With the CrossFit open unfolding in February and March 2019, the strength focus of the training block merely is maintenance. The high levels of stress placed on the body during competitions lead to significant losses in strength no matter the sport. High volume and high-intensity strength training are never recommended during competitive times of the season, and hence maintenance is the key.
If you are serious about competing in the Open, you should potentially stop all strength training and allow the body to recover between the high-intensity competitive workouts fully. You could add in some additional aerobic recovery session between the CrossFit Open workouts, but that would be it. Many of you are taking part in the Open for fun and will aim to continue your weekly training around the open workouts. Hence this option has been made available in the training block.
The strength elements of this block are moderate volume and moderate intensity. The aim is to keep the body moving, feel a slight pump, assist recovery, and not overload the CNS or cause muscle damage.
Olympic Lifting Adventure:
Are you "Too Slow for Strength or Too Weak for Speed?“
There is a power snatch to power clean ratio that is used to determine if the athlete is too slow for strength or too weak for speed. Force = Mass * Acceleration, hence strength and speed are both critical factors in force production.
If you can power clean more than a certain percentage of your power snatch, your strength is greater than your speed and you should focus more on speed training.
If you can power clean less than a certain percentage of your power snatch, your speed is greater than your strength, and you should focus more on building strength.
In week one we will test both the power snatch and power clean and calculate your ratio. The result of this test will dictate the Olympic lifting focus for the next 8-weeks. It's choosing your own adventure style of training. Be aware that we are training strength and speed as sub-maximal loads in the main lifts and this will not fatigue the system and impact the rest of the week.
Unlike strength, skill training can happen during the competitive time of the year as it's often less taxing on the body. We have one full day allocated to gymnastics strength training that will focus on bar muscle-up specific work. During the next 8-week block we are aiming to focus on many of the fundamentals required to perform bar muscle-ups. No matter your level of muscle-up ability going over the foundations can uncover weaknesses and improve technical efficiency.
Handstands are a skill that requires consistency training to master. Those who want to master handstand need to dedicate significant time to the skill development and would be wise to practice for a minimum of 10min per day. The spot of CrossFit requires a vast variety of skills to be developed and the limited training time must be distributed over countless movements. Handstand will always be part of the Team Sustain programme in some shape or form. In this block, we will practice finding alignment in the handstand with split variations that will also teach shapes that are key to learning the split kick-up to handstand.
This is possibly the hardest time of year to programme conditioning sessions. The unknown format of the CrossFit Open makes it extremely difficult to design smart conditioning sessions. Movement selection, energy system demands, time domains and CNS fatigue are all unknown until the open workout have been published.
The weeks of the open will look like:
Thursday: Anaerobic Intervals - short, sharp sprints with long rest periods between each interval
Friday: CrossFit Open workout attempt 1
Saturday: No conditioning, pure gymnastics day
Sunday: Rest day
Monday: CrossFit Open workout attempt 2
Tuesday: Aerobic recovery workout
Wednesday: Rest Day / Mobility Session
CrossFit Open Workouts:
Once the workouts have been published, we will figure out the best warm-up, activations and pre-workout prep to follow for each. We will do our best to post our suggestions as soon as possible.
It's a crazy time of the year for training, and we wish you all the best in the CrossFit Open. Remember, it's a chance to test your levels of strength and fitness, and you are only competing against yourself. Now is not the time to be trying new movements or pushing yourself to injury. You are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and you are smart enough to know when to push yourself and when to scale the workout.
Good luck, and have fun.