Jun 30, 2015

July Programming Notes

Some brief explanatory notes for July’s program

This month’s programming is designed with newcomers in mind, folks new to CrossFit, or new to Fort Leavenworth, or both. As such, you won’t see movements like pistols, muscle-ups, or endless “chipper” workouts. This month is focused on foundational squat, hinge, push, pull, carry, and gait (running) movements with a focus on the quality of movement, consistency of application of those movements, and the importance of pacing and recovery.

I’ve been with Iron Major since its beginning and have observed a bias in every direction you can imagine, mostly toward long, hard work. I’ve also observed that 80% of the folks in our little community are “broke.” And by broke I mean everything from injury to lifestyle and everything in between. We need far more work on foundational functional movement than on complex compound movement. I don’t discount any of those, I am a big fan of muscle ups, snatch, and handstand walks. I am an advocate of “program for the best, scale for the rest.” The problem with that is that we don’t have a regular coaching staff in our affiliate. Discovery learning is frustrating and a path to injury without the watchful eye of a coach. If you have the desire to advance your skills seek out someone with the experience to teach you. If you have the skill, practice your coaching chops and pass it on.

Veteran CrossFitters shouldn’t be disappointed, there is plenty of strength work, couplets and triplets, and variety to test your metabolic pathways and 10 physical skills. I did not include a skill or strength workout to supplement the daily workout as is the vogue on a lot of sites these days. I believe that leads to overtraining, particularly with a five on, two off training schedule. The effect of skill and strength training preceding a WOD is a net decrease in intensity across the board, especially when you try to cram it all in a one-hour session.

This is a hard thing for many people to get their head around – you can have volume or you can have intensity, but you can’t have both for long before performance begins to suffer. You don’t always need more training, you need quality, consistency, and recovery in the training time available.

It’s true that intensity is the variable most conducive to adaptation. That doesn’t mean you should expect “Hero” or benchmark workouts, or endless sessions of burpees day after day to make your training effective. Nor should you red-line every workout with 100% physical effort. Intensity is a very personal measure of effort. I can’t program that for you. What I can do is offer some coaching advice. My advice is to set your sights on about a 70% effort every day. Modulate your effort across the week so you have the energy to show up every day. Stay Fresh. If you show up Monday morning feeling strong, then go for it. Just don’t try to out train your recovery ability. Follow a 90-100% effort with a few at 60-70% effort. It’s your work capacity over time that matters. If, for whatever reason, your training begins to drop because of work, school, family stress, or illness, don’t make your first return effort a herculean effort to make up for lost time. Ease back into it.

One last word on consistency. I programmed five minutes of planks every day. Why? Because everything is a plank! Do yourself a favor: if you are on an oly, Smolov, 5/3/1, Hatch squat or whatever program or cycle, follow the plank program. I guarantee noticeable improvement in all your other movements.

Show up, have fun, stay fresh, and share your experience in our blog!

Best regards,



Chuck Lawrence said...

Good to see you taking the reins this month, Coach! Great programming intro! Welcome to all the new athletes. Have fun, learn, and get fit!

Kevin McDonald said...

Great to see the Godfather programming! I'll try to follow along in my modest garage gym - Grammy's House of Pain (courtesy of my wife's grandmother). I sure miss the Bubble, the comradery, and the coaching.

monroe said...

Thanks guys. There is nothing so humbling or revealing as following your own programming, is there? I welcome any feedback. I did not mention in the notes that I'm going to program in mini, mess, and a macro cycle based on the CGSC year and the Open. It will still be CF and GPP, and general enough so that anyone can jump in at any time. I'll write up some notes on that and post them in another note.
We miss both of you guys and your families. Stay in touch and blog with us.