CrossFit Dublin Programming Philosophy
Below is a outline on how I plan the workouts and program the training for the gym. I have complied this from 8 years of playing a high level for sport and 6 years of been a strength and conditioning coach working with athletes of all ability’s .It is a complex process, taking many factors into account. Rather than writing a book detailing everything that needs to be taken into account, I thought I’d share some of the basic principles I use to program the WODs.
1) Mobility and flexibility for performance: This is an area often neglected by many programs. We prioritize it. Once you have improved this ability, your recovery will be quicker. You’ll get thru your daily life more pain-free, and your workout times will improve as you no longer have to fight against your own body mobility issues while training. We will have warm-ups and cooldowns that will serve to both release tensions from the workout just performed, and to improve typical problem areas. Albert our registered physiotherapist has started a mobility class and the attendees have made impressive improvements once we began.
2) Strength priority: High levels of strength are needed if one is to progress to optimal fitness. Strength is the foundation and physical skill that your fitness will be built upon. Endurance without strength will lead to lack of progress and even eventual injury. It will also be the limiting factor if you expect to perform well at many of the benchmark WODs. If you are a guy or girl , you will never have a good “Diane” time until 100 kg or 60kg respectively has become a light deadlift for you. Many days will have strength work, reflecting this priority.
3) Emphasize shorter WODs with a higher peak power output: There are many reasons to emphasize shorter metcons, or to perform them in more of an interval style with prescribed rest between rounds. Long workouts necessitate pacing yourself and a game plan, just as if you where going to run a marathon you would not start sprinting from the GO!. Shorter workouts allow a trainee to attack and leave it all on the table, leading to a higher intensity workout. To create change in your metabolic pathways and reach peak physical condition we are looking for it to come primarily from the intensity we can preform at and , not the overall volume. If one trains like this to improve peak power output, then when necessary, they will perform well at longer WODs or real life efforts. The reverse is not necessarily true.
Also, we can limit some of the negative hormonal responses from exercise by training this way. You will get a overall lower release of stress hormones (that will break the body down) and a larger release of anabolic hormones (that will accelerate repair and regrowth).
4) Spend cycles concentrating of bringing up physical skills: If you are not regularly hitting rx on a daily bases then you should aim to get there first before you start to worry about post a time. Progress is made more quickly when there is greater exposure to a stimulus. We spend blocks of time, often 3 month periods, with a greater focus in some areas. I will use our benchmark wods to test the gym for areas of a common weakness as a whole , from there we go about trying to turn the weakness into a strength For example, if you feel like we do more strength work will we have colder weather , you would be right!
5) Tailor the workouts to what a majority of the people need: I try to program workouts for where a majority of our clients are. The excessive volume of some programs is simply too much for the average trainee. More is not necessarily better when it comes to athletic conditioning. Connective tissue takes much longer to adapt to new workloads than muscles. I’d rather see the few people who are ready for more scale up or do our advanced WODs.
6) Build in recovery periods, alternate intensity and overall volume: Adaptation is faster when the main training stimulus varies from time to time. I program periods where the overall workload is higher, then this will alternate with periods where the workload is lower, but the work being done is more intense.
7) Benchmark WODs will be used for exactly that , to set set bench marks! why don’t we do the benchmarks more often? We save them save them for their intended purpose:to test and retest so we can see for fact that we are moving in the right direction. If we train bench mark wods or long met cons it not necessarily beneficial to our long term or short term fitness. When the benchmarks do come up, you should have the that last time firmly in your head when you come to train that day and want to do what it takes when beat your time from your last effort at the workout!
8.) Equipment needs and other variables: There are some workouts that are difficult to do in a class setting. I must take into account class size, and also any other classes that might be running simultaneously. (If you are really itching to try “Linda”, a workout that is very difficult to do in a class, let us know, and we can arrange a special time.)
9) Constantly varied: Most of the time, varying the muscles worked or energy systems trained: One gray area in programming the WODs is not knowing everyone’s training schedule. I plan as if everyone will come all six days of the week. In reality, with the exception of a very few, no one comes every day. However, many will come on back-to-back days, so usually we complete workouts that won’t exhaust the same movements(ex:like front heavy back squat on Monday and heavy front squat on tues) on two consecutive days. There will be some exceptions to this, as life doesn’t take into account that your legs are sore and today you need to lift something.(ex:heavy back squat Monday , light over head in a Met Con on Tuesday)
10) Varied !: Yes, there are many reasons to keep workouts constantly varied. Our workouts have a structure behind them as described in the prior points, but within this structure is plenty of variation. This keeps things from getting stale or boring but also keeps asking body questions, which is constantly creating change in your physical appearance and fitness levels!
Hopefully, this gives you a clearer picture of how things are planned here, and what some of our priorities are. If you have any additional questions, I am always glad to answer them. train hard!
All the best
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