It’s official; the CrossFit Open is over once again. After 5 weeks of work centered around the movements and time domains of the Open, it’s time to get back to the basics. This next cycle will be the perfect chance to retool bad movement patterns, shore up weaknesses, and build some muscle to prepare you for PRs to come.
For our barbell work, we will be working at lighter loads over the next few months (generally the 60-80% range) and working on tempo work and higher rep ranges. The purpose is to slow down and feel the movement, make sure the appropriate muscles are firing, and increase time under tension. This style of training is great for increasing metabolism, adding lean muscle, and improving joint and tendon health.
We will also be spending a good amount of time going back to strict gymnastics strength, building stability and upper body strength. We’ll be supersetting various pushing and pulling movements to develop a solid foundation for more dynamic movements. Hopefully we will also get some people their first pushup, handstand push-up, ring dip, pull-up, rope climb, or strict muscle-up in the process!
During this cycle, we highly recommend you try to come 5 days a week for maximum results. We will be doing barbell work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and gymnastics strength on Tuesday and Thursday. If you feel beat up or sore after a few days, do the strength work with the class and skip the conditioning. You could also do the conditioning but keep the intensity low (let the coach know your intention so they can help) or do some active recovery with a slow, easy bike, row, run, etc. for 20+ minutes. Alternatively, rest Thursday and make up your gymnastics work on Saturday in the outside area before or after the Community class.
While we’re putting more of an emphasis on the fundamentals over the next couple of months, undoubtably you’ll also have some higher end skills you want to achieve, such as double unders, bar muscle ups, snatch work, or butterfly pull-ups. We’ll still be implementing these in the conditioning work, but to get better, we’d recommend choosing one or two movements to focus on and adding in 5-10 minutes of skill work 2-3X per week. The key is to determine what your limiting factors are (we can help with that!) and do some targeted practice consistently before or after class. You should find that the strength work we’re doing will complement any skill work nicely. Don’t forget that we also have the Barbell WOD program M/W/F for olympic lifting work, and Gymnastics class on Saturday to improve those dynamic skills.
Last, but not least, don’t forget your accessory work! Starting this cycle, we’ll be trying to build in at least 5 minutes of class time so that you can stay and get the work done. While it may seem unimportant, the accessory work is crucial for maintaining a good structural balance and preventing injury. Commit to always doing at least one round of the work before you’ll leave and you should see a big difference in your performance by the end of the year.