What can I tell you, folks. I am energized! Watching so many of our members hit Back Squat, Push Press, and Clean and Jerk PR’s over the past two weeks has me motivated and ready to push you all to be stronger and faster than you’ve ever been!
The new cycle starts tomorrow, and with it comes some pretty dramatic changes. For the two previous cycles (leading up to, and then immediately following the CrossFit Open) we’ve been focused on Open Prep, and then getting stronger. Based on the results of the last couple weeks, I’d say it worked! As I mentioned above, many of us have measurable proof that we’re stronger than we’ve ever been. The Personal Records set, in many cases, were not the results of ‘newbie gainz.’ We’re talking about long time CrossFitters who were able to break through some very real plateaus. By my count, we had 18 Back Squat PRs this week. 18!
So, you might be wondering about the next cycle. What will we be focusing on, and what is the intention? Simply put, I’d say the intent of the next cycle is to build stronger, better athletes. We’ve laid a foundation of strength, and we’ll be building on it moving forward. Here’s what we’ll be doing…
10 Rep Max Back Squats:
All of our squatting up to this point has been sets of lower reps, at a tempo. Slowing down the squats helped us develop proper mechanics. Combined with the time under tension, this led to beautiful squats, stronger muscles, and ultimately turned CrossFit Webster in to “PR City.” However, we haven’t really spent any time thus far with multiple sets of higher rep counts. That changes tomorrow. We’ll be building to a 10 Rep Max Back Squat and basing the next several weeks of percentage work off of tomorrow’s results. Time Under Tension remains a constant from the last cycle. The goal is that the increase in muscle contractions will change the stimulus and keep those gainz coming!
One important note – we’re not going to lose our good form. I’m going to trust you all to understand your bodies and your squat mechanics. I don’t want to see people ¾ squatting, letting their knees cave, or bouncing out of the bottom of a squat. I will (kindly) ask you take weight off the bar, and instruct our coaches to do the same.
All of the strict press work we did during the last cycle led to a bunch of Push Press PR’s, too! To me, the Push Press is the best of the overhead presses. Bracing your core and using your legs to help get the weight moving makes it a total body lift, and an excellent measurement of strength. We’ll be pairing it, Functional BodyBuilding style, with some complementary movements designed to get the most out of our training (much like the Push Press/Pull-Up combo, or the Strict Press/Handstand Hold combo from past cycles).
I’m thrilled with the turnout for both Weightlifting Classes we’ve held in the past few weeks. I’m even happier with the results. Everyone’s Olympic lifts look great. We haven’t had much Olympic lifting programmed in the last two cycles – we had some Cleans at the end of the latest cycle, and that’s about it.
Look, the bottom line is I miss snatching. I believe it’s the best measurement of many of the 10 components of fitness – it takes Strength, Power, Speed, Flexibility, Balance, Coordination, and Accuracy. It’s also the most fun of all the lifts. We’re going to be snatching every Wednesday for the cycle. For our new members, we’ll be focused on getting you comfortable with the movement. For those of you who are experienced, we’ve got percentage work programmed for most weeks, with a couple opportunities to test a one rep max in class. All I ask is that you trust the programming on this one. I don’t want to see you trying to PR every Wednesday. A successful lift at 80% is much more valuable than 3 misses at 97-105%.
We’ll have a Metcon every week with a barbell cycling component. I’m excited to get it in to my training regularly!
We’ve got some good things cooking at the gym. Let’s keep the excitement and the momentum going!