By: FRCF Coach John San Filippo
Sorry for the brief hiatus in Wednesday Wisdom. We’re back and rolling! This week will have a bit of a different flavor–with the open finishing up, we’ll be starting a new cycle on April 2nd, and I wanted to talk about what to expect, what my goals are for you, and how you can maximize your progress over the next 8 weeks.
I also want to take this time to formally announce an addition to the schedule–Open Gym will happen every Sunday 9-12. Please follow (shameless plug!) @frontrangecrossfit and @johnflip54 on Instagram for updates.
The focus for this cycle will revolve mostly around strict gymnastics–specifically vertical pulling (think pull-ups, rope climbs, and muscle ups) and pressing in both planes–push ups, handstand work, and dips. We picked this focus for two reasons:
- The goal board is chock full of pull-ups, muscle-ups, HSPUs, and rope climbs. I know that many of you achieved your goal during the open, but this cycle is designed to lay the groundwork for many more firsts over the coming year.
- After an open season that involved a lot of kipping and intensity, backing off to focus on building strength in these movements will lead to a healthier training year–and more capacity outside of the gym! If you’ve ever felt your shoulders and back get tired while gardening, rock climbing, or backpacking, this cycle will leave you better equipped to have fun outside the gym.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that we’ll only be hanging out in handstands and ring support holds for the next 8 weeks. We’ll be focusing on these movements two days per week, but you’ll still be squatting, deadlifting, running, rowing, burpeeing, and CrossFitting. We’ll also be rotating days that we focus on gymnastics–so if you always come Monday, Wednesday, Friday, don’t worry about missing days. The programming will be written so you can miss a few days and be okay!
With this new cycle, you will notice a few differences in how the classes operate, however, and with that will come some important things to focus on.
- The warm ups are going to be designed (of course!) to warm you up. However, they’ll also be an avenue to practice some of the more skill based components in gymnastics, so you’ll get the most benefit from them if you participate fully in every warmup. It may not seem like much, but doing muscle-up transitions in warmups twice a week for 8 weeks will make you a LOT better at muscle-ups at when test week rolls around.
- We’re going to have big chunks of time to practice gymnastics work, with ample rest time. This means that you’ll have a bit more time to rest than normal before we get into the workout. Don’t rush through the skill and strength work–proper rest will allow for faster improvement. Talk to your coach about how long it should take in between sets.
We’re going to be tracking how everyone’s doing throughout the cycle–so please make sure you’re logging your scores in zen-planner. This will help us make adjustments to the programming as we go, and it will help you keep track of all the progress you’re making!
I know that many of you have been working on these skills outside of class already–shoutout to Marilyn Smith and Jess Tyler for getting their first strict pull ups in the last few weeks! That being said, with us focusing heavily on these movements over the next few months, please make sure you’re not pressing or pulling on days that these aren’t in class. If you want to know the days that we’ll be focusing on these skills throughout the week, just ask any coach, and they’ll be able to tell you! Also, keep an eye on the blog each week on Sunday–we’ll put up skills that are ok for you to work on throughout the week.
You’ll also notice that each day will have a lift, a skill, and a structural or conditioning piece. These are designed to complement the class workout for the day, and progress you over time towards being a fitter version of yourself. That being said, the total volume of all of the extra work is designed to help you become a competitive CrossFitter. With that in mind, understand that completing every portion, every day, will require just as much work outside of the gym as in it. You’ll need to get 8+ hours of sleep every night, dial in your nutrition, and perform extra mobility and stretching. You’ll also have to break the work into a morning and evening session. Let me reiterate this–If you want to complete the class workout, lift, skill, and conditioning/structural work, you will need to split the workload into two sessions, separated by at least 3 hours and 1 meal. If, however, you want to simply add a standalone program into the class work, then you can absolutely complete one or two extra portions in the same session as the class workout. A good rule of thumb is to perform strength and skill work before the class, and extra conditioning after it. If you want to do all of the work, but can’t make it into the gym twice every day, please talk to John about modifying the work you want to perform at home to fit the equipment you have.
We can’t wait to watch everyone progress over the next 8 weeks. Happy fitnessing!