Whilst playing rugby at a high level and gaining a degree in Sport Studies, I have since completed several other qualifications in strength and conditioning and various CrossFit courses.
However, my communication skills on programming aren’t the best; so here it goes.
After gaining some feedback from members and watching how classes run these past 4 years, I thought it would be best to give you an insight into the head of coach FON.
As we all know and love CrossFit, it tests our strengths and weaknesses and makes you want to come back for more. We have all been there, looking for that extra 5-10kg PB on our lifts because it makes us feel like we are getting better. But, have we ever thought that a PB has come from an increase in mobility or the ability to squat or press efficiently… that has lead to the increase in a 1rm snatch or clean & jerk.
Past 6 months
Since the last open WODs back in march I have made it my mission to increase basic strength through programming strength on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. I have also tried to program in gymnastic strength work on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays to enable a higher amount of reps during WODs through the help of kipping. With the endurance classes on Tuesday and Thursday those that want do well in CrossFit needed to build work capacity, that comes from hours spent building an engine to move for a set amount of time and work outside you’re comfort zone.
Those of you who struggle with gymnastic based movements like Pull ups, HSPU, dips and TTB have had a gymnastic class there to improve such skills.
3 Headed Monster within CrossFit
When looking at yourself ask your self this; if I was a three-headed monster would all three of my heads be the same size?
The conditioning head – Fitness is a measurement of work capacity, the ability to move any load for a set duration of time i.e. 4-20mins.
The skill head – No matter how strong or fit you are, can you perform high volume of unbroken reps of the following – Muscle ups, pull ups, CTB, ring dips, HSPU, double unders?
The Strength head – Assuming you have a good work capacity and a good skill set, you’ll do well at competitions through having a good 1RM. But remember, you need to get to there first!
If we now add 2 more aspects of fitness to our monster and say you need;
Mobility – Enables you to move efficiently and fast with minimal risk of injury, thus allowing for an increase in volume. But it’s down to YOU
Mental grit – This is developed everyday just by turning up, your beating that choice to go home and chill and avoid a movement that you hate.
Instead you are choosing to develop a poor skill, increase mobility and become a better person.
Now look back on the past 6 months and think to yourself; have I followed the white board, could I have done more mobility, could I have focused on getting lower in squat and moving better? If so, would I be a better athlete now.
I ask myself this question after every qualifier I do and the answer is always the same. Stop working on strength and develop my engine and skill set.
All that being said we are now going into a new phase come January.
December is a tough month to make changes with Christmas parties etc but I will give you a feel for it over the next few weeks.
The new phase will look something like this below:
Monday – Metcon
Olympic Lifting (heavy)
Tuesday - Metcon
Wednesday - Metcon
Thursday - Olympic Lifting Technique
Friday - Metcon
Saturday - Team Metcon
Olympic Lifting (heavy)
Gymnastic classes will no longer run, with the coaching in class taking over on skilled movements/gymnastics.
Endurance will still be posted for those that want to carry on working their engine.
Break down on the above meanings;
Met-con – Development of our engine is the number 1 goal for everyone. Met-cons will always come first, but will now start earlier to allow for coaching on skills, Oly and strength movements. Due to the nature of the competitions, we are tested on met-cons not 1RM.
Olympic Lifting - You’ll see heavy and technique, that’ll be the focus on that particular day. Both are just as important as one another, with focus on safety of the lift against 1RM.
Strength – You don’t need to be super strong to compete and do well in competitions. I’ve learnt this the hard way… Most events have moderate load, so improving strength at the loss of fitness isn’t a good idea.
Skill – Developing particular movements is key; box jumps, pull ups, double unders, muscle ups and TTB. These always come up in competitions, but they also help to improve general fitness.
Volume Vs Intensity – To improve focus on intensity and quality of training, rather than increasing volume to decrease the quality of movements, which builds bad muscle memory.