December Preview / November Recap

December Preview / November Recap
by Erik Castiglione

Greetings Relentless Family!

We had one heck of a November! If you’re feeling a little tired, sore, and beat, that’s because it’s been a TOUGH couple of weeks. We just finished the phase of our training where we had a buttload of cumulative volume, AND heavy weights. Why? To force help you be efficient in your movements, so that you can still perform at 90% effort when you’re fatigued.

We’ve been doing A LOT of rowing (you were warned), just like we did A LOT of running towards the end of the summer. These movements are referred to as “monostructural” movements. Why? It’s a boring term for boring movements. Kidding! Well, sorta. These movements, even though they’re not the most exciting, are part of the fundamentals of conditioning. While you will absolutely get gassed if sprinting, when rowing or running are part of another WOD, they can serve as an opportunity to catch your breath. That is, if, and only if, you’ve developed a solid enough base and mastered the form enough to maintain efficiency under any condition. In that case, you can keep a steady pace and finish relatively quickly, while bringing down your heart rate and breathing. Building capacity in these areas isn’t fun, but it’s a necessary evil.

Finally, I’ve heard numerous times through the month from members: “my butt/hamstrings are sore!” To that, I say, you’re welcome! We’ve had numerous lunges, deadlifts, and combinations of movements designed to target the posterior chain and upper back. Why? Because many of the movements in CrossFit are anterior chain dominant. In other words, they work the muscles in the front of your body.  To keep you balanced and injury free, we need to build the posterior as well. It will protect your back, and help you fill out your jeans better (bonus!).  The results from November:

  • 10 PR’s for 5 RM Weighted Ring Dips
  • 5 PR’s for 5 RM Weighted Pull-ups
  • 4 PR’s for 3 RM Weighted Ring Dips
  • 5 PR’s for 3 RM Weighted Pull-ups
  • 6 “Fight Gone Bad” PR’s (most members have not done it before)
  • 10 “Elizabeth” PR’s
  • 233 Total tonnage PR’s

All in all, November was what you would call a “building” month. December, however, will be a testing month. We’re going to be maxing out a number of lifts: front squat, low bar back squat, push press, bench press, snatch, clean, power snatch, and power clean. Additionally, we’ll be testing our 1 rep max weighted pull-ups, 1 rep max weighted ring dips, and our 2k row, ending the cycle of rowing. We’ve already started building our gymnastics stamina, which we’ll be testing in “Cindy.” We’ll test your mental fortitude with 2 workouts: “Filthy Fifty”, the quintessential CrossFit chipper WOD, and “Eva”, which is one of the toughest workouts in CrossFit. New Years’ Eva is a fun pun, but it’s also a heck of a way to end the year, to see how far you’ve come both physically and mentally. Good luck!

We’re not doing the 12 Pains of Christmas outright, but we’re still testing 14 different things. For the uninitiated, the 12 pains were twelve back-to-back-to-back benchmark workouts leading up to Christmas Day. We’ve done these the last two years, carrying on a tradition that was started before my tenure as owner. In last year’s year-end member survey, this was a divisive subject. However, we received more comments asking that we discontinue the tradition, than we did comments supporting it. Funnily enough, we didn’t ask specifically about the 12 pains; these comments were in response to a general feedback prompt. Our general program model is to build a movement or skill, test it, deload, and then move on to something else. Incorporating the 12 Pains makes this difficult to follow. Still, we’re ending the year with a lot of testing, and then we’ll be moving on to prep for the 2019 Open. So, the spirit of the 12 pains will be there, just not the execution. It’s going to be a good month, and a great way to cap off 2018. See you in the gym!

-Coach Erik

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