Programming Update – Post Open
by Erik Castiglione
Greetings Relentless Family!
The Open is over, and typically this time of year is when we return to building our fundamentals. This includes building our metabolic conditioning (as opposed to testing it) and working on acquiring full range of motion (or at least increased range of motion) in our strict gymnastics movements. We will also be slowly accumulating volume in these movements to give you practice and build stamina. Our next big test is “Murph”, which we perform every Memorial Day. It’s important to build stamina with strict movements to strengthen tendons and other connective tissue BEFORE we work on kipping variations. We have additional reason to do so now that strict movements have begun appearing in the Open.
As far as strength work is concerned, we’re going to heavily focus on strengthening your midlines and learning to properly brace. We’ll do this in a few ways – first, we’re going to be performing A LOT of lunges as one of our core lifts. Since stability disappears quickly as weight increases, we’re going to establish a working weight for everyone, and gradually increase volume through repetitions, rather than increasing the weight. Second, for our squats and bench press, we’re adding in tempo work to FORCE everyone to maintain tension through their lifts, rather than relying on a bounce at the bottom of the movement. Finally, we’re going to be adding in some awkward object strength and conditioning: front carries, farmer’s carriers, suitcase carries, etc.
As far as the classic lifts (clean and snatch) are concerned, we’re going to be working on two things: keeping the bar tight to our bodies and catching the lift in the bottom of the squat. We will be performing some complexes to achieve this. As we increase weight, we will decrease volume, before switching back to the full versions of the lifts. That’s what’s coming down the pipeline until the end of May, now let’s look back at the last two months:
In February, we continued to prepare for the Open, and I’m proud to say we were more than prepared for it! March brought numerous PR’s and firsts with gymnastics movements, and many of our members managed to perform WODs using heavier weights than they ever have before. What does this mean going forward? It means that most of you can try to go a little heavier in our daily WODs. I’m not saying you should be making 30 lb jumps for all metcons, but 5-10 lbs? Sure. We also got lucky with our Open WOD predictions: 19.2 (ascending clean weights) fell on a scheduled clean day, 19.4 (snatches) fell on a snatch day, and 19.5 (thrusters) fell on a squat day. As such, we didn’t have to adjust our scheduled program all that much. While we focused on maintaining strength rather than building it, our members still managed a whopping 132 total tonnage PRs on our normal lifts. Huge! It was a productive two months to say the least, as will be the next two now that we are once again focused on fundamentals.