Constantly Varied, Functional Movements, Performed at High Intensity…
Thats how to sum up CrossFit in 8 words.
If we take a deeper look into the CrossFit (for health and fitness, not CrossFit the Sport) programme, CrossFit.com sums it up be saying that the Programme “delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specialising. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.”
The concept of needing a base of fitness, a non specialised training program, is often referred to General Physical Preparedness (GPP).
The goal of a GPP programme is to prepare you for a task. What Task? Any task. Its about building competency in all aspects of fitness so that you are prepared to handle whatever task life throws at you.
When it comes down to it, the CrossFit method of training is one of the best GPP programmes there is, hence its success.
Next Quarters Programming
With that said, the next quarters programming will be going back to basics and will be more of a classic CrossFit style approach. The goal of CrossFit is to improve all areas of your “fitness”. You are only as 'fit" as you are competent in each of these 10 skills:
Ultimately what this means is that there will be no fixed day for squats or percentages to work from. Its going to be Constantly Varied… functional movements performed at high intensity.
Over the past 12 months I’ve split your training in to 4 main cycles of programming. First we focused on core/midline stability and training the basic gymnastic skills (as a result more people are doing muscle ups, kipping correctly and HSPU’s). We then looked at improving your Lactic Threshold which focused on allowing you to go harder for longer, giving you better Fran times. The 1st Quarter this year brought more focused training to the Open along with tempo strength training and finally, as you are aware, we are finishing up on our 12 week squat/deadlift cycle for our strength focused quarter.
Within the 4 main cycles of programming I have added in smaller cycles of programming, such as specific snatch work at the end of last year and more recently stamina work (so many thrusters) and a heavy focus on double unders the last few weeks.
Whilst this method of programming brings you results, its often at the sacrifice of other areas of your fitness. i.e. a strength focused approach means conditioning may need to take a back seat for a while.
Over the next 12 weeks the focus is to address any imbalances and get you fit in all areas of your fitness. i.e. CrossFit.
Constantly varied though does not mean random. There is a required structure to any programming and classic CrossFit programming is no different. Whilst the programming to you may appear to be random (which is good, life is random and we need to be ready for that), how I programme is anything but random. The spreadsheet I’ve created for my programming allows me to tell you exactly how many times you place your hands over your head each week, month or year. Or how many times you do a squat each week, month or year etc.
Classic CrossFit examples
The best example of what GPP programming looks like is over at Crossfit.com who have been putting up daily workouts, following a constantly varied approach, for over 10 years.
It is probably the most followed programme in the world and top athletes are still known to follow it. Kara Webb is apparently a huge fan of the programming and uses it quiet often (whilst also adding in her Sport Specific Preparedness (SSP) stuff too).
"Anyone that doesn’t keep an eye on CrossFit.com workouts is an idiot” - Lindsey Valenzuela, 2nd fitness women in the world in 2013.
Scheduling and Class Structure
As mentioned above, the days in which certain movements are scheduled will vary. No longer will Monday and Friday be a squat day. Any day could have squats in.
Class structure will generally be the same. If there is strength piece planned there will be a MetCon at the end (I don’t want an army of people with pitch forks chasing me down the street if i took out MetCons on certain days;)) However if the WOD is a 20-30 minute workout, the remainder of the time of the class will be spent doing what the coach taking the class feels is best for the class.
An example may be:
30 minute AMRAP:
100 Double unders
20 Pull Ups
Due to the large number of Double Unders in the workout, the coach may feel its beneficial to spend some time before the workout to work on Double Under tekkers and skills. Or if the class is sufficient in double unders, the coach may bust out a 15 min workshop on kipping pull ups.
The benefit to you is that you will experience the different methods of coaching and knowledge of each of the coaches we have at Bold. Allowing you to take more from each session.
What GPP may look like for a week
6 days example of GPP Programming (taken from a random week from CrossFit.com, except I’ve removed the rest days):
5 rounds for time: 800m Run, 30 KB swings, 30 pull ups
Back Squat: 5-5-5-5-5
For time: 100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats
20 min AMRAP: 5 Thrusters, 7 Hang Power Cleans, 10 sumo deadlift high pulls (42.5/30kg)
3 rounds for time: 800m run, 50 back extensions, 50 sit ups
Shoulder press: 1-1-1-1-1
Push press: 3-3-3-3-3
Push Jerk: 5-5-5-5-5
Ultimately if your goal is to be healthier, leaner, stronger, faster.. “fitter".. then GPP training is for you and my mantra of “just do CrossFit” swings right in to play.
As always, if you have any questions, queries or concerns about the programme, drop me a line. Lets chat.