Thank Goodness the CFG Open is OVER (The exception being those athlete’s performing 14.5 on Monday).
Monday 3/31 is the first day of what will be a 12 week shift in the programing towards a strength development phase. Some of what is written below is a direct repeat of the last time we started our strength bias cycle but some is new. Please read all of this posting so you come in to the gym prepared.
The Weekly Schedule is as follows:
Monday- Back Squat or Front Squat
Tuesday- Shoulder Press
Wednesday- Strict Pullup
Thursday- Deadlift or Sumo Deadlift or Cleans
Friday- Bench Press or Close Grip Bench Press
Our last 2 cycles of linear progression were pretty successful, resulting in an average of 16% gains across the 3 lifts tested. First timers can expect more than that. We will keep the same format for the lifts but we will change the way we apply the supplemental action (Strength 2) and the Metcons. These changes are detailed below.
First, Some FAQ’s
Why a strength bias? Strength is the critical component of fitness. Your Strength drives your metcons and your metcons drive your Long Slow Distance, but the LSD does not reciprocate and drive your strength. Every one of you will see improved performance in CrossFit workouts as your strength increases. For the newer athletes amongst you, this might be the difference between scaling every workout and completing workouts as prescribed. For our members with competitive ambitions, this format will serve as better prep for the CrossFit Games Open. If you have been following the Open, the Regionals and the Games, you will see that the workouts are getting heavier and harder. In an effort to remain competitive in the CrossFit world we are trending heavier too.
In addition to the strength workout, there will still be a second period devoted to work capacity. This is a format we have used often so it really won’t seem very different to what you have already experienced. Expect short durations, heavy loads, couplets and triplets. Do not expect multi-event chippers.
Hmmm…I don’t know…Wont This make me bulky? Dont I need more Cardio? No and No. It is my sincere hope that the diet contest has made you aware of the following FACT. Your bodyfat is what make you look bulky and the means to address this are best achieved by changing what you eat. Hopefully, some of what you are paying for (In addition to the charm and wit of our staff, the access to equipment and our legendary parties) is our expertise about how to make you as FIT as possible. Not as thin as possible. Sometimes those goals coincide for a while and sometimes they do not. Yes, if you build muscle and remain fat, you will indeed appear bigger/bulky but VERY few among you will not see positive appearance changes by following this strength-bias program IF your food is in line.
That said, if you want more, do more. Miss the old 5k? Waxing Nostalgic for the 60 minute Step Aerobic class you used to take? Feel free to do so, but AFTER your Strength action.
How do I get this most out of this?
A) FREQUENT ATTENDANCE. I put that in all-caps to emphasize it’s importance. You need to get here and hit these lifts regularly. Much like Rxd is an ambitious standard, we are programming for the athlete who is prioritizing his/her fitness and progress. If that’s not you via circumstance or attitude, your progress will suffer in comparison. To that end, however, I DO recognize that life intrudes in unavoidable ways. Therefore, if you cant get here very often, I would prioritize as follows 1) Squat 2) Shoulder Press 3) DeadLift. That means if you only get here 3x in a given week, you should Squat, Shoulder Press and deadlift. So if you only make it in M and TH in a given week you may want to Squat and Press in that order, despite being the only person doing so that day, then do the work capacity test with the class. If you have your own personal goals, and your attendance is limited, push those lifts to the front burner. So if, for example, a bodyweight pullup is your priority and you can only come 1x that week, get your pullups in.
B) Record Your Numbers: This is absolutely essential! Having a record of what you did before will make your lifting more efficient and effective. anything else is playing darts blindfolded. You cant improve on last week if you dont know what last week even was. You can journal on a blog, in a calendar, or in a good old-fashioned notebook: anything works as long as it’s written down somewhere.
This sounds complicated. I kinda wanna just work out and sweat? Aim higher. You can sweat almost anywhere. Get something out of your money and get dramatically stronger.
I’m down for strength bias, I’ve done it before and it kicks ass, but what’s different about this 12 week period? Glad you asked. Please see the schedule breakdown below
Week 1– Test 1 Rep Max Perform Target Lift 3×8. Work capacity.
Weeks 2,3,4 Target Lift 4×8, Supplemental Strength, Work capacity.
Week 5– Deload. 3×5 Target Lift, No Supplemental, Work capacity.
Weeks 6,7,8 Target Lift 4×5, Supplemental Strength, Work capacity.
Week 9– Deload. Target Lift 3×3 No Supplemental Strength Work capacity.
Weeks 10,11,12 3×3 Target Lift, Supplemental Strength, Work capacity.
Week 13 — Test Out 1 rep max.
Significantly, for the first time we will be repeating our work capacity metcons at the same point in every 4 week cycle. So for example if you perform HELEN on Day 3 week 2 during the 4×8 block, you will again perform HELEN on Day 3, week 6 which is during the 4×5 and a final time on day 3 week 10 during the 3×3. You still get 20 WODs between similar efforts, so variety remains high, but we’ll see how your strength gains affect your metcon capacity.
Get excited kids. You’re about to get very strong!