Battle By The Mounds
Thank you to everyone that showed up for this year’s Battle By the Mounds! Thanks Gerard, Chuck, Josh, Coach Justin, and Coach Keras for all the support and training to get our athletes through this competition. Bad Mother Ruckers (Stevie, Kortney, Max, and John) placed 5th in the scaled division, Less Twerking More Jerking (LT, Courtney, James, and Ling) placed 14th in the RX division, and BIG n Smalls (Natalie, Jess, Brand, and Taylor) took home second in the RX division. Way to go y’all! I’ll try to get those pictures up soon, kinda broke the camera…if you have any photos you want to share, send them to me and I’ll include them in the facebook album. I think everyone had a really fun time this weekend, and we should do more competitions more often! So if you know any upcoming events nearby, let us know so we can get some people involved!
We’re selling a bunch of tank tops, and I have a few more coming in this week. I think we need maybe 13 more to reach the goal of two new barbells! Probably less once everyone that owes me pays up! I’ll see how this week goes before putting in the bar order. They’re gonna be all black…stealth mode!
This Cycle is Coming to an End…
This is the final week of our 12-week cycle! Just a few more benchmarks to hit! And team/partner wods every day!
I’m putting the finishing touches on the next cycle and should wrap it up soon before we start it next week. I’ve planned out a general prepratory phase that’s going to last the next 3-4 months. Preparing for what? For life! And since this is CrossFit, a lot of gyms (this one included) program around the CrossFit Open which happens every March. The goal is to reach peak performance every year, and our macrocycle ends in March to coincide with the Open. After we peak, we slowly transition into a new cycle and repeat!
Before I go any further, I figured I’d define a few terms that I was told were confusing last time I told y’all about the upcoming cycle. So in general fitness periodization, there is the macrocycle, mesocycle, and microcycle. They have specific lengths and purposes, and here’s how I define them. Macrocycle: a macrocycle is usually 12-months long with an end goal/competition. For us, it’s the CrossFit Open. Mesocycle: this is a block of training designed to accomplish a particular goal. Microcycle: a week long focused training cycle. I don’t use this term much. Cycle: an arbitrary term I use to define each 12-16 week module I write up in advance. Each [macro]cycle can contain multiple mesocycles and microcycles. Last time, one of our goals was to become more comfortable with cleans, so we did a mesocycle of pause front squats for 12 weeks. Another goal was to add ~10% to your deadlift so we did a deadlift mesocycle that lasted 11 weeks. For overhead work, I had Fitness do 8 weeks of push presses. Et cetera, et cetera…so on and so forth…
The main goal of the last cycle was simply: get stronger. So I planned out the cycle with different periodizations and progressions to achieve that. The workout of the day (WOD) was usually simpler and shorter, but it was only as easy as you made it. I didn’t want the workouts to take away from the strength training. There was also less olympic lifting in the WODs because I wanted two separate days to work on simply olympic lifting. Form before intensity! Some of you ignored the percentages that I prescribed, but whatever. Those that listened and stayed light when they were supposed to seemed to improve their technique much better. Hmmm, so listening lead to improvement? Whodathunk! I can easily make a sexy WOD and then have you lift heavy every day, but what’s the point? Do you want to get beat down, or do you want to get better?
So for this upcoming cycle, we’ll be instituting a few changes. Nothing too drastic, and I think everyone will benefit from them. First off, we’ll be going back to three different levels of programming. Those of you that have been with us for a while might remember L1, L2, and L3. This time our levels will be called Fitness, Performance, and RTR. Fitness will stay basically how it is now, with no olympic lifting or complex gymnastic skills. Performance will become slightly easier than it is now. For each WOD, I’ll have max weights that can be used, and we always encourage you to scale down to the best of your abilities. Scaling options will always be presented before each class. RTR will be harder than what Performance currently is. There will always be prescribed weights for each workout, and no scaling is allowed. If it says muscle ups, you do muscle ups. If it says use 155#, you use 155#.
Another change that we’ll be incorporating, is aligning the levels so every athlete is doing something similar each day. Instead of half the class benching and the other half doing snatches, everyone will be doing stuff together…but just a little different. Everyone will squat on the same day, everyone will pull from the ground on the same day, everyone will go overhead on the same day, etc. Workouts will also look familiar but different between the levels. Example: Fitness does a workout of kettlebell swings and v-ups. Performance does a workout of power snatches (<95/65#) and knees to elbows. RTR does a workout of power snatches (135/95#) and toes to bar. Ya see? Similar but different.
And as before, you can jump between the different levels at any time. Though you will have to demonstrate competency before trying RTR.
One final change to the programming that you’ll see everyday is homework (optional) that can be done after class in the gym or at home. If you do it at the gym, you must stay out of the way. Class has priority and if you continue to interupt the flow of class, you will get your after class privileges revoked! Some days will follow a formula of Fitness does X, Performance does X + Y, and RTR does X + Y + Z. Other days will have completely separate homework. This extra work might involve any type of accessory work for the upper or lower body such as shoulder prehab or core work. Other times the homework could be skill-focused, like spend 10 minutes on double unders or handstands. Every day will be different and will compliment what was done in the class. Again, this is purely optional but recommended.
The last cycle focused on getting stronger and improving your 1RM. This next cycle I’m not really programming any progressions to hit a new 1RM by a certain date. I’m positive everyone is going to get better, but the end goal this time is different. This time the focus will be on technique and work capacity at moderate weights. I’m trying to first, improve your technique. Let’s say you can squat 400+ and deadlift over 500+ but you can barely clean 250…there’s a problem there. Why focus on getting stronger if your technique is shit? I can go on and on about what we’ll be doing, but I’m really starting to ramble and need to move on! Just know that we’ll be ironing out our weaknesses while sometimes hitting our strengths so you don’t get discouraged!
That covers most of what’s new, and I’ll explain more as it comes up. But please, feel free to ask me any questions. We’re completely transparent with our programming and intentions, and we’re always here to help! Oh yeah, one more thing: no more damn calculations! None! Nada! Zip!
Things might change up from time to time in the next cycle, but here’s what you can expect: we’ll be doing a lot of 4-week mesocycles for most of the movements. These mesocycles will sometimes repeat throughout the next few months. For example, I’m implementing a simple yet effective 4-week squat cycle every Monday that will repeat every 4 weeks…same rep scheme and structure, but the goal is to do more than you did the previous month. Most days will have WODs. In it’s most simplest, here’s what we’ll be doing:
MONDAY – front squats and back squats
TUESDAY – pulls (deadlift or snatch or clean)
WEDNESDAY – overhead work
THURSDAY – rest day or goat work similar to what we did this past thursday
FRIDAY – squatting, overhead work, and other accessory movements
SATURDAY – max effort oly in barbell club, and a long wod for crossfit (we’ll still have the free team wod on saturdays). no one is allowed to do all three classes on saturday.