As many of you know, we are coming out of the CrossFit Open season. Now is the time for us to begin a new phase of your training which will help you continue working towards your goals, safely and efficiently!
This new phase is going to do a few cool things that we want to inform you on, so that you’re not lost, or in the dark about what we’re trying to accomplish. A few of our programming’s focuses for the upcoming weeks include increasing your metabolism, building muscle/strength, improve movement efficiency, increase overall athleticism, injury prevention, improve joint laxity and health, and increasing your overall work capacity.
With that being said, our program will be running 15-weeks and is referred to as a high volume sub-maximal program, taking you through a few different phases. High volume meaning a lot of things and these things include reps and sets! Specifically, we’ll be having a set squat, bench, and deadlift day. These compound movements we’ll be focusing on are some of the best exercises we have in our arsenal. They’re full body, muscle building, and depending on how your diet is, fat blasting/metabolism raising exercises.
The first initial phase of the program is very high in reps, also known as hypertrophy phase. For 8 weeks of your training the strength portion will be loaded with reps and during this part, nutrition and recovery is key! Depending on how you play your nutrition, results may vary meaning if your caloric intake is at maintenance, then due to the high volume you’ll actually drop body fat, and gain strength due to the work load we’ll be putting you through. In the event your caloric intake is above maintenance, then you would ideally put on more muscle mass, and have an even bigger increase in strength during this period so dial in your nutrition accordingly! Please remember… if you need help with that aspect, you’re more than welcome to consult with one of the coaches here at CrossFit Barracks.
One of my favorite parts of this program is that it is sub-maximal training, which is a great option for both the lifter and the athlete. It is less taxing to the central nervous system and joints, allows you to build confidence, and gives you the ability to make small incremental gains over a long period of time. Lastly, and for the athlete who also must develop sporting skill, it does not rob you of your energy needed to devote towards your sport practice, which is the most critical component of your success. Training with near maximal weights is certainly a proven method to improve your limit strength, but is also a recipe for overtraining and injury. Using sub-maximal loads, 60-90% of your 1rm, and moving them with maximal force, allow you to still fully recruit the necessary muscle fibers, ingrain proper technique to your lifts, and diminish your trainings impact on your central nervous system. When using sub-maximal loads and setting rep records, you can avoid ever missing a lift. Missing lifts is a bad habit that will ruin your psyche as a lifter (you don’t get stronger from missing weights, only making them). By using sub-maximal loads, you can incrementally move up your working weights over a long period of time, which will allow you to keep making progress and avoid overtraining.
Now after this initial point the reps begin to lower, and all the volume decreases which will allow the body to recover (ligaments, tendons, muscle fibers), the intensity (weight) increases to take advantage of all the new musculature that we’ve built during the volume, and also really get you all used to moving weight around. Not only does high volume do all this magical stuff by helping build muscle, strengthen tendons, etc., but it also improves movement efficiency by having the athlete employ good mechanics under lighter loads for lots of reps. It’d be safe to say that by this point, your squat, bench and deadlift will be almost perfectly dialed in for you to hit some big PR’s in the near future!
Also, one thing to keep in mind is that just because we’re trying to build muscle, and because we have a little more focus on strength does not mean we will be neglecting the conditioning aspect that makes CrossFit, CrossFit. The strength focus will help by building a good foundation for the future and in fact, becomes even more important, and should actually help you lean out (if that is your goal), and recover faster due to helping increase the work load your body can handle!
The coaches at CrossFit Barracks are all very excited going into this new program, and cannot wait to see how you progress. We hope you’re excited too!