WOD – 140421
2 Rounds of:
400m Run w/ Medicine Ball
15 Wall Ball
3 X 5 Press
EMOM for 20 min:
4 Sandbag Cleans
A clarification of our strength program
I feel that there is a necessity for some clarification on our current strength program. In my opinion many athletes have started too heavy and have therefore set themselves up for failure on this program. This program is designed for novice athletes. Novice athletes are those that have an adaption cycle of 48-72 hours, meaning that this is the amount of time it takes for the athletes to recover and adapt from a stimulus (the workout). Since many of are athletes (nearly all) have never trained past this adaption cycle it is an appropriate program for our gym. To train past this adaption cycle an athlete must first go through this program, or something similar. Being a novice has nothing to do with how much experience an athlete has but whether or not they have progressively trained themselves in manner to maximize their adaption rate. Once athletes lose the ability to adapt at such an aggressive pace they become intermediate athletes, which is typically described as someone who’s adaption cycle has increase to approximately a week. As I said, this can only happen if an athlete has trained to this point in a progressive manner.
Finding a starting weight:
We start the program by testing the lifts (this is your first time with the lift on the program, whether or not it is the first time the gym has performed the lift) to find a good starting weight for the lift. For the test you should start with a set of 5 with the bar only (except with the power clean in which you do 3), then increase weight and perform another set of 5. Continue in this manner until the bar speed slows down and the weight is moderately heavy. For most lifts this should leave you about 15-20 pounds shy of what you think you could have done for a 5RM. The next time you perform the lift you will do the same weight as in the test but for all prescribed sets and reps.
For the first few weeks on the program the weight should not feel ridiculously heavy. During this time the focus is on perfecting the mechanics of the lift and motor unit recruitment. Perfecting mechanics quite simply means attaining good form. Proper mechanics puts physics on your side and makes the lift as efficient as possible. Motor unit recruitment is your brain’s ability to recruit muscle fibers to perform the lift. Unfortunately, novice athletes tend to have a fairly low percentage of recruitment at first. The more the lift is performed correctly, the higher this percentage increases.
This is where things start to get real. Every workout is beginning to feel heavy. Athletes should be moving beyond what they thought they were capable of at the start of the program. As long as the athlete balances stress and recovery they should have no problem making the expected strength gains.
During the final month of our program the weight gets really heavy. If athletes are going to fail this is where it might happen, although this should not be a problem for the majority of athletes if they began the program correctly. By this time, the loads being lifted are most likely well above the athletes beginning 1RM. Now, more than ever before, the stress/recovery balance is the biggest factor in the athletes success or failure.
Although month 3 is where the ability to balance stress and recovery is of the most importance, this balance should be on the front of the athlete’s mind throughout the program. To get the most out of this strength cycle it is recommended that athletes do not miss a lifting day if possible. I realize that this means coming to the gym at least 5 days a week, and lifting heavy plus doing a CrossFit WOD is a lot of stress on the body that is nearly impossible to recover from. My solution is to come Monday through Friday to get all the lifts in but not to stay for the WOD everyday. Listen to your body and get plenty of recovery. If you are having trouble finding the right balance or feel that you are struggling on this program too early come and talk to me.