Mar 31, 2014

April Programming Notes

This is Sam Friend programming for April. Right away, I admit… you’ll notice a bias  for April… Barbell work almost every day. I actually hate the barbell because it slows me down and wears me out so quickly. But, I love what it does for my body and fitness.

You will see lots of Cleans, Snatches, Shoulder to Overhead, and Overhead Squats. The first two, as part of the Olympic Lifts, provide more benefit to the body than… well any other weightlifting and even any other exercise out there, because of the strong neuroendocrine response (i.e. power producing, muscle building, bone densify-ing effect) elicited from these lifts. That’s an obvious reason to do them.

All of the lifts above greatly strengthen your core. This is the real motivation for programming these lifts… and should be yours for continuing to use them. As CrossFit proclaims, “CrossFit is a CORE strength and conditioning program”. ( They mean core in a couple of ways, but one is the center of your body… you know, where all your power comes from… hips, back, abs… oh the beautiful six pack! These lifts develop your core more than most, if not all, other exercises. Bottom line, you use your core for everything in life… it needs to be strong… so, let’s strengthen it this month.

You will see Options to many WODs this month. These Options should help you. First, they provide advanced methods to complete the WODs. If you have trouble figuring out how to scale, the Options will make that easier for you and teach you how to scale. They will give you a couple of prescribed (Rx) methods to accomplish the WOD. They should not be a restriction or the only way to do the WOD. If you can do the heavier weight, but not the more advanced movement, combine the Options to fit your relative intensity. Or use an Option you thought up on your own.

I’ll also provide optional skills or strengths to work on after the WOD. Priority should be the WOD to improve your overall fitness (i.e. GPP)… so why do the skill/strength? Improving your strength will improve your work capacity in the WODs and ultimately your overall fitness. I believe you should incorporate some strength into your routine. The skills are fun, but also teach you to control your body in more advanced ways, which is incredibly helpful in improving overall fitness.

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