A lot of info here!! But below is an explanation of the next training cycle leading up to the CrossFit Open.
Because the last five weeks of this 12 week macrocycle will be the Open, you can expect some significant change during that time. Although the general structure of training will remain the same, Thursdays will become an easy integrated aerobic training day to prepare for the Open WOD on Friday, and between these two days being effectively “removed” from the program, there will be more weekly extra work than usual
during that time.
Weightlifting: For this macrocycle, we’ll be alternating between power and squat variations on the snatch, with one snatch exercise per week either in class or extra work. We will perform lifts from the floor, the hang, and the low hang (later in the macrocycle). Once per week, we will clean, jerk, or clean & jerk. Because of the somewhat lower frequency (once per three weeks for each lift), we will be sticking to the classical clean and jerk and it’s constituent components, the squat clean and split jerk. A variety of formats will be employed, but all of them will have a time component for the duration of this macrocycle.
Strength: We have four primary lifts for this mesocycle: front squat, stiff legged deadlift, push press, and bench press. Each primary lift will be given a simple three week ramp before switching focus for three weeks, then coming back. Thus, in mesocycle 1, we will front squat up to a 5RM and push press up to a 5RM. In mesocycle 2, our primary lower body lift will be the stiff legged deadlift and our primary upper body lift will be the bench press, again working up to top sets of 4. We will switch back in mesocycle three and again in mesocycle 4, so that each of our primary lifts goes through two rounds of building to 5RM.
For the first seven weeks, we will also perform moderately heavy back squats and deadlifts for moderately high reps as part of our integrated aerobic training (IAT). These will allow athletes to accumulate more volume, provide some hypertrophy work, and maintain practice on our two most valuable lower body lifts. After week 7, the Open begins, and IAT will take on a much gentler character as we perform it on Thursdays to prepare for the Open workout on Fridays.
Upper body pressing accessories will alternate between dumbbell bench press and dumbbell strict press, both for sets of 10. The movements will alternate with the primary upper body lift, so that when we are training barbell push presses, we’re training dumbbell bench, and when we’re training barbell bench, we’ll be training dumbbell strict press. Upper body pulling will alternate twice between single arm dumbbell rows and simple bodyweight rows. Finally, lower body accessories will include walking lunges, split squats, back extensions, and the dreaded Death March, all with a higher rep character focused on building local muscular endurance.
Gymnastics: This macrocycle, our discrete gymnastics training will take place via three once per week volume accumulation circuits consisting of three movements each:
-Ring Muscle-Up, Handstand Walk, Single Arm Plank
-Bar Muscle-Up, Kipping Handstand Pushup, Dumbbell Bear Crawl -Chest-to-Bar Pullup, Ring Dip, Plate Push.
These circuits are aimed at developing skill and endurance in the kipping gymnastics movements, atop of the base of strength and skill we’ve built over the previous macrocycle. The plank, dumbbell bear crawl, and plate push will provide challenging core strength exercises as well as increasing the aerobic demand of the circuits.
Monostructural Endurance: Each week will feature two monostructural endurance pieces. The pieces in class will include all three of our primary monostructural modalities in varied interval types. All of the working sets will be fairly short (between 1:00-3:00), with the major differences coming in the work:rest ratios, which range from as low as approximately 2:1 up to full recovery between sets limited only by the timecap for the total piece. The extra work will be focused on aerobic capacity and will vary between moderately hard 8-10 minute intervals with a 2:1 rest, mixed modal intervals with short rests over an extended duration, and simple 30 minute runs and rows at an easy pace. These longer, lower intensity pieces will not be included in classes, but as always, they are a key ingredient in overall fitness and I strongly encourage athletes to do them!
Multimodal Endurance: The primary difference in sport specific work/WODs will be the nature of the scaling. In general, default to scaling in such a way as to focus on (1) matching the intent of the workout as well as possible and (2) moving the athlete slowly towards being able to handle the original prescription. Because we are preparing for the Open, however, instead be defaulting to Open scaling where available. For example, muscle-ups will be scaled to CTB pullups, Toes-to-Bar to hanging knee raise, etc.
If you have any questions about any of this then please grab Mark in the gym or drop him an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The In2Training Team