Strength Bias Starts Monday- This is an early, but incomplete overview.

September 21, 2014

What follows is an incomplete outline of the next 9 weeks. More detail will soon follow but for the time being this will let you know the broad strokes.

Starting Monday 9/22, For the first time since we opened our doors in 2011, we’re going to run 2 concurrent programs. Both will be strength biased, but one will be focused on preparing athletes for the CrossFit Open and the other will be more true to the original, constantly varied spirit of CrossFit.

Which one should you choose? There are advantages to each program, there are some similarities, and there are substantial differences.

First, for those who don’t know what the CrossFit Open is, let me fill you in, as your disposition toward “the Open” will be a big factor in which workout track you follow.

The Open is the initial round of worldwide competition that culminates in the CrossFit Games, a 4 day fitness test in Carson Ca, typically in mid july. The Open consists of 5 workouts that are released online; 1 per week for 5 consecutive weeks. Participating athletes perform the workouts, submit their respective scores via video, and are ranked against the rest of the world. 17 Regions select the top 60 male and female athletes to compete in the second round (“the Regionals”) over a weekend in may or early June. And then the top 3 athletes from each region advance to the finals. Despite many flaws and inconsistencies, I am a huge fan of the CrossFit Open! Opportunities to compare yourself, quite literally against the world are few and far between. And the Open can be done right in your own gym, at your own schedule, for very minimal cost ($20). In my opinion EVERYONE should do it.

To some degree, we have based our training schedule around the Open for the past two years, and having some sort of goal (s) that change the training input is just good policy when it comes to athletic development. For example any sport with a season to it will have different training schedules “In Season” vs “Off Season”. This dual-track programming is just a continuation of that specificity.

Athletes who want to take their very best run at the Open are encouraged to do what we’re calling our Open Prep Programming. Athletes who aren’t interested in the Open OR athletes who really prioritize variety in their exercise selection and WOD formats, should do what we’re calling Platinum Elite programming.

(That’s a joke. It’s not called Platinum Elite Programming. It’s called CrossFit.)

In a nutshell, Open Prep will have a much narrower toolbox. You will repeat movements, WODS and Formats more often. Your time domains will consistently run 4-20 minutes. I won’t call it boring, but it WILL be more repetitive. This is because the constraints of videotaping the workouts for Open Submission rule out a lot of what we might otherwise do. CFHQ can’t realistically and consistently verify something like a 5k run.

CrossFit programming will be what most of you are familiar with. A wide variety of movements, formats and workouts. Possibly Outdoors, sometimes with odd objects etc etc. Still with a strength bias, but not nearly as narrow and singularly focused.

Let me stress that neither one is advanced or beginner. Neither one is inherently harder than the other. You can still do the Open if you just do CrossFit and you are free to ignore the Open even if you do the prep program. Personally, I am limited on many fronts (Knee arthritis and impending child chief among them) that I have ruled out competing in this year’s Open, so I will be following the Traditional CrossFit programming when I can.

I will have more detail, including at least a full week of both programs by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. Please check back


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