Testing week is coming to an end, and we should all now have some solid numbers to work from. Our next block, starting 16th September 2017, is going to be heavy, with the aim of making you all as "strong as fuck.” Yes, that is a real measurement. We will also start to focus a lot more attention towards the Clean and Jerk, and the Snatch over the next 12 weeks.
We have done loads of power cleans and power snatches over the last 12-week block, and we are going to continue this for the next three weeks before we move into the full cleans and snatches.
This initial 6-weeks is going to sharpen the first pull of the lifts. If you watch the professional weightlifters, you will notice that the first pull is always slow and deliberate, even when the weight is light. Once the bar passes the knee the elite lifters accelerate the bar in the second pull which is where power is generated. Many beginner/intermediate lifters rip the bar from the floor and then fail to speed up the bar in the second pull. If an object is already moving fast, it becomes a lot hard to increase its speed.
We will be asking you to deliberately slow down the first pull and aim to accelerate the bar in the second pull. Take your time and improve the technical aspects of your lifting, do not chase the weight here.
Our strength protocol for the next 12 weeks will be the Modified Hepburn method on Back Squats, Front Squats, and Bench Press. Doug Ivan Hepburn earned the title of "Grandfather of Moden Powerlifting" for his record-breaking success in the 1950s. Among his notable lifts are a 202kg Olympic Press (from a rack), 202kg Push Press, 340kg Squat and a 320kg deadlift. These lifts were all performed over a century ago without the aid of lifting equipment or steroids. The system we will be using is inspired by Hepburn, with a bit of Hungarian and Romanian weightlifting methodologies mixed in. It's sometimes called the patient lifter/step-ladder combo strength system.
We are going to be using “WORKING WEIGHT” for the Hepburn elements of the programming.
WORKING WEIGHT = 1RM x 0.9 (90% of your 1RM’s).
We will then calculate the 90% of working weight on PART 1 and 72-78% of working weight on PART 2.
Modified Hepburn PART 1:
Heavy Singles Work at a 50x0 TEMPO - After a good warm-up we will be using heavy weights to recruit higher-threshold motor units (i.e. fast twitch fibres). Specifically, we will start with a weight that we can lift for five singles, and over the six weeks ahead we will lift that weight for eight singles. The singles will be performed with 90-95% of your working weight (as above). It's the volume of high intensity, not just the intensity that will dictate the strength training effect. The singles must be performed with a very controlled TEMPO, in this case, five seconds on the eccentric. The concentric range is performed as explosively as possible - concentrate on accelerating the bar as fast as you can. On the last single of the day, if you feel particularly strong, increase the weight.
Modified Hepburn PART 2:
Modified Hepburn Method Part II.High-Threshold Hypertrophy Work at 3210 TEMPO - The intensity in this next part will be between 72-78% of your working weight (as above). The weight is lowered for a count of three seconds in the eccentric range, pausing at the bottom position for two seconds in the most disadvantageous position, lifting for the count of one second, then immediately lowering into the next repetition. Holds at the bottom reduce elastic energy, causing the muscles to work harder. Expect to fatigue throughout the set, and hence the concentric range may exceed one second, but just do your best to keep moving with good form. The pause is the money maker as total time under tension (TUT) increases with the time spent in the disadvantageous position. Once we have excited the nervous system, with the singles in PART 1, we can start to hypertrophy the higher-threshold motor units in PART 2.
We aim to build to 5 x 5 in week six @72-78%. However, we are all individual, and the strength improvements might take a little longer for some. Be patient and focus on good technique in your squats and your bench, if your 3rd repetition is not perfect rack the bar and don’t stroke the ego by performing crappy repetitions.
Energy System Training:
The energy system training will continue along the lines of GAIN, PAIN and SUSTAIN workouts. Hopefully, we are all starting to understand the difference of intensity in each format and pace accordingly. Each athlete needs to understand their level of fitness and approach each particular workout with an educated game plan, just like we would in competition. The best CrossFit athletes in the world know how to pace a workout correctly and play to their strengths.
The time domains of the energy system elements are slowly going to increase in this block. Each week the intervals will get a little longer, and we start to test your fitness levels. Our primary aerobic conditioning focus will be on the Hero workout Hamilton; we thought this would be an excellent workout for aerobic fitness as well as the gymnastics components.