Nick’s Programming Cycle Notes, 1/6-2/22/14
Our focus for the next seven weeks will revolve around learning to use and strengthen what is arguably the most powerful system in our body: the posterior chain. What is the posterior chain, you ask? We’re looking at the back of our legs (glutes and hamstrings) and low back. A strong posterior chain is essential for athleticism. While these structures are built to create a lot of force production, for many of us years of sitting for a substantial portion of most days and general lack of use has caused us to “forget” how to use them.
Sprint intervals are going to be making a regular appearance as well in this cycle. Sprint training provides many benefits. It can help us find and engage an intensity that we might not be able to sustain for a long period of time. Through the use of intervals and rest periods, we’ll be able to spend more total time at a higher level of intensity then we would otherwise be able to. Our bodies’ hormonal response to this stimulus will also provide huge benefits for any number of fitness goals including sports performance, body recomposition, and our day to day energy levels. When these show up, make sure you set yourself up to be able to go all out for your work periods to get as much out of them as possible. It will be extremely important to be properly warmed up before you start these. That means sweating and breathing hard shortly before the workout starts. While this might seem like you’re tiring yourself out ahead of time, we’re really just asking you to prime the engine so it’s ready to work when it’s called to.
The last new theme for this cycle will be CrossFit Open style WODs. These will be AMRAP style workouts with a (generally) low skill and weight threshold for the “Rx” version. They are here to not only help prepare those of you who will be participating in the open, but also to remind us that we don’t need to be able to lift a million pounds or do olympic level gymnastic skills to get in a good workout. While they are typically very accessible to a wide range of skill and strength levels, they do a great job of testing work capacity. It’s true – the athletes that stand at the podium at the CrossFit games are strong as hell and highly skilled, but they still rise to the top when their low skill, low weight work capacity is tested. Some of you might be tempted to “Rx+” these workouts when you see them, but I promise you they will hurt just as bad at the prescribed weights and standards (often times worse than if you have gone to a heavier weight or harder scale). Remember – constantly varied goes in both directions. We want to be able to move light weights and perform simple movement patterns just as well and the heavy and complex.
Our test – retest for this cycle is our 1RM deadlift and our 500m row sprint time. We initially tested this on 1/6 and will be retesting on Friday, 2/22. If you missed the test and would like to get it done, talk to your coach soon so we can track our progress!