“THERE IS A METHOD TO THE MADNESS”
Recently one of our members had some questions about how we design our workouts each week and over time. Over the next couple of weeks we plan on sharing more thinking behind our programming to further provide insight into our philosophy of CrossFit as an exercise program. Some will be more macro in explanation and some will be more micro-focused. Here’s a bit using Monday and Tuesday’s classes as example of what’s to come.
PART I – Pause Push Jerk (3/3/3/3/3)
This skill section is a crucial part of our Push Jerk strength cycle. This movement is foundational to the CrossFit and really helps develop explosive hip drive, proper body mechanics, shoulder strength, and puts a great demand on core stability. The pause jerk was a chance for us to:
- Give our shoulders some rest as we went heavy last week.
- Work on the technique of our dip ensuring that we are keeping a vertical torso.
- Work on the timing of the jerk focusing on getting full hip extension before the athlete drops into our ¼ squat catching position.
- Develop strength from a static position. We teach the jerk with a quick dip and explosion. By pausing for three seconds at the bottom we eliminate that “stretch reflex” nature of the muscle and work on raw strength.
If there is a lesson here, don’t half ass the skill section of the Workout of the Day. These skill sections are the key to growth.
PART II – Cindy (20 minutes of 5 Pull Ups, 10 Push Ups, 15 Air Squats)
Cindy is a “benchmark” workout used by CrossFit gyms around the world. Measurable results are a cornerstone of CrossFit and being able to compare your score to your previous scores is paramount, but its also fun to see you you stack up to other athletes both near and far. This workout specifically was strategically timed as we have been working hard on pull ups the last three weeks (both raw strength with strict pull ups and teaching the skill of kipping pull ups). With only 5 pull ups a round, an athlete can attack them in manageable sets. We saw some athletes do their first kipping pull ups in this workout and a number of athletes moved to a lighter band.
This also was our first workout going “long”. Twenty minutes might not sound like a long workout but after the ten minute mark you realize the twenty minutes is an eternity. For us at the Cove, Cindy is a key testing workout as it challenges one’s ability with body weight movements in a long time domain. Regardless of how you feel about her, this is not the last time we will see Cindy.
PART I – Deadlift (8/6/4/2/2/2/2) Perform the last 3 sets of 2 at the same load, it should be heavy.
Pushing forward in our deadlift cycle we give our bodies a new stimulus. Three sets at 90% of our max load gets our bodies used to handling heavy loads safely.
PART II – 12 Hanging Power Cleans – 400 M Run – 4 Rounds
Fitness 95/65 RX 135/95 RX+ 155/105
To some this workout looks familiar. We did a very similar workout Saturday of an 800meter run, 25 HEAVY hang cleans (10 to 20 pounds heavier than Tuesday’s), 25 burpees, and a final 800 meter run. The workout is indeed similar movement-wise, but the training stimulus is very different.
If you look at Saturday’s workout – the run acts as a hard warmup to then hit the heavy cleans (and work desperately to hold onto the bar). It’s followed by those 25 burpees and then another long run.
Tuesday’s workout was very different. You start with 12 hang cleans at moderately heavy weight. These cleans require a great amount of power and those create a huge spike in our heart rates. Once completing them we immediately leave for our run. This run allows us our heart rate to recover and then get back to another session of intense power cleans. We basically work through four intervals of anaerobic explosive cleans followed by aerobic based recovery runs (although it sure didn’t feel like recovery). These type of spiking heart rate workouts have tremendous benefit in building our conditioning and are massive calorie burners!
I know many of you think that Wodify is just an app to “like” your box mates’ WOD performances (and we it for that!) but it is much more. It’s is the key to see how we are performing. You may not have noticed but over the last three weeks we have been programming very heavy hang cleans; and looking at the numbers posted, we can see that the strength gains we have made have translated into some fast times in today’s WOD.