WODs & News
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As of this past testing week CFR has been in business of making mere mortals superhuman for 3 years. In that time we have had plenty of time to observe trends in training, what works and what doesn’t, which skills come easier and which can be a grind, and what factors can influence progress. From this we try and get a feel for what training focus areas will result in the greatest fitness gain for the greatest number. So lets take a look at some recent trends, and also at what our next block of programming will entail.
“The Heavy stuff”
Over the summer and the past few months we were in a fairly mixed modal “pure crossfit” phase. I purposely chose to omit most truly heavy lifting (lifts @ > 90% 1 RM) in favor of an increased volume of lifting done at ~80%
This was done consciously to see what effect sub maximal lifting at higher volumes would have on maximal strength. I would say the results are definitely favorable. Granted its now incredibly difficult to macro view our population since we now have a huge variety of “training ages” and skill levels, but on average the norm was a modest improvement or at least maintenance in 1-3RM strength. Whats cool about this finding, is that it puts some backing behind the theory that higher frequency lifting at 75-80% will result in positive adaptations, which from our standpoint is great because we can stay in the game longer by minimizing the risk and joint strain of true maximal lifting.
“The ole fashion PE exercises”
Within this “pure crossfit” phase there was also a big emphasis on bodyweight pressing movements, namely pushups and that family of exercises. I am of the firm belief that a pushup tells A LOT about the body, and performance. While with our diverse population it is difficult to speak in absolutes, there was a big improvement in the performance of pushups in testing, as well as in class. I still maintain that if an athlete is unable to complete perfect pushups, that should become the #1 training priority, because it is such a universal indicator. On the pulling side of things pull-ups remain a challenge for a great number, but for those who put in the work the improvement shows. I forecast a focus on eccentric and isometric pulling work to hopefully help activate pulling musculature that may lay dormant.
“Barbell Gymnastics (oly lifting)”
On the side of olympic lifting technique there has been a huge improvement in the ability to cycle a barbell in a met con setting (think touch and go hang cleans etc.) this is really cool because more people are now getting a greater benefit from WODs with a barbell component. Heavy oly lifting is steadily improving, but to make serious gains in this area a more dedicated focus is needed. To this end the clinics we have added with the wonderful Ms. Carly have filled a much needed void. We will still continue to olympic lift for those who are able and willing in class, but those desiring high level olympic lifting gains would be well served to check out the clinics.
“Hows the engine?”
One thing I would really like to see improve over the current status is our collective ability to be absolute monsters going 110MPH (while still safe and in control). I see a great ability of many to sustain an effort steadily, find a pace, stay in a groove, and operate in a “happy place.” I think we need to improve our ability to handle large uncomfortable UB sets, short aggressive workouts, and doing things in a very fatigued state. That said, EVERYONE can ALWAYS improve this area, its not a new thing by any means. Its also not something you can train everyday, or you risk some serious burnout. But i think 2-3x a week or so, we need to challenge ourselves to delve deep into “the suck” and take up residence. Buckle up.
Whats on the horizon?…
-A decent volume of lifting between 75-85% (a bit here and there between 85-95)
-Pullup work on the regular, with oodles of holds and negatives
-A variety of Hero workouts/partner workouts/and longer met cons on saturday
-A high amount of work on “burners” in which we want to push ourselves to and through the breaking points
-The mix of fitness beauty we have all come to know and love that leads to the extermination of weak and average
What do you think? Questions comments concerns, speak up and post below!