Build to a HS in 15 minutes
2×2 at 80% of the HS
B: CLEAN & JERK
Build to a HS in 15 minutes
2×2 at 80% of the HS
Fair Share – CompTrain
Team of 3 with 30min Cap
200m Run – Relay
100 Power Snatches 35/25
200m Run – Relay
100 x Box Jump Overs
200m Run – Relay
100 x Thrusters 43/30
What better way to return to a normal schedule in the new year than with some baseline testing? For many of you who’ve been with us for a long time it will almost feel like starting all over again–unfamiliar workouts, a surprise everyday, and a healthy dose of nervousness! We use fitness testing to evaluate the safety, effectiveness and efficacy of our methods, and as an opportunity for you to measure changes in your health and fitness. So if it feels like your December holidays are hurting more than they should during this week of training, don’t sweat it. You’re going to have an opportunity to redo these tests in 3 months 😉
Remember, we use testing days to evaluate your fitness. While the approach to the session is very much the same, the intention is specifically to test. Whereas the intent on training days is to develop your fitness.
Similarly, there’s a difference between doing and practising. On some days or in some parts of workouts we’re working towards increasing your work capacity. Those are doing days and pieces–you either have the ability to perform the movements as written, or some smart modifications are necessary to ensure that you are training effectively. On other days and pieces we dial the intensity right down to practise–learn a new skill, improve an existing skill, or simply allow for active recovery.
Your coaches will always explain the intent and purpose of the workout, but remember that unless you’re proficient at a movement, modify the workout to ensure you’re doing and training. And when practise or technique days come up, work on your ninja skills!
This week’s testing will give an insight into what sort of training you can expect in the coming training block.
The focus of the first block of the year will be to develop endurance and stamina while improving your speed and skill level. Endurance and stamina sort of go together to build what we refer to as your engine. A big engine means that you’ve got the ability to go far, get there quickly, and handle heavy loads along the way while maintaining good positions.
Speed is your ability to reduce the time cycle of a repeated movement, and you need good skill levels for that. This all follows on from the last cycle, and will get you nicely prepared for the Open!
So “gassy” metcons, learning how to cycle a barbell, and gymnastics practise. All of which go towards shedding those excess kilos you gained over the holidays, IF you’re sorting out your nutrition 😉
As we have been doing, there will be four training blocks in a year. Two of 13 weeks and two of 12. While we have previously used CrossFit’s benchmark workouts to evaluate your work capacity, there’ll be a change this year. There will still be fitness testing, but the tests will be unique to that training block. Instead of being familiar with the benchmark tests, you’re now exposed to something new!
The ladies and odd hero workout will still feature throughout the year, of course. Some for testing and others for training days. They’re great workouts that should form part of any fitness program.
The Barbell Club is going through a work capacity and stamina phase too, to ensure that all programs are tied in. Lots of complexes and percentage work for you guys.
The Endurance Club is kicking the year off with a rowing block to improve your rowing skill level and of course to grow your lungs and engine. It will be a good way of ensuring you’re getting endurance work in while recovering from training on Monday to Wednesday.
G.I. Jozi is there for the low skill, cardio-based workouts, and it shouldn’t be too long before the Concept Cardio room is good to go!
Don’t forget about the UpSkill plans and private coaching available for those of you wanting some individually tailored programming and coaching. Group classes aren’t all we do, they’re PART of our offering!
Enjoy the return to full training, and take care of your recovery!
5 rounds of:
1 minute of Dumbbell Deadlifts
1 minute of Push-ups
Do not rest between rounds.
Aahhh, the old volume and intensity topic. It’s always worth revisiting to remind existing athletes and inform newer athletes of the relationship between the two variables.
Volume in training refers to the total amount of repetitions completed in a session and throughout the day. Intensity, to put it simply, is the amount of work you do relative to the time it takes to do the work. Therefore, intensity has little to do with how hard you think you’re working. You might think that having the RXd load on the bar is harder and therefore more intense, but the maths shows poor power output (intensity) due to less reps completed in the allotted time.
Contrary to much belief, volume is not necessary if the goal is to get fitter. Remember, we define increased fitness as increased work capacity across broad time AND modal domains. That is, improving the capacity of all energy systems, enhancing each of the ten recognised physical traits you see painted up on the gym walls, and being capable of performing well at any imaginable physical task. More volume won’t get you there.
So how do we achieve that sort of fitness? By a healthy daily dose of constantly varied, functional movements applied at high intensity. To state the obvious, volume doesn’t feature anywhere there. Doing more isn’t going to make you fitter.
Volume and subtle variations thereof have their place in programming, especially in the realm of athletes who are training specifically for multi-event, multi-day competitions. But even for these individuals, the extra volume is only going to work if intensity remains high. Intensity is the independent variable most closely associated with favourable adaptations to exercise. Without intensity, therefore, you have poor results. Adding volume, be it within a session or throughout the day, inevitably comes at the cost of intensity.
Let’s consider one of our daily workouts – the daily workout being the entire hour including warm-up, cool-down, skills, strength, and/or conditioning. A metcon is only a piece of the session, not the workout. We typically do one metcon if we the goal of the day is conditioning, and sometimes it comes along with skill or strength work. Think about how you’d perform if we layered on more metcons. Do a 7-minute metcon, rest a bit, and then hit a 10-minute piece before finishing of with another 20 minutes worth of conditioning. If you tried to achieve some sort of intensity, you’d manage that in the first metcon and maybe a bit in the second, but as you proceed you’ll begin to do less work than you might have if you were doing that piece alone.
Your applied effort might still be as high as it was at the beginning of the session, but your true intensity (power output) will naturally diminish as that sort of session progresses. Or you’ll deliberately sacrifice intensity by saying “that’s a lot of work so I’m just going to pace all the way.” Either way, it’s less intensity in favour of volume.
Sure, you’d be working lots so your oxidative energy system will be stimulated, but that’s coming at the expense of time in the anaerobic energy pathways – you’re only increasing work capacity in one time domain. With the added work comes along the need for more recovery too, and let’s not kid ourselves, most of us only have the time to get all our fitness work done in one hour a day so you’ll end up sacrificing good recovery practices in favour of getting more done. And when will you get the opportunity to practice and develop new skills?
Worse yet, more and more work will just take you back to where the fitness community came from – long gym sessions at low intensity with poor results. Hang out in that fat burning zone, bro, skinny fat looks good on you!
More volume for the sake of doing more is not only counterproductive but potentially harmful too. You can however add extra work that is productive. Identify a few weaknesses and drill one of them a day in a focused 15 minute session. This is the best way to refine your skills, and if you take a page from the books of the best athletes in any sport, this is where they spend the bulk of their extra time. Dialling in that foot position, fixing their timing, getting familiar in a new position.
Skills and drills are your biggest bang for buck outside of class time. Now you’ve got to have fun too so play around with stuff we don’t get to in class as often. But if you’ve got ankles as flexible as cold chewing gum and shoulders incapable of properly holding an empty barbell overhead you’re better off on stretching and skills and drills than getting your meathead work done.
Not sure what to do? Pay more attention during class, we cover progressions daily. Even better, book a consult with a coach, consider the UpSkill plan and review it every four. Work harder, not longer. It’s more bang for your buck!“Be Impressed with Intensity, Not Volume.” – Greg Glassman
So you know that recovery is important for progress and to avoid injury. You also know that active recovery is as important as complete rest days and have an idea of how to schedule your training week. You’d also like to do some form of activity on a daily basis, but want to ensure that what you do doesn’t hinder your overall progress. But what is best to do on those rest and recovery days?
Firstly, always adopt the “do no harm” approach. If you’re thinking about things to do on your off days, think about activities that are different to what you might be exposed to in the gym but will keep you fresh for the next day in the gym (and for what life may throw at you!)
Here are some groups of activities you could be looking at for those training days.
- Steady State Aerobic Activity
Also known as “cardio,” but I’d rather not use that term 😉 This is low intensity, monostructural activity like running, rowing, swimming, cycling. Duration is athlete and activity dependent but can range from 10 to 40 minutes. It should be of an ‘easy’ pace throughout.
While we prefer to spend most of our time in training doing interval training and anaerobic conditioning (because it’s better at developing aerobic conditioning too), steady state aerobic activity has it’s place too!
- Myofascial Release / Trigger Point Therapy
This is where you apply local pressure to areas of muscle and connective tissue that have been exposed to trauma. For example, your glutes after Open workout 16.1! It helps to eliminate pain and restore range of motion.
You can either do this to yourself using tools such as foam rollers, massage balls, and drills that involve barbells and kettlebells. We teach you many of these drills in class, but other great resources are Mobility WOD and ROM WOD.
Or, get to a physio, chiro or sports masseuse. I generally find these latter options better because they have a detailed understanding of anatomy, and are more likely to apply the right types of pressure.
- General Stretching
These are the static stretches you are most familiar with. Mobility WOD and ROM WOD will again be some of the best resources above what we show you in class.
- Work a Weakness
To be specific, work a gymnastics weakness. This should be low volume (low sets and reps), low intensity and efforts should be separated by long rest periods. Pick just one weakness for a day. It could be holding a handstand, developing your ring support, or working on your kip swing. It should always be progressions to a movement as opposed to the full movement.
You should avoid working on a weightlifting weakness. There is more risk of injury there, and a larger chance of developing poor movement habits that will take longer to remove than instilling good habits. Keep it to bodyweight.
Sports are where you express the fitness you develop – the application of fitness. Sports are also where you have the ability to develop skills that can only developed in that environment.
With regards to the weakness and flexibility work, it can often be confusing what to work on. Schedule a private session with a coach to set some objective and tangible goals and to learn about how the UpSkill program can get you there.
- Steady State Aerobic Activity
Posts tagged with ‘aerobic’