The Fall Challenge was a phenomenal success. People made huge PR’s on their push press, front squat and power cleans. More than that, I saw a ton of improvement on overall form and technique. Also, I had the pleasure of witnessing so many of you re-attempt the Hendrickson Beep Test (despite how painful it was the first time around), and saw so many people add several rounds! Incredible. The Fall Challenge makes me so darn proud of you all.
Speaking of proud, we have another big event that is (shockingly) right around the corner. The CrossFit Open, which we train for and compete in every year. The Open starts in February, and that may seem far away, but it will come quickly! The Open is a time to celebrate each other, push to try some new things, and do a friendly team competition. We will dig into getting prepared for it more aggressively in January. Until then, our next cycle is an opportunity to start prepping ourselves for the open by increasing volume and working on our weaknesses.
Mid-Winter (Night’s Dream) Cycle:
AKA posterior punishment AKA gymspastics AKA CrossFitnessed
Goals of this cycle:
- High volume back squats and front squats to increase overall power output, build endurance under duress, and get your glutes super duper strong. (“Oh no I can’t squat!!”, no worries, the rep scheme on this cycle works perfectly for a deadlift/press progression).
- High volume gymnastics skills like pushups, pullups, inversions and gymnastics positions. Also you will notice that gymnastics will be coming at THE END of the workout. Partially so you can’t run from it, but also so you can practice skill-based movements under fatigue.
- Posterior strengthening supplementary exercises. Bonus work on hamstring, glute, back and shoulder strength and control.
- Lots more snatching and cleaning and fun crossfit-ey lifts built into EMOM’s and time-domain workouts.
- Explosive warm-ups designed to help you continue to build your extension position and gain some speed and aggression in your lifts.
You can expect to squat 3 days per week, bench 1-2 times per week, snatch and clean and jerk 1-2 times per week, and do a lot of other fun movements that you may not have tried before.
The schedule will be rotating similarly to last cycle, however you can expect to see squats every Monday, and usually also on Wednesday and Friday/Saturday. The other lifts will be more on a rotation, so if you come in on a pretty consistent schedule you should effectively hit everything several times.
Endurance is going to be focused on building stamina during longer metcons. Endurance classes will also be squatting and doing lots of posterior strengthening exercises, so no matter if you go to CrossFit or Endurance classes you will get what you need!
So how can you prioritize your fitness based on your goals?
You Want to Prioritize Strength
If you want to continue to prioritize your strength, be sure not to miss the 3 days per week of squatting. Building a strong squat is essential to increasing overall midline stability, posterior and anterior balance, and overall quality of movement. In addition to your 3 days per week of squatting, consider attending the 7:30 pm Olympic Weightlifting classes on Tue and Thu, or Powerlifting (Wed at 6:30 pm or Sat at 12:00). Choosing specific style of training can help you hone in your technique. Always be sure to include mobility as frequently as possible, and one day per week of endurance to help you maintain your general physical preparedness.
You are a Newbie
If you are brand new to the gym, just start by finding a routine you can stick with, whether that be Monday, Wednesday, Friday or what have you. Don’t even worry about the style of class, just pick the days you can make it in and choose the class time that works for you. Now is a great opportunity to build up some general fitness before the new year, and before we dive into the next gym challenge.
You Are Focused on Body Composition
If you are working with a nutrition guide (ie: Lucia or Emma) and you are working on some sort of body composition goal, you will want to be thoughtful about the days of the week you choose to come. If you are working on adding muscle and want to increase bulk, see the “prioritize strength” recommendations. If you are looking to cut fat, consider increasing the amount of endurance classes you attend to build in longer cardio sessions as well as maintaining strength by lifting in class 2 x per week. Lots of mobility and lots of recovery, as a body at rest is well prepared to relax and shed excess weight.
You Want to Maximize Recovery
The holiday times can be really stressful, so maybe your goal for the next couple of months is actually to recover and lower your stress. If that is the case, I recommend the following schedule. Squat heavy (or perform another lift) one day per week, hit up endurance two times per week and mobility 2-3 times per week. Focus on finding times to relax, and purposely build in recovery days. Structure your week so you workout:rest on a 2:1 schedule. If you workout two days in a row, always build in a rest day afterward. Set your goals around sleep and hydration, schedule a massage for yourself and practice some self massage and mobility before bed.
You Want the Overall Experience
You don’t need to have a specific goal, maybe your goal is just to get to the gym when you can and make the best of it. That is a great thing! I recommend in that case trying to make it in 4 x per week, Mondays, Tue or Thu in CrossFit, another day or two in Endurance, and one Mobility class per week. Also keep your eyes peeled for run club’s outdoor December run to try something new and hit the trails in the snow.
Enjoy the new cycle! This week is a de-load week so have some fun before Thanksgiving.