Welcome to the new year, Aevitas family! We’re barely two weeks into 2022, and just over 7 weeks from the CrossFit Open! The current eight-week programming cycle will help to build us all up in preparation for the annual worldwide CrossFit test.
If you’re interested in signing up for the Open this year, registration begins on January 13th – check out the details HERE!
Now, onto the details behind our current CrossFit Programming cycle. If you’re interested in nerding out even more on this topic, feel free to pick Coach Chad’s or Coach Sam’s brains next time you see them in the gym!
Strength Focus – Front Squat
While variation is the secret sauce of any enjoyable and sustainable CrossFit program, consistency in practice is also extremely important in overall strength adaptation. Therefore, you may (or may not!) have noticed that every 8- to 12-week programming cycle we do will focus on one or two “main” lifts, with the primary goal set on building strength.
This cycle is no exception, and we’re using the Front Squat as the strength focus for the next couple of months. Why, you ask? There are a few reasons Front Squats make the cut for the Open Prep cycle. First and foremost, gaining strength in the Front Squat will allow you to gain strength in many other “CrossFitty” movements. Front Squats have carry-over to the Olympic lifts and other squat movements, which allows for strength increase in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk, and possibly even Back Squat and OHS.
Secondly, the Front Squat is unique in that it also carry-over to other barbell movements like Thrusters, as well as lunge variations, etc. that you may see within the CrossFit Open tests. Working on Front Squats will help to increase core stabilization, front rack mobility, and leg drive.
Strength Volume Focus – Deadlift
Yes, that’s right! Higher reps of Deadlifts are coming your way! The CrossFit Open has a history of throwing some higher rep Deadlift workouts at moderate loads. And as you can probably imagine, this volume can cause issues if you’re not ready for it.
Deadlifts have been a staple for the past several months in some form or another. We’re going to progress them towards moderate weight with higher volume in anticipation of an appearance in the Open.
Our overall objective with the higher volume Deadlifts is to improve motor pattern habits and stamina on higher rep sets at light/moderate loads. As we get closer to the Open, we’ll see these in a mixed modal application.
Olympic Focus – Barbell Cycling
The Open tests can require moderate to even high rep barbell cycling, and there’s a chance we may see a heavy set of an Olympic movement! In the past few months, we have been putting the work in by honing these movements conistently. However, we haven’t spent a lot of time at or above 80% of our 1RM. So, get ready to lift some heavy weights!
Throughout the training cycle, we will alternate through different movement variations at a higher intensity than we’ve seen recently. Cycling wll be added as we go, with an emphasis on moving heavier weights more smoothly as we approach the Open.
MetCon Focus – Aerobic Capacity
Aerobic capacity shows up in workouts that typically mix in a mono-structural element (think: rowing, biking, etc). When athletes get deeper into these moderate length MetCons (<20min), the pace tends to diminish significantly from round to round.
Note that “aerobic capacity”, or how hard you can push yourself through a sub-20min workout, is different than “aerobic endurance” which tends to come into play in longer workouts.
Our goal here is to build consistent mono-structural output within the 10-20min time domain
This is the classic “Clang and Bang” CrossFit programming that hits hard and tends to be very anaerobic and sub-12 min. Think: the Thrusters/Burpees/Power Clean/Pull-up WODs that we all love to hate.
We’re adding these punchy workouts in as a way to help us increase power output over short to moderate time domains. These will typically be 7-12 min barbell MetCons, at times broken into smaller chunks to preserve both intensity and movement quality. We’ll call back old Open WODs as well (yay!)
For our gymnastics cycling portion of the program, we will add in some dedicated training sessions, not necessarily MetCons. Gymnastics movements that we may see in the CrossFit Open include Pull-ups, Toes to Bar, Muscle-ups, Handstand Push-ups, and Double Unders, primarily.
While we will have dedicated training pieces centered around proficiency of the movements above, know that these movements may show up in other workouts throughout the week, and their purpose will vary.
The goal of spending dedicated time on the “core” gymnastics movements is to increase proficiency in linking moderate sets (5-10 reps), even if it means taking longer breaks in between.
FUN, Variance, and Pre-Hab
Of course, it wouldn’t be CrossFit if it weren’t FUN! While we do put quite a bit of effort into preparing the best we can for the CrossFit Open, it’s not *all* about the Open. In fact, many Aevitas Athletes will not sign up for the Open, and that’s totally OK with us!
This programming cycle, like every one we do throughout the year, is designed to challenge you and allow you to grow stronger/faster/fitter. However, it’s also meant to be enjoyable. Because if it’s not fun, why would you keep coming to do it, right?!
So, while the focus of this cycle is technically “Open Prep”, we will be incorporating lots of aspects of fun, variation, and injury prevention to balance out the more specific CrossFit Open elements.
OK so there you have it! The method behind this eight week cycle’s madness! Get pumped, and get into the gym! We’ll see you there 🙂