Looking ahead to next week. Which program should you do? Also- New folks: Get here on time.

June 11, 2015

First off-  Please note this passage from the FAQ’S page on our website:

Being on timeArrive whenever you like.  We realize that life intrudes and circumstances may prevent you from getting to the gym immediately at the start of a session.  I would much rather you arrive late than not at all, but if so, please do understand that class will have started and it’s up to you to get yourself up to speed,  warm up your body and arrange any necessary equipment.  The class will not wait for you.

This is particularly important if you are new.  The formats, structure and organization differ widely from day to day.  New people NEED the explanation we give at the beginning of class and once given we’re off and running and the explanation won’t be given again.   By that point the instructor needs to focus on the movements being performed.

I realize that you’ll often see athletes wandering around, doing their own thing, often talking amongst themselves, and that doesn’t really lend itself to paying close attention, or to a culture of being focused on the task at hand.   Usually those athletes doing their own thing are pretty experienced, sometimes they just foolishly overestimate their own expertise.  In either case, if you are one of those people who DO choose to do your own thing, be it warmups, different lifts, making up workouts etc, please be respectful of those who need to hear what AMRAP means or how to score an EMOM etc etc.

Next week we’ll resume a more structured format, where more members of a given class are on the same schedule.  We have a handful of new members come aboard in the past few weeks and if you fall in that group, your CrossFit experience to date has probably been somewhat different than what you anticipated.  Some people like the freedom to navigate their own week and some people don’t.  If you are really new to CrossFit, this “choose your own adventure” format is probably more confusing than a more structured program.  All that changes as of Monday 6-15.

For the next 8 weeks the programming will typically follow this format

Monday- Strength Preservation.  On Monday’s the athlete will choose 2 lifts to focus on and exposure to these lifts will occur weekly.  We’ll change the format somewhat from our past strength bias efforts.  It basically goes like this:

Pick a given lift and select a weight that you can get for 5 reps.  Rest 2-3 minutes (and to that end we will have a clock running. Observe and stick to the rest interval protocol)  Repeat your effort a total of 4 times.  In the event that you successfully complete 5 reps in all 4 sets, next week you will raise your weights by 5%.  If you fail to get 5 reps in all 4 sets, your weight remains the same and you try to get to the given 4×5 goal.  Theoretically you are either increasing load or reps every week.


On 6-15-15, I bench press 135 x 5 reps x 4 sets.  On 6-22 I go up 5% or 7 lbs to 142.  On my first set and second sets I get 5 reps at 142.  On my 3rd and 4th I only get 4 reps.  Therefore on 6-29  I repeat my efforts at 142 with the goal of getting all 5 reps in all 4 sets.

Accessory work will change from week to week, but the two primary lifts will stay the same.

Tuesday- Interval Training.  Format’s, schemes and tools will change from week to week but the net effect will be the same, which is to say push as hard as possible, rest and do it again.  The more I read/ see/ experience, the more reinforced the validity of work/stop/work becomes.  Expect a big dose of rowing, airdynes and jump ropes.  They’ll be some running, wallballs and burpees in there too.

Wednesday– Possibly a bodyweight technique piece followed by a Lighter/Bodyweight focused metcon  and/or Double Short Metcons.  Things like two 8 minute amraps with an 8 minute rest.   Not a lot of barbell loading.  Things like Cindy or Jackie.

Thursday- Barbell Technique, Often Olympic lifting related.  Then Heavy, Barbell dominant metcons.  Things Like DT,  AMRAP in 8 of 8 cleans, 8 Fronts, 8 S20 etc.

Friday- We’ll extend your time window and go long.  20-40 minutes.  Chippers, Multi event Metcons and sometimes monostructural events.

Across a given week this will provide a wide range of fitness inputs.  General Physical Preparedness (GPP) in the truest sense.  Note that if you are someone who “does CrossFit” on M W and F you will get exposure to the same type of workout and miss out on some others.  The best solution to this is to get to CrossFit more often.  Failing that, you may want to substitute a WOD from the days you’re missing, to kind of round out your fitness experience.  We can discuss.

As stated earlier, we will be running an 8 week Olympic lifting cycle concurrent to the GPP program outlined above.  I am in the 5th week of it now.  This program is 5 days of Olympic lifting with two days off.  Put together by Greg Everett and Cataylyst Athletics, it’s a fairly simple program with a primary focus of improving your Clean and Jerk and Snatch. There’s a decent amount of reps at low and medium loads.  Initially the athlete is working from 3 positions; in the 2nd half, the full movment gets more flight time.  There’s some pulling work and a ton of squatting as well.   A number of you have asked after whether they “should” do the Olympic Lifting cycle.  If you’re CrossFitting for fun; if you know life is going to pull you out of the gym more than a few times in the next 8 weeks, and so on, you will be much happier in the GPP programming.  This is most of you.

You should do the Oly Cycle if 1) You really want better olympic numbers (for whatever reason)  and you are willing to get in the gym a lot and also willing to let some of your other attributes diminish in the short term.  or 2) You compete or hope to compete in CrossFit as a sport and your current Olympic numbers are lacking.  What’s “lacking”?  For CrossFit, speaking very generally, a regionals level athlete is going to have at least a bodyweight Snatch (Female 80% BW ),  A 150% BW Clean and Jerk (Female 120%).  In absolute numbers you should be able to rapidly cycle/ touch and go 10 clean and jerks at 155/105.   Past Open workouts have seen big separators at 165/110 lb snatches.   Adjust down somewhat for Master’s division, but if you are well short of these marks, and competing is important to you, you may want to devote 8 weeks to addressing that weakness.  I’m doing it now in anticipation of next February’s Open, if that is relevant or helpful.

“Can I do the CrossFit workout AND the Olympic lifting?” — Insofar as doing some of the GPP wods beyond your Oly work,  that’s fine.  I would do the Olympic Lifting first, as it’s pretty challenging, by itself for at least a week. Thereafter, if you feel like here and there you can get some conditioning in via the GPP workout of the day, go ahead and jump in.  I have been averaging maybe 1 metcon a week beyond the Olympic programming, and often it is an aerobically focused piece.  I am getting plenty of weightlifting dose via the programmed snatches, jerks and cleans.

We should get next week’s entire wods up on here by the end of this week.  Please use the comments for any questions.


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