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Programming

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Programming

Caleb Gregory scaring Judith in to a faster 500m row.

Caleb Gregory scaring Judith in to a faster 500m row.

Programming. We hear this word tossed around all the time at the gym; “Man, the programming

is a little lacking”, “Dude, sweet programming, Caleb.  You are the best ever!” (that has never

been uttered, btw).  Well, if you aren’t down with the lingo, it may sound like we are all executing

some pretty rad functions in DOS or having a deep web cyber party, monster energy included.

However, programming is just a catchy word describing what you, as a faithful member of

CrossFit Ktown, are coming in and doing day in and day out. So, I want to spend a little time

talking about three things:  1) why a program, 2) how to program and 3) our current program.

 

First, lets talk about why we program.  In simple speak, we program our training because it

works.  It works for a coach to hear, know, and see our participants, and all their strengths and

weaknesses, and devise a plan to make them better.  It works because we program with a goal

in mind, and any time you have a goal in mind, you know where you are going and a program

helps to map that out.  We also write out a program because we have found that “random”

doesn’t always work so well.  Take the Olympic lifts, for example.  These lifts are highly skilled

movements.  Skill comes with practice; therefore, we “program” the Olympic lifts often, whether

they be in small rep increments with heavier weight, or with lighter weights and higher reps.  We

know that Oly lifting is skills-based and we want you to be highly skilled.  We program consistent

strength work because a house is only as strong as its foundation.  Musculoskeletal strength

and integrity are that foundation for human movement. We also program based on time of year.

Now that CrossFit has a “season,” we write our programming to optimize our level of training

volume, intensity, and focus.  I fully realize that we are not all CrossFit games hopefuls, but with

such developments as the CrossFit Games Open, and even regularly scheduled local and

regional competitions that many of you compete in, we now have the opportunity to build you

out to be a well oiled machine, primed and ready for various valleys, plateaus, and peaks of a

training year.  So, there you have a very brief explanation of why we program at Ktown.  Now

we can look at how we program.

 

We tend to choose a template method of programming. Since CrossFit is defined as “increased

work capacity across broad times and modal domains,” we always have a lot of ground to cover.

If you are not intentional about how this ground will be covered, day to day workouts can leave

you lost and unproductive.  A template marks the territory, so to speak.  It allows us to balance

and optimize your training response on any given week, and over multiple weeks of any given

training cycle.  A training cycle is simply a 6-12 week phase with typically 1-3 goals built in. So,

some cycles will have a strength emphasis, others may have a gymnastics emphasis, while

others may simply be a broad and inclusive – more “CrossFit-y” – cycle.  Each and every cycle

or phase is intended to elicit a specific response.  So, if you are doing a crap-ton of squats, it is

pretty reasonable to assume that you are on a squat cycle.  A good template will also include a

strategic balance between intensity, volume, and rest/recovery.  This is imperative in providing

each and every one of you the opportunity to not only work hard, but recover even harder.  You

see, training breaks you down, but rest and recovery build you back up again.  So, for every

bout of extended hard work, we also want to provide bouts of good and adequate restoration.

 

Okay, we have looked at the why and the how.  Let’s take a look at the what.

What are we currently doing with our programming.  As I mentioned above, we now have the

luxury of treating you all like an athlete with a season. Therefore, you are technically in your

preseason.  Since January 1, and truthfully even before then, we have been programming you

as a preseason athlete, with the Open marking the beginning of your season. We have taken

the time to really ramp up some last minute strength development with a great deal of squat

volume, and some intentional heavy lifting in the realm of the Olympic based movements.  You

may have also noticed some more “bodybuilding” type movements lately. This serves as a

secondary means of strength development, while improving some musculature balance

between the upper and lower body, as well as the functions of pushing and pulling.  Again, we

have a target, but that target involves a balanced and nuanced aiming sequence.  You may

have also noticed that the intensity of the weeks has moved in waves.  A wave is a fantastic

way to ramp up intensity, yet not burn you out.  We use a wave to increase, slightly decrease,

then increase yet again.  All of this is being done to prime and ready you for the suckfest of

workouts known as the CrossFit Games Open.  We will keep this pace up until one week out then we

deload for a week.  Then we kill it.  During the Open, you will see the cycle change a little bit.

We have put the hard work in on the front end, and we will switch over to a maintenance phase

throughout these next five weeks.  We will mix up squatting protocols between back, front and

overhead, but not push the envelope too far.  Mondays or Tuesdays will be our burner days, so

as to allow adequate rest before the Open workout, yet maintain all that conditioning we have

worked so hard for.  The middle of the week will be a good balance between skilled movements,

recovery, and baseline cardiovascular development.  All of this is done in hopes of providing you

with an excellent five weeks of Open competition.

 

I want to wrap all of this discussion up with a few things.  First, we as coaches are not infallible.

If you have question, comments or curse words, please come see me.  Second, we love specific

input.  We may not always use it, but your input is valued.  After all, you are the heart and soul of

Ktown.  Third, we work hard on providing you with sound programming, and we expect you to

work hard on following it.  Ultimately, you choose what to do with the workout that is posted

each day.  My recommendation is to always give 100% effort relative to the task at hand.  I look

forward to sweating and hurting with you over these next weeks.

 

Love,

CGreg

 

By | 2017-04-25T14:38:06+00:00 February 3rd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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