One of the great things with the strength & conditioning program we run at ChalkBox is that you can modify it to your abilities to achieve results. No matter your fitness a workout can be individualised for you. In part 1 of this post we will talk you through how to get best out of our programming. In part 2 we will share with you some other exciting options!
To get the best out of our CrossFit programming these are the steps for you to follow:
Understand the schedule
Our workouts are based on mindset and physical adaptation. We all have been were you are and believe that not every day you have to go hard and fast to achieve your goals. Just like for a footballer there are training days and there are match days. Each day your workout will be based on the idea of a “Training day ” (Movement & Skill day (M&S)), “Competition day” (Bench mark WOD) or a “Mental Toughness day” (or MT). This gives a context for which you need to prioritize for any given class.
On a Movement & Skill day you and the coach are to prioritize the quality of the movement: Your coach will focus on honing into your individual skill and body mechanics. Typically you will work at 70-80% of your effort.
On Benchmark WOD days you have to focus the mindset on “Going for it.” Here, we ask you to pick a point of competition – something that will motivate them deeply – whether that’s competing with someone of like ability, a time from another class, or simply competing against oneself against a previous PB, the idea is to intentionally create some pressure and use that as a tool to improve self.
Next, we have MT (Mental Toughness) days. These, in general, are longer, grueling workouts that take a toll on body and the mind. The focus here is breathe. We focus on the meditative quality of being in great degree of physical pain, breathing through it and learning to stay calm with breath technique. Ultimately, these workouts aren’t about the clock – it’s about who you are when you hit the wall.
Finally, this program has a comprehensive and intelligent layout over a 12 week training cycle with a test/retest component. In the 12 week cycle you will find a progression to almost all of the fundamental aspects of movement: pulling, pushing, squatting, pressing, jumping, lifting, running and rowing. The plan is to methodically (not randomly) advance a broad range of athletes concisely as possible given current science.
EVERY WORKOUT GOT A PURPOSE WHICH IS CLEARLY MARKED IN SUGARWOD
Scaling is not a dirty word! Often in our WODs there are loads and reps prescribed. In CrossFit speak we call that RX. This is for you a guidance but not necessarily your goal! This is why:
CrossFit is all about intensity and it’s important to always remember that. Take Fran for an example: Fran should be done in 7 mins or less. If one athlete scales Fran and they do it in 6 mins and another does it RX and it takes them 15, the scaled athlete got a better workout. The reason is for that is intensity. That’s the aspect of CrossFit that creates change. Whether that means change in your body or change in your mentality about what you can and can’t do.
Intensity will create change…. Which means intensity will create results. So if you’re pushing to RX a WOD but sacrificing the ability to keep up with the intensity, then the answer is an easy no.
Remember this formula:
Mechanics: Can I air squat properly?
Consistency: Can I air squat properly for multiple reps?
Intensity: Can I air squat properly for multiple reps for time?
You can use this formula for any movement. Once you have these three elements down, you can add load… as long as it doesn’t change any one of those three.
When you see a WOD on the board, you often see three common scalings:
Load – this is the simplest method and the daily workouts typically include recommendations. Before accepting the scaling, consider your ability in the relevant movement. For example, you might be an intermediate overall, but a beginner in olympic lifting. In this case, the intermediate scaling for clean or snatch might not be appropriate for you.
Movement or range of motion – If you cannot complete a movement safely or with good position, you should use a progression that prepares you for the full movement. Some examples include back squats to a box, or knee raises instead of toes to bar).
Volume (reps, rounds or time) – There is a limit to the benefit of any workout, after which recovery time and risk of injury are increased. Keep in mind that it is not the training that makes you fitter, but the recovery and adaptations from the training. You have experienced volume scaling though our workout time caps, which act as a safety in case you did not get the scaling right.
When considering whether the recommended scaling is appropriate for you, consider the goal of the workout versus your own weaknesses. For example as pointed out earlier, “Fran” is intended to be a fast metabolic conditioning (met con) workout. If you struggle with met cons, scaling to move fast might be worth a try. For someone trying to make a breakthrough on strength, using heavier weights that require rest might be a good choice.
If you see the workout posted before you come to class, think about how you might scale it, but be open to adjusting – we all have looked at workouts on the board that look achievable only to discover that the combination of movements makes it more difficult (e.g., overhead squats are much harder when combined with push-ups). If you are unsure about the right scaling for you, speak to the coach.
Finally, keep it fun. If a great workout time makes it more fun for you, or lifting big weights makes you happy, keep those things in mind when scaling.
KEEP IN MIND THAT IT IS NOT THE TRAINING THAT MAKES YOU FITTER BUT THE RECOVERY AND ADAPTATIONS FROM THE TRAINING
THE NEXT STEPS.....
In part 2 of "Individualising your Fitness program" we will explain the additional options you have.
We will explain the differences between CrossFit, ChalkFit and Barbell Club. We are introducing the Strength Club as a permanent feature on the schedule and a 6 weeks Gymnastics course starting next month.
If that isn't enough we are organsing the coaches team in such a way that they will be available for 1-2-1 Coaching sessions.