that, as far as our basic strength prescription goes:
Blue day (all elements) will always have an Olympic lift. Alternating between the snatch and clean and jerk.
Pink days ( No shoulder)will alternate between back squat + deadlift, and front squat + Bulgarian split
Green days: (No Squat) Overhead pressing (press, push press, push jerk)
Yellow: Off-programme, anything goes ( or catch up if there is space)
To further explore this ideas,
Blue day (all elements) will also seek to develop your kip ability
Pink day (no shoulder) your pistol and double-unders
Green day ( no squats) your handstand ability ( everything from lying on the floor in a dish shape mobilising wrists, modest wall walks to kicking up, handstand push ups and handstand walking drills)
Yellow day: Off programme, rest day for those committing to the 3 day programme, “wild card” for everyone else, a great WOD, some unusual strength, fascinating skills and using those bits of kit unique to the gym space you are in
To further explore this:
Blue day (all elements) will also strengthen your pull-ups: think, as a starting point, weighted pull ups, 3,3,3,3,3. Green days ( no squats) will include weighted dips 3,3, 3, 3, 3 ( these will soon vary and include max effort unweighted attempts You know you need to slice through 50 pulls ups/dips to get a great workout. This regime gets you there.
To make it clear, each day, including Off Programme day, has a fantastic session with some skill, some strength and a great WOD. You can come as and when you like. This simply gives us a programming structure for those who want it . If you simply come 1, 2 or 3 times a week , there will be a great session waiting for you.