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A1. Close Grip Bench Press 3, 3, 3, rest 2 minutes
A2. Good Mornings 5, 5, 5, rest 2 minutes
A1/A2 notation means do a set of CGBP, rest 2 minutes, do a set of Good Mornings, rest 2 minutes, then repeat that for three total “big sets.” For CGBP, your index fingers should be where the smooth part of the bar meets the knurling. For Good Mornings, STAY TIGHT and GO SLOWLY. Only go as far down as you can while maintaining lumbar curve.
A Note from Eric --
You all have probably noticed that the programming has been a little different than normal the past two weeks. It's all designed around one goal--to get all of you as strong and as fast as possible, as quickly as possible. Hopefully none of you are paying your monthly fees and showing up 3-5 times a week because you're happy with mediocre results. My guess is that you'd like to see as much return as possible for the time you spend in the gym. So here's my rationale behind what we're doing on a daily basis.
Most people, especially CFers, are lacking in strength. And no, I'm not talking down to anyone or excluding myself from this...I'm constantly trying to get stronger too. And the best way to get stronger is to work on strength very frequently. That's why we've been including some form of strengthwork every day prior to the metcon.
Everyone loves to burn through a workout like Fran or Filthy Fifty because feeling smoked at the end makes you feel like you've accomplished something, but doing nothing but metcons isn't necessarily the best way to get fit or even get better at metcons for that matter. Think about it--if your 1RM front squat is 200lbs and your 1RM press is 115lbs, you're going to have a relatively hard time doing 95lb thrusters for more than a few reps. And no number of 95lb thrusters will make you stronger and more capable of handling 95lb thrusters quickly. That's not a lack of conditioning--it's a strength deficiency that's holding you back. Now, if you can get that front squat up to 250lbs and that press up to 155lbs and add 50lbs to your deadlift with a few months of concerted effort on strength work, don't you think the 95lb thrusters and 135lb power cleans and 225lb deadlifts and sprints on the C2 rower are going to get a lot easier? Since each rep will be a much lower percentage of your absolute strength, each rep will not tax you as much, meaning that you can do more consecutive reps before having to quit due to muscle failure, which will then allow you to push your conditioning and strength endurance even further. I believe that adding strength will also have the most useful transfer over to everyday life as well--I would venture to say that most of the demands you deal with on a daily basis would be significantly easier if you were stronger, but drawing a link between a faster 5K run time and improved quality of life would be much more difficult.
I challenged Raina in particular to add 60lbs to her CF Total between what she got 2 weeks ago and when we do it again in 6 weeks. Why did I pick on her? Well, because she is at the gym consistently 4-5 times per week, sometimes for two a days, and despite the fact that her form is all-around solid she spends a lot of time working on her weaknesses. She clearly wants to get better and works hard at everything. She's got plenty of potential to get fitter in every aspect of her performance, but as of now I'd say she's being limited by her strength. Improve that, and everything else will improve.
So I told her the same thing I'll recommend to everyone else--hit these strength days hard. Don't skip out on them and don't take them easy. Get plenty of sleep. Make sure you're eating enough--most of you probably under-eat as it is, which is bad enough if you're trying to support normal activity, but is just plain silly if you're trying to gain strength and muscle. Muscle gain depends on adequate caloric intake for recovery and growth...if you're not eating enough, you're going to be spinning your wheels in terms of performance progress. When I say eat more, I mean eat more good food--lots of meat, eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, and good fats like olive oil, nuts, coconut, and avocados. Don't worry, you're not going to get fat overnight or even over a monthlong period if you're eating quality food. Ladies, don't worry about getting "bulky"...it's not going to happen, and that'll be a subject for a future post.
The other reason I told Raina to add 60lbs to her Total is to get her thinking in terms of goals. Everyone should have something concrete and tangible they're working towards. If you don't, how do you evaluate the effectiveness of what you're doing? Part of that includes buying and maintaining a logbook (cough cough, John Hill). A logbook is essential to tracking your progress on a daily basis and allowing you to see proof of your improvements.
In Raina's case, I don't have any doubt she'll get that 60lb gain on her Total, because it is a very reasonable goal and she's got a plan to get there. She's already started eating more and drinking her milk...not up to a gallon a day yet, but the cycle is still young and I have hope for her. If we get to the next Total and she hasn't seen the progress we expected, then we'll know we need to change something. Maybe we'd see that she wasn't getting enough sleep, or taking enough rest days, or whatever. Or maybe we'll realize that my programming sucked--if that's the case, I definitely want to know it so I can fix it next time around. I think I speak for all of the CFSD staff when I say we're very involved and interested in your progress, and we're more than willing to do something different if people aren't getting the results they should be.
So my request for the rest of this cycle is this--do your best to get stronger and keep hitting the metcons hard. Give me some solid input to evaluate the effectiveness of the programming and we'll see how things go during our next benchmark week. My prediction is that you'll see big gains not just in strength numbers but in your ability to move light weight quickly, and your ability to run, jump, do pullups, row, and everything else you do.
Questions? Email me or grab me at the gym.