Feb 2, 2014

February Programming Notes

Thanks to Jared for working us hard and boosting our squats in January. Russ Ames has the steering wheel for February! Some notes below from the programmer:

This month you'll see a continuation of our strength focus three times per week, incorporating such foundational lifts as the deadlift, press, and front squat. We'll revisit a couple of overdue benchmarks (CF Total, Grace, etc…) with a focal area of increasing shoulder work capacity (press, wallball, thruster), and tapering in week 4 ahead of the CF games. Top movements in the CF Games are traditionally TTB, Pullup, Thruster, Jerk, Snatch, and Burpees, so you can never program too many of those! Active Recovery days also remain, but shift to Thursdays.

This month's strength work is derived from the Wendler 5/3/1 format using the press, deadlift, and various squats. Working sets are specified as (sets x reps at a given %). All training percentages should be calculated off your TRAINING max, which is 90% of your true 1RM. Why use 90% in training? Because it accounts for the ebb and flow of your day to day performance. If you base your training percentages off your best ever lift, you're setting yourself up for missed lifts and delayed progress (more explanation in #5 here). You should have a good working knowledge of your true 1RM from your training log. If not, work conservatively or use an estimate (see calculator here) for now...you'll have chances to calibrate later in the month.
For example, say my true Press 1RM is 115. My 90% training max (.9 x 115) would be 104. This is the number I use to calculate my daily work. So, for a WOD that specifies (3 x 5 at 65%, 75%, 85%), that equates to sets of 67-78-88 pounds. Round up or down to the nearest 5-pound increment for working sets of about 65-80-90.
If it helps, you can use this percentage chart to assist with calculations.  Remember, everything is easier if you maintain a training log...

One last note on strength. In a typical Wendler 5/3/1, the last set is typically a max rep set. So a 3 x 5 would be sets of 5, 5, and as many as possible (but at least 5) on the last set. We are not specifying this approach, but if it feels good go for it. Just make sure you leave enough in the tank for the METCON. We'll try to let you know if it's ever a bad idea based on the following days' planned work.

FROM (Full Range of Motion) Warmup
Do you ever tell yourself during Karen: “I swear I’ll start doing WB daily!” Or, feel like your warmup could be better? Let’s be honest…most of us short-change OUR warmup. The FROM concept emerged in programming discussion, so we’re market-testing it on Tuesday & Thursday. It is more comprehensive than the CF standard warmup, and exposes us – at least twice a week – to movements absent from most folks’ warmup, like TGU and WB. Is it too long? Not enough reps to condition on GHD, TGU,WB? Judge for yourself, and modify as you need to for time or movement. Yet some folks have seen great benefit, so it’s in our “hopper” this month…will post it on the whiteboard in front of the rowers, and trainers can do a talk-through/walk-through for anyone who needs it.


Jimmy Chen said...

I like the FROM warm-up - it's like a workout unto itself!

Matt B. said...

I like the FROM warmup. I've just been reflecting on how what I drop off my programming turns into my next goat. I rocked pullups when I did three rounds of CF warmup, and when I stopped my pullup ability went away. I used to practice DU, then stopped, and now they're not so good. I worked presses and HSPU to get better at overhead, then stopped when I got it. With only an hour over lunch five days a week, to add bias and work a goat means that somthing else has to give. I was just thinking that I'd do pushups/pullups before bed to get them back in. I've also been looking for something to do with the family to build habits of fitness and make it fun. This FROM warmup could be our Saturday morning family WOD.

I tried a warmup a while ago based on the CFJ article "The Russian Gymnastics Warm-up" by Leo Soubbotine. It recommends a progression of several body-weight warmup exercises based on skill, from basic handstand kickup and frog-stands to advanced butterfly pullups, back levers, and pistols. FYI for more variety.

And rock on with the METCON + strength bias. Since strength is my goat, I love it.

Russ Ames said...

Jimmy, that is what I thought when first saw it.....2-3 times on an active recovery day, and I'd be good.
And Matt, same thoughts. i might never do X movement in a week, but at least through a standard warmup, you get 30-75 reps depending on 2-5 days. It's probably more mental than anything, in that you don't feel like you've blown off the movement, but who knows if the infrequent reps helps actual conditioning.