Categorized as: Programming

Programming at CrossFit London – October 2017

Starting next week, you’ll be seeing some changes in the CrossFit Level 2 programming. Don’t worry, there isn’t going to be a radical overhaul; we’re just simplifying and returning to the basics.  We are doing this because CFL offers a wide range of specialty classes. These speciality classes can be organized into three main categories: weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. We offer some hybrid classes, too, such as Competition Focus, Benchmarks, and Heavy MetCon, but in general, they all focus on one of these three domains. So where does this leave our CrossFit Level 2 class?

 

The main focus of the CrossFit Level 2 class at CFL is general physical preparedness (GPP). The class is intended to be the basis of your training, giving you the opportunity to then specialise based on interest, training needs, or sport specific training. Therefore, our intention in each and every class is for you to learn a cool skill, build your strength, and have a hard, yet fun, WOD.

 

CrossFit separates itself from other high intensity training methodologies in that it requires skill acquisition. If you are just starting CrossFit at CFL, we will automatically direct you to our CrossFit Level 2 class, which will help you to acquire the necessary skills and strength as you develop your metabolic conditioning. After several months, you may find that you need to go on a strength programme or improve your Olympic Lifting to increase your performance in the main class. In these cases we would direct you to our specialty Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, or Heavy Metal classes, which follow periodised strength programmes. Alternately, you may find that your gymnastic strength or skills lag behind your weightlifting ability, in which case, we’d direct you to our large array of gymnastic classes. What separates us from other gyms is that you have the freedom to tailor your training to your specific interests and needs.

 

CrossFit Pyramid

 

Therefore, we have come up with the WEEKLY blueprint below for our CrossFit Level 2 classes:

 

Strength/Skills:
2x Gymnastics skills/strength/complex
2x Olympic lifting strength/complex/technique
2x Barbell Strength
Other day will be taken up by longer WOD

 

WODs:
1x Benchmark (rotated on schedule)
1x Longer WOD
A good variation of AMRAPs, EMOMs, for time, for reps/intervals, for quality etc.
1x Partner WOD
Variation in time domains, rep schemes and weights
Not have more than 2-3x repeat movements unless for a specific reason

 

Rest Days:
Rest days are crucial in allowing you to recover, make gains, and avoid injury. As a gym, we encourage you to take rest days as you need. As we are based in London, with many busy clients working off their own schedules, we run a rolling programme with no rest days. This means that it’s up to you to plan out your training. We have endeavoured to randomise the programme such that, for example, if your schedule requires that you can only train every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you’ll be getting a diverse array of movements and WODs. Every Monday, therefore, will not be a squat day or a “long WOD day.” As ever, all our coaches are at hand to help you structure your training and rest based on your goals.

 

RX/Scaled: What does this mean?
RX is a term used by doctors in the US to prescribe medicine. In CrossFit, it means the athlete performs all modalities using the prescribed weight and reps. In practice, the RX weights or reps are what we expect our top athletes to be able to perform. Depending on your sporting background, it could take a year, two, or longer to reach this level. We will also provide a “scaled” guideline. These weights are a benchmark for athletes who have the basic skills, technique, and strength to complete WODs efficiently and safely. Depending on each athlete, it could take somewhere between 0-6 months to reach the scaled weights/reps/movements. You may find yourself stuck between Scaled and RX in some WODs and this is perfectly fine. The more you train and discover your athletic capabilities, the sooner you will find where you lie. Our coaches are on hand in every class to help guide you in this process.

 

It goes without saying that the above follows a common sense policy. You may find that not all the above criteria are met, and that could be due to many different variables and factors. For example, in the run-up to The Open we might have Open-specific training, and then other months we may have little challenges to keep everyone on their toes. So be on the lookout for these developments! Keep in mind, if you attend our CrossFit Level 2 class consistently, you will increase your work capacity across broad time and modal domains.

 

Coach Nick

Back Squat Regime August to October.

Those of you who keep your ears to the ground will know that  I’ve  been taking various soundings from some trainers, therapists, physio’s, and clients about our forth coming back squat regime.
Everyone recognises the value of the back squat, even though it isn’t one of the CrossFit fundamental moves.
I originally thought of  a squat phase  in terms of  promoting our Olympic weightlifting work, having debated the issue with an Olympic weightlifting coach who suggested a  snatch/back squat relationship (snatch =60% of 1 rep max) but it is obviously part of the puzzle as far as the front squat, wall ball, thrusters, cleans etc goes.
Obviously, we all know correlation does not prove causation.
What we do know is that strength , if combined with Crossfit WOD capacity, is a winning formula
The issue, as far as I see,  is about the sets and reps over the next few weeks. I have spoken to some of our long standing members, especially those who lift regularly and who counsel staying in the 5 -2 range or 70%-95%. I’ve also spoken to some trainers about their experience of using %  in class which has been, in level 2,  overwhelmingly negative. Never the less some love percentages and everyone should learn about them
So in outline,  we will be doing  this:
On the No shoulder sessions, normally meaning twice a week, for the next 2 months (or so) we will set the back squat as a regular feature. Obviously with an amazing Wod to follow.
The coaches will have:
A)  the opportunity of designing hip activating warm ups and rest fillers, using whatever their views are: They may use stretching,  hip thrusts, 1 leg work, kettlebell swings: as they feel appropriate.
I’ve seen science and therapy reports justifying every approach. Even visualizing helps!
B)  the gift of setting sets between  8 and 3  sets. It will be their choice. I’d personally go 5 to 3 sets of 5’s   5 sets of 3, and 6 sets of 2, but the coaches can expand or contract the session as they feel appropriate.
c) The opportunity to educate the members on % and use % if they feel it’s useful for the clients in front of them.  In general, it’s useful making the %/ rep connection,
To make it clear, whatever you use ( a 5 or an 80% 0r 85%) you’ll be encouraged to sneak on a bit extra, or a “thin mint” if you, can on that day.

 Equally, you’ll be allowed to drift down if that day isn’t working for you and you feel you’ll explode if you add any more
d)  the freedom to  add pauses if  the coach feels the clients in front of them  would benefit from  this
so.
Starting next week, it will look like this
week 1
Back squat 3’s ( I would start at 5’s but we have had quite a lot of that  recently)
Week 2
Back squat 2’s.  On the second day, after the 2’s you’ll strip weight down  to 70% and do one set of the 20 rep protocol
week 3
Back squat 5’s
repeat
We may repeat this 3 times then retest the total.
As an aside, Deadlifts will appear in the WoD, Ideally once a week.
(NB: Dedicated regimes, where people “buy in and buy out” normally have a de-load week. I’d suggest most clients randomly take weeks off anyway,  but we will be advising a self-administered week off or  “lite” week every 10 weeks or )

What’s level 3 about?

crossfit level 3

One of the weird classes we run is  Off peak level 3. It requires no special skills to join as its an “output” class.

As an output class it focuses on your ability to  develop barbell and skill cycle whilst introducing the ability to do 2 wods.

To achieve this you simply need more time.

Snatching and the Olympic lifts really respond well to leisurely deliberate practice. The off peak 2-hour level 3 classes allow this.  Work, rest reflect: get quality practice. Often we olympic lift  for 45 minutes. After this, we work on “those skills”.  Everything from muscle up to handstand push up. From your 1st one to 5 in a row

To compete and excel you need to be able to cycle these skills( or, do more than one) Level 3 gives you the time to rest and repeat. It’s crucial. Then it’s on to 2 Wods.

 

We need to start to develop your ability to “back to back” workouts, even if your second wod is just having a gentle row. It’s as much about building mental capacity as physical.

Any level 2 person can go. The coaching is under your control. You can get lots of coaching help, or be left on your own. You can even switch skills and Woods.

It’s really 2 hours of fun practice with you in charge, but with help, if you want it.

For some, it’s useful that it’s a 2-hour session for the price of a normal class.

Well, its every Monday, Wednesday,  Friday 9 am to 11 am with access to every bit of kit!