The 2018 CrossFit Open is over and it’s the perfect time to start thinking forward. Forward for progress in strength, endurance, & skill. We are all familiar with the saying “A pyramid is only as strong as it’s base.” Well, this is the same mindset we’re taking moving forward into our new phase of programming. We have many athletes looking to obtain new skills, higher 1-Rep maxes, and overall be more “fit” compared to last year. Before we can just pile on the variety, we need to understand that everything in strength and conditioning is earned. Don’t have a muscle up yet? How many strict pull-ups can you do? Strict dips? Strict Chest-to-Bar pull-ups? Whats your body-fat percentage? All those factors contribute to whether or not a Muscle-up is earned. With that in mind, we move forward into “Strong, Stable, and Sustain”.
Strong: Building our overall body weight to strength ratio ranging from barbell movements to strict gymnastics. In order to confidently move into speed elements such as shorter AMRAP’s, barbell cycling or plyometrics (including kipping) we need to make sure you are strong as can be through all ranges to ensure your body is ready to not only deliver that speed, but also prevent injuries associated with moving quickly.
Stable: Moving a weight from it’s start point to the end point is very definite. You either did or did-not lift that weight. However, in order to assure we are addressing all aspects of strength and balance we need to look at strength through it’s curve. The start and end are just the finishing product. The eccentric (when gravity is assisting with where the weight is traveling) and the concentric (when we are fighting gravity’s hold on the weight) are critical components on building strength for athletes. What does this mean? TEMPO & PAUSE! Tempo movements are a great way to ensure that the complete curve of the movement is strong, not just start and finish. For a good majority of our strength work, you will see something like “30×1” or “2211”. All you need to know is that eccentric (gravity assisting portion) is the first number. SO, in a tempo pull-up of “2011” we know that it’s 2s lowering the body to the ground, 0 seconds at the bottom, 1 second on the concentric (going against gravity), and 1 second hold at the top. Simple right? Don’t worry, the coaching staff will be all over helping you find the right tempo and weights.
Sustain: When we’re performing our workouts, breathing heavy means we’re aerobic, right? Well, kind of…For the most part, we fall into a continuum that combines elements of anaerobic (without oxygen) and aerobic (with oxygen) when performing WOD’s. Having said that, we can receive amazing benefit by maintaining TRUE aerobic work and keeping our heart-rates from spiking to levels that put a bit hinder on our aerobic performances. Long story short, “Sustain” is about sustaining a pace, heart rate, breath rate, etc… Yes, we’ll push this elements hard but what we’re trying to steer clear of is that “Fran-Lung” and muscle cramping type WOD (at least most of the time).
Aerobic pacing is something we can sustain for a LONG time, and the more we benefit and broaden this energy system, the better we’ll recovery from strength AND more likely we’ll be able to increase our sprinting speed when the time calls for it.
We are immensely excited about kick-starting this new training program for 10-12 weeks! If you have any questions or want some more insight, please reach out to Coach Nate ([email protected]) and he’d be happy to help!
Have a great week & training cycle athletes!