Programming Updates:

We’re done those pesky 10s!

We’ve hit a block in our phase where we were accumulating lots of volume in our strength movements. We also lengthened the amount of time spent on conditioning pieces and have had some good exposure to pacing strategies for longer AMRAPs and mono-structural movements (i.e. bike, row) to better our ability to be consistent round to round or minute to minute. 


In short, we’ve accumulated a lot of volume! 


When we accumulate lots of reps (i.e. 3×10, 5×10 etc), we stimulate our body’s ability to grow muscle (provided we eat and sleep too!). This means we have more potential to produce force. However, we haven’t been lifting near maximal capacity. Because this is a skill in and of itself, it requires practice. We have to learn this not only physiologically, but also mentally. This is where we head to next. 


A bit of context surrounding maximal strength: The overall goal is to get stronger. Put another way, our goal is to move more load. Getting stronger requires overload. You need to stress the system enough to produce a desired adaptation. This looks different for each individual based on a variety of factors. For example, if you’re new to weightlifting, any overload event you do produces an adaptation. In other words, you disrupt your body’s equilibrium and then recover fast to get ready for the next bout of stress. Thus, you may find that week to week, you feel like you can put more weight on the bar. Compare this to an athlete whose been training weightlifting for 5-7 years, they need lots more stress to produce an adaptation because too little stress won’t have any effect. However, the more stress you need to produce an adaptation, the more recovery you need to be sure you’re not pushing over the edge. 


So, what does maximal strength training look like? Well, there are a variety of different methods or approaches. We’re going to begin with a wave-ladder approach (same weight within a wave, but different reps) to transition ourselves our of the hypertrophy phase and begin getting familiar with lifting heavier loads at smaller rep. schemes. We’re not just all of a sudden going to be lifting heavy singles and doubles. We need a bit of a re-start (that’s not synonymous with easy!). Then, we will do a traditional wave-load approach (different weights within a wave). This will likely bring us to the end of September and beginning of October.  


From a conditioning standpoint, we’ve spent time doing some longer workouts. Now that we have a base, we’re going to begin focusing on medium time domains (i.e. 3-12 minutes). This is a reason why we did some pacing practice in this cycle: to get comfortable producing consistent work through a long time domain. As we shorten time domains, we’re able to increase intensity to get more work done.  


Where does gymnastics come into play? To be honest, its taken a bit of a back burner. As we move forward, we’re going to put in some more advanced movement skill work (MU, pistols, HSPU etc) and then grow our ability to handle lots of reps either within those advanced movements or movements we already know (ring rows, pull ups, T2B, etc). Skill work is important for learning and trying new things, it also allows some recovery time for our systems when performing maximal strength work. 


A few notes:

– Strength work will become quite perspective. IMPORTANT: keeping to the prescribed percentages is paramount even if it feels like a slow build. We want our strength to stick around! Its HIGHLY recommended that you keep track of your numbers. 

– DOUBLY IMPORTANT: if you’re coming in off a tough week at work or if other stressors are filling your bucket, please DO NOT overwhelm yourself. Come in and at least move – we want to see you, but we want to see you succeed as well. And sometimes, that means holding yourself accountable to make sure you’re personalizing your workouts. It can be the hardest thing to say no to lifting an extra 10-20 pounds, but we’re in it for the long haul…the longevity!

– A note on the CrossFit Open. The open is in October this year instead of February/March. This is a transition year and there are a lot of question marks surrounding it. We will let you know what’s going on as new information arises. This also means we will be in a bit of a different place as far as programming goes compared to previous years. We will try to balance out preparing for this with our other goals.