October Programming Update

October Programming Update
by Erik Castiglione

Greetings Relentless Family!

September was a WILDLY successful month in which we tested numerous lifts in the culmination of our summer strength cycle. The results:

  • 10 Weighted Ring Dip PRs
  • 38 Deadlift PRs
  • 14 Shoulder Press PRs
  • 35 Sled Push PRs
  • 37 Power Snatch PRs
  • 32 Front Squat PRs
  • 34 Push Jerk PRs
  • 13 Power Clean PRs
  • 16 Yoke Carry PR’s (for an 80’ carry)

For our submaximal work (i.e. repetitions based on percentages), we saw a total of 203 total tonnage PRs. We can attribute successful 1 RM tests to this – all the hard work our members put in building up to test day.

From a conditioning standpoint, we started hyper regulating intensity of our metcons. This means that high intensity days were followed by lower intensity days, and we mixed in some days that were done for quality or load, rather than time. The overwhelming consensus: those days were TOUGH. Just because something isn’t done as fast as possible or done to failure doesn’t mean it can’t be challenging. Additionally, by regulating intensity throughout the month, we were able to test our anaerobic capacities by performing “Fran” at the end of the month. We had numerous members perform it for the first time, and for our repeats, we saw 26 PR’s, and 5 additional members maintain a consistent score despite using more challenging scaling options. Success!

October Programming Update

In October, we’re going to continue this regulation of intensity for conditioning. The Open starts for us on 10/11, and by regulating intensity, we’ll be able to hit those workouts HARD, and recover to get ready for the next one. We’ll still have some higher intensity WODs early in the week, but we’ll have lower intensity WODs on Thursdays to make sure we can handle whatever HQ throws at us on Friday.

For our strength work in October, expect to get in some good reps for the clean and snatch. We’re going to be hitting a number of reps between 80-95% to give you practice lifting heavier percentages. In September, we kept our percentages light and focused on the skill aspect of these lifts, rather than strength. For our slow lifts, we’re throwing in some different variations of the big 4: the squat, deadlift, bench press, and overhead press. Instead of performing the full movements, we’re performing wide stance box squats, sumo deadlifts, floor presses, and Z-presses. For our lower body lifts, this will force us to sit back in the squat, and to really use our hips, glutes, and hamstrings (that’s true for the sumo deadlift too). In other words, we’re working on weaker muscle groups that it’s easy to work around in CrossFit. For our presses, we’re isolating the triceps in the floor press, as well as fine-tuning our bar paths and taking out the “bounce” off our chests that happens in a full bench press. The Z-press forces us to engage our cores and prevents us from cheating by leaning back, which can happen in the overhead press. Because these are newer movements for most of our members, our weights will be lighter than in the full lifts, which again will allow for better recovery. Still, we’ll see some big dividends paid out when we switch back to full versions of the movements after this cycle. Enjoy!

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