Coach Troy discusses the explanation behind programming:
Over 10+ yrs of CrossFit, and even longer in Strength Sports. I’ve practiced and applied plenty of tried, true and tested programs. CrossFit is by far in my opinion the best choice for anyone looking to improve their overall fitness for the Sport of Life and even competitive sports.
“Our understanding is that the needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind,” … “One needs functional competence to stay out of the nursing home. The other one wants functional dominance to win medals.”
Maybe you are only here so you WON’T get FAT! SWEET! I think most of us are right in line with this statement. There is just ONE thing that just needs to be made absolutely clear if changing your body composition is your goal.
YOU WILL NEVER OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET!
So, if all you care about is losing weight. Don’t over complicate it, the fastest path to success is. Keep your total number of calories under control, cut out the junk food, give up soda, and start eating REAL FOODS. Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
Anyways, Back to programming!
“We have an elegant solution to the world’s most vexing problems, disguised as a sport.”
– Greg Glassman
CrossFit is a Sport and I believe that we can prepare for this Sport at the same time as we strive to improve our overall fitness for LIFE! CrossFit stresses the importance of variation as a tool to keep the body guessing. This Forces it to adapt in many different ways, it also works because it allows us to train multiple modalities simultaneously. This is why CrossFit and a Conjugate based Strength Program were made for each other. CrossFit is Constantly Varied Functional Movements performed at a high intensity and the Conjugate Method is all about building maximal strength through variance.
Strength is never a weakness and improving it should always be a priority. Why? Strength takes time and when you are strong everything else is easier, especially every other component of Fitness. We certainly do not neglect our strength training. As a matter of fact, ask most other OG Box owners and they will say I Program with a strength bias, but I’m going to show you what we really do.
I just want to sweat! So, where does the CrossFit happen?
Well, remember that 20 min AMRAP of Banded Deadlifts, Jumping Goblet Squats, and Handstand Pushups? Did you get 10-12 Rounds, that’s roughly a Round every 2min?
Dynamic Effort Strength work is usually 55-70% Speed Work with accommodating resistance aka Bands. So, 10-12 Sets of 1-3 Reps every 90 sec. Perfect you did a Dynamic Effort Strength piece.
What about those Jumping Goblet Squat? Did they send your heart rate through the roof? If not, maybe you should have gone unbroken like Coach Mikey asked. Bracing the entire body for stability while jumping and landing during this movement is a metabolically expensive and demanding. This should have put you into calorie-burning overdrive.
Then a high skill gymnastics movement, the handstand pushup. A perfect movement to give the legs a little rest, and it has many different progressions for every skill or strength level. Training like an Athlete! This is how we get the best of both worlds!
The Conjugate Method is based on three main abilities: Maximum Effort (think heavy), Dynamic Effort (maximum velocity/speed), Repetition Method (Hypertrophy, build lean muscle). These three variations work together rotating weekly preventing accommodation and burnout, all while simultaneously developing strength.
Yes, the main lifts may be templated on some days but the loading, intensity, and structure will vary widely.
- Max Effort: Loads are high and the training volume is lower. When you see 3RM this does not necessarily mean an all-time best ever 3RM. The intent is to work up to a heavy, challenging 3RM without failing for that day. Learn to feel the weight and push yourself to go heavy for that day.
- Dynamic Effort: Weights should be moved with maximum velocity. All DE work must focus on speed not weight, there should be no “grinding out” reps. As the weights get heavier, gravity forces the weights to move more slowly. To overcome that, you need to be FAST! With DE work we want shorter durations of rest between sets, every 60-90sec…think EMOMs. The only goal is to develop force by moving explosively. Doing this will have a huge carry over to our Olympic lifts where we need to be fast!
- Repetition Method: Is lifting a non-maximal load to near failure and sometimes actual failure. RM work will more often than not be intertwined with a conditioning piece involving gymnastics or weightlifting skills. We may even sometimes work the main lifts, if it falls in line with the focus is for that specific day. With the RM we want to focus first on volume then on weight.
What about the Olympic Lifts?
For most, time dedicated to technique working with moderate loads and a higher number of sets is where the progress will be made. Your focus should position, timing, speed, then load. If you are struggling or failing, take some weight off the bar until it feels crisp and snappy. Technique is King. Progress in weightlifting will be made when you focus on QUALITY not Load/weight
How am I going to get better at the Gymnastics Skill work?
Typically we work on these skills in 8 week blocks. Some weeks we will have dedicated time to work on multiple progressions to find out where we are at. Then we will throw these movements into a conditioning piece and expect you to work on the progressions that are best suited to help you build those skills. I’m not going to lie though. You are going to need to invest some time pre/post WOD on these skill too. Don’t forget, we have awesome coaches that can program, monitor, and hold you accountable while doing this extra work.
Remember that little blurb about training like an athlete? Or maybe you relate more to School Work. Athletes have an off season, pre season and Games (In Season). In school you have different semesters, each semester you advance and eventually end with a test. CrossFit is a sport with a test called the OPEN, and training for this is so much more than just throwing random, constantly varied movements into a hopper, drawing them out and hitting them hard. This would be testing, not training. BUT I’m just here so I WONT get FAT! Perfect!! The Open is timed perfectly with beach season. After the summer goes away we work on getting stronger and try to put on lean muscle then as summer season rolls around we look to improve our conditioning base and lean out. So, when beach season rolls around we are ready to go.
Here is a broad, overall, snapshot of the year. This as a guide / template for our training leading up to the Open.
Really the Goal is to provide a fun, engaging, and challenging training experience that will help you reach your goals while improving your overall fitness. I always look forward to your feedback on programming and anything else that may be on your mind. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments, and feedback.
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