It's that time of the year, a new quarter and a new emphasis on your training.
This will be the 4th Quarter I have programmed for since taking on the head coach role and it'll cap off my first full years cycle of programming.
We started back in the summer with a focus on improving core stability and gymnastic skills (read about that here).
As Autumn came around we progressed on to looking at your conditioning aspect of your fitness and focused on lactic threshold training (here's why).
And the previous 3 months has seen an increase in strength volume with the inclusion of super sets and also added tempo work. The last 3 months was also used to prep the Open, having a weekly Open Throwback and using movements and time domains that were heavily focused on in each year of the Open.
During these quarterly cycles we also see smaller weekly or monthly cycles to focus on other areas of your training that may have needed addressing at the time i.e the 4 week snatch cycle we saw at the end of last year.
The next wave of programming is to focus more on increasing strength. Whilst this obviously hasn't been ignored over the last 9 months, it's time to put more focus on this area of your fitness.
To do this, we will be focusing heavily on the daddy of strength (and life) movements... The squat.
Getting strong in this Movement will have serious crossover in to all your strength movements. Whilst the squat may look like a simple leg exercise its not. It's a movement that taxes and tests all muscles in your body.
Benefits of squatting, include (but aren't restricted too):
- Building muscles throughout your body
- Develops your connective tissues, especially those in your stabilising areas
- Improves mobility and provides you with better movement
- Builds a Beyonce Ass
- Burns more fat - Squatting adds more muscles, having more muscles burns fat. Do IT
- Keeps you moving functionally
For the next 13 weeks (one week to establish your 1rms in the back squat and front squat and then a 12 week squat cycle) we will be squatting twice a week. 1 day will be Back Squat and the 2nd day will be the Front Squat.
2 SQUAT Programmes
To ensure that you are being adequately catered for, there will be 2 different squat programmes.
1 will be aimed at Level 1 athletes and those that are new to CrossFit/Training and the other is aimed for our Level 2 and Level 3 athletes. Either way, you'll all be squatting twice a week.
As always, leave the ego at the door and ensure you are lifting weights and following a program that is best suited for you, this will keep you injury free and lead to the best gainz. Not sure which one? Come chat to me.
WHY 2 programmes?
Level 1 athletes – Progressive Volume Cycle
A person new to training has unbelievable abilities to make amazing strength increases early on in their training. A lot of this is down to building new neuromuscular connections (the ability of your brain to recruit muscle fibres), this requires lots of reps as opposed to really heavy loads. So over the course of the cycle, our level 1 athletes will begin with light load and low volume and build to moderate/heavy loads with moderate/heavy volume.
Don't be thinking this is gonna be easy. It will get testing, quickly.
Level 2 and Level 3 athletes – Burgner Squat Cycle
For the more advanced lifters out there, you need a little more intensity and volume to keep those strength gainz coming.
Now your neuromuscular connections are becoming better established, gainz in your strength will come via lifting heavy.
10 sets of 3, anyone?
WHAT ABOUT OUR PREVIOUS GAINZ?
As I have done over the last 3 quarterly cycles, there will be certain aspects that are carried over from the previous cycles. Skill days are still as important as ever, these are a great way to practise and learn the gymnastic skills which still get your body moving, but acts as a sort of active recovery session for your body. Which you will certainly need during a strength cycle.
Further more, the use of supersets will continued to be used to ensure volume is being built in your strict gymnastic movements.
Along with the twice a week squatting, we will also see a day for pulling and pushing. Ie your deadlifts, cleans and overhead movements.
To allow for maximum time to be spent on your strength gainz and due to the increased time spent under the barbell, metcons on your lifting days will be kept short and focused on your gymnastic gainz along with accessory movements for your squat (OH HELLO LUNGES) . With slightly longer metcons being done on none strength days. A similar approach as we have seen over the last 9 months.
REST AND RECOVERY
Be smart please. When lifting heavy loads, your body becomes seriously stressed and needs time to recover.
Whilst I reflect this in my programming (by having a skill day after a strength day etc), you need to be smart and listen to your body. Rest when you need to and go light on the metcons. Just because a RX weight is 60kg, you don't NEED to do 60kg each time. Leave your ego at the door. Going lighter will often lead to better results in the long term, and that is why you should train, for long term benefit.
Also, if you are squatting twice a week with the main programming, be smart on which speciality classes you choose. A bad idea would be to do weightlifting twice a week, cave on a Saturday and then squat twice a week in main class. That'll be a good way to mess up your CNS (central nervous system).
When it comes to CrossFit and training in general, more ISNT better. But more on this in Monday's blog next week.
As always, if you have any questions on the programming or feedback, please let me know.
Or, and this is something I highly encourage, if you need guidance on your training, which specialty classes to do etc to get the best out of YOUR goals, please arrange some time with me and we can discuss and go through your training plan.