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!
A. RUNNING SKILL
3km time trial
10 rounds for time:
20 KB swings (light)
20 ab mat sit ups
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DMITRY DRABKIN AND BRONWYN MACFARLANE!
A. BARBELL CONDITIONING
5 x 3, ascending
CROSSFIT GAMES OPEN 15.4 – Retest
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
10 push presses, 43/30
10 cleans, 52/35
A. BARBELL CONDITIONING
5 x 3, ascending
CROSSFIT GAMES OPEN 15.4 – Retest
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
3 handstand push-ups
3 cleans, 84/56kg
6 handstand push-ups
9 handstand push-ups
12 handstand push-ups
15 handstand push-ups
18 handstand push-ups
21 handstand push-ups
Etc., adding 3 reps to the handstand push-up each round, and 3 reps to the clean every 3 rounds.
1 min work: 30 sec rest – Alternate movements
– Sled Push (60m lengths)
– Ring Rows
– Ball Slams
– Box Jumps
– Ski Erg
I’d like to interrupt the nutrition and lifestyle blogs for an update on the programming. I’ve been slack with giving you insights into the programming, so back to it at the start of new training blocks.
A quick review on the previous two training blocks first. The 12-week block that began in April had a strength focus. We managed that by keeping strength work to the the first piece of a session IF there were two pieces to that session. Everyone knows that the barbell is a strength development tool, but gymnastics also plays a massive role in strength development. We therefore performed a lot of strict gymnastics work for the L2 stream, and either static or eccentric work for the L1 streams.
The 13-week block that followed that (the most recent block) continued with a strength focus but with less overall volume to make way for better intensity.
Remember, a focus is NOT a bias, because a bias would require sacrificing other components of fitness. Our aim is a broad and inclusive fitness so although we focused on strength, we didn’t overlook conditioning work. And the great results we had in tests of stamina and endurance during Test Weeks proved that all components of fitness improved.
Here’s what you can expect over the current training block:
- Firstly, every time we do strength work it will continue to be max effort work. That means you’ll go to the heaviest load you can manage, for that day, and for that rep scheme. You’ll typically see “heavy single/double/triple” in the notes. The differences between a heavy single and a 1-RM, for example, is that on a 1-RM attempt you may end up failing a lift because you’re attempting a PB. Whereas on a heavy single there should be no misses because you aren’t maxing out. This develops confidence in the lift, which in turn develops strength, and stronger people are harder to kill.
- The strength movement will change on every max effort day. For example, a sumo deadlift today for lower body strength and a squat next time. This helps to prevent or break plateaus, and also give you more exposure to different strength work more often.
- There are always differences in the L1 and L2 streams here. L1 athletes will simply have more volume and relatively less load.
- Strict gymnastics movements will still be used for upper body strength development, but the L2 stream will have these movements in conditioning workouts too.
Endurance & Stamina Conditioning
- This will be the new focus. It doesn’t mean more conditioning workouts than previously, in fact, we’ll be doing less overall work because we want good intensity (power output) in metcons. But metcons will be the first piece IF there are two pieces in a workout. IF there are two pieces, the barbell strength work will come after the metcon.
- As always, there’ll be a good variety of low, medium and high rep workouts along with a good dose of long interval-based workouts.
- The Endurance Club is going to hit a running cycle. This will be interval-based training and it will include a lot of accessory-based metcons as part of the sessions. I’m also going to program a ‘Day 2’ for anyone who wants to do a second day of running in a week (this will be self directed, though).
- The amount of gymnastics work we’ve done in previous cycles remains largely the same but moves from being a part of the strength pieces to the metcons. There’ll be high volume gymnastics movements in metcons and they’ll often be combined with interfering movements.
- Gymnastics comes before weightlifting in the hierarchy of athletic development, so we’ll never sacrifice it.
- As noted above, instead of just strict gymnastics work you’ll be doing more gymnastics-based metcons in order to improve upper body endurance and stamina. Sometimes a gymnastics movement will be coupled with a weightlifting movement that will interfere with the working muscles. You may not feel the lungs work much on these, but you’ll feel a lot of local muscular fatigue. Aside from swimming and cross country skiing (like the ski-erg), this is the best way to improve the endurance of upper body musculature.
- On other days, gymnastics conditioning will be more skill-based. This is where you’ll learn the progressions for a new skill, improve a skill, or improve your capacity in a skill. As Greg Glassman says, a fitness program devoid of gymnastics practice and skills is deficient. This is also the sort of stuff you can’t do anywhere else. Even many CrossFit affiliates don’t have the space or resources for gymnastics skill work like rope climbs.
- For those who are able to perform the more technical gymnastics movements, we’ll be increasing technicality and growing your capacity in those movements.
- The Barbell Club will have a low volume on-the-minute style program to develop consistency under heavy loads. This format also develops your ability to complete technical movements under tight time restrictions and fatigue — that carries over in to every other aspect of fitness too.
- The UpSkill plan is there for anyone who needs individually tailored work. We have people working on gymnastics, weightlifting, strength, conditioning, and even rehab or basic skills like skipping. If you’d like more info on this plan, get in touch!
- A good CrossFit program should be injury prevention by design. However, I do still believe that there is room for accessory work. Such work is intended to keep you injury free by preventing any imbalances from developing while keeping the areas of most use (shoulders, midlines, knees) strong and stable. This work will be programmed on occasion to keep you healthy. You can either ass around while we do this, or you can care about your health and performance and apply yourself just as you do in metcons.
This 12-week block will take us right into the December holiday season and when we’re back in the new year we continue the conditioning focus to ensure that you’re all ready for the Open!
To remind you yet again, the big picture is to continue developing a broad fitness throughout life. We’re always working on all aspects of fitness.
Sometimes, you need a more tailored approach. That’s why we have Tayla, the Client Services Manager, to help you with goal setting, but more importantly to direct you to the best services we have to offer for YOUR goals. So if you’re feeling a bit stuck, get in touch!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR SUNDAY TO DAWN STOCKILL, ROBERT CLARK, MARNUS KOORTS, AND KARL HEUER!
27-21-15 reps for time of:
50/35kg power cleans
Box HSPU (pike or x2 strict push-ups)
27-21-15 reps for time of:
75/50kg power cleans
Posts tagged with ‘stamina’