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Cycle 4 Programming Notes 7/15 – 9/01/2019

From Head Coach Sarin Suvanasai

In this cycle you’ll notice the introduction of banded back squats. The goal of these

is to help us overcome what is referred to as the “strength curve” as well as add

bodily awareness. The strength curve refers to the amount of force you need to

apply to overcome the force of gravity across the entire movement as well as

overcome inertia (accelerate the barbell from rest). The force required to move the

barbell is much greater at the bottom of the squat (because this is when the knees

and hips are furthest from the vertical plane of motion) and much less at other

points in the movement (as the hips and knees approach the vertical plane of

motion). Banded resistance helps us reduce the steep drop off of this curve be

reducing the fore required at the bottom while increasing the force required near

the top. This end ups making the entire squat grueling from start to finish.


Box Squats also appear in the current cycle and have their own added benefit. To

box squat you must sit all the way back until you reach a target (that is the box).

This places all the work on the hamstrings, glutes, hips, and low back. These are the

precise muscle groups that do a very large percent of the work in your squat. After

sitting completely on the box, some glute and hip muscles are relaxed somewhat.

This forces you to reactivate those muscle under load rather than relying in the

stretch if the muscle under tension.


Our Front Squats have been ramped up a bit meaning there are more sets than

before and the time between those sets is much less. The first thing to note is that

the energy system we recruit in our squats is the Adenosine Triphosphate

Phosphocreatine system (ATP-PC). This system uses phosphagens to produce

energy very quickly and without the use of oxygen. This system takes about 2-3

minutes to recover which is necessary if you’re looking for maximum output.

However, we are not looking for maximum output in this cycle but rather to train

the system under duress to increase our capacity for quick turnaround times in

other applications of our fitness.


The major difference between last cycle and this one is less emphasis on accessory

work and more emphasis on the major moving systems of the body. Routine is the

enemy. The most well rounded and continually progressive fitness requires constant

adaptation to new stimuli. Never get comfortable.


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Current cycle programming notes

The current cycle will carry us through March 10th with a couple of key focuses along the way. First to note is the repeating structure which is as follows. Monday and Thursday are our squat days., Tuesdays and Thursdays are our olympic lifting days, and Friday is our press day. Knowing this allows us to better prepare and gage the week ahead, even before knowing the specific workouts.


Wednesday/Thursday

Wednesday is our cardio/longer effort day and Thursday is our double strength day. The reason behind this is that while it is completely necessary to have more than one workout in the same day (a lift then a metcon) there is still something to be said. Sometimes when faced with two workouts we unintentionally give less effort to one for the sake of the other. For example we might back off on the squats for the day because we know up next is thrusters for time and it's going to hurt or vice versa. For this reason we have two days built into to our training, one where we can give 100% effort to moving well and moving for a long time, and one where we can give 100% effort to focusing on technique and building strength.

Repeat WODs

We will see past Open WODs popping up throughout this cycle to help get us ready for the Crossfit Open. These days are also meant to familiarize us with some the standards and movements that are going to be in the Open this year. Use this time to move well, move deliberately, and push outside that comfort zone.

“Stop wishing. Start doing.”

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What is fitness

Our current worldviews are largely shaped by media, marketing, and capitalism, not by human nature and reality. We are bombarded with messages, images, sounds, sights and smells all telling us who to be, what to want, and most importantly, what to buy. Precious few of the signals that make it through this cacophony are actually aimed at the simple truth: being fit (or well) is the single most important thing we can do. It is a base from which we think, we create, we help, we serve, we play, we love, and we achieve. If our health and well being are not in a satisfactory state, then we cannot do any of those other things optimally. Too often people equate “Fitness” with a state of muscle building or sports performance, and those are aspects of fitness, but so is the ability to move well throughout our daily tasks, go for a walk of hike, and for some, walk up stairs without the handrail. The biggest factors that affect our fitness and health are: The quantity and quality of our sleep, the quantity and quality of our food, hydration, and finally the quantity and quality of our movement. This order is important, a lack of sleep causes stress that good diet cannot undo. A lack of good fuel and water leaves us in a state that no amount of training will overcome. A lack of movement leaves our body to decay and a host of other maladies. Fitness, simply put, is the ability to do the things we want to do. When it comes to physical fitness, many of our views are again shaped the commercialism that is designed to sell products, not necessarily optimized for the individual’s well being. We blame ourselves for not going to “gyms” full of machines that would bore a hamster, or for not wanting to “run” as a “fun” exercise. Really, for most, those things aren’t fun, and for most, they won’t meet the objective of becoming more fit for the tasks you carry out in your daily life, or to gain the fitness that would make that next adventure pain and worry free. What we need then is a system of training that balances strength, mobility, endurance, balance, coordination, and yes, fun. This is the starting point for Primal Fitness …

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