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New Cycle Explanation

So, what exactly is it we’re doing with all these barbells and lifting? Well, that is what I aim to explain in the next couple of paragraphs.

First of all, let me say congratulations on battling through our last cycle. As I’ve said to many of you previously, it wasn’t the “sexiest” cycle in terms of ego stroking and fun, visible outputs…but it was mandatory. I think the #’s put up during our testing week were proof that we made significant leaps in building our strength base – and that’s even when we weren’t extremely dialed in on the fast lifts! Think of what’s to come…

That brings us to current. We have started (and are completing week 2) of a 12-week cycle that’s primarily focused on linear growth in the dynamic lifts. What does that mean, exactly? Prioritizing the Olympics Lifts (Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and sub-parts) 3-4 days/week and hitting a LOT of repetitions to build a consistent movement pattern. This will allow us to apply all the newfound strength we’ve created to these lifts, and help familiarize ourselves with speed under heavy loads. It’s exciting to say that I believe our gym is old/strong enough to go through a cycle like this. We will also be focusing on maturing our gymnastics skills and positions by increasing our times spent on rings, in handstands, and nailing down that hollow position.

This cycle is built upon three, 4-week cycles.
Right now: we are lifting a lot, and have (kind of) placed our conditioning on the back burner. You can expect to see our conditioning 3 times/week during this first cycle, but when it comes up, it will be tough. Lifting will be based on feel, as one week to the next I expect many of you to suffer from fatigue, yet experience tremendous gains in movement economy and lifting efficiency. M/W/F will typically be full lifts + some type of squat, with Fridays rarely having any conditioning. Tuesdays will focus on powers mostly, and Thursdays will be primarily for assistance/auxiliary movements, power/speed work and recovery. Please do not underestimate how important Thursdays are if you are an Unlimited member. Come in and do the work.
Next: we will lift less, but still quite a lot. M/W will only have one lift, but conditioning will be dialed-up, and will incorporate much heavier workouts. We will implement more dynamic shoulder work into our conditioning with heavier weights so you can apply your new skills in an aerobic environment to ensure you are safely executing the lifts prior to The Open. Expect heavier singles, doubles and triples, but less sets of strength work. Higher intensity, less volume. We will prioritize gymnastic strength and skills leading up to the open as well.
Last: we will base our training around The Open. More on this later…

So what can you do to maximize your improvement during this cycle? Be successful in your lifts. Pick them wisely, and think critically about each lift and how you are approaching it. Prepare mentally, stay focused. And if you find your form deteriorating because you’re trying to lift too much on any given lift, this is the perfect time to lower the weight and build the elegant, graceful lifts you see on YouTube. If you don’t make it looks pretty now, it won’t ever be. Also, any sort of shoulder/hip mobility and recovery work will go a long way, that’s for certain. You will probably experience some discomfort in the coming weeks – if you’re not already experiencing that now – due to the amount of dynamic shoulder work we are doing. This is one of the greatest caveats of traditional CrossFit methodologies, so I take it very seriously when programming and explaining to all of you. Grab a LaX ball and work through all contributing areas of the shoulder. T-Spine, arm pit, pec minor, lats, traps, etc. You get it…and if you don’t – talk to one of us, and we’ll help you out :)

-CBo


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