Programming for CrossFit Hollywood: What are we thinking? What are we trying to accomplish? What is the goal?
What are we thinking?
When programming workouts, there are a few things to remember. CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. We are not specific to any one type of modality. We specialize in not specializing. We do constantly varied functional movements at high intensity. Keep that in mind. We’re not trying to be the strongest. We’re not trying to be the most powerful. We’re not trying to be the best cardio athlete. We are, however, going to be above average at all of those 3 things.
“I can do everything you do just as good as you can. You can’t do the things that I do very well at all. It’s not very humble, but it’s true.” — This is the mentality of a CrossFitter. This is WHY we program the way we program.
What are we trying to accomplish?
There are 3 metabolic energy pathways that we work with, primarily.
This pathway is about power output. This is the pathway that is used for explosive movements. Box jumps. Olympic lifts. 100 meter dash. This pathway is used between 0-12 seconds. The pathway refers to which systems supply fuel for the muscles.
This pathway is about strength. This pathway will develop lactic acid in the muscles, and will last up to 1-2 minutes. This pathway can be tapped into with many movements, for example, doing push ups to failure, or doing a bodyweight back squat to failure. Typically this movement *if done appropriately* won’t last longer than 1-2 minutes before there is absolute failure.
This pathway uses oxygen as fuel and is typically associated with long, slow movements, such as distance running, swimming, jump rope, biking, etc. These movements typically work the cardiovascular system as it is responsible for transporting oxygen through the mitochondria to the working muscles for fuel.
It’s our goal to train these 3 pathways on an even balance. We want to hit them all consistently without leaning too far to one side of the spectrum. So when we program there is a great deal of thought that goes behind the movements, how many reps, how much weight, and the time frames in mind. It’s not just a bunch of random movements put together in hopes that you’ll be floored afterwards in a pool of your own sweat. As much as we all love that feeling sometimes, there’s much more behind it than just a giant melting pot of exercises.
1st off- The weight being used can determine how many reps an athlete may be able to get. Are we trying to tap into the phosphagenic pathway? Or are we going for strength or endurance? If the workout is relatively light, and there is a large amount of reps required in the workout, odds are, we are trying to tap into your cardiovascular system. If the weight is relatively heavy, and the reps are under 5-6 reps, we’re probably trying to tap into your phosphagenic pathway. If the reps are heavyish, but manageable, and the reps are between 8-12 reps, we may be trying to tap into your glycolytic pathway, and this is important to understand, especially as a coach.
Many of CrossFit’s workouts have a combination of heavy weight, low rep moves, and light weight or bodyweight movements with high repetitions. This is what we call “metabolic conditioning” or “metcon”.
With the combining of these pathways, we will be able to see more results! This is the beauty of CrossFit. This is where the pudding got it’s proof.
So, when you see the workout of the day, and it’s “run a 5k” or “deadlift 1-1-1-1-1”, it’s important to come, even if you don’t want to. We’re working all 3 different pathways to keep you fit and healthy in all 10 general physical skills. It might suck during the process, but you will feel good that you did something that you might not have wanted to do. And it will make you better. It will make you stronger. And it’s not only a step forward in health, but it’s a step forward in being in control of your body, and your mind.